To the Honourable Andrew Stoner;
We are writing to you to encourage you to renew the Interactive Media Fund (IMF) for NSW.
We received funding from the IMF in early 2012 and for the past 12 months, have been developing a massive multi-player mobile game called Crime Plays. Having experienced the benefits of the fund first hand, we would like to provide some reasoning for why we believe the IMF is a crucial resource for digital practitioners in NSW.
Firstly, to give you a bit of background about who we are, Dog Money World is a transmedia collective which explores the explosive ways new media can engage and excite users across multiple platforms, with a particular focus on game development.
We three directors, Anna Bay, James Boyce and Claire Evans, formed Dog Money World in 2010 after meeting as students of Metroscreen’s year long Multi-Platform Producer Scholarship. It was during this course that we conceived Crime Plays and decided to work together to see it realised.
We pitched the concept at MIPCOM content market in Cannes and began speaking with such studios as Lionsgate, Fox, MGM and Sony. While the concept was very positively received, it became incredibly clear that with such an experimental idea we would need to first build the game before securing a licensing deal.
For the next six months we continued to work on the documentation and scope for the game and then applied to what was then called the Digital Media Initiative. More than six months after applying, delayed due to a restructure of the fund, we were notified of our application’s success.
While our funding agreement was to deliver a prototype, we were able to maximise our budget and produce a market-ready game. Throughout production we employed a total of 11 Sydney-based digital and creative practitioners, including a recent graduate and two University students giving them invaluable workplace experience.
We are looking forward to our game launch in the next couple of months and hope that it will come to be a wonderful success story for the IMF and NSW Government, without whom the game would not have been realised.
Our main reasons for believing the fund should continue are as follows:
Retention of intellectual property:
In our industry, IP ownership equals sustainability and the IMF provides an opportunity for ideas to be realised into commodities. As a group of independent producers, this fund has been vital for us in developing and, more importantly, retaining our own IP on Crime Plays.
The retention of our intellectual property and the ability to produce the game independently allowed us to maintain creative vision throughout the whole project. We weren’t required to ‘sell’ the idea to a brand in order to get the project made, instead we’ve been able to build it true to its original design.
Relationship to national funding:
While we realise that Screen Australia has just launched its Interactive Games Fund, we believe that state based funding for interactive games is still incredibly important. Screen Australia’s Games Production Fund requires a level of project maturity that may only be possible through early stage funding from state government; it would be a shame for NSW to be underrepresented on the national stage due to the lack of state-based funding.
As previously mentioned, our IMF funding saw the creation of 11 NSW-based jobs within the industry including juniors who previously had no industry experience.
Our own professional development is also clear: individually we are now working with blue chip brands including Toyota, Lexus, The Commonwealth Bank and Google to produce interactive experiences. This is largely due to the opportunities working on Crime Plays has afforded us.
Since receiving funding and developing Crime Plays, we have been invited to speak at VIVID Sydney, Mumbrella 360, AFTRS and Metroscreen. We have also been shortlisted for a New York based startup incubator, in the final 40 from over 1700 applicants around the world.
In summary, it would be a shame to stop such an important fund which has been responsible for some amazing development within the NSW interactive industry. The ideas, talent and quality of work are only getting stronger; it seems a real shame to risk losing this growth because moving interstate or overseas is the only viable option for independent Producers and Developers to realise their projects.
We would be delighted to meet with you and further discuss our positive experiences with IMF, as well as demo Crime Plays. It would be a great opportunity for you to see first hand the output of the IMF and share our enthusiasm for what has been a wonderful process for us.
Thank you for your time.
Dog Money World
(Anna Bay, James Boyce & Claire Yvonne Evans)
It’s been a busy couple of months at DMW HQ. After spending the bulk of production working on the technical build of the game, we’ve finally gotten to the fun part! The past few weeks our illustrators Gee Hale and Jenny Tan have been hard at work creating some awesome comic assets for the game.
Here are a few to whet your whistle…
Wow! We’ve been overwhelmed by the number of registrations we’ve had on Crime Plays for play testing. Thanks for your enthusiasm, we can’t wait to release it to you.
We’re planning to launch our beta in the next two months so we’re busy working with designers and illustrators on the graphic treatment, and starting to cast actors for the video cutscenes. We’re also doing internal play testing, and if that sounds like fun, that’s because it is! We’ll keep you updated with our progress, but in the meantime feel free to sign up for early testing here.
Dog Money World are looking forward to a successful MIPTV conference. Anna Bay will be representing DMW, and will be showing three of our properties. Crime Plays, Places and Control. To find out more about the properties, have a look below.
Welcome to Crime Plays, a mobile game that puts a virtual crime layer on the real world. Crime Plays offers an immersive form of storytelling for audiences hungry for involved entertainment. A true transmedia experience, it involves TV, online, social and at its heart, a smart-phone application.
Places Presents the Hotel Chelsea
Places presents: The Hotel Chelsea is an immersive historical-narrative experience exploring the lives of creative personalities and celebrity through a rich interactive world of fact and fiction. Through the elevator doors of The Hotel Chelsea, experience what can happen when tomorrow and yesterday intersect today.
Control Presents the Come Down
Control is a web based drama format where multiple users control and navigate a protagonist, building a narrative that streams to the web in real time.
Jake Doe is a character that acts completely on impulse. The twist? The impulses aren’t his. The impulses are controlled by the audience, whom when handed the reigns become fully immersed in the storytelling process.
Dog Money World are excited to announce that Crime Plays is officially commencing production. After much hard work, DMW secured funding from the Department of Trade and Investment’s Interactive Media Fund in late December, 2011, and are moving into full scale production.
A “cross between The Amazing Race and Grand Theft Auto”, Crime Plays offers an immersive form of storytelling for audiences hungry for involved entertainment.
A true multi-platform offering, Crime Plays involves television integration, online, social media and at its heart, a smart-phone application. Players adopt a fictional role and take their place in a virtual-crime world working their way through the ranks from petty-crim to mob boss. Users complete virtual missions, play mini-games and compete against their peers to become the ‘top dog’ in the fictional, criminal world. All of this is done in real-world locations, seamlessly blurring the lines between real-life and gameplay.
Dog Money World want to bring a free-roaming console game experience to the real world using mobile and social platforms.
Joining in production will be Alex Carlyle, Lead Game Designer for LA Noire, and Daniel MacMahon, writer on LA Noire. DMW are extremely happy to have these terrific talents on board, and are looking forward to developing the game in the months ahead.