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NEIS, Funding applications and a Mole update!

Journal Category



It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog on what I’ve been up to. Mostly because I’ve been quite busy with all sorts of work. Thankfully the outcome of which is that I now have quite a deal of things to write about.

First to talk about are my efforts to materialize an indie game studio and to shape it into being an entity that is considered professional and not in fact an unemployed designers idea to create a job for himself.

For the last 6 weeks I’ve been attending a small business program called NEIS. NEIS is an abbreviation for New Enterprise Initiative Scheme. It’s an initiative created by the Australian federal government to help people form all walks of life to start their own small business. Whether it’s fashion, a bakery or game development. At the core of this course is you, the business hopeful sitting down and writing a detailed business plan.

This has been a fantastic experience for myself. While upon reflection it was ludicrous to go into the indie game development space without a viable business plan, I nonetheless started work on Mole last year without considering the games platform feasibility and target market. With these considerations now in mind for my new projects I know that the games I produce from here on in will be scrutinized for their financial feasibility on top of their creative merits.

The other benefit of completing NEIS is that starting from June onwards I’ll be receiving payment assistance from the government for a period of 12 months. It’s intended that I use this money to live on a baseline while I develop the games and products required to make the business self-sufficient.

Overall I’m glad that I took on the NEIS training and look forward to spending the next 12 months utilizing it’s provided resources to the fullest.

I can also say that April has really turned out to be the month of paperwork. Additionally to NEIS I submitted a funding proposal to Film Victoria for a slice of the Downloadable Games Intuitive funding pie.

From talking to those who follow the funding closely I know that Film Victoria has received dozens of applications over this round of funding. I know that competition will be high but I do nonetheless feel a sense of accomplishment over my application as I spent the time to not only explain the proposed game project itself. But to also explain how and why it can be financially viable. While my business plan doesn’t include the funding money to make my business viable, getting that funding will most definitely help my start-up to get working on a solid social-game project.

It’s interesting that both the NEIS and Film Victoria funding application came about the same time. I’ve used both to feed into each other. I hope my many hours of hard work with all this documentation pays off. I’ll find out the result of that application in July.

The last piece of news that I wanted to cover is that Mole – Quest for the Terracore gem will be going through a big art and content update very soon.

Working with Ben Britten, we want to basically reboot the release of Mole. Giving our customers and current users a free upgrade to further improve and impress reward customers.

There are a new slew of features coming to the 1.2 update of Mole. I’ll be writing up an official press release and announcement within the next couple of days. But to summarize what our customers will be receiving within he next few months:

  • Rare collectables to be found.
  • More medals to be earned.
  • Power-ups!
  • A brand new level.
  • A completely redesigned menu and in-game GUI art style.
  • Mole – Quest for the Terracore gem will be getting a name and icon change.

Stay turned for more information.

And that’s basically what’s been happening in the March and April period for me. With NEIS all but wrapped up and the funding application sent out I’ll be spending the next few months rolling out the update for Mole and some other upcoming stuff.

Until next time,

Chris Watts

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 20/05/10 - 4:06 PM Permalink

Hi Watts. I'm very interested in your work. And also I don't care about money I just want to be a member of a creative team such like yours. Is it possible to join you? Or maybe you need my resume or something? My E-Mail address: If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me. I'm in Melbourne.
Michael Zhang

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 21/05/10 - 1:30 PM Permalink

What I found with the VicFilm application because they wanted me to succeed, they came back with a whole heap of feedback.

Plus I had a lot of connections so I learnt alot through learning other people's jobs.

Submitted by Wednesday on Fri, 21/05/10 - 1:41 PM Permalink

Thanks for sharing and the insights, Chris - Best of luck!