Former Sony Liverpool developer Andy Gahan offers an earnest view on going alone
Having found myself on the wrong side of a redundancy (or right, depending how you look at it) I’ve decided to take responsibility for my own destiny and set up a small company to develop games and to outsource artwork.
I’ve been thinking about this for some time, but like a lot of people, it was far too comfortable being paid every month to take the plunge. So after the send off from Sony, I sat down and started to flesh out a few ideas for games.
At the same time I called up an accountant and asked him to register a company for me – you can do this yourself if you like, but as they would be doing my accounts, I thought I’d get them to do the work whilst I worked on the games. I decided to call the new venture The Pixel Bullies – I had toyed with another name but thought that the Bullies name sounded a bit more fun. So after a phone call and a few hundred pounds spent, the Pixel Bullies were born.
To have a look at what company names are available you can search for them on the Companies House website in the UK, just log onto companieshouse.gov.uk and search for the name you fancy – it’ll show you everything similar to it too.
After a couple of days working on some game ideas, I had a few ideas that I thought I could take further. So I put together a couple of high level design docs (intended for my eyes only), and thought about how I could develop these games.
I had no problem with the art side of things, as I was an artist for almost 15 years, but in lead roles for the latter half. I knew my way around Photoshop and most 3D packages pretty well as I had written books on the subject, so I was on my way.
I have managed teams for the last 10 years of my career too, so I was happy that I could run a project. As a Senior Development Manager at Evolution Studios working on the WRC and MotorStorm franchises running multiple internal and external teams, I was happy that I could run a small team of my own.
The only problem I have is that I have no programmers. This is compounded by the fact that no programmers were made redundant when I was, so all the good guys that I knew for the last 15 or so years, were still happily employed – or so I believed.
So I’ve set about looking for programmers that might want to work with me on something.