Where have I been?

It’s been quite a long time since I posted about Game Production as I’ve been focusing my efforts on my new venture ‘Ring Alpha’ where I’m currently focusing on making my own video games and collaborating with other indie developers around the world.

It’s pretty obvious that the UK games industry has been in a massive state of flux for the last 2 years and there’s no sign of this slowing down anytime soon. I’ve been caught in the midst of this shift and personally suffered a few times this year but it’s not stopped me yet. Right now I have lost faith in the large traditional companies who are really struggling to redirect their oil-tanker like ideas and my only desire is to work with Indie developers right now.

We’ve seen the fallout from these changes and there have been massive lay-offs this year as we’ve seen some of the UKs biggest developer close their days and the upshot of this is that the job market is crowded with lots of developers looking for fewer and fewer jobs. The failing game developers have been left to rot before the vultures swoop in and pick over the carcases looking for tasty morsels of IP and down on their luck developers.

The makeup of a typical team means that production/management roles are few and far between and what few there are have many applicants, which of course means that salaries get driven lower and lower as it’s essentially a buyers market.

On the flip-side skilled, experienced programmers who can work onsite are a rarity. There is opportunity out there if you can work hard and find it.

On a more personal note, unlike most Production staff I have always kept my programming skills up-to-date and I’m now taking advantage of this to make my own games and collaborate with others around the world via sites like oDesk, Elance and PeoplePerHour. At the moment I’m concurrently developing games for iOS devices and also HTML5 and I find the experience invigorating and pain-free.

What I have witnessed and experienced by engaging with the global development community is that the UK remains are very expensive location to make games and if you’re able to work with a global sparse team that you direct accurately and manage efficiently then there are thousands of people out there who can bring your game to life (me included).

All things said, 2010 has been a painful year for me personally but I’m over it now and I feel like I’ve escaped the cul-de-sac of ‘traditional’ game development and joined the mainstream, even though it’s a little belated.

So, it’s back to work, heads down, making things happen.


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