Questions for Alice Taylor - Channel 4?

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by zoombapup, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. zoombapup

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    I've arranged a quick interview session with Alice Taylor of Channel 4 regarding thier recent news about commissioning indie game developers as part of thier new funding model.

    http://www.develop-online.net/news/32788/Channel-4-ramps-up-game-funding

    Clearly the money they have earmarked, in the millions, has gotten people interested. So I'm asking if you guys have any questions, both about the funding and about the TV<->game dev collaboration idea in general.

    Questions via this thread please (or PM if you think its sensitive) and I'll try and get them in.

    Alice's time is very valuable, so I really wouldn't start spamming her asking for money just yet. But I think this move bodes well for collaboration with TV producers, even if it is marginalised to some extent by being in Alice's educational remit rather than just being about general commisions.
     
  2. Jamie W

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    Is her time more very valuable than anyone else's time?
     
  3. zoombapup

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    Simply put. Yes.
     
  4. Jamie W

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    Okay, I understand.

    To be blunt, I think the only question of any purpose, has to be; how can we get the money?
     
  5. Colm

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    It's an interesting development alright. I have a question: would Channel 4 consider investing a similar amount of money on indie game development purely as 'publishers'? As in, rather than paying indie studios to make games with an educational remit that are going to be free to consumers (as I understand this batch of money has been spent), would they consider investing in indie-made games that would then be sold to consumers in the traditional way.
     
  6. zoombapup

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    Yes, that is a pretty obvious question isnt it :)

    But there are others that I can think of. In terms of how she (from a purchaser perspective) deals with indies and views the long term commitment (if any) Channel 4 might make to encouraging indie devs.

    Short term, its about getting some money. Long term its about a potential source of funding for indies that offers a different route than portals etc. I'm not sure how it will pan out, but its a pretty well funded experiment either way.
     
  7. zoombapup

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    Just wanted to cross post this so I know Jamie sees it..

    Jamie, think about it. Your time is valuable to you. Her time is valuable to a lot of people who might want to go to her for funding.

    Its not a personal thing, its about relativity. My time isnt as valuable to indies in general as her, because I can't do anything for them aside from trying to promote them and thier games.

    This isnt a value judgement on anyone as a person, its just the truth. In terms of indies, her time is more valuable so better not waste it right?

    Please don't get the impression that I'm talking about some personal worth, I'm definitely not. Would you go to a publisher or other partner and waste thier time? It would be bad business sense to do that. This is a matter of good business manners and not about value judgements.
     
  8. Jamie W

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    I could have been a little harsh with you there Phil, and you've responded in a more than fair way. :)

    I guess you just touched a raw nerve with me, and I'm sure I did respond in a snappy and defensive way; I'm sorry.

    For what it's worth, the notion I find objectionable, is that a persons' value is determined by what they can offer us; rather than it being intrinsic, having value just because they're a human being (and that includes you, me, Alice, everyone).

    I could go on, to discuss the issue at more length; but I don't wish to derail the thread any further.

    ---

    One thing I really like to see some money spent on, is some organization (similar to regional development agencies), where coaching and relevant business advice, is given to indies; rather than "here's a chunk of funding, off your go" type thing. Sure, that would help keep someone afloat for a few months, but long term, I don't think it's such a good thing.
     
  9. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Is the funding still available? It mentions that they've already commissioned several titles. When was this announced?
     
  10. zoombapup

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    I saw the news late last week I think. It was in develop apparently.

    I think its pretty likely that Alice has already set aside much of her budget. But that's another question to ask.

    I know the article mentions a few developers who already got some funding. But this has been a pretty long time coming (I spoke to Alice a few years ago and ran into Mark Morris of introversion who was talking about working with C4 even back then). I guess its basically happened for real since they decided to move away from paying for big brother and instead funding lots of smaller properties.

    Lets just say that TV isnt as strong as it was, so this is a good thing for indies if they can get access.
     
  11. zoombapup

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    Don't worry about it Jamie, I've got a thick skin (along with everything else) :)

    Your local RDA should be able to put you in touch with coaching and business advice aplenty to be honest Jamie. Or your local council's business development unit, or the local business link or chamber of commerce. In my experience it hasnt been the lack of generic advice (which I find useless) but the lack of specific funding opportunities. Having said that, getting in touch with your RDA, or more likely thier appointed quango who actually gives out the money is your best bet.

    I'm going to be interviewing Dan Marchant (Obscure on here) who happens to know that stuff. So we can get the skinny on the types of things he has helped people with. If you're in the northwest, the person to speak to is Enda Carey of the North West Vision and Media. Who report to the North West Development Agency (the RDA). I think in your area Jamie, its Screen Yorkshire and Yorkshire Forward, but I guess getting in touch with the people at gamerepublic is your first step.

    Trouble with all this stuff, is that its patchy as hell and wont really give you any income.
     
  12. ragdollsoft

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    Meh, if you work on a 500k contract you're not indie anymore.
     
  13. zoombapup

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    Yeah, we're all about turning down those £500k contracts :)
     
  14. Nexic

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    You'll drop that idealistic opinion like a brick if/when you become financially successful.
     
  15. zoombapup

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    I'm not sure thats true. I mean some of us really dont go through life thinking like that. I am pretty sure that I'm happier now that I've learnt to not care about what everybody else has (and its taken me most of my life to learn it).

    But equally, I've learnt that some people fundamentally ARE worth more or less, in terms of contribution to society. Its an aspect of being a lecturer maybe, but you quickly learn that some people are a waste of skin and others arent.

    I can't imagine how destroying it would be to have to teach no-hoper kids in school though. I'd probably end up in jail after killing some of them. But I digress :)
     
  16. Nexic

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    I think it was pretty obvious that in your phrase "her time is valuable" you meant "she probably has other more important things to be doing" rather than "she's rich and us peons should bow before her wrath". Though Jamie clearly took it to mean the later. My point was that maybe when he has a lot of important things to do he'll realize why successful people guard their time so aggressively. I wasn't actually trying to say that rich people are better etc.

    I guess I shouldn't have been so blunt, but I really find OTT reactions to facts of life annoying.
     
    #16 Nexic, Sep 16, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009
  17. Jamie W

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    I'm sure you have very valid points there Neil; people who place a high value on their time, and invest it wisely are more likely to prosper. I don't doubt that for one instant. To each person, their own time should be the most valuable thing they have; it's life, and each second is irreplaceable.

    I'd love to debate this more with you guys, but I'm sure we all have better things to do with out time! ;)

    I did respond in a snappy and defensive way, to the OP, I've apologized, and I would be extremely happy to get back on topic now..
     
  18. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Works for me!

    You'll find a lot of people are only indie because they can't be anything else, and would dearly love to seal their own lucrative deal, be it with a publisher, a VC or anything else.

    In fact if you rule out developers targetting portals and genuine indies that make a proper, "adult standard" living entirely unaided, the pool your left with can call themselves what they like, but it's nowt to brag about and certainly nothing I'd wish to be.

    Strictly speaking, a persons worth is a measure of their bankroll and how useful it can be to others. Humans have no intrinsic value - they're very easy to make and we already have 7 billion of them! :)
     
  19. ragdollsoft

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    Fine, you're not a real indie then. A true indie struggles day by day with financial difficulties, releases obscure games that very few appreciate or even understand, but goes on in spite of everything because the love he has for creating games is so big that it keeps him going.

    That's something to be proud of, not living a conformist rat life following the values society imposed on you, believing what a man is worth is defined by his money.
     
  20. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Not a real indie, no. The only self-funded game we released to date was on XBLA, so that probably doesn't count for some reason. Although earlier in my career I released many pda and cellphone games that were self-funded and made me no money so that should balance..

    Actually, I'd call this guy a failure tbh. There's nothing in the manifesto that says indies should be skint or make crap games. I can understand why some'd think that though. :)

    What a load of pretentious bollocks. And FYI a man's worth is defined as the value of his assets less those of his liabilities. That's not an opinion, it's a definition. If you value trust or generosity more than money, then great but you're not talking about someones worth.
     
    #20 Applewood, Sep 16, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009

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