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The IP Ecosystem: Develop Fringe Sessions

June 29, 2015
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I’ve been helping out with organizing an event on the 15th July, running around Develop in Brighton organised by people at Brighton University who are studying how creative industries use IP. We’ve got two panel discussions and one set of consultation slots that you can get – all for FREE! It’s a fringe event, so even if you don’t have a Develop ticket – it’s free to attend. Note; you can go to one or both of the panels and add a one-to-one if you want – your choice! Also if you do, we’re running the panels around the sessions, so it’s convenient to attend. Plus it’s 4 mins away from Develop. Finally the 1pm session comes with free lunch! Who says there is no such thing as a free lunch ;)

The IP Lunch: Top 5 IP Management Tips @ Clearleft Ltd, 68 Middle Street, BN1 1AL Brighton
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM

This session will feature a panel of experts from across the media industries, each offering their top tips for indie game developers to maintain, enhance, and protect their own intellectual property. Particularly for indies without access to guidance or mentorship in this area, the session will provide a chance to dialogue and ask questions of IP experts from different creative industries. From those just starting out and looking for the basics, to those with a growing IP and wondering what to do next, this session offers a fantastic learning opportunity for indie game developers.

Panel:
Mo Ali (IP Co-ordinator, UKIE)
Professor Charlotte Waelde (Professor of IP Law, University of Exeter)
Jon Gillard, Head of Licensing for Games Workshop
Ella Romanos, Co-Founder, Strike Game Labs & columnist for Develop (creating new IP now!)
Phil Gaskell – Former Sony Senior Producer, now co-founder of indie publisher Ripstone
Chair: Dr. Tomas Rawlings (Auroch Digital/Bristol Games Hub)

Session is free to attend, however places are limited so you’ll need to sign up for a ticket. Lunch is provided free for attendees too.

Then following on you can get a one-to-one with an expert;

The IP Surgery @ Clearleft Ltd, 68 Middle Street, BN1 1AL Brighton
Book sessions between 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM, Wed 15th July.

This workshop gives indie developers the chance to begin working through any specific IP challenges they are facing at the moment. Developers can come with a particular question or issue and find out, from legal experts and those who have faced similar issues, how best to resolve their problems. The surgery will also provide practical advice in how to navigate the common roadblocks for IP in the gaming industry today. Professor Charlotte Wealde will host this surgery. This is organised with short face-to-face slots with an expert and are free!

It’s free, however places are limited, so please book your slot asap…

Note you can hang out at the venue before if you’re waiting for the next session, so don’t need to rush off if had a IP Surgery session or just arrive early. Then the final session is:

Navigating the IP Eco System @ Clearleft Ltd, 68 Middle Street, BN1 1AL Brighton
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM

For developers looking to adapt an existing IP, or for those looking to transfer their game IP to another medium, this session provides advice for how developers can begin to actively work with other creative industries such as publishing, television, and film. From putting together a tender bid, to finding the right gatekeepers to approach, this session identifies best practice for indie developers to flourish within the contemporary creative sectors.

Panel includes:
Colin Macdonald (Games Commissioner, Channel 4)
Professor Charlotte Waelde (Professor of IP Law, University of Exeter)
Alison Sterling Film producer, Ignition Films)
Alexander Birke, Indie Developer of aclimed ‘Adventures of Bertram Fiddle’ and creating new IP now!
Chair: Dr. Tomas Rawlings (Auroch Digital/Bristol Games Hub)

Session is free to attend, however places are limited so you’ll need to sign up for a ticket.

See you there! :) Tweet me if you have any questions…Places are going fast… so sign up asap!

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Autopsy – Lessons from Failed Startups

June 9, 2015

We all know that failing is part of life. We have to fail to learn what works and what does not. Trying to do you own thing is a stark example of failure as often we’re the ones in the frame for why it did not work. I’m had a number of start-up ideas and ventures go the way of the dodo, so it was with great interest I was alerted to this amazing collection of links; autopsy.io – Autopsy: Lessons from Failed Startups – and it’s stuffed with links. Here’s a few that caught my eye…

Poliana

The sad truth is that it’s very hard to make money on something that deserves to be free. Freedom of information is a core tenet of our democracy and something that shouldn’t be monetized. People shouldn’t have to fight for a transparent government: it should be innate to its existence. We believe it’s the responsibility of the media to hold our government accountable and to do so with honesty and integrity (and a spine). Even though we felt the vast majority of major media outlets didn’t do that responsibly, it simply was not worth gaming to our financial advantage, even if we were just making enough to keep the lights on (or the lights of the servers somewhere in Virginia “on”). We just kept asking ourselves: “how in the hell could we ever justify charging for something like this?”

Traps for Friends

We were developing Traps for Friends in Kiev, Ukraine by a mixed team of Russians and Ukrainians during last year’s upheaval. Then, the Russian government annexed Crimea, and the war started. This has led to colossal currency falls, so we lost our investors right before the soft launch and couldn’t find any others. No one in Russia and Ukraine had money in the middle of the crisis, and American and European investors weren’t too willing to fund a company from a region near an ongoing military conflict.

Well, we just found ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time!

Gowalla

It turns out there was another app that shared a similar vision called Burbn. They were building yet another check-in type service loaded with every feature but the kitchen sink. But early user feedback, coupled with a desire to avoid the check-in battle shitshow already in progress, led them to drop everything to focus on one simple feature: photos.

They made the act of taking and sharing photos (many of which just happened to be location-tagged) fast, simple, and fun.

They made their own rules. They called it Instagram.

That whole see the world through the eyes of their friends thing?
Turns out Instagram did a pretty good job of this.

#Newsgames – Playing the Headlines (Article on gamesindustry.biz)

May 14, 2015

I’ve got an article in GamesIndustry.Biz with contributions from Professor Janet Jones (LSBU) & Tom Phillips & Paul Curry of BuzzFeed on newsgames. It’s a reflection on our gamejam at LSBU;

We recently took part in a newsgame jam at London South Bank Universityalongside developers from BuzzFeed; in that room were people who’d collectively made something like 80 newsgames in the last couple of years. That’s a lot of development in a short space of time. Back in my days as a developer at a bigger studio I spend around 3 years on a single game. By contrast we’ve made a newsgame in a single working day. What was interesting about this gathering of developers is how much we had in common about how we created games, even though we’d arrived at those same methodologies from very different directions… (and I should thank Paul Curry of BuzzFeed, as his presentation on the day was what inspired this article!) So this article gives you some advice from the frontlines of super rapid game creation with some ideas you can try, even if you don’t create newsgames yourself.

Past articles for them are here.

Links and Tweets from the #GE2015

May 8, 2015

Here’s the links and tweets that caught my eye as we go along. I’ll be updating as we go along…

Chainsaw Warrior: Lords of the Night Goes Mobile #60MinsToSaveTheWorld

April 30, 2015

So a couple of weeks ago we got the new Chainsaw Warrior: Lords of the Night out on all platforms. Here’s the trailer:

You can pick a copy up via the store links on the official site.

We were also pretty pleased with this review;

An improved interface and tweaked mechanics make Chainsaw Warrior: Lords of the Night an impressive sequel.

PLAY15 Keynote Talk on Games & Democracy

April 15, 2015

I was very honoured to be opening this years PLAY15 series of talks in Hamburg. It was a great event and the hospitality was amazing! My talk (on Playing Democracy) can be found here.

Huge thanks to all involved! Here’s some related links:

Couple of Guardian Articles

March 9, 2015

I’ve been featured in a couple of Guardian articles, so I thought I’m mark that here on me’ old blog…

The first was on newsgaming ahead of the Guardian/Rezzed/Creative Assembly newsgame jam:

“When you make a newsgame you into into a whole new world of controversy,” says Rawlings. “When we released Endgame, we had people telling us that we were clearly on the side of the regime because the game was difficult so we were trying to put people off siding with the rebels; then we had people saying that, because you play on the rebel side, the game is pro-rebel.

“So you hit all those journalistic issues to do with bias, but then you also hit the issue of it being a game. That happened a lot with Narco – people said ‘how dare you treat this serious issue as a game’. You have to be prepared to stand by your work, even more than if you’d have written a song or an essay. You need to say, no, a game can be sensitive to the material.”

The second was some commentry on the new Apple Watch…

“One area I’m interested is in how this might be used for board games. This form has been undergoing a renaissance in recent years as crowdfunding has connected players with creators. You can see the tentative steps in this area with games like One Night Ultimate Werewolf, which uses a companion app to assist the gameflow. Linking that app to a player and their movements adds lots of possibilities; think Cluedo played around the house or Hide and Seek 2.0…”

In other news I’ve been channeling the spirit of 80s/90s B-Movies….

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