Irish Video Game Developer Interview : Andrea Ravenet Of 2 Paper Dolls.

Irish Developer Feature Week

Interview with Andrea Ravenet

Featured Studio : 2 Paper Dolls

2 Paper Dolls unlike our other interviewee’s are welcome visitor to our shores deciding to move to Dublin over many other options such as Amsterdam, London or Paris. With a wealth of experience in the technology sector and with starting new businesses we were delighted to get a chance to pick their brains about why they chose Ireland and what they hope gain from the Irish experience.

First question, tell us a little bit about your studio, when you started out, who is involved and what was your initial mantra?

2PaperDolls Gaming Software is a game studio formed in May 2011 through the reunion of designers, artists, writers and developers who’ve worked together on many projects.  We also happen to be serial entrepreneurs, having designed, developed and sold technologies to tech vendors, like Microsoft, Avenade and Ascentium.  The four founding partners worked together at iCommunicate, a company which become the foundation of Microsoft’s CRM (Customer Relationship Management) application. 

The founding partners are Louis Ravenet, Steve McLelland, Jim Lears and Andrea Ravenet.   

Our mantra?   Make life online personal, in a visual and fun way. 

What games have you already released so far and how have they been received? 

No public releases yet, only prototypes of crowd-sourced entertainment and games.   

Have you any projects in the pipeline that you can share with us?

Mind of Man, our upcoming release:

Mind of Man explores what makes someone an individual, capturing their digital “mindprint” and turning it into a virtual image that’s completely unique, as well.  These virtual avatars drive the online personas for users in our games.  Imagine games where the characters are driven by our real world personalities, reflecting our current moods and feelings as they change over time.

Mind of Man utilizes crowd sourcing, sentiment analysis and entertainment to create highly personalized games

How difficult did you find it starting out? 

Not so much for us, since we’d worked together before in several different companies we’d grown.  The biggest decisions included: choosing where to start our next venture, and deciding what game would launch first.  Narrowing the scope of possibilities is always the challenge.

Who/what was the biggest help? 

Having created other start-ups, there are few surprises.  We’ve been on this roller coaster before and enjoy the creative thrills that are part of the ride.

The ability to move quickly, find studio space and get to work.  Having grown start-ups before, there are few surprises.  Louis Ravenet (CEO), has a great piece on Startups, here, from the perspective of a serial entrepreneur.

Also, Enterprise Ireland was very helpful in offering compelling reasons to locate our next venture in Dublin, as well as offering a network of resources to address expat issues, including visas.  We were working in and considering several other cities, including London, Paris and Amsterdam.

What was the biggest obstacles you faced?

Again, narrowing the scope of possibilities.  Here’s Louis’s blogpost on these kinds of obstacles, titled, “Startup Redux.” 

What was the best piece of advice you got from someone else when starting out that proved invaluable? 

Know your own mind.  Follow your intuition.

Taking in your own experiences what would be the best piece of advice you would give to someone trying to start their own studio?

Do what you love.  With people you respect.

Is there any support groups or associations that Irish developers should join to get the help form the community?  

Enterprise Ireland, while not a support group, has a serious network of resources for high potential start-ups.

Where do you see the Irish scene going in the future for home grown studio’s especially with so many big studio’s now setting up shop here? 

Home grown studios have the ability to run lean and efficiently here.  Great talent, great energy.

While funding sources seem plentiful for start-ups, I’d say that once a studio gets to A-level funding, it’s time to look globally, at least at the moment.  The Irish government does a great job of essentially v.c.-ing promising startup companies, but their next goal should be to attract experienced VC investors to keep the studios and their headquarters in Ireland.  These later stage investors are comfortable with the high risk / high return investments needed to grow companies with global reach

2PaperDolls have offered readers of Bone-idle an exciting exclusive chance to get early access to their game when it goes into beta testing later this year. All you need to do is to email them at info@2paperdolls.com and let them know you would like to be part of the Bone-idle related beta. 

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