The Beginnings of a Company

Now actually a real thing!

It’s been a while since last we posted, and a lot has happened at Send More People. Send More People is an officially registered company in DC, and we’re hard at work in producing our first commercial product, an iOS game. I want to talk a bit about how this came to happen, and what our prospects are for the future.

As mentioned earlier, Last December Eric and I participated in Ludum Dare 22. The result was  “Shaped” – our first completed game and love child. To our pleasure the game received a lot of high praise from the Ludum Dare community, coming in 11th out of almost 200 Jam entries. In the “mood” and “audio” categories, we placed 5th.

Glowy shapes make atmosphere!

All this was tremendously encouraging for us. We knew that we wanted to produce games that struck a different tone and atmosphere, and it seems like there was a community of players who would appreciate it. Finishing Shaped was also a big milestone for us as a team; for the first time, we had completed a project from start to finish and delivered it in a cohesive package. The success encouraged us. We wanted more.

And more we got. This week, Eric and I pulled the trigger and registered Send More People as an official company. It took quite a bit of time exploring, the DC business administration website, and a meeting with a SCORE counselor. We dived into the intricacies of small business ownership, researching taxes and the appropriate licensing structure. A lot of nitty-gritty details had to be considered. I wont bore you all with the process; suffice it to say that we chose to become a General Partnership – with equal responsibilities, rights, and powers over the company.

Starting a company has been a challenging experience. Neither Eric nor I are business majors, and this strange world of “liability”, “taxes”, and “contracts” is more than a little intimidating. Eric and I have spent quite a few hours hashing out our partnership contract – the document that defines who we are, what our responsibilities and rights are, how decisions get made, how profits are divided. We find ourselves thinking of both best-case and worst-case scenarios: what happens if we make a million dollars? What happens if one of us leaves the company?

There’s a lot left to do. We want to start a joint bank account and register our intellectual property. Go through all the measures to ensure that we haven’t inadvertently ripped someone off or exposed ourselves to being sued. The experience is a little like pushing down a wallpaper bubble: once one issue is taken care of another one pops into place, but I’m hopeful that we’re nearing end of the first set of trials.

Speaking personally, the experience has been both scary and exhilarating. Scary, because for the first time Eric and I are shelling out serious money in order to pursue our business pursuits – about an $800 investment between us to get licensed and our first product on the market. Exhilarating, because it marks a period of growth for me. At the age of 25 I’m a business owner. Success or flop, that’s pretty darn cool.

Of course, the whole reason for becoming a company in the first place is so we could create games. And a game, we are making. I’m pleased to say that our first salvo upon the gaming world will be a new, improved edition of our game Shaped. Our first destination: the iOS market. In a future post, I’ll discuss the process of adapting our title over to touch-screen device: the decision behind the move and the gameplay decisions we’ve had to make.

Things are looking rosy for Send More People. We’re doing something new and challenging. I feel awesome about it.