Welcome to Dames Who Make Games, Gamerwife’s interview series with the lovely ladies who make our video games. Whether you’re a QA tester or a company VP, we want to hear what you have to say.
This month’s Dames Who Make Games interviewee Angela is the business and marketing director for Clever Plays, an indie studio here in Montreal that she founded with her husband. Their first game, Leap of Fate is a hardcore action game with permadeath, randomly-generated levels, and magic, all in a modern dystopian setting.
Gamerwife: Let’s start at the beginning, what was the first game you ever played?
GW: What made you decide on a career in games?
Angela: Mostly my desire to fund a company with my husband. Clever-Plays is the combination of my husband’s development skills and my business development experience.
GW: Where did you go to school and what did you study?
Angela: I have a BA in International studies which is a mix between economics, political science and business and I also have a Master’s degree in international business.
GW: What are the best/worst things about working in video games?
Angela: The best thing is getting to work with passionate people. The worst thing is that game development environments tends to be unhealthy (long hours in front of computers).
GW: Are there unique challenges you’ve faced as an independent developer? What were they and how did you overcome them?
Our two biggest challenges were financing and creating a team with the right experience. We’ve worked veryhard to obtain funding. We have been successful in getting an investor and CMF (Canadian Media Fund) funding. It took four months full-time to write our business plan and to prepare the CMF applications. The business plan was useful to prepare the CMF application and obtain private investment. We applied two times to CMF programs. The first time, we did not get it. The second time, we were successful.
With regards to building our team, senior professionals tend to prefer the stability of large companies. Or they prefer to build their own company. It tooks us between 4 to 6 months to build the right team.
GW: Have you ever had issues with harassment or discrimination as a women in video games?
Angela: Not really. The problem for me is more related with creating credibility. I am casual gamer involved in the development of hard core games.
GW: What games are you playing right now?
Angela: Candy Crush Saga and (obviously) Leap of Fate.