In Finland, we have this term “sisu” which means an attitude of not giving up. You do what it takes go forward.

By Elina Arponen (Co-Founder & CEO, Tribe Studios)

Dramagame is a whole new interactive experience, a type of social storytelling that has not been seen before. When we started to develop Dramagame, we had big ambitions on what we wanted from the start. We knew where we wanted to go, but we did not have a map how to get there! That is to be expected when you’re doing something innovative. It did not stop us from going forward.

When stepping into the unknown, you need to have short term goals.

Get a vision where you want to be in the next two weeks or six months; definitely no longer than that. Always prioritize to the maximum efficiency. What is it that is absolutely needed for sure? Do that first.

It may still turn out you need to iterate on those absolute certainties. Only when you see your features in action can you understand how they in fact should work. Don’t give up. In Finland, we have this term “sisu” which means an attitude of not giving up. You do what it takes go forward.

This is where the great team really plays out. It would be really hard, if not impossible, to survive through this alone. You need others to share the work, the fun and the sad that are all part of the voyage.

In our case, the sheer amount of work has been huge. I feel it was just for the better we did not know at the start what exactly all the required tasks were. It may have been too discouraging to know all that.

Closing in on the goal

After 19 months of development and iterations, it has been great to enter the next phase of Dramagame development this summer. After four bigger iterations and countless small ones, we have something we can call the “first version”. You could say it’s Alpha or Beta or Gamma, but it’s something that verifies the vision we went after.

We’ve had really good feedback from our early users. People love what we’ve created and can see the vision that is there. We are very excited about all the comments we get!

However, in some ways this feels like it’s the beginning. Now we need to get the product out to the people and keep developing forward. There are so many ways we can still grow Dramagame, and can’t really wait to see all of that happening.

Always going forward

When your ambition is big enough (and it should be!) you’re never truly finished. When you’re out to change the world, it is like achieving mastery. True masters are never done with learning. It is an asymptote, a mathematical curve that closes in on infinity without ever reaching it.

At some points, you still need to take a look back and celebrate what you have already achieved. We recorded a message telling about some of the key points we have achieved. It’s a message about how we’re changing the field of games and interactive stories. It’s up now in Indiegogo.

Velvet Sundown, the first ever Dramagame, is a social and interactive story where you play the star role. Wouldn’t it be great to not only watch great drama on TV, but to take part in it? This is the vision we have. After hard work, it is now also reality. But we plan to go forward.

This post was originally posted at Dramagame blog.

About the guest blogger: Elina Arponen is a co-founder and CEO of Tribe Studios, maker of Dramagame. Prior to founding Tribe Studios, Elina worked at Digital Chocolate for five years. She held different managerial positions where she led platform porting teams and internal tools development. She holds a M.Sc. in Computer Science from the Aalto University. Elina lives in Helsinki with her husband, who is one of her co-founders, and their two year old son. Follow her on Twitter at @yonder_.