It’s been a while since we’ve done an update on what we’re working on, and how we’re doing as a whole. So I figured since we’re nearing in on the end of the year, now would be a good time to talk about it!
Joining the Accelerator Centre
At the beginning of the year we joined the Acclerator Centre and it was intense. In the span of four months we basically received a crash course in how to run a business and conducted over 20 market research interviews trying to validate our product.
Then after all that, I pitched our company at the Accelerator Centre to graduate into the next phase of the program.
Not going to lie, it was absolutely nerve-racking. I hadn’t stood up to talk to a crowd of people that large in years, but I had a lot of help and I practiced the hell out of it. After that we successfully moved onto phase 2 of the program AND we won the Most Innovative award!
UW JumpStart & Hiring an Artist
After the first pitch and moving onto phase 2, the next two big things were applying for UW JumpStart and hiring an artist. By moving onto Phase 2 of the AC program, we knew we were already going to receive AC JumpStart, but because Matt, Andrew and I are all recent University of Waterloo grads, we had the opportunity to apply to UW Jumpstart.
AC Jumpstart is a matching grant, so to get the $30,000 we needed to show -we- had $30,000. But if we received UW Jumpstart, UW would do the matching for us, and give us the extra $30,000.
I submitted our application and on May 26 we found out I had to pitch to a panel of people from UW and the AC on June 1st, less than a week later. Not only that, the pitch had to be more than double the length of the previous one. So I basically became a hermit for a week and practiced even more than I did last time.
During this time we were also sorting through applications for our Lead Artist position. We had received over a 100 applications and on June 2nd we were interviewing our first candidate… Lynden! We saw a lot of great art from the applications, but we were all really blown away by Lynden’s art (we still are!). He had a clear cohesive style that could not be duplicated.
So I did my pitch on the 1st, and we had our formal interview with Lynden on the 2nd. After our interview we took Lynden out to lunch, and during this lunch I actually missed a call from UW with the results of our application.
When we got back to the office, we talked about Lynden and decided to move onto the final process of the application. Although honestly at that point we were pretty much set on hiring him regardless.
After that, I called UW back and… we got it! In the span of one week we’ve received another $30,000 and found an artist! That was a good week.
Announcing System Siege & All The Work We’ve Done Since
A week later, on June 8th, we announced our game, System Siege, and ran a two hour live stream showing off what we had so far. It felt awesome to finally show people what we had been working on the past year!
(Above is the original promo image before Lynden joined us!)
Since then we’ve completely overhauled the game with Lynden’s art, hired a sound technician/started to add sound to the game, and are now working on releasing our game on Steam Early Access!
Not only that, a few weeks ago we showcased our game at AC Jumpstart SPARK. Along with over 20 other companies, we set up a booth to show the public what we had been working on. The top three companies got to pitch their company, and the winner received a $2000 cash prize.
Not only were we in the top 3 companies… we won!
This past year has been absolutely crazy for us at 56, and I anticipate next year being even more crazy! I am immensely grateful to everyone who has supported us since we started, and continues to do so today. Here’s to a new year of 56 :)