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Going Rogue: Starting a Game Studio

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Hello everyone, and welcome to our first blog post! I want to share a little about what it’s been like starting up Golden Moose Studios.

Informing the Masses

People have different reactions when I tell them I co-founded a video game studio. going-rogueSome stare back at me and don’t seem to know how to respond. Others tell me how violent video games are and how they’re bad for society…and then there are others who think it’s really cool we’re doing this!

Over the years, I have heard stories from many different entrepreneurs and indie game devs who told people about their companies early on. Many people would “get it,” but often, it was their families who didn’t understand what they were doing or why. It can be tough for developers who decide to “go rogue” without their family’s support and encouragement. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case for me.

Telling the Family

Pier 39I recently returned to California (after nearly two years in Sweden) and spent time vacationing with my family. At some point, I planned to mention the idea of starting a video game studio, but my mom ended up beating me to it!

We were walking from Pier 39 to the Rainforest Café, and she turned to me and asked, “What are your plans for the future?”

I was so thrown by her question, I wasn’t sure what she meant. “Plans for…what?”

When I realized she was asking about work, I responded, “Well, Manne and I are thinking of starting our own video game studio…”

I really wasn’t expecting what she said next –


She laughed and said, “I wondered!”

Before telling my family about my plans for starting a game studio, my mom simply assumed! That threw me off guard more than anything, and when I asked her how she had known, her explanation was, “Well, you’ve always been talking about entrepreneurship! And with your business degree and game design education…”

So much for my big news! : )

The Nitty Gritty

Rainforest CafeIt wasn’t long before we were at the Rainforest Café, waiting for a table. Amidst the constant yelling, “Mike, table for 4!” (and frequent “tropical” thunderstorms), my family asked all about our plans for the company, genuinely curious about the game and our studio.

(They were even interested in details such as the differences between game engines and why we would choose one over another. That can be somewhat challenging to explain to people who aren’t overly familiar with video games, but they were all ears!)

Looking back on that experience, my family’s support shouldn’t have been all that surprising. Although they don’t currently play many video games, nearly every day of their trip to Stockholm last year both of my parents came up with an incredible number of ideas for video game concepts…and I wasn’t even thinking about starting my own game studio at that point!

Thanks for Reading!

Well, thanks for reading our first blog post! We enjoy reading stories how other indie developers started up, so we’ll be sharing more of our own stories over the coming months.

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About the author

Currently working on simulation game “In the Heart of Borneo.”

Designer & Programmer
Golden Moose Collective

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