I’m not investing in your product…

The importance of putting together a team is often ignored by sparky young entrepreneurs. I frequently introduce people in an attempt to see if there is a fire that can be ignited by two such sparks.

It’s just like any sort of relationship however. There has to be some sort of chemistry for it to work and I’ve had my own share of good partners and bad partners. Sometimes the business works and sometimes it doesn’t but I’m always looking for new collaborators because I know the importance of a team. The investor is investing in the team, not the idea. Anyone can have an idea but execution of the idea requires a team that can function together.

I’m looking for the team for Conquest Dynamics. People I can indoctrinate into my vision and have my vision shaped and moulded by their skills and knowledge into something amazing.

Before the Mast…

These Fishermen Melt Down the Plastic They Catch to Make Furniture…While They’re Still Fishing

Down Coastal Rowing Club – an initiative to build 8 St Ayle Skiffs – 19 or 21ft long narrow boat made from 9mm plywood, rows 4 with a cox

Row The Erne – a community based organisation empowering people of all abilities and ages to build and row traditional craft on the Erne Waterway System in County Fermanagh.

and I previously covered Galgael.

the big challenge for today’s crop of developers is to get better at marketing.

John Romero:

the big challenge for today’s crop of developers is to get better at marketing.

The bigger challenge is how to do it. In my experience, there’s precious little knowledge on how to do it and even fewer people who are able to impart the knowledge and skills.

I add this after a conversation regarding a game marketing effort which was to commence with a “wine and cheese launch” in a London hotel. For a game that could be called casual at best.

The rest of that article is excellent, by the way.

Disruptive Ideas in Games

From the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/…./the-five-most-disruptive-ideas-in-the-video-game-design

  • Procedurality – games could one day create epic and unique stories each time.
  • Asymmetry – it’s not about two balanced teams duking it out.
  • Seamlessness – old divisions between story mode and multiplayer mode could disappear.
  • Performance – Gamers aren’t just players anymore – they share and create.
  • Persistance – The idea of cross-platform functionality.

They go into a bit of detail on each but I don’t think they have captured the “most” disruptive.

I think Persistence is right but it’s the idea that things don’t go away. That resources dwindle or buildings that are destroyed, stay destroyed. The idea of a persistent world is enticing in large battleground type games (like Destiny, Halo). It also means it’s on all of the time.

I think another factor is Aggregation – I’m enchanted by the idea that someone will be enjoying building the buildings that others destroy. Or farming the food that others eat. Or even just running the shop that others will virtually purchase virtual goods from.

The last is Fractionial – and this is not a positive thing. It’s almost impossible to get a complete game at a first try these days. Either a game is “complete” but there’s a bucket of downloadable content (DLC) or a game is complete but you have to pay to progress or pay to compete.

The Long Knives of the Media

I think there is a chance for normalised politics and, dare I say it, progress.

But it is incumbent on the media to challenge our current political demagogues rather than feasting on low hanging fruit.

The contempt displayed by the media towards things that are new, towards talk of hope leaves me ever convinced that they were happier when bombs were blowing people to bits.

And when change does come, they can be proud that their long knives and contempt delayed it by a generation.

We are a common people, divided by our politicians

Eamonn Mallie started a conversation on FaceBook. I’ve been commenting liberally.

It’s uplifting to hear people from opposite parts of the community say this because it’s too easy to characterise some as being only PUL or CNR. I want change because despite voting for peace, we haven’t moved one millimetre further than the GFA. Instead of an important milestone, it’s become the inscription on the tombstone of our broken society.

We are a common people, divided by our politicians. When I was a child (raised as a Catholic in Lisburn), going out to a bonfire and seeing the bands was normal. Thirty years later and sixteen years after a peace process, I would never go a bonfire celebration despite shedding my catholic identity years ago. It’s been tainted; extremists on both sides whose agenda is not my interest have stolen from me everything I hold dear. They have stolen the Irish language (that I never bothered to learn in school), they have stolen the bands and bonfires with their pomp and celebration, they have stolen any identity I had as a cultural Catholic Unionist and left me disenfranchised, disappointed and angry.

I was at an event in Belfast a couple of months ago and the speaker was Sir Richard Needham. Whatever you think of the man, he said some hard hitting truths. He said we have forgotten that our grandfathers were gods of industry. And he said that Northern Ireland is full of shit but laced with diamonds; and that we have to start finding the diamonds.

Are Games Just Products or Something More?

…the myopic focus on games soley as industry stymies developers in understanding their position relative to everything else. Is it any wonder The Arts Council don’t give a fuck about games, given how highly trained we are to think and talk of them as products?

To be fair, I’ve found the Arts Council in Northern Ireland to be incredibly supportive of games through the Creative Industries Innovation Fund. The fund, sourced from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, represents the biggest investor in games development in the province.

But games are too immature to be really considered art. So far.

We are being played, my fellow citizens, by petty Machiavellians.

Our society is deadlocked by the past; more specifically by political parties wanting to prove their mettle by dwelling in the past and pushing it in front of us. It seems that every week that goes by there is a new transgression, a new legacy of the past that will thwart the development of our deserved future.

Previously I wrote about the need to focus on No More Victims and yet almost every day there is a new atrocity; from the erection of a KKK flag to actual physical attacks.

Meanwhile we are seeing the equivalent of cultural hand grenades as both sides work to provoke each other. The outgoing PSNI chief claimed that on on night, his officers had to police 84 different flag protests all because of a cultural sensitivity regarding the removal of a flag. We can blame the loyalist community for a severe over-reaction that has cost our society millions but we cannot ignore those who lit the fuse – the Republican councillors in Belfast who proposed it (which included the popular uber-Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir). The end result was a great cost to our society which is precisely what Republican extremists wish to create – the legend that Northern Ireland is a failed state. This serves their purpose in portraying a highly fictional account of a new Ireland; one which miraculously is a utopia for all and wouldn’t just relegate Belfast to being a second-city to Dublin. That said, in the face of the potential disintegration of the Union by the Scottish Nationalists, is it any wonder that the Unionist and Loyalist communities are extremely defensive. Is it any wonder that parades and “shows of strength” are on the up?

We are being played, my fellow citizens, by petty Machiavellians. We are being subjected to endless distractions of outrage as our welfare state crumbles, as our national health service is disintegrated and, as many will find in the coming months, our public sector enters the most harsh stage of our austerity. If you think the last five years have been tough, just wait.