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Webinar 16th of May - Money


#1

Here is the recording of our first webinar - @matteo_uguzzoni, @will, @sebquack and @MGrelewski talk about their various strategies on how to survive and be sustainable as a professional urban game designer.

Question for all panelists, but also our community members, that we have left unanswered:

Who do you admire? Who is doing the most interesting work in play in the world right now?
Feel free to mention specific projects!

Is there any project you’ve been keen on doing that you have NO IDEA how to fund? What are unfundable projects IYO?

How do you keep a community of players together and engaged after an event/game?

Are there any off-the-shelf tech (GPS-based, texting, etc.) applications available to the public that you enjoy working with, or were they all bespoke?

And the last one, which was answered, but I find very interesting anyhow:

How do you inspire TRUST to the institutions/organizations you reach out for funding? Is it a matter of your brand and things you’ve done, or that you offer them something they need? or… (Mainly goes to Michal & Seb, I understand that for Will it’s more of a brand in an open market scene)


Webinar #2: Festivals and Community
#2

Some time passed, but those questions still need an answer! So I will give it a try and invite others to discuss.

Who do you admire? Who is doing the most interesting work in play in the world right now?
Feel free to mention specific projects!

Actually it is very hard to follow all the things that are happening with games all over the world so I’ll just pick some, knowing that I didn’t know everything:

  • As I said in webinar and I am still saying this - russian night game systems like Encounter (en.cx) and Dozor (dzzzr.ru). Tech was made some years ago but their atmosphere, setting based on dark postsoviet reality - is still very satysfying. If anyone of you would be in Saint Petersburg - we can play together
  • all the games/experiences combining sounds and city. Some time ago Circumstance did it (Our Broken voice and A Hollow Body), now probably others are doing this. Sound is very powerful in our time of visual culture.
  • lots of others!

Is there any project you’ve been keen on doing that you have NO IDEA how to fund? What are unfundable projects IYO?

There were projects that we didn’t wanted to be funded - mainly games for charity organizations. Other projects - I think everythink is fundable but sometimes it is a question of your flexibility - if you want to change some elements, set different priorities in order to get funded.

How do you keep a community of players together and engaged after an event/game?

Fortunately, games are most engaging events that I know. Usually we just send a sum up of a game + photos in mailing list and than invite players for other games. When you’re doing games in one city players usually keep coming - we had some players that visited probably 20-30 of our games, including those in different cities. Also workshops are a good idea - we made a workshop about doing Encounter games, than players did their games that other participated in - that was nice working community. And the best you can do to keep players engaged is just to give them new games :slight_smile:

Are there any off-the-shelf tech (GPS-based, texting, etc.) applications available to the public that you enjoy working with, or were they all bespoke?

Still Encounter Encounter - this is my main theme for today :slight_smile: So yes - Encounter is a nice tool for this. You can register your own domain for now it costs 49 USD + some payments if you make paid games. It doesn’t support GPS but has a very simple and powerful mechanics. Feel free to write me if you have questions about it (no, I’m not sponsored by Encounter). Also - we used other apps/tech that were available such as Glymps/Google latitude for location, google docs (you cannot imagine how much you can do with this :), facebook, instagram, swarm.

How do you inspire TRUST to the institutions/organizations you reach out for funding? Is it a matter of your brand and things you’ve done, or that you offer them something they need?

Yes, we answered this, Sebastian gave a good answer for this. But maybe it is good to gather some thoughts here as well:

  • What i recommended is firstly doing your own projects with funding from grant competitions (we did our first with Youth in Action long time ago). - it is usually easier to get funding from such sources. On the early stage your portfolio raises trust.
  • Try to combine different elements - maybe you don’t have money but you do have access to interesting places, groups of people, technology, etc. This is what can give additional advantage.
  • Also - if some institutions wants to cooperate but don’t have money for this - maybe looking for money together is a good idea (writing projects together, applying for grants, funding).
  • It is not bad to follow institution needs! Even if it doesn’t fit your interest at the beginning there still can be ways to make game satisfying both for you and for the institution.
  • From my experience when making games it is usually the idea that is behind the projects rather than designer brand that decides about choosing to cooperate with you. Well - you can make a game without brand with good idea, but you’ll probably not be able to make it with brand and without idea :slight_smile: So don’t concentrate on brand just think about brilliant ideas.