Founder and Creative Director at Infinite Playground, a small independent game development studio based in England. I've come from a background of game modding, helping out several projects on ModDB before deciding to try the Indie Route. I still like to get involved with mods when I have the time!
Posted by stray-shadow on Apr 11th, 2013
Back in August 2011 I founded Infinite Playground in order to pursue my dreams of becoming a full-time game developer.
The journey so far has been quite rough so I thought I'd have a go at sharing whats happening and a little advice from some one whose gotten it wrong a couple of times.
1. I founded the company as a knee-jerk reaction to someone attempting to steal some of my intellectual property so it could be under development by a registered company.
This meant I had to get all the legal side of the company sorted out at a time when I was quite busy and had little money.
I should have carried on researching the necessities of business and running a company before registering.
2. Making people of other nations Directors. This is purely because I did not do enough research prior to starting the company. There is nothing at all wrong with people from other countries being Directors of your company, but as Directors they need to be signatories on the companies bank account. With the company made up of Modders we were all over the world making this impossible without a small fortune in airfares.
The others decided to step down as Directors leaving me at the helm.
3. Distinguish between friends and business. I made a few friends here on Mod/IndieDB and from Uni, all very talented people and most of them were finding it hard to get work to expand their portfolios so they could get work.
I made it my mission to give as many of them work during the project as I could. This money came out of my pocket and for a while I was working 3 jobs (all pretty badly paid!) to raise funding for the company and our first game project.
I had a friend of mine producing concept art, he was a talented artist and I asked him to flesh out the character and generate some more possible designs. He missed his first deadline but I let him off and set another, then another and another. This carried on for nearly two months. Looking back I was very naive! I should have called him on it after he missed his first deadline but I wanted to give him a chance.
Thankfully we had a contract which he had voided by taking so long and as such I didn't owe him a penny for his time wasting.
Which bring me on to...
4. Paperwork! Never underestimate paperwork! One of the first things you want to do is acquire a Contract template and an NDA template. Both of these documents will save you from a potential world of irritation. They are readily available online or you can message me and I'll drop one to you!
Another note is if you are discussing a possible contract with someone it doesn't hurt to add 'Subject to Contract' to e-mails to prevent yourself from accidentally getting contracted.
That's about it for now. I made mistakes and I am still here. Just keep up that same passion that brought you to game design and you wont go far wrong for long! Each day of development you grow too!