16.12.2013 by Humberto Cervera

Where do we come from ?

This has been sort of a slow week, we´ve been working on some fixes for the Build that came out last week and we also started with the Level Design for the Campaign, so while trying to think about what to write on the blog this week I came to a realization, the Blog was started after the development of the game so I thought that it might be a good idea to talk about the origins of the project.


Agent Awesome, where did it begin? What was first, the Agent or the Awesome?


Of course, it started with me. I dropped out from college 2 years ago (I was doing my bachelors on Foreign Affairs of all things) and ever since I dropped out I had the goal of starting my own videogame company.


One of the main issues I had while starting out my professional career on videogames is that I don´t know how to code nor how to draw, I can´t stress this enough, if you want to get into the videogame industry LEARN TO CODE.


So after checking out the state of the industry I realized the Mexican industry lacked two very important things, good project managers, business driven people and persons with a solid grasp on theories of Game Design, so I realized those where two roles where I had the necessary skillset to stand out.


I read every major book on Game Design ever written and because of my previous entrepreneurial endeavors I had some experience as a Project Manager and a fair amount of leadership skills.


After reading Game Design Theory and Practice 2nd Edition by Richard Rouse III I was ready to test my luck in the market, I got my first Game Design gig some months after that, designing a Board Game and an Educational Videogame for the Federal Government (Sadly, none of them ever saw the light of day).


After that, it was all uphill from there. I´m thankful I never found myself unemployed and I also made the choice of never accepting a full time job, which would interfere with my goal of starting my own company.


I worked on five games before starting Chaos Industries and from those five only Robo Jungle Rush saw the light of day, but on the side I always had a team of dedicated people working on what one day would become Chaos Industries.


I wanted to do things right, gather a group of talented developers, work on our first game and when we had something to show to the world try to sell it or get funding, of course at that time everybody working with me was working for free.


So after two years and a lot of changing team members I had nothing to show for it, people always bailed on me after the first month or so, I was highly frustrated but I also was determined on not giving up on my dream.


With my five years of experience as an entrepreneur I was connected to a lot of people, some of them had a very high interest on my career and had always told me “Hey Humberto, if you ever think about looking for investment money, feel free to call me. I´ll be happy to hear you”


Because of that, I was on a very unique position.


So I decided to change my approach to how I would start my company.


Instead of trying to get some people to work for free and instead of trying to assemble a team that worked together I would look for a team that was on the path to success, a team with some published games and a team that already had experience working together throughout the entirety of a project.


I decided I would hire an existing company and I would outsource the complete development of Agent Awesome to an outside company, while being the Game Designer and project director. I would basically buy my way into a leadership position within an existing company for the duration of my project.


I took this decision on April 2013.


After a month of research and asking for quotes to as many as 160 companies in Mexico and Colombia I had my business plan ready and the time had come for me to start knocking the door of some potential investors.


This was not going to be easy because I was asking people to invest in an idea, there was no tangible product yet, but I felt confident on my project.


Many investors turned me down, but one of them believed in me and in the project hard enough to offer me the totality of the investment for a 49% stake on my company.


I had some other offers, one of them offered to give 75% of the investment money for 60% of the total revenue of the first game with no stake at the company, another one just said no but gave $2,000 USD as a gift and many, many more just closed their doors at my face.


If you are looking funding for your company be ready to face rejection, many times. Do not give up and keep your motivation, while sometimes it can be hard, every rejection is a learning opportunity.


Dealing with investors is not an easy thing to do, it takes time and of course they will ask you to do more research and whatever they ask you must deliver, you must prove to them that the money they are investing in you is not a dumb bet.


So after a lot of work and a lot of market research to validate my idea, on August 2013 I was signing the contract with my investor to begin operations on September.


And so on September 1st Agent Awesome was starting production, the company I chose to develop the game is Press Start Studios, a Colombian company that also has offices on San Francisco and I couldn´t be happier with the team.


And so this is it, on a very condensed way this is the story of how Agent Awesome and Chaos Industries started, the future is uncertain but right now we are making some good progress.


If you are interested on hearing more details on any aspect of this story, feel free to ask questions on the comments and I´ll be more than happy to answer them, I just super condensed the story so as not to bore anyone with a long read.


Thanks for reading !

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