IGDA meeting

I went to the IGDA meeting yesterday, and Lee tagged along. IGDA is the “International Game Developer Association”, and here we’re the Israeli Chapter.

They have a meeting every once in a while, few months usually. I’ve been to a few when they took place at Majorem’s office.
Then i missed out on a few because I didn’t know about them, and then I was in Taiwan.

Usually there are up to 10-20 people. this time there were over 40 ! maybe more, i didn’t count.

Those there who do take part in some game developing proccess, didn’t give me too much hope for the future, but the fact that the numbers of people were so high, is very promising, and shows some sort of awakening in awareness.
Many of them, at least 4 groups of 2 people, do Cellular games, which i thought of doing myself, but i didn’t end up doing after all. I Found this job instead. I get a much higher paycheck then i would if i would have worked for free and earned revenure from some cellular games i would have made. I’m not sure if i mad ethe right choice though.
A few other people were working on “casual” games. Those kind of games you download, or play online when you’re in your office or stuff like that. 3D Space invaders, or Bejeweled are some examples.

I also talked to a few people on the business aspects of game making. It’s nearly impossible to get funded for a game project, especially in Israel. Unlike Start-up companies, game companies can’t get their company sold to another company that easily, and it’s a very high risk investment. Getting funding from the game insudtry itself, or from the related movie industry is impossible in Israel, mainly since there isn’t any game or movie industry here. And if you want to do it in the states, you’ll need at a company composed of a few talented individuals with at least 3 successfull publish titles at their credit.
I have 1 unpublished title to put in my resume

It’s the chicken and the egg. You can’t get funding unless you make good games, and you can’t make good games unless you have funding, or work for someone who does.
Since There’s no one to work for in Israel it’s very hard, and working for some company in another country is also paradoxial, since you need game developing experience (especially on publish titles) in order to get a worthwhile job….

I talked to alot of people, and felt very “at home” with these game making geeks. I stayed up to 3am with Lee talking about games, and sci-fi, and hacking, and money, and all sorta stuff.

A few individuals there made my feeling of worthlessness even worse. A few of them were already VP of R&D in several companies. one of the guys, who’s a consultant to a VC (Venture Capital), and is only a year older then me, says he became one, because he already had owned 5 successful companies.
5 companies. at the age of 28. How do you get there ?

I know that for him, money is not a problem.
Another guy there, who was a VP in some company, don’t actually have a job, and he don’t need one, He lives in San Fransisco and comes here to visit family once in a while. He’s a nice guy, and he said that they’re success is mainly because of luck and timing.
I never had neither. Not luck, and not timing.
The only reason i’m dating Lee, is because SHE’s lucky, and it’s HER luck who brought us together.

The same timing/luck issue is the same with my friend Amnon, who was working for Checkpoint at the right time. I couldn’t, because i was locked up in the army, against my will. He was serving in Sde Dov next to his home, and i was Stuck 30 minutes drive away, but without permission to leave the base.
He worked in Checkpoint, and he was lucky he could. For the past two years he’s been travelling around the world, without a worry on his mind.
He could efford it.
Now he’s gonna go study in Beer-Sheva. He doesn’t need to find a job, just becasue he can manage without one.
I had to work full time job all through my studies just to pay the rent.

Some people get a brake. Some don’t. I never do. If only i’d had a low physical army profile, or some army clerk would have assigned me to Sde-Dov instead of Palmahim i reckon i’d be better off.
Much better.

Life don’t give me choices. Life don’t give me options.
Even when it does, and i take it, i don’t get lucky enough to succeed in it.
I’m not sure that it’s my nature, or my personality.

Life did pose a choice for me once, which i’m not sure if i took the one that would have made me more successful. I could have gone working for CheckPoint once i’ve been released from the army, and rather then that, i went on a trip to the US, and started my studies in TAU, while working in nSof, and as a programmer. The alternative, was to work as a system’s administrator, not go to the US, and delay my studies by a few year.
Am i better off because i decided to have fun, get a more fullfilling job, and have a degree, rather then have a shit-load of money ?

I don’t know. I’m happy with my choices. I think. Some times i’m confused about it.
If i would have re-lived that time i would probably do the same thing. but looking at Amnon’s situation, i’m not sure if i would. He got a 1.5 year trip aroung the world, instead of my measly 4 months in the US, he’s gonna study peacefully and without worries, and he’s got money.
what do i have ?
An avarage day job, and my bitterness.

I do have Lee and that’s a lot.
And i have my hobbies, my crafts, and my games. Which nobody cares about.

I do know i think about this issues every now and then.
Like now.

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