Weeks 10-13: Progress and pitch

Week 10

Week ten we began the development of our WordPress website with our developer Kestutis, and he had the first version of the website up by the end of the week. Progress, finally!

Week 11

Week eleven was a really good week. We were making progress with the website, and we went to GCAP (Game Convention Asia Pacific) in Melbourne. It was Elena’s first time in Melbourne, and she immediately fell in love with the city.

We got re-energised by all the fantastic developers and talent there. I love developer meet ups. There’s a collective aim to make kick ass games, and we’ve all been there, done that. To maximize our time, we used a divide & conquer approach, splitting apart & attending the different talks, so that we could get the most information possible.

We met some fantastic people, and have to say thank you to Tony Reed, head of the GDAA (Game Developers’ Association of Australia) for his support. As soon as we got back from GCAP we had to focus on the preparation for the pitch day in the Adelaide Town Hall.

Week 12

Week twelve was totally insane. We were working on our six-minute pitch, working on our slide deck for the PowerPoint, and rehearsing like bastards (we must have done the pitch 100 times!).

One of the days was particularly mad: we signed our Shareholder Agreement; finished off the pitch, finished off our one page company summary, designed and ordered a free standing banner for the pitch day, signed up three advisors to the company, and got the signature of the departing web developer to return our shares.

On the Friday before pitch day we had a practice pitch that went really badly. We went for a walk pretty downhearted. We came to the conclusion that while the pitch was well written, it was a written style, not a spoken style, so we simplified many of the sentences, and that fixed the problem.

Week 13

Week thirteen was pitch day. What a day! I decided that to make a good impression, or at least a strong impression, I’d wear my kilt. When I brought it to Australia everyone wondered why, including me. When it came to demo day, I was delighted I’d done it.

Before the pitch itself all the CEOs went to a room behind the stage, and it was like a room of animals that have been caged in a zoo for too long. They were all pacing up and down, muttering the lines of their pitches to themselves. Occasionally we’d all sit down and chat and laugh, and then return to the crazy pacing behavior.

Meanwhile, Elena was sitting nervously in the balcony section of the Town Hall, with the people from the other teams. In some ways, I think it’s worse being the one watching, as your heart is in your mouth for most of the time, and you don’t have any control over the outcome, all you can do is watch and pray!

The pitch itself was good, I did well enough, I just regretted one cock up where I blanked my next bit. It was before a slightly complex part that someone else had worded and we hadn’t found a way to simplify it, and I suspect that’s what threw me. With the benefit of hindsight I’d restructure the pitch to have a formal learned element, and then a free form element. I am a lot more engaging and passionate when talking from my heart and it’s something that didn’t come across with our formal pitch.

I showed the pitch to a friend of mine from a previous company, and he said it was good, but that my left hand was very active, while my right hand was very passive. I pointed out that I was holding the clicker that controls the slides in my right hand, and that I had feared that if I gesticulated with my right hand, I would lose my grip on the clicker and send it flying into the audience! Still, I have to agree, it looked a little odd!