Jeff Hangartner – Revealing the Path Less Travelled in Video Game Industry

Jeff HangartnerJeff Hangartner, the founder of the gaming start-up, Bulletproof Outlaws has been a professional developer of games over the last half a decade. Creator of Pixelation, the 1st Pixel Art Forum and also originator of the Pixel tutorials which have been published in the form of a book. Jeff has always been a pioneer of the gaming industry.

CG Today is proud to present Jeff’s exploration as he shares the whole process of creating a start-up right from day 1. With the belief that gaming development is coming back to its original “one programmer in the basement roots” idea, Bulletproof Outlaws is chronicling every step of its start-up process from strategies, to marketing, setting goals and outsourcing, successes and failures. The aim is to help other developers who have ideas but are intimidated by the whole start-up process and are not sure how to go about it.

You can visit his website Bulletproof Outlaws to know more about him or send an email to get connected.

Today I did an interview with Brodie Beta (aka @iPhonegirl). You can read it at The Next Web (I have no idea who the picture in the article is of btw, haha).  She seems like a cool chick, check her stuff out at Brodie Beta!

Our business coaches told us that one of the ironic things that can kill a new company is too MUCH success. That could be something like your game catching on unexpectedly awesome and bam, you don’t have the server setup to handle all the traffic your site gets and you can’t fill the distribution demand.  Our business coach explained another example… say you build custom furniture, and it’s just you hand-crafting artistic furniture designs.  Awesome, but what happens if some huge restaurant chain says “Great, we’ll pay you a million dollars to make us 500 of those chairs!”  Do you have a plan for if that happens? In my case, since I’m doing basically all the work myself, I’m juggling a lot of different tasks on top of just doing the game art (like updating this Making-of for instance), and I’m holding up alright.  But putting out that Press Release got me some attention, and today I had a couple people asking for interviews and a lot more Twitter activity.  So now on top of the other work, I’ve got to monitor Twitter and fill out interview questions, etc. And that’s not a bad thing, I like doing that stuff (clearly I like to blab haha)… but in terms of hours in a day, it can get time consuming.

I think the best way to handle it will be to schedule an hour per day purely for social media/marketing stuff…VS letting it pile up and trying to handle it all at once, or handling it randomly throughout the day as it shows up.  A schedule should help keep me sane and allow me to get to that stuff, because it’s very important, especially as a start-up, to be dedicating a good chunk of time to marketing and getting the business name out there. No point doing a Press release if I can’t follow-up the attention I get from it!

Goal for next week is to finish as much of the art as possible.  It’s going to be top priority to choose a name for the game and get a font/theme going for it. I’m really bad with names and I hate the whole “Google till you find a name that isn’t already taken” chore.  Plus with stuff like the Edge Lawsuit and Doodlegate, I swear it’s tempting to just name my games “Bulletproof Outlaws’ Game 1″, “Bulletproof Outlaws’ Game 2″, etc. haha

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