Entrepreneurs from games and animation told their tales at the Creative Stories event last month held at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology’s (GMIT) Centre for Creative Arts and Media during Design Galway 16. This is the first of a series of public seminars in GMIT’s creative enterprise talk series.
We heard the stories of Tribal City Interactive, Moetion Films and Gambrinous and have distilled a few of the key emerging messages. Working in animation and games means being part of a competitive market. Based on the experience of those who have succeeded in this crowed scene, others aiming to build a business in this sector could find these hints useful.
Develop your own content or work for hire?
It seems doing a bit of both, especially when establishing yourself, is a wise move. Contract work will help build your reputation and connections, as well as earn some income. But don’t neglect the development of your own content either. Finding time for everything is challenging, but put in the hard work and opportunities are more likely to come your way. This was a key message emerging from Alan Duggan’s creative story about the experience of Tribal City Interactive.
Put your content out there
Build connections with others and share your games to gain new insights on what you’re creating. Attend game jams. If you’re based in Galway there’s the Galway Game Jam. Promote your work to help build a fan base. These points were emphasised by Colm Larkin from Gambrinous.
Put yourself out there and build connections
Working with others is central to survival in animation and games. This could be through collaborating on a small part of someone else’s project where you hold skills they don’t or on a larger scale through a co-production. Establish connections, then build and manage them so they bear fruit for all involved.
So you need to promote yourself and your work. Doing this at a local level isn’t likely enough to survive in the global market driving animation and games. Moe Honan from Moetion Films described involvement in co-productions and all were international. Alan Duggan described the need to build connections with people in large international companies. Colm Larkin spoke about trying to get noticed by key voices in your sector. A review of one of Colm’s games by TotalBiscuit, YouTube’s no. 1 PC gaming critic who has over 2.2 million subscribers, had a huge impact on the profile of one of its games.
Learning from the experience of others can help avoid common pitfalls and progress at a faster pace. Another good place to learn further is through Imirt’s interviews with inspirational members that form the Imirt Inspire interview series.
This event was co-organised by GMIT’s Centre for Creative Arts and Media, Design Galway 16 and the Irish Game Makers Association – Imirt.