Alkemi’s chronicles – part 2 – (2011-2012)

icone_surpriseBack in november 2010, Mickael and I had an interesting discussion with Julien Villedieu, representative for the SNJV. Among other things, Julien urged us to submit an application for the FAJV which is a governmental grant to help french video games production. Now, there’s something  you need to know about me. I’ve got really deeply ingrained principles when it comes to money and public money… to the point of stupidity sometimes I’ll admit. I need to be sure that I deserve it. In the first company that I’ve founded with friends, we had spent a lot of time and energy to obtain such grants and honestly I felt like we were surviving at the expense of the system. I was reluctant but Mickael convinced me : with this money we could hire someone and the creation of a job was well worth the public help.

I’ve spent more than a month on this application between december and january 2011. I had the help of nadya jahan, another studio founder in Nantes whose experience in marketing and communication was clearly beneficial in the redaction process. The FAJV finances 50% of your game production (up to 200 000 euros). In your application you must demonstrate that :
– you have a very clear idea of the game you want to make,
– you have an accurate estimation of the cost of production,
– you’ll be able to bring the other 50% necessary to actually finish the game,
– your game has at least some commercial potential.
In essence, you must make the demonstration of your credibility as a game studio and the credibility of your project. If you want the totality of the grant, you’ll need to release the game and demonstrate you have indeed spent at least your 50% on the production. But don’t worry, unless you’re really experienced at this, chances are you’ll have underestimated the cost of your game and have to spend more. Continue reading

Alkemi’s chronicles – part 1 – (2009-2010)

duoI’ve been asked to talk a bit about what it takes to create and manage a game studio these days. In the following lines, I’ll try to recount all the important facts in the life of our small and still young company and what led to its creation in the first place.

Alkemi today is a team of 2 people (one of the original founder aka me, Alain, and Christophe my colleague). At the end of 2012, Mickael, the other original founder decided to go his own way because our views had sadly become quite incompatible. He just started a new small entity which is called Potion of Wit to develop his own projects but we’re still in good terms and work together for contract jobs.

We’ll come back to our present situation, but first let’s take a look at the origin of the project… and even before that to the first time I contemplated the idea of making games as a job.

Continue reading