Fall of 2010, 15 fresh graduates, from the small town of Hamar joined forces to create a game development studio. 10 men and 5 women, with very little knowledge of entrepreneurship or any of the aspects on how to run a business, boldly ventured out with their laptops under their arms and little else.
The main vision was not one I would have advised any of the new fledgling studios of the Hamar Game Collective today. More specifically, if I had met myself back then I would have slapped the back of my head and told me to come back when I had something less crazy.
Our vision was simply to be able to build a company that all our classmates could join. We wanted to be inclusive, to take fate into our own hands and not leave anyone out in the cold.
We saw that some groups of graduates before us had started companies that were just too small to be able to get anywhere. They started out doing contracting work for other industries to earn enough money so that they could begin creating their own games. To us this seemed like a far too slow-paced and risky strategy. What if, we instead were enough people to do both at once? Then we could get further faster and we could hold on to our vision of making our own path, all of us together.
So that is how we started, one part of the studio working on our own IPs and one working with various client projects.
It has been an interesting (and turbulent) journey: We had no idea what we were doing, and our advisers knew nothing of how a game studio should be run.
Almost 10 years later we are still going, against all odds. Partially because of a great local community, people who wanted to help, other game developers, the Norwegian support system and because of the amazing work-environment that has been created in Sarepta through the years. An environment built on trust, self-sacrifices and passion.
After all that we’ve been through, after many years of falling down and getting back up we have many achievements that we are proud of (winning a BAFTA being one of them) and that continue to drive us.
So, what have we learned?
A lot. And it is this that we wish to share with you.
The goal of this blog will be to share our experiences, who we are, and what our vision is for our corner of the game industry. To share with you what we are making and give you insight into how we build our games.
We all start from different places. There is no one truth when it comes to how to make games, which elements are most important, how to build a company, what toppings to have on your waffles (butter of course). This is just one side of the story that hopefully can entertain and inspire you.
– Sarepta studio