Growing up I had a love for reading and writing, but somehow writing a blog about my experience as a start up entrepreneur seems odd to me. I don’t like writing about myself, those back to school essays we used to write as kids explaining what we did over the summer usually consisted of me talking about my friends and camps I went to but never in depth about how I was feeling over the summer or deep impactful moments I experienced. I never kept a journal but I was always drawing, reading, writing fantasy pieces, playing in the garden, and making memories with my family.
I've decided to start this blog to bring you all along on my journey as a startup. I'm Diana, the director and founder of Define Logic Interactive. I live in South Wales in the valleys but I'm from a small town in Nevada, more on that in a bit. I am a Game Artist and love making environments in story rich game scenes. I also love helping other artists to learn the different programs we use in the game industry. Ok, enough about me and on to how it all began!
I graduated from a small town in Nevada in 2016. And when I say small, I mean small. If you’re picturing Las Vegas, drive about 6 hours North of that to the top of the state and you might go through Elko. But if you blink you might miss all 2 off ramps we have that you use to get into the town.
I knew I wanted to pursue the arts, but living in a small town limits the experiences you get. Luckily my family is very creative and loves to try new things. My dad does wood working, my mom sews and paints, my sister is the writer and everything creative runs through her veins, my brother is a wiz with electronics and loves to design games, and I love to try everything traditional. Needless to say, the experiences I was given as a kid were limitless.
My siblings attended university in Wales and having visited many times for visits, I knew I wanted to as well. After long decisions and endless discussions, I decided to enroll in the Game Art course. I knew nothing of the digital arts world and it was an eye opening experience. There were many sleepless nights finishing projects and many breakdowns. There was even 1 call to my mom asking if I could come home because it was not what I expected at all. But I’m glad she told me to stick it out for a year and see how things go.
Being an 18 year old in a foreign country, learning an entirely new subject matter with no past experience at all was the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. Luckily my tutors were wonderful, even if I didn’t understand a word they said my first year. (Seriously, how would I know what a chamfer is if I’ve never used a 3D modeling program?) ((See below for a beautiful Ice Cream Van made in first year, please don't judge too harshly...))
After graduating in 2019, I decided to enroll in the Masters course because I had no idea what I wanted to do and my portfolio was not filled out enough to get a job. The Masters course brought many wonderful people into my life and some amazing experiences were presented. If someone asks I’ll do a separate post on the masters course, it was quite the rollercoaster.
Around 2019, my friends and I formed a group and tried for Tranzfusers with a small game called Scientific Shutdown. We didn’t make it but we were asked to take part in Games Talent Wales, which was less a competition and more showing off the skills of the universities. We showed our game at EGX 2019 and met so many wonderful people there. That was when we decided to start our own indie game studio: Define Logic Studios. But if anyone was paying attention in 2020, something none of us could predict caused everyone to move back home and continue the masters course and development of the studio from home. I remained in the country, as going home and the possibility of getting back in terrified me more than the pandemic did. There were many challenges and a lot of laughs and in the end we began discussing closing the studio. But I didn’t want to leave Wales and I began noticing problems in the work industry.
Many of my friends who had graduated before me were not working in the games industry. They were working as freelancers or starting their own Etsy shops or working part time jobs. All of which are great, but they weren’t using the degree they had paid for and had worked vigorously for, for 3+ years. But the game studios were still under massive time crunches and even cutting important work from their games just to meet deadlines. This was the beginning of Define Logic Interactive (which has gone through many name changes).
It has been 2 years since I started putting my ideas onto paper for this company. I’ve taken several business courses, attended workshops, networking events (when they started happening again that is) and have applied for several funding opportunities through the University. I’ve been through 2 co-directors who had other priorities in their life to stay, and have cried a lot through this. But now I’m ready to go. I have a fabulous business coach who has helped me clarify ideas and been there to help me calm down before important pitch events. I have a wonderful family who supports me and is helping me and cheering me on. I have fabulous friends who always check in and let me rant to them as well as try their hardest to understand what I’m telling them.
This is just the start of the journey, so I hope you’ll join me along the way. This blog will be about my experiences as a start-up, a female in the games industry, and just the ups and downs and behind the scenes of everyday life trying to start and manage a company.
If there’s anything you really want to know, please ask, I would love to hear from you about what you want to know and I’m a very open person, I will not hold back.