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Old 03-04-2013, 02:05 AM
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Dragon Game Studio Dragon Game Studio is offline
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Default From Bali with Love The BaliFied game development story part 2

For you who followed the blog ‘From Bali with Love – The BaliFied game development story part 1

Here comes the second part! This time we decided to change things around, my wife Joan has written this part.


From Bali with Love – The BaliFied game development story part 2
Written by Joan Johnsson, Dragon Game Studio (Founder & CEO)

The Situation:
My husband keeps on surprising me. After reading his blog about the BaliFied game development, it reminded me of what a big achievement he already gained this far: starting up a new company and this time, with his wife instead of business partners. I can assure you that it’s a whole different experience to work together with your better half! As two founders of Dragon Game Studio, we are together 24/7 business wise and outside... I honestly think that not a lot of couples choose this lifestyle, knowing how much (extra) headache it can add. But somehow it works for us. As long as we keep the patience and a positive attitude by always listen to each other’s opinion, we’re fine ☺

On the work floor I let my husband run the show and I’m there to stand by with my opinion and advice. I’m sharing my thoughts with the team on the projects and I keep myself busy with social media, other aspects of online marketing and game research. Yes, playing Clash of the Clans is game research haha… This position is completely new to me. I have a Bachelor in Marketing Communication and had several positions in that field. I also had many different jobs in all kinds of other industries. But being CEO at the present time wasn’t really a choice, but rather something for me to do. Besides standing by my husband during this new adventure of ours, it’s not only fun, it also gives me the freedom I need to prepare for the lifestyle of my role as Mum-to-be, which will be in a couple of months…


The Team:
I’ll tell you a bit about how we managed to gather our talented team. We are now with 8 people (including ourselves): Five full time staff and one intern. All are highly educated young Indonesians. The first one that joined us, turned out to be the person we bought one of our dogs from. He had similar interests, a matching education and… he was looking for a job. Surprising how paths can cross!

After some SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by Jonas, other serious, qualified and experienced candidates found their way to Dragon Game Studio’s website. The applicants were willing to move from all over of Indonesia to start their new adventure with us in Bali. I guess we have that in common with our team: we attract people with a great spirit, who dare to be adventurous, go with their gut feeling of what feels right and simply do what makes life FUN. Working on something that’s fun is hardly called work, right?

We took the second potential candidate very seriously since he had worked at Gameloft, a big international game company. We flew together with my brother who was visiting us back then, and with our first employee to Surabaya for an interview. As we hoped for, everything went very well and we came to a mutual agreement. He is now our Art Director. I feel extremely lucky that things turned out the way they did for us, so far... The Dream Team was completed not long after we found our Art Director and here we are now: a full team including two Programmers, both already living in Bali, our Art Director and Studio Manager/Game Designer, who are both from Surabaya and a Graphic Designer from Tasikmalaya.

I believe it’s very important to build a good relationship with your team. To gain and build mutual respect and make it possible to work every day on a game that everybody is happy with. Our motto is “Life is Wonderful, let our games be part of it” and that being said, we try to create a good environment for the team at the office with a gaming room, latest consoles and game releases. From time to time we also organize karaoke nights, snorkel trips, have some Bintangs, grab a movie together, etcetera. We treat them like family and they do the same with us.


The Development:
I can’t write too much about game development itself, since I’m really a noob here so forgive me if the description’s a bit poor… here’s what I can tell you about BaliFied: it’s being developed with Corona SDK. Corona is an awesome software development kit that can easily implement all the features and gameplay that we wanted for BaliFied. The programming language that Corona uses is LUA, and was very easy for our programmers to understand and learn. We were off to a flying start just a week after our senior programmer joined us! The only reason it has taken us 3 months to get where we are today is because both my husband and I are perfectionists, and insisted on changing the GUI many times. With that said, we are now more than happy with the current GUI & it’s soon time to pick up the BaliFied development again. We took a few weeks break from it to do something else for a while. That resulted in our other upcoming game Don’t Steal My Banana which now is finished and will be released in the middle of March 2013.

I learned that, with my zero background in game development, all you need to do is to gather the right people, with the right skills and let them work their magic! Sometimes when we are discussing things and the guys throw in some terms I never heard about before, I just nod my head and a minute later I am Googling to find out exactly what they were talking about :P

As Jonas told you in the previous blog post, BaliFied is based on the old board game ‘Bali’ from MB. We gave it a huge twist by improving the game rules, made it visually attractive by adding backgrounds that highlight Bali’s characteristics, added special actions that will make the gameplay even more exciting & turned it into a social game which gives the user the possibility to play against anyone in the world.

If one day you will come and visit Bali, you are welcome to step by our studio and meet the Dragon Dream Team that I’m so proud of.

With our two upcoming games BaliFied and Don’t Steal My Banana we hope to entertain the casual gamers of all ages coming from Bali, further and beyond....


Thanks for your time to read this, and on behalf of our entire team, many thanks for your support and love! Read more about our projects on Facebook and Twitter and feel free to like and/or follow us.

www.facebook.com/BaliFied
http://www.twitter.com/BaliFiedTheGame

Wishing you a wonderful time where ever you are!

Joan Johnsson

Last edited by Dragon Game Studio; 03-04-2013 at 03:35 AM..
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:42 PM
Arty Tales Arty Tales is offline
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Awesome story! When will your first game be released?

Did you have any experience managing a team before going into this?
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Old 03-04-2013, 03:56 PM
Freespirit Freespirit is offline
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These stories are always my favourite reads. Art work looks great. Hope it all goes well for you.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:31 AM
CharredDirt CharredDirt is offline
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Man this is so great to hear. I just started my games company at the end of last year. I moved to Thailand in January and have been busy ever since. Just hired my first Thai artist two days ago and he's working out great so far. It's a scary path but sounds like you guys are further down it than I am. Still making money and having a great time so I can't complain. Wow, if I ever get over to Indonesia, I'll stop by.

Just curious, what prompted you to move to Indonesia? For me, my wife is Thai so we had planned this for a while.
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:22 PM
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Dragon Game Studio Dragon Game Studio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arty Tales View Post
Awesome story! When will your first game be released?

Did you have any experience managing a team before going into this?
Thanks Arty Tales! Our first game Don't Steal My Banana will be released in the middle of March. Stay tuned! Hope you'll give it a try, and if you do, we would love to hear your comments/feedback

And regarding your other question: yes, I did, in 2007 I had a break from the office and chose to work in the hospitality industry. I was in charge of a small establishment in the heart of Amsterdam and during that position I was supervising a few people.

Thanks again for commenting, have a great day!

Joan
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:31 PM
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Dragon Game Studio Dragon Game Studio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freespirit View Post
These stories are always my favourite reads. Art work looks great. Hope it all goes well for you.
Thanks for the feedback Freespirit! Will pass on the compliment to our Art Director. And likewise, wish you well in everything you do
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Old 03-05-2013, 09:57 PM
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Dragon Game Studio Dragon Game Studio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharredDirt View Post
Man this is so great to hear. I just started my games company at the end of last year. I moved to Thailand in January and have been busy ever since. Just hired my first Thai artist two days ago and he's working out great so far. It's a scary path but sounds like you guys are further down it than I am. Still making money and having a great time so I can't complain. Wow, if I ever get over to Indonesia, I'll stop by.

Just curious, what prompted you to move to Indonesia? For me, my wife is Thai so we had planned this for a while.
Hi there CharredDirt,

thanks a lot for your comment! Yes it sure sounds as if we're in a similar situation. I agree it's been quite a change for me and my husband but just like you, we are still having fun

The answer to the second part is actually mentioned in our previous blog, part 1, written by my husband. You can find it here on the forum as well. But a short answer: I'm Dutch but I have Indonesian roots so that kinda explains our many trips back and forth to Bali which eventually made us want to settle down here. If we ever visit Thailand again, we'll do the same and step by your studio Good luck with everything!

Joan
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:42 AM
CharredDirt CharredDirt is offline
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That would be awesome. Right now, I'm working out of my bedroom but plan to have an actual studio within the year. If I get my apps out quickly, it'll happen for sure. I'll keep up with your blog. Love to hear the progress. Since your apps aren't out yet, am I correct in assuming that you've self funded your operation for the last year?
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:33 AM
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Dragon Game Studio Dragon Game Studio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharredDirt View Post
That would be awesome. Right now, I'm working out of my bedroom but plan to have an actual studio within the year. If I get my apps out quickly, it'll happen for sure. I'll keep up with your blog. Love to hear the progress. Since your apps aren't out yet, am I correct in assuming that you've self funded your operation for the last year?
Great! Hope your apps will bring in the funds you need to open up a studio too... And yes, you're right, we self funded the company and just like you, hope to see some ROI soon
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