My name is Will Morris-Julien and I’m the creative director and co-founder of Goldborough Studio I have 30+ years of designing for digital media and have been a creative director for Wunderman, Virgin and Greenpeace International.
Goldborough Studio was formed in 2012 and is an independent game developer that creates games and character-led content using pencils, pixels, knowledge, and a little magic. In the eleven years since we formed, we have provided visual development, character design, and content for eleven games, four feature films, and two animations.
The Games Developer Conference is wonderful. Everyone is super friendly, and travelling with the Creative Wales trade mission is a fantastic experience. It bonds the Welsh games companies together and you meet so many people. I’m looking forward to seeing everything – the expo has so much to see! Last time, the indie games area was a highlight.
It’s important for games companies from Wales to attend the GDC as part of the Creative Wales trade mission. First, GDC is the place where deals begin – they are not necessarily signed and sealed at the conference, but it's the place to pitch. So, if you are serious about finding publishers, investment or looking for partners, it's the only place to be. Being part of the Creative Wales trade mission was so beneficial last time, especially as we were not in Cardiff. Kath and Dai were amazing, and we felt very well looked after.
From way out west in Pembrokeshire, the games industry in Wales looks to be thriving. There are a lot more game companies travelling with the Creative Wales trade mission, so that's a great sign.
For those attending their first GDC, it will be about you and how much time and effort you put into it. Arrange meetings, get your elevator pitches tight and practice pitching quickly. Give yourself time to get to the meetings – I had two or three stressful moments last time when I was late for the pitch because it was too far between pitches. This time I am giving myself 30mins between pitches. Once you have gone through your elevator pitch, you will want to show a video or demo if you have one. Make sure you have business cards and paperwork with demo codes to leave them. If you're successful, they may tell you that they will pass you on to the next stage.
It means a lot for companies to have the support of Creative Wales. Alongside the missions to GDC, they have helped us with grants and advice. We have had two grants so far, which have been very important to us – they secure jobs and help us develop new concepts and ideas to build our IPs. But, perhaps, most importantly, Creative Wales believes in us and our goal to be a world-class narrative-led game studio. That belief means so much to a small studio, based way out west in Pembrokeshire.
Next up for Goldborough, we’re focusing on YAMI – our narrative-led third-person 3D puzzle platformer. We have been in development for two years and are due to complete development in Q3. We expect to launch in mid-2024. As the developer team comes off YAMI they will move on to a top-secret new project. Pre-production for that has already begun!