Creating Games: Art, Business, Video Games & Values
Updated: Jan 28
When I started the blog in January, I had every intention to keep my audience updated on what we are developing along side The Helpful Designer series and I still do each and every day but as the projects have taken shape, my work has varied and pathways have changed. There's a reason for this too.
If you are intent on creating your own games studio because you love games, love problem solving and love the community of shared experiences, then you will find out very quickly that you will be spending a lot less time on the 'playing and making games' side to get a business up and running. That is probably why most people active in this space do it as a side business or a hobby.
If you're an artist like me then business is going to be a mind field of new challenges, often taking you away from the thing you enjoy and are great at. This is an area I've been battling with as Emmerse Studios has taken shape. Sometimes I am a business owner running all parts of the business and other times I am the artist or technician, tinkering away with a prototype. Suffice it to say, it can be done! So don't worry if you're a struggling artist wondering how to make money from your work, it is possible!
There is a great book I recommend in Emmerse Yourself called The Millionaire Master Plan by Roger Hamilton, the reason I like it is because it gives you a visual understanding on how to grow a company based on your personality and the stages that you go through. In The Millionaire Master Plan you want to "get to yellow" this is where your product is in demand and people are coming to you rather than you hustling to find your customers.
It's also where you get to automate a lot of your business processes so sales become easier for the customer and yourself. What you'll find however, is you still have to do a lot of the work when you are running the business solo, so starting a new project will go through the same cycles, while also having to maintain what you previously created. It means splitting your attention between new projects and the upkeep of previous products.
What have we been working on?
Over the last few months, the challenge of turning Emmerse Studios into more than a one person company has been a discovery to say the least. I started out writing a backstory for the Quirk! characters, which you can read a little bit about in my blog Start with a Story. The content of which hasn't been released publicly yet, but has set the tone for other works within the Quirk! world.
A lot of my attention, for the months of February through to April 2021, has been on determining which project is the best one to work on first. I have a lot of ideas for the Quirk! world and developing it for fans to enjoy in new ways beyond the original card game. Albeit, I am now focusing the brand on a younger audience, but if you love the characters as much as I do, it doesn't matter what age you are, they can be enjoyed by anyone.
The first thing I have proposed is to stop working on Tabletop Games concepts as a publisher and will only focus on physical titles where a licensee is involved. The core of Emmerse Studios is now turning the studio into a video game company and creating interactive experiences with our characters in Quirk!
If you're interested in being one of the first to playtest our prototypes please sign up to our mailing list where I will be putting out the call for testers.
Our Values in Game Creation
The most important thing for us in creating games (video games), especially for children, is that games should always have a quality of play that sparks imagination, curiosity and wholesome fun. The games we create are the complete package from retail to the home that creates feelings of joy and nostalgia for years to come.
With physical games, there is always the benefit of taking people away from screens to connect and communicate on a human level. Technology separates us from the real people having a game experience somewhere across the world who you may be playing against online and desensitising us to one another, who we would be kind to in person.
Our mission with creating video games is not to demonise technology as a bad thing, it's not, it is our habits of obsessive and addictive use that causes the problems. At Emmerse Studios, we are committed to creating quality experiences that allow or encourage our players to have absolute autonomy over their choices rather than drive replay-ability through addictive mechanisms.
Essentially, we are here to bring the '90's' feeling into modern day technology so children can grow up with a healthy relationship to a technology-driven world.
We don't want you to be addicted to our games, we want you to enjoy the experiences they give you, we want them to enhance your life, provide you with that burst of entertainment and encourage you to check in with yourself on a holistic level. We want to encourage our younger players that games are great, but so is playing outside, finding a hobby you like, spending time with your family and eating well. All things that make you feel energised on a daily basis for mental and emotional well-being.
Developing Emmerse Studios
I am still in the throws of developing Emmerse Studios beyond my solo journey and into a team. Figuring out what project to work on was only one of the areas I've explored to move the company into the video games arena. The second and much more important area is building a team of amazing people around me.
I have been working with mentors, pitching for investment and onboarding a business partner on the business side. All of this work has helped me to develop what the company is about and what we stand for. The more I learn through my experiences with others and learn new skills I need to run the business, the more truths comes to the surface about what Emmerse Studios is and where we are going.
My ultimate goal is to create a creative environment where it is fun to come to work and work on projects that will have a massive positive impact on all the people that play our games and interact with our brand. It's all about how the company can develop into a hub of support and grow talented artists, designers, programmers and more into the careers that are sparse in this area and celebrate the hard work that is created by these individuals in the entertainment industry every day of the week.
It's thanks to the amazing people in my network who have been guiding, supporting and connecting Emmerse Studios and the Quirk! brand to more people who are able to help us reach our ambitious goals for the company for the future.
Thank you for reading this update about our last few months. Don't forget to subscribe to our news letter to find out more about the products we're creating and be the first to playtest our next prototypes.
If you'd like to get in touch please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Creative Director,
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Get your copy of Quirk! The Laugh-Out-Loud Family Card Game from Gibsons, John Lewis or Amazon.
A game full of sounds, actions and mischief to make your family roar with laughter. Great for children as young as 5 and adults of any age who love to unleash their inner child!