Linn – an agent for game developers?

This is the one that I am most unclear about, but it’s so closely related to part 1 of my next adventures – so I’ll let you into my foggy thoughts on the subject.

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From Walter and Marianne’s wonderful house!

I want to establish myself as some form of agent for game developers. I want to help them find the best publishing and distribution platforms for their games and I want to help them with professional PR and advertisement.

I’m very strongly influenced by Bandello and UKIE, and I hope to learn more from them.

I think game publishing and distribution is coming into a very good era, but I also think that it’s a growing into a challenging landscape to coordinate in. I want to be the woman who guides these game designers on to the paths that are right for them.

I have a lot to learn and the last couple of months have been good research for me. I’ve been using the gaming event that I’m organising with Spillmakerlauget as a base for this research, which is also why I gush so when I write about them, for they’ve been very open and welcoming. It’s been a great way for me to learn more about the game development community in Norway and what their needs are. Where’s the gap and can I fill it? I most definitely can (when did I become so arrogant?) and I see there’s a lot of potential for me to start a good business. There are some pretty amazing games in production and I sincerely want them to do well.

I’ve been wanting to get into the computer game industry for a while now, I just didn’t know how. But I truly believe that this is something I could do well.

So this is where I’m at right now:

  • I’m setting up meetings and introductions
  • I’m writing a business plan
  • I’m trying to think of a good name – but struggling. Suggestions are very welcome!
  • And I’m reading wonderful blogs such as Games Brief to get a grip on the industry
  • I’m making my own map of what publishing and distribution looks like today in the computer game industry
  • Strongly considering bankrupting myself by going to GDC Europe to start establishing the relationships I need. Are you going?

I’m sure that this will be a forum where I brainstorm more openly about how to do this. Cause I’ll be honest with you – I’m kinda scared about this whole “found my vocation in life” thing. I have days of feeling very alone and vulnerable. But then I have a meeting or a phone call with a non-believer of the industry and I find myself doing well and sounding pretty convincing (yes – I surprise myself!).  I soooo hope that it is not an illusion and that I can make this work.

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Game event in October with The Game Developers Guild

It dawned on me that I haven’t written about what I’m up to on my own blog! So in no particular order – let me list them up for you

1) Spillmakerlauget

Not “the” official picture but I love that they’re all cracking up! From the back left: Peter Wingaard Medahl, Ricki Sickenger, Espen Thomassen Sæverud. Infront from left Bjarte Sebastian Hansen and Stefan Svellingen.

I think the jury is still out on the direct translation of the wonderful name – either it’s Game Developer’s Guild or Game Maker’s Guild. Either one is pretty wonderful in my book. Basically they are a bunch of hard working game developers in Bergen, having a few beers and having a vision about making game development more accessible and open in Norway. The result has been a wonderful space where game developers can learn from each other, exchange ideas, exchange resources and of course – dreams. Their morals and goals are pure and sincere – and needless to say – I adore them!

The event – Console

I was introduced to the guild in february and when I learned that Indie Game: The Movie was being considered for The International Film Festival in Bergen (BIFF) I felt that I had to make my move. We HAD to make a gaming event worthy of the documentary and game developers in Norway. I got in touch with someone that I knew was on the board at the guild and he agreed to let me speak at their next board meeting. I remember being rather nervous. I have a lot of respect and admiration for game designers and I desperately wanted them to like me.  I got to make my case to the board of the six wise game developing men and I let my passion and enthusiasm have free flow – which is always a scary thing – but I just couldn’t help myself. I honestly had trouble catching my breathe at times. Thankfuly – they were in agreement! We should create an event in unison with BIFF and do something fun! I was also happy to hear that they were interested in making the games industry more available to the public. So we decided to make the event two-fold. One part for game developers and the other part for the public that may not know games as well as we do.

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Naval War: Arctic Circle

I’ve been looking forward to this game being released for a long time. And I therefore have to give a little personal rant before talking about the game:

I’m a huge fan of Turbo Tape Games. They’ve done so much excellent work in bringing the computer games industry into the spotlight in Norway and doing an excellent job in preaching the value of the industry. These guys have opened so many doors and broken down so many barriers for the future of game development in Norway – I hope that we can do it justice. I remember meeting Fredrik Sundt Breien (Managing Director) at a First Tuesday event about games (OMG! 7 years ago!). He has the charisma and enthusiasm to charm any audience into believing that games are worth investing in – which he’s done! And continues to do so as he’s speaking at (Bergen’s new innovators and The Nordic Media Festival). In many ways I guess I’m kinda jealous, cause I’d like to do the exact same thing some day.

I met the technical director, Jan Haugland, at the Industrial Gaming conference, which was also one of my first presentations of Machinima hungover – thankfully come a long way since then! We had an indept conversation about game mechanics and the genious of Tetris, the details elude me, but I remember the happy feeling of meeting a good friend that day.

As for the rest of the gang – we still haven’t reached the threshold where hugs are a natural greeting. 

So when Turbo Tape Games was established, it was only natural for me to invite myself and the cHixOrs (pre Spillpikene) to visit the headquarters at Pixel Park. My what a long way they’ve come! I remember spending a good hour in their cramped office and still having absolutely no clue what Naval War was about. All I saw was a lot of code I did not understand and a lot of indication that this game was going to be just a tad too complicated for my taste.

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But as you may have understood from the long personal rant and reminiscing – I adore them and on launch day of Naval War: Arctic Circle – I wanted to stop by and wish them good luck. I incidently had a meeting next door and thought I’d stop by with the gift of coffee and wish them good luck. They were surprisingly calm and relaxed and I felt like such a fan girl being so enthused and excited for them.

And then … I was allowed to try the game and I was scared.

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To be or not to be a girl geek

A little personal reflection …Image

If your reading list is like mine, you may have noticed the controversial (or tedious) blogpost in Forbes about Fake Girl Geeks. I initially hadn’t thought to comment it, but alas – I can’t seem to help myself. I remember our first Girl Geek Dinners Bergen meeting and when we started discussing who was allowed to come to our events and who was not, the brilliant Hilde Corneliussen just simply said “Why should we have to exclude anyone?”. And so began our policy that anyone who wanted to come to our events was welcome.

I sometimes felt torn about this decision. I relished every moment I had with these great women. It was so fun to talk about so-called geeky subjects at the same time as I could giggle foolishly without seeming insincere. But there was just no way that I would turn anyone away that was interested in coming. The word “girl” has also been an issue that’s been discussed on the subject of girl geeks. Some have felt that in order to be taken seriously we should call ourselves “women” (which we are). But for me, I loved the relaxed atmosphere and the unseriousness of the word “girl”. I desperately needed a venue to chill and talk about geek issues and could never think of these events as business networking opportunities. If we used the word “women” I feared that the atmosphere would become too serious and businesslike. But this is for the next generation og girl geek leaders to decide – I’ve stepped aside.

My geekdom

Another hinder we kept coming across were girls and women who wanted to join our dinners but feared that they weren’t geeky enough or that we weren’t geeky enough. I was constantly asked to define exactly what a geek is and this is the line I usually came up with:

“A geek is anyone who’s extremely fascinated about something and wants to share it with us. The subject can be anything from a favourite knitting pattern to a space shuttle design.”

I’ve always felt very pleased with that, although I never seemed to gather large swarms of crowds – but it felt right to me.

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My thesis

So I finally registrered my masters thesis in the University of Bergen’s archives. I’ve spent the last two years meaning to dig it up and edit and tripple check references, but the will-power just was not there.

As for this blog? It’s not dead just yet – I’ve got several posts just waiting for a read-through to be posted – so I’m not ready to cut it off just yet. But no new posts since november? That’s tragic!

My enthusiasm is very focused on my glorious new job at the moment – but I’m noticing that there’s a lot of what I’m doing which can be combined with what this blog is about, I’m just not on certain enough ground to write about it yet. I will, though! ;)