We are very honored to have as our guest blogger today for our “Tuesday Talks” Guerilla Tea! We e-met Guerilla Tea in an indie dev forum and they are 4 rockin’ guys that are on a mission to make sustainable quality games. Here’s their terrific story!
1) About You
I’m Charlie and I’m the game designer, & one of the founders of Guerilla Tea. I started in the games industry as a QA tester and worked my way up from there. Now I feel like I’m living the dream!
2) Your games and/or strategies
We basically try and balance our time between making our own apps and games, and doing contract work for clients.
This is the best way for us to remain stable and give us a bit more freedom to work on our own projects.
We have released a medical study aid called Ward Round, which we developed in conjunction with a doctor from the University of Glasgow.
Our first game was a puzzler called The Quest, which started life as a student project, and was actually inspired by the Rubik’s Cube. The game went on to be nominated for a BAFTA. Throughout the summer last year we finished the prototype for a model helicopter combat game called Fangs Out, which we’re looking to release in 2013.
We’ve been working with clients since the get-go but the work picked up a great deal after about a year, and we are now involved with the digital re-launch of The Dandy, among other exciting projects for 2013!
3) What you’ve learned
We started almost completely from scratch, working on our producer’s kitchen table, and taking part time jobs to pay the bills.
When we finally moved into an office, our productivity shot up a hundredfold. I think having a place to work that isn’t your bedroom is hugely important, even just for that feeling of going into work in the morning!
Beyond this I think we learned that it is a lot of blood, sweat and tears! We had to bite the bullet and take part time jobs, so we were easily working 7 days a week, and still do from time to time!
4) Success numbers – ROI
Our income comes almost solely from contract work at the moment, and this has picked up a lot in the past few months, without giving away any numbers…
Ward Round was picked up in medical circles, but is always going to be very specialist.
As a new studio it wasn’t particularly realistic to try and hope to make a living solely from our own apps during the opening months, and we very quickly looked for other work, but as we continue to grow and gain more reputation we’ll be developing more of our own projects to support the company.
5) Tips for our audience/readers
For people looking to set up an app and game development company… Look for contract work and ask as many people/companies for work as you can. Law of averages; if you ask 100 people for work then your chances of a bite back are a lot greater than if you ask 10!
Networking is also something which will benefit you no end. Get business cards printed and attend conferences; talk to people and make sure to attend the parties and social events.
I guess visibility is a problem for the majority of indie developers, especially on the app store. There is no easy solution, but a marketing guru I know encouraged us to use social media a lot, and simply tell anyone and everyone about us and our games. It makes sense really since if we aren’t excited about what we’re working on then no one else is going to be!
6) Ah-Ha Moments
I’ll admit this is a tough one as it feels like a very gradual learning curve for us.
Although after going to trade shows and networking events for years, I did learn the unspoken rule of good business: So many opportunities can come your way if you just have a drink with the right person…
7) Contact info/links/website/twitter/facebook fan pages, etc.
Thank you Charlie and the team at Guerilla Tea for being our “Tuesday Talks” Guest Blogger! Readers we hope you’ll check out Guerilla Tea’s apps and visit their sites! Thank you!