Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Busy few days

Got a busy schedule ahead in the next week or so, starting off with a board meeting & dinner at Game Republic tonight. Game Republic is an association founded by our regional development agency (Yorkshire Forward) and seven of the region's foremost development figures (guys from Sumo, Team17, Revolution, Idigicon, Distinctive and Gamesauce). The whole aim was to work together to build a sustainable future for games development in the region and hopefully work closer together as well as tackling some of the problems affecting all. Since the formation of Game Republic, similar organisations have sprung up in the North East (Game Horizon) and also in the Midlands. Personally, I don't think it'll be too long before the Yorkshire and North East regions amalgamate since the quantity of studios present would make more sense for a concerted effort - and the mindset of the guys in that area are very similar to our own.

Largely speaking, I think Game Republic has been pretty successful, particularly so in terms of getting a close network of studios working to a common aim. In addition, there have been many benefits for the studios involved and I believe it's a much healthier region because of it. Part of all this has included working more closely with Screen Yorkshire (our regional visual arts development agency) and the region's ten Universities with regards to their programming, art and design courses relating to our industry.

Yesterday I spent time with the German representative for the UK DTI (Dept. Trade & Industry) over in Leeds, the Government is working towards attracting foreign investment to the region (in this case, German companies & skills) and this time I was invited to go and present and explain the activities of our industry in the Yorkshire/Humber region. Sounds grand, but I just waffled on about the history, activity and output of the major studios in the area for a while :-) Hopefully they found it interesting, informing and entertaining!

Tomorrow I am at an event in Newcastle which discusses the future for Independents and will be quite well attended, if the emails I've had is anything to go by. There's a number of talks and presentations throughout the day and I'm on a Q&A panel with Charles Cecil, Jason Kingsley and one of the lads from Eutechnyx. After that it'll be no doubt time for some serious "networking" which will probably test my powers of 'moderation' somewhat if the last couple of nights in Newcastle are anything to go by.

I get back to Team17 at lunchtime on friday and I'm due to try and get over to Manchester to see a couple of developers we're working with - but I'm not sure if I'll make that yet. I'll most likely be feeling the effects from Thursday night so we'll play that by ear.

On Saturday the missis is off to see Robbie Williams and I'll be holding the fort at home and no doubt entertaining myself in some measure of drink and take-away, alongside a few games on the 360.

On Sunday I'm taking Jack to the theatre in Sheffield to see a guy who does a one-man-stand-up rendition of the entire Star Wars trilogy, music, soundfx and all. Not really my bag but with Jack being Star Wars bonkers, it seemed a shame to miss it whilst the guy was touring (he's apparently very good and very famous over in the states).

Then on Monday, I leave for Sweden with JD, where we will attend Nordic Game, a games industry event in Malmo. We have a presentation dedicated to the art of pitching to publishers on the Tuesday and what sounds like hell-on-earth party to attend in the evening. We will fly back on Wednesday, most likely bruised and battered...

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