Demigod Studios // AL.I.V.E. Interview Part 2
AL.I.V.E. Interview Part 2
2nd part of the interview.
“Reading the first part of the interview in the “Team of the Month” for October 2013, Demigod Studios, someone can be highly troubled. Eventually the passion and optimism of creation outweighs pessimism caused by the circumstances and the environment.
Also 5 years ago plenty of money flowed without questioning the “Money exist” that characterize the five years of steady economic crisis giving a different perspective in starting a business effort in developing video games.
But money is not a necessary and sufficient condition for success for a company, because all this time more have stopped before the crisis without even entering to the new conditions. Also things have improved even at the state level.
So since 2008 you do not need to locate similar codes for starting a video games company but you go straight to the corresponding code! This of course for those who change to a company state or start directly as a company.
Each season has its own parameters and thus requires a different approach to how you look at it, but the fact is that each year this industry is flourishing and the more barren the economic landscape the greater the creativity.
At this point, however, let’s continue with the second part of the interview of Stratos Kampourogiannis for Demigod Studios.”
Q. Touching the “cooperation” subject, do know collective efforts in our area as the Hellenic Game Developers Association (HGDA) or the gi-Cluster?
We know for both of them, as both are well known in the field and if someone is interested will surely find information.
Q. Do you participate in any of these and what you think of such collective efforts in general?
In the HGDA we had registered a while ago but without any communication from them. Not even an email. For the gi-Cluster unfortunately the information available does not give you to understand what is it about and how to help a video games development company. There should be more clear instructions so that anyone can contact and ask for help if needed.
Q. Are you aware about government programs such as ESPA and the development activity in video games?
Unfortunately no, although there was an attempt to see if there is some program like this as we are interested in everything that can help us in what we are trying to do, there should be clearer ways someone can find the existence of such programs and not searching in the dark.
From the upcoming game for smartphones, Biolab
Q. Would you ever look for funding in Kickstarter or the OpenFund like other companies in Greece?
Of course as it is a possible future option. Just those who consider programs like Kickstarter or Indiegogo should be very careful and not rely only on these because a potential failure can be disastrous as we have seen many times happening. To exist as an option yes but not to base all their planning on it because the end result can be surprisingly bad.
Q. Do you think that the state should assist in game development because of its global dynamics or private initiative is better?
As the state can support any business so it can do with companies in our field. Only gain they will have from this.
But unfortunately the climate right now is more than hostile as not only they don’t help businesses but no one still takes very seriously a game development company.
There seem to be some steps but these are too small and too late unfortunately, something that is catastrophic in an industry that moves at a fast pace and those who are left behind don’t have many chances to survive.
Q. The fact that we are not developing video games in Greece as is done in countries such as France and England you think it depends on the state of things here?
We see that in countries with a developed video games industry the governments are supporting the efforts of companies by offering various incentives to help their development. In Greece it is almost non-existent and when there is, it’s very individual. When offered greater incentives and assistance we will see this industry grow here also.
From the upcoming game for smartphones, Biolab
Q. Hundreds of people are already employed in game development companies and the companies continue to hire this year. Let’s not forget the Career-Day in May. We also have dozens of titles in production. What is needed in your opinion, to be able to talk about “game industry” here?
Due to the economy, most companies and teams in Greece are concentrated with casual gaming which has a much lower cost and risk of an AAA title.
The bad thing with this is that most games, even when they are very good, are lost in a sea of casual games produced worldwide which results in very few people abroad to learn about the games we produce.
Only if we create a hardcore title that will stand out and get worldwide publicity we will be able to break this barrier and make the game industry a real event in Greece which will be recognized and talked about not only here but also abroad .
Q. Before we go back to you what you know about training on games development in Greece?
I know there are several private schools that have departments for game development but when there is no infrastructure to support the students who study in these departments when they will graduate it will be very difficult for them to evolve and will remain stagnant.
And the worst part is that these students who will think more seriously to continue their career on this field will be forced to go abroad. How do you expect this industry to grow in Greece when almost all the talent is going abroad ?
Q. Would it be important that the initial experience to come from real video games titles already from the time of the courses or it doesn’t play such an important role?
I think the theory is good as it gives some solid foundations , but practice is the one that will throw in the deep all who go to such a school and will teach them the actual conditions under which a video game is created.
So, it’s very important these schools to have a collaboration with companies engaged in game development in the way of presentations or by more direct practice so that students gain experience in the real world which can not be done in a laboratory. So they will acquire the appropriate knowledge in order to cope with the demands that will occur when they will work in a professional studio.