OK, so there IS a TV show

 Posted by (Visited 6072 times)  Game talk
Jul 172006

Sort of. Check out Reality: Creating Kaos Episode 1. Then join the discussion already ongoing here.

  3 Responses to “OK, so there IS a TV show”

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  3. It’s amazing how much watching those 5 videos reflected our experience in trying to get Ages of Athiria funded. Maybe the TV show is the edge that’s needed. Who knows. If it goes the way ours did, this first meeting will be a successful meeting but no funding will become of it. Then the team will go through all of its secondary investors looking for interest and as time passes interest will wane, cash will run out and the development team will be left to a core group of individuals that are willing to see the vision through to its logical end point. (or illogical if you pay attention to the people telling you that you’re wishing upon a star)

    I remember the days before we headed into the NCsoft building to make our pitch. The feeling was incredible. The pitch, we were told could be on a powerpoint presentation as long as we had something. We came in with a business plan, a design overview document and a playable demo. We hauled laptops and even installed a client on an NCsoft machine without a hitch. Our setting was in fantasy swords and sorcery and in 2001 NCsoft declared fantasy a dead genre not worth investing in according to that meeting. (So much for WoW I guess.) For whatever reason we were shown the door and given what would become the standard response of go find an angel investor…

    Up to that point our team of 7 had worked second jobs building the documents, web site, business plan and game in preparation for this meeting. Being outside of the industry at the time, let’s just say that I didn’t know enough people to line up pitches left and right. I had interacted with many MUD-Dev members for years but that was pretty much it. It was also in early 2001 that we did this which couldn’t have been a worse time for investing. That feeling of elation and excitement we had, however, is exactly what you see in episode 5 of this running series. Episode 6 for us was one of my worst days as president of EPI. I had to come home and tell the entire team that nothing was going to come out of all their efforts just yet. Funding did not happen, nor did we get a second invite. Months wore on… Our main 3D artist dropped off the team to go work on America’s Army through his connections at Ft. Knox. Our main client developer left to go develop MMO middleware for a company that ended up ultimately failing. So our team began to crumble. Of the four founding partners in the company, only two remain today. The other two left at varying times over the past couple of years. One met his future wife and she wouldn’t have the risk of being self employed, let alone trying to make a game; the other took his own life after personal troubles sent him into deep depression. In the end, it is my business partner, a programmer, our primary artist and I that remain. When Damon references being accused of not paying his dues, I thought specifically of what we’ve been through and could only nod in agreement. Just because a studio hasn’t published a AAA game, doesn’t mean they haven’t sacrificed to get where they are.

    The funny thing is that through all of this, the remaining team and our loyal followers are still excited about our project. I read our forums and interract with our followers with a heavy heart thinking that we are not going to be able to provide them with the experience we want to build for quite some time. AoA will be funded at some point in the future, but there is no time frame for when it will happen. The one thing I do know is that I’m going to see this through hell or high water and if I have to find ways to fund it myself, I’ll do it.

    It will be interesting to see how Damon and his company adapt to being turned down because there is far more “entertainment” drama in the aftermath of being turned down than there will be if he’s successful. From the reality show side, being turned down makes the show more compelling. No one cares about who the Bachelor chooses, only the ones that were snubbed. As for his company’s fate, here’s to hoping someone sees through the rough edges and finds the diamond if there is one there. (You can’t tell much one way or the other from the videos.) He’s about to get a test of his resolve that will change his outlook on life and the game industry.

    As for us we’ve yet to find the success we wanted to achieve when we set out to build AoA. Perhaps a gimick such as a reality show would have done it. In today’s media driven world, I can see how this would help but in the end, I’m just going to add this to the list of “They got funding!!! How the …” games I’ve been keeping over the years. Only because the topic is close to me will I watch for more episodes; overall the show is only mildly interesting.

    Capital Group fails; publishers want nearly completed games; angels don’t get games and we don’t have anything else to distract them with; the economy is beginning to fail again; WoW’s domination makes any investor concerned and much more. Will indie developers ever have a decent chance at becoming the next big MMO on the scene again? Are there any Verants, Mythics or Turbines left in the industry? Part of me thinks not unless the developer is already very very wealthy and needs no money from a third party. Money is where it all starts.

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