My friday

People sometimes ask me what I do on a day – well, here’s a snapshot. I can guarantee you that if I’ll do the same on monday, it’ll be very different which is what I love about my job.

Today was very educational, literally – this morning started with our minister of innovation Ingrid Lieten announcing the G@S project to the press which stands for Gaming At School. At the same time, all parties active in the project (for which I’m acting as a project lead) were having the kick off meeting. The aim of G@S is to democratize educational games – what that means in practice you’ll see when G@S is finished but we have ambitious goals – after all, a couple of million US$ are being pumped into the project, so it might as well be ambitious.

There was an awkward moment during the G@S meeting were I burst out laughing when one of the project partners inadvertently managed to mix the words “I work on Gas” and “I work for a certain mr Balloon” in the same conversation, very seriously and completely unaware of the effect it was going to have on me. I couldn’t stop laughing and I hope I didn’t offend both him and mister Balloon. Just writing it makes me smile, and I know it’s bad of me. Mr Balloon must be sick and tired of all the jokes around his name, but in my defense, I’m a game developer, so it doesn’t take a lot to get my imagination going.

Next I had a small chat about the formation of the Flemish Game Federation, or whatever it will be called. Don’t know yet where that’ll end up, so I’ll keep my thoughts to myself for now.

Then, I had a meeting discussing our presence at the BETT show, which is like the E3 of the educational world. I also temporarily lent the bronze statue that came with winning the MEDEA awards to Die Keure, our educational publisher, so they could use it to show off internally (well deserved btw). You can also kill someone with that award – its weight makes it an ideal weapon so maybe you’ll find a MEDEA item in of our next RPG’s to memorize it.

After that, we had a “how to crush the competition” meeting, which needs to remain secret for now, but was fun – I hope all the wild plans can materialize., but I’m worried about the effort it’s going to take and whether or not I can split myself into enough little pieces. I’m already spread pretty thin.

In the meantime, I was monitoring all the email traffic that came in regarding the formation of a new company which we’re supposed to officialize next tuesday. It’s the culmination of almost a year of work, and means that Dragon Commander gets an extra dosage of welcome funding, which should help it go to the level I want it to go. I’ll write more about how we structured the funding on our new projects so we’d be completely independent in a later entry, but for now I do want to mention that it is possible nowadays to get your games funded without using a publisher, and without losing control. It just takes a bit of creativity (and you do need to have a certain amount of credibility from your portfolio).

I’m also making a mental note to myself that it might be worthwhile explaining here one day exactly why making these games costs so much money. I noticed from my meeting with our ministers yesterday that there exist quite some misconceptions.