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Dare to start an indie games company

Posted onAugust 5, 2012

Dare to start an indie games company

Dare to start an indie games companyDare Indie Fest, supported by the Abertay University Prototype Fund, will next week reveal all the secrets to running a successful indie games company.
Running from 10-12 August in Dundee’s Caird Hall as part of the Dare ProtoPlay computer games festival, the first Dare Indie Fest will feature over 25 indie games – with participants coming from across the UK and as far afield as Romania.
Dare Indie Fest will bring independent developers together with publishers, funders and commissioners, helping everyone make contacts and do new business deals.
Dare Indie Fest also features high-profile speakers sharing their experiences of running indie games businesses, and offering practical games industry business advice.
Talks include:
- Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, CEO of CCP, ‘The success and some of the secrets behind EVE Online’
- Agostino Simonetta, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, ‘I’m an indie developer – now what?’
- Colin Macdonald, Channel 4 Commissioning Editor for Games, ‘What are the crossovers between games and TV shows?’
- Simon Harris, BBC Worldwide, ‘Working with the commercial arm of a public service broadcasting company’
- Gavin Shields, Turbulenz, ‘Forget iOS, Facebook and consoles: HTML5 is the future of games’
- Andrew Smith, Spilt Milk Studios, ‘Time is money: how to spend your most valuable asset as an indie’
Dare Indie Fest supporter Ukie is bringing a tax break consultation session, to engage with indies and listen to what they need from the Government’s tax breaks.
There will also be a panel discussing ‘The future of games: how to provide the best gameplay experience and make money at the same time’, featuring Hilmar Veigar Pétursson, CEO of CCP, Bjorn Book-Larsson, CEO of GamersFirst, and Mark Ettle, CEO of Cobra Mobile.
See the full Dare Indie Fest speaker list and secure your place at http://www.daretobedigital.com/128_Dare-Indie-Fest-Dare-ProtoPlay.html
Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development at Abertay University, said:
“Dare Indie Fest will be an incredible opportunity to learn about running a successful business, bringing together experienced developers, publishers and commissioners who are looking to invest, and the very best up-and-coming indie companies.
“Tickets are selling quickly, so we’re encouraging all games companies and students excited about starting a company to sign up soon, to avoid missing out.
“It’s all part of the Abertay Prototype Fund’s support for new and upcoming businesses. The Prototype Fund has helped indie developers secure six-figure publishing deals, and we’ll be looking to meet games developers who can apply for our £25,000 grants.
“Dare Indie Fest is the newest part of the incredible Dare ProtoPlay weekend, which is going to be even bigger than last year – when over 9,000 people visited us in three days. With the Dare student games and indie games, there’ll be over 40 different games for the public to play for free. We can’t wait.”
BAFTA, long-time partners with Dare to be Digital’s exclusive ‘Ones to Watch’ BAFTA award, will also bring its hugely popular BAFTA Games Question Time to Dare Indie Fest.
See the full Dare Indie Fest speaker list and secure your place at http://www.daretobedigital.com/128_Dare-Indie-Fest-Dare-ProtoPlay.html

Dare to be Digital launches Indie Festival

Posted onJuly 5, 2012

Dare to be Digital launches Indie Festival

Dare to be Digital launches Indie FestivalThe world-leading student computer game design competition Dare to be Digital will be bigger than ever before this year, with the launch of the new Dare Indie Fest sharing the secrets for games industry success.
The three-day event on 10th-12th August will be presented by the Abertay University Prototype Fund and will have a strong focus on bringing independent developers together with publishers, funders and commissioners. Visitors will get to make serious contacts and discuss new business opportunities.
“The Prototype Fund has received applications for funding from over 250 companies since it was launched and we have already funded 35 indie developers,” said Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development at Abertay University.
“Presenting Dare Indie Fest at Dare ProtoPlay is a part of our wider support for the companies we’ve already invested in and the young, promising businesses we will support in the future.” 
Speakers include the Games Commissioner at Channel 4; the Executive Producer of Gaming at BBC Worldwide; CCP, the Icelandic creators of the world’s largest game universe EVE Online; online game network Turbulenz; data experts Games Analytics and many, many more to be announced soon.
BAFTA, long-time partners with Dare to be Digital’s exclusive ‘Ones to Watch’ BAFTA award, will also bring its hugely popular BAFTA Games Question Time to Dare Indie Fest.
Dare Indie Fest is part of Dare ProtoPlay, the games festival where all 15 of the brand new Dare to be Digital games go on show to the public. It will be held in Dundee’s Caird Hall on 10th-12th August.
Gregor White, Director of Dare to be Digital, said:
“Dare Indie Fest will be a fantastic opportunity for independent companies to come to Dundee and make the contacts they need to find new opportunities and secure new business.
“We’re delighted to welcome the commissioners from BBC Worldwide and Channel 4, who are responsible for commissioning new games to support their world-class broadcasting, as well a host of publishers and internationally successful games companies.
“Dare Indie Fest will help independent game developers learn how to build their business and promises to be a very exciting weekend indeed.”

Abertay Prototype Fund offering 25K grants

Posted onJune 7, 2012

Abertay Prototype Fund offering 25K grants

Abertay Prototype Fund offering 25K grantsAbertay Prototype Fund offering 25K grantsWhat’s the simplest, most risk-free way to launch a new high-tech company? The Abertay Prototype Fund is offering £25,000 grants in its latest funding round.
The Prototype Fund funds start-ups and young companies UK-wide who are creating new prototype games and interactive digital media. Applications should be made at http://prototypefund.abertay.ac.uk/
As well as improving access to funding in an environment where bank loans can be very difficult for young companies to secure, funded companies have the option of studio space, high-end computers and industry-standard software in the University of Abertay Dundee.
The Prototype Fund model has proven a success already, receiving over 200 applications, funding 35 projects, and with one funded company securing an £800,000 investment after initial funding of just £25,000. That business is currently preparing for launch behind closed doors.
Dundee-based Proper Games is another success story – it recruited the graduates who worked on their Prototype Fund project as full-time employees, to continue its development and also work on a new Facebook title.
Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development at Abertay University, said: “This is an excellent, risk-free way of new and young companies raising enough money to build a small game or prototype.
“Applications to the Prototype Fund so far have shown massive untapped economic potential right across the UK.
“Unlocking all these potential new companies with a small upfront investment is a targeted, efficient way of boosting Britain’s economic growth – and the strength and breadth of our superb creative industries.”
Companies receiving up to £25,000 also get business mentoring and access to Abertay University’s computer games industry contacts.
Prototype Fund recipients can also recruit talented graduates to support their project, in turn improving UK-wide skills level in this creative, high-growth sector.
Applications must be made by midday on Wednesday 18th July. Full details are available at http://prototypefund.abertay.ac.uk/

New start-up funding – Abertay Prototype Fund

Posted onMarch 12, 2012

New start-up funding – Abertay Prototype Fund

Entrepreneurs looking to launch a new digital company or develop a new game or software product can now apply for up to £25,000 from the University of Abertay Dundee’s Prototype Fund.

Applications to this fourth funding round should be made at http://prototypefund.abertay.ac.uk/

The Prototype Fund model has already proved a success, with one initial £25,000 investment attracting an extra £800,000 of private funding to bring a game to market.

A small initial investment bridges the extremely difficult financial gap that stops great teams with great ideas: without funding to develop a working prototype it can be impossible to attract further investment to build a sustainable business.

Tom Naylor, Director of Two Monocle Games, said: “The Prototype Fund has given me the resources and help I need to make ‘Cult Leader’ a reality. It provided me with talented students, enough funds to support my team during production, and software, hardware and office space that would otherwise be a massive drain on company resources.

“The Prototype Fund can provide a unique opportunity for anyone wishing to start out on their own. If you dream of independence or the chance to make your idea a reality then you should definitely apply. This is the chance to take the best game concept you ever had and start building it.”

Facebook game ‘Cult Leader’ is due for release soon, and is a satirical social game in which you build a cult from your online friends. Like the company’s Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/TwoMonocleGames to hear when the game is released.

Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development at Abertay University, said: “The Abertay University Prototype Fund has received over 150 applications to date, showing that the UK is struggling to finance creative start-up companies.

“This market failure has real implications for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, but initiatives like the Prototype Fund are helping to unlock this trapped value in the economy.”

He added: “We’re looking for talented teams with commercially strong ideas. Successful applicants to date have developed prototypes of social and mobile games, and software products for analytics and project management.

“And all successful applicants have the opportunity to work within Abertay University, right at the heart of the growing Dundee computer games cluster, with access to some of the most talented games graduates anywhere in the world.”

The Prototype Fund is backed by investment from Abertay University, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Scottish Government through the European Regional Development Fund.

Applications to the fourth funding round close at 12pm on Friday 13 April.

For full details, and to apply, please visit http://prototypefund.abertay.ac.uk/

Scottish Parliament computer games group welcomed by Abertay

Posted onDecember 20, 2011

Scottish Parliament computer games group welcomed by Abertay

Proposals to form a Cross-Party Group on the Computer Games Industry in the Scottish Parliament represent a positive move that deserves widespread engagement, the University of Abertay Dundee said today (Tuesday 20 December).
Computer games are a high-value, high-growth industry with significant potential to drive economic growth through exports, attracting domestic and international investment, and creating new intellectual property.
The group recently elected Joe FitzPatrick MSP (SNP) as Convener and Mary Scanlon MSP (Conservative) and Jenny Marra MSP (Labour) as co-Vice Conveners.
Abertay University is an international leader in educating computer games developers and launched the world’s first Computer Games Technology degree. Abertay also runs a Prototype Fund for investing in new companies and new game ideas.
Dr Louis Natanson, who leads computer games education at Abertay, said: “We warmly welcome moves to establish a Cross-Party Group on the Computer Games Industry in the Scottish Parliament.
“The computer games industry is an important employer in Scotland, but most importantly this a sector with huge potential for the future.
“Games are a fast-growing multi-billion pound industry where we already punch above our weight. The opportunity to take a major share in this rapidly changing sector should not be missed.”
Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development at Abertay, added: “There are lots of important issues for this Cross-Party Group to address, including how we can create the most supportive business environment for new companies and new investment.
“What our economy needs is decisive, coordinated action that brings politicians, industry and educators all together to work together. We hope to see both the UK trade bodies associated with games development contribute to the work of the group as well as the views of many of the small independent studios and new start-ups that aren’t yet members of a trade body.”
Surrounding Abertay University in Dundee is a cluster of innovative games companies working on console, online, mobile phone and social networking games.
The past year has seen a surge in the formation of new companies, including those launched through the Abertay University Prototype Fund. This initiative puts up to £25,000 into new business ideas, to help them establish themselves and attract further investment.
The Cross-Party Group on the Computer Games Industry is currently proposed and awaiting final approvals.

UK Government step forward welcomed by Abertay

Posted onNovember 28, 2011

UK Government step forward welcomed by Abertay

The UK Government has made “a positive step forward for computer science” in its official response to the Next Gen report, the University of Abertay Dundee said today.
In the document from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Government commits itself to “working with Next Gen Skills, educators and others to develop an attractive computer science offering for schools”.
The Next Gen report into the UK’s video games and visual effects industries recommended earlier this year that computer science be introduced as a core part of school education.
Its recommendations also included introducing Abertay University’s Dare to be Digital model of workplace simulation into university courses across the UK, which the Government today endorsed.
Dr Louis Natanson, who leads computer games education at Abertay University, said: “Today the UK Government has made a positive step forward for computer science by recognising its importance for the nation’s future economic development.
“Computer games and visual effects are high-growth, high-value industries with the potential to drive Britain forward, increasing investment and exports, and repositioning the UK as one of the world’s most creative nations.
“However, without school children being excited about computer science – and being encouraged to study art, maths and science side-by-side – we are at risk of falling further behind.”
The Government’s response praises Abertay University’s ongoing work to make degrees industry-relevant, its work with the BAFTA Young Games Designers competition, and its Prototype Fund for investment in new companies and giving graduates valuable work experience.
Paul Durrant, Director of Business Development at Abertay, added: “Action is needed right across the UK, from educators, industry and both the UK and Scottish Governments.
“The Scottish Government’s Curriculum for Excellence is, for instance, an excellent opportunity to teach subjects like art and computer science together.
“We need to see today’s positive step forward continue, with real support continuing to come from both the UK and Scottish Governments.”
The Next Gen report by creative industries experts Ian Livingstone and Alex Hope was commissioned by Ed Vaizey MP, Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries, in July 2010.
They were tasked to produce an independent report into the skills needed for the UK to thrive as a world-class centre for the computer games and visual effects industries.

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