2020… the year that turned out to be entirely different than what we all thought it would be.
Our year was quite interesting. And in the spirit of end-of-year summaries, I thought it would be great to tell you about how it went.
We were part of the first cohort of the Scale-Up Programme we joined a little over a year ago. It was absolutely fantastic. The mentors, organisers and trainers did a great job of overloading our brains with useful information. We have definitely learned a lot and adopted many of our processes. Although we are not actively attending any of the sessions stayed in touch and I am on the steering board of the programme representing small games businesses in the Leamington area.
When the pandemic hit earlier in the year we were one of the companies that were uniquely equipped to handle its effects. Our industry has proven to be resilient to its effects and even reported an increase in earnings. Our background and experience in remote working meant that we had no disruption to our business activities or day-to-day work.
One thing we found as more and more companies switched to a remote model communication has improved in the industry a lot.
We took part in a lot more zoom calls. We had funny accidents, learned to make sure we are all properly dressed before a communications tool auto turns the camera on, had our first live nappy change in a call and we also have a new “member” of the team who is a great observer and commands the dummy like no one else. Having children should not mean we won’t be able to work. They can complement everything we do.
We have invested a great deal of time and effort into building up our social media presence. We have made a few mistakes and learned a lot in the way. Now we reach more people than I originally hoped and hope we can show everyone who we are. We will continue to provide the 5 links series and more meaningful/ interesting content in the coming year too. The numbers we are seeing are in-line with our training. The more you do it the better you’ll be at it.
Projects and clients
One of the downsides of running a service company is that sometimes you cannot talk about the cool things you work on. This year is no different. We helped 7 different projects from supporting decision making, developing custom tools and intricate systems and bug fixing.
One thing I can tell you is we are working with Rare on Sea of Thieves. We are responsible for designing, developing and maintaining the backend systems for the game. Our team has gone through a few changes but we are growing and adding new capacity and cover more areas. We are having fun. It is a fantastic project and a great challenge.
Even with the impending doom that is Brexit and the long term effects of the social distancing world of COVID-19 our outlook for 2021 is positive.
We’ll be taking exceptional people on board and will have interesting projects to work on. Right now, we are in the process of getting a Production Support Coordinator, a couple of DevOps engineers and a backend Programmer on board.
One of our goals for the next year is to be more organised. I think part of growing up as a company will require sacrificing the “winging it” element in favour of planning and execution. This is something we have started a while back but next year we’ll take it to the next level. You know, more business plans, more biz dev, more zoom calls… the works!
In terms of offerings, we will still be focusing on helping video games and related industries in game development (Unity + custom engines) and backend services. We will also be looking into providing a more complex set of services around game development: I am hoping by this time next year we’ll be making all the games for you.
On our game-dev endeavour side, we will be sharing more about Sponge Hammer Games and the project we are working on. Follow their social media as we’d love you to read about all the great material we are working on.