Waay back then, it was unheard of for anyone to set up as a new games company - even if they had the desired skills necessary to succeed at it - a totally alien concept in the eyes of the business community and, in some respects today that still holds, due to the very high-risk nature of the gaming market. Unperturbed, my husband and I went to the local business shop to discuss ways of entering the unknown (at that time we were thinking about multiplayer internet games) which turned out to be a waste of time because no-one understood what we were about. Meanwhile, we plodded on with our normal boring IT jobs, still writing down all the different ideas we would constantly come up with for games - at the last count, we have roughly 40 odd game ideas that would be nice to work on at some point :)
Years passed by and little footsteps appeared on the scene! - you'd think we'd be sensible and continue with normal jobs, now that we had a family to support, but we were at an age that, if we didn't try and get into the games business for ourselves while they were small, then we would never do it later because we'd have been fully settled and too scared to try something different when they were older. So, we went to the local business shop for advice and they were extremely helpful with our situation and understood what we wanted to achieve (by this time the games market was well known about). They put us on a small-business course which gave the basics of setting-up, marketing, publishing, accounts etc, over a period of about 6 weeks (2hrs per week). Meanwhile, we were introduced, through someone at the business shop, to a local person involved in games and we ran a couple of ideas passed him. Although he was impressed with the ideas, he did not see a market for it (online interactive games were at their infancy then), we had no business acumen, we had very little technical knowledge, we had no track-record of producing games and we had no funds - needless to say we were VERY downhearted.
We kept in touch with the local business shop, passing many different ideas about how this online game could work and get paid for etc and, one day, they advised we should take a university Entrepreneurship course for a year, whereby, we can suss out much more of what we need to know about business, get contacts within the gaming industry and get paid a small amount of money while doing it!, great!..so we did!.
It was while at university, we saw the opportunity of entering a team into the Dare to be Digital 2002 competition ( a competition open to, at that time, universities in Scotland and a far-east country (can't remember which one it was then) where 6 teams are selected from the many to work on a game project with the hope of winning a prize. We were pleased that we not only got 1 team in but 2 teams! (we had 2 game ideas that could fit perfectly with each-other as 1) - what a day that was when we found out! - we were going to work on 2 projects at the same time, woot! and omg!,omg!. Working on the projects were great fun and you could tell who were working harder than the others. Finally, the great day came to be judged and, although it went ok with one team, the other team just basically fell-apart on the day - someone had not set up the equipment properly or the correct version of the game and there was a LOT of dead time hanging around while he buggered about - not a good impression to make in front of business and industry big-wigs!. Suffice to say, we didn't win a bean (the far-east people got the 5th prize I think it was (probably just for being there seeing as their country had an interest in plying money into the university later that year...am I saying that there was a conspiracy around?, go figure!).
Anyway, we got heard about from some industry peeps, mainly due to the game ideas and amazing graphics we produced - Channel 4, BBC1, the local papers and Butterfly.net in good ole USA were interested in what we wanted to make - the buzz of interest really lifted us....we thought we were going to be on our way!.
This is just a brief background of how my interest in games took off - I will be working on how we actually got started in the next instalment.