Massive Ego: Small Acorns

Like a lot of new start-ups, I’ve been seeking advice from a variety of sources. And, being both the Managing and the Creative Director, that means looking after the business as much as what it produces. Honestly, it can be easy to focus solely on the creative side, especially if, like me, you started this whole endeavour because you had been carrying a game around in your head for too long.

One of the most valuable sources of inspiration has been Jamey Stegmaier’s blog on the Stonemaier Games website. The Kickstarter Lessons are a must read for anyone in a similar position – or those just curious to see how much work goes into launching a new gaming product. I can’t emphasise enough how much good planning and taking your time pay dividends in the long run.

As it turns out, I’ve spent less than 20% of my time over the past week working on the game. Instead, I’ve been drafting contracts (something I’ve never had to do before), sorting out the company account, fleshing out the product road map, and writing contract briefs. I’m lucky in that I’ve had a lot of experience of the latter from my time in the video games industry, although it’s certainly different when it’s your own company.

Ultimately, the more of the ‘boring’ work you get squared off at the start, the less time you’ll need to spend on it in the future. And that’s a very good thing indeed; after all, there’s a game to make!

Massive Ego: Learning Curve

So, I’m John that Simon mentioned last week. We’ve been best friends for a quarter of a century (note to Si, we’re old) and have been talking about working together one day for almost as long and now I’m excited that we’ve finally got round to it.
We decided to start it at the most convenient time, ie. when we both have young children, other work commitments and I live in another country…

The first challenge for me is fitting in time to work on Massive Awesome around a full-time job, childcare duties and my other interests or learning to do two things at once like lunchtime working on the ipad or blogging with a two-year old sat on your lap…

The second and bigger challenge, at least for me is once I have found an undisturbed hour, deciding what to do with it. Should I skype with Si to discuss ideas, should I do some writing, should I do some strategy work, some blogging, some market research? Should I reread the fiction that is inspiring me, look at competitor’s websites and kickstarter pages or should I read guides to starting a business,or advice on writing and organisation?

What I should definitely do is stop procrasti-blogging and get on with some real work…

I can’t wait to start sharing what Si and I are working on with everyone in future posts.

Massive Ego: Shots Fired

This is the first of a regular, weekly column dedicated to talking about all things, well, us. We’ll share insights into our development process, detail some of the trials and tribulations of setting up (and running) a small, independent hobby gaming company, and generally spout off about whatever passed under our noses this week.

First up, some introductions.

My name is Simon Barlow, and I’ve been a video games industry professional for the past 15 years. My business partner is John Taylor, who’s worked in investment banking for about as long. We both have a passion for speculative fiction and table-top gaming, and decided to combine our talents to create Massive Awesome.

This is the first company either of us have set up on our own, so we’re indebted to a number of other collaborators for working with us, and sharing their insights and advice about this growing industry. I’m hoping to share some of their work with you very soon.

Secondly, what are we making?

Unfortunately it’s still a little too early to reveal the game wholesale; I don’t believe in announcing a product without any product to show. However, I’m nothing if not a tease, so I will share the following tagline with you:

The post-apocalyptic table-top skirmish game of wondrous technology and existential horror.

If you’re excited to know more, then make sure you follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and bookmark our website. And if you’re a talented artist or sculptor – or anyone else that feels you have something to contribute – then fill out the contact form on our website, or email us directly at [email protected].