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<  Endless Forest News  ~  No funding from the Ministry of Sports!

Michael
Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 6:45 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
This is the advice from the Ministry of Culture, Youth, Sports and Brussels (I kid you not) regarding our request for funding maintenance and continuous development of The Endless Forest (the day-to-day work, as opposed to the phases and expansions that are funded by other means). The minister, Bert Anciaux, has followed this advice and agreed to not fund this project.

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Michael
Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 6:56 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Now, it's not the first time that we have been refused funding. But usually the reason why we don't get the funding is that the people who evaluate the proposal don't like the project, or our work in general. Fair enough. Sometimes they're even right.

But this is different. The person who wrote this letter makes serious efforts to flatter both our persons as the project itself.

Kunstendecreet wrote:
The project (...) is an enchanting and impressive game. (...) the know-how of the authors is beyond discussion (...). The commission confirms its appreciation of the project and its respect for its makers (...)


So why did they not grant us the funding?
Because we're not supposed to work on this project for a year (they call it "branstorming"; not sure what they mean by that but it sounds like they're seriously underestimating the amount of work involved). Or we're not supposed to use the money of this grant for it, because this grant is meant for development/production (I'm not sure what else they think we're doing, o yes, "brainstorming", right). But not only can we not get money for "brainstorming" on this project. It is simply impossible to get a "brainstorm-grant" for audiovisual arts. To get this, you have to submit a file with VAF who will also refuse (says the letter) because they have already sponsored this project(in fact, they have done so twice, and we really appreciate it!...).

There's one thing you need to know if you're not familiar with recent Flemish silliness. I have heard that there is some kind of feud going on between the minister of Sports, etc and the VAF. The VAF is an organization that works indepently from the government but with government money to support audiovisual arts in Flanders. The minister does not seem to like the independence of this organisation. So, this kind of sending the project from one institution to another could be read as an expression of this ongoing argument (ironically, the "Kunstendecreet" was set up to prevent exactly this kind of thing from happening...). And who's the victim of these political games? The artists, yes, but by extension the entire population, whom, as is a well known fact, doesn't mind expressing its love for fascism during election time.

Anyway. That's all speculation and hearsay.

The fact of the matter is that artists who are explicitly respected by the people in charge cannot get funding for project of which the quality is explicitly approved by those same people for reasons that seem like poor excuses to cover up something dirty underneath.


Last edited by Michael on Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:20 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Michael
Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:09 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
There is also some mention of a possible commercial future of the project. And this, somehow, is a reason not to fund it.

You must know that theater in Flanders is the best funded arts form by far. And we never have to pay for tickets to go to the theater. Because it's non-commercial!

That was a lie. Theater tickets are bloody expensive these days. For the price of one ticket, you can buy a whole computer game.

There is also mention of the fact that we already received "significant funding" from Flanders.
When we submitted this request, this "significant funding" was exactly 14875 Euros...
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Michael
Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:34 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
What is brainstorming anyway?
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picklebro
Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:39 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 19 Jan 2006 Posts: 110
brainstorming is the process of sitting around coming up with ideas..from m-w.com:
Quote:
a group problem-solving technique that involves the spontaneous contribution of ideas from all members of the group



It seems to me that you need to resubmit a request for funding an EVENT....not the planning for it, but see the catch is,(or so you explain to them) is that the amount of payment needed to compensate everyone including you the artists for the event amounts to the monies needed. Wink
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Michael
Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:52 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
If we didn't have this silly habit of being honest, we would be much better off. Wink
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picklebro
Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:34 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 19 Jan 2006 Posts: 110
Where is the dishonesty in getting funding for an event that you plan to hold and then paying yourself appropriately for it?
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Michael
Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:39 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
We were asking for them to support the day-to-day maintenance of the project because this takes a lot of time and work and is often neglected because we need to work on "events" and the like (because those are funded). As a result, a) the software is not as good as it could be and b) we cannot add many new smaller things that make the forest feel more alive + help us in our experiments with real-time interactive storytelling.
It is very common for persistent worlds and online games to continuously add new content outside of the bigger expansion packs and upgrades. But not in Flanders, apparently.
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picklebro
Posted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:24 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 19 Jan 2006 Posts: 110
Do you think they would sponser a month long interactive event where people observe you as you 'make art' ? Certainly not optimal but at least its something...you don't even have to respond to my remark, I'm just 'brainstorming'. Razz
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pfelts
Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 8:58 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 22 Jan 2006 Posts: 16 Location: Arizona
I'm ready to pay for the Forest! I don't want it to go away!
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Michael
Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:23 pm Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Thank you for the offer, Pfelts! Smile
We hope that if and when the time would come, other people will feel the same. It would definitely help to be a little more independent. After all, we are making this for all of you, and not for the government or other funders.
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pfelts
Posted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 1:43 am Reply with quote
Joined: 22 Jan 2006 Posts: 16 Location: Arizona
I sent a donation. Keep up the good work. Smile
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Michael
Posted: Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:26 am Reply with quote
Site Administrator Joined: 07 Jun 2002 Posts: 8065 Location: Gent, Belgium
Thank you! Smile
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Markam
Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 7:01 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 10 Feb 2006 Posts: 16
wow I didn't even know that you could get any funds for this. I mean, I don't think we even have this in the netherlands....
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Tsitsi
Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 7:30 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 08 Feb 2006 Posts: 27
That's not a very friendly letter, is it? They did not even include the usual "we regret to inform you..".

Don't take it too personal, Michael. At least they like you and the game a lot.

I guess two things are at work here: a) a computer game is just not seen as "art" by some people, and b) never ever ever ask a funding agency to pay your salary. Picklebro has a point: you might consider rephrasing the request and making it an event.

Or you could try applying for funds elsewhere. Have you heard of the European Commission's Media Plus Programme? They fund, among other things, "new concepts for drama, games or formats for digital television, the Internet or mobile devices, where interactivity and narrative elements are significant;". See http://europa.eu.int/comm/avpolicy/media/index_en.html
Next deadline is 15 February, but there will probably be another call next year.

Good luck!
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