SAE Liverpool students learn how to launch a successful indie studio with Frank Mingbo-Li

17 Oct 2019

Games Developer Frank Mingbo-Li came all the way from China to deliver an SAE Extra masterclass at SAE Liverpool on 4 October.

His talk covered a range of aspects of working within the games industry, from some of the mistakes individuals make when starting out, right up to the story of how Frank met his games studio business partner and decided to work with them.

Frank is the CEO, Founder and Technical Director of the Chinese indie games studio, Studio Surgical Scalpels. Before breaking out as an independent games creator, he worked in a number of roles within the industry.

After completing his MSc in Computer Game Technology, Frank went to work for Eutechnyx as a Game Toolset Engineer. He then worked for Rare Ltd as a Game Engine Engineer, before he became Senior Physics Engineer at Codemasters. He worked at Pitbull Studio as a Senior Engine Engineer, before he moved to Slightly Mad Studio, as a Senior Physics/AI Engineer. With such a wide array of experiences under his belt, Frank was more than primed to share his insights with students at SAE Liverpool. 

Game Art Animation student Bradley Palmer said: “Frank’s masterclass was very informative and highly interesting. My classmates and I got to learn a lot about the real aspects of the gaming industry, as well as the marketing side too. The event was brilliant and I enjoyed it very much.” 

Bradley wasn’t the only one who enjoyed the talk - his Animation classmate, Aaron Sabri said: “I thought Frank's lecture was actually very helpful, thanks to Frank and the information he provided I not only know how to structure my own game development studio but I also what I need to become a game developer. It was quite a cultural talk too!” 

It’s important the SAE students get a chance to learn from people with a wide range of cultural backgrounds, and find out what working set up they may themselves prefer after graduation. Whilst there’s a lot of autonomy that comes with opening your own studio, it’s extremely difficult to do! 

We’re extremely grateful that Frank came such a long way to share his honest experience with the students, and that he stayed around after the talk to network and answer individual questions. 

   
 

"THANKS TO FRANK AND THE INFORMATION HER PROVIDE, I NOT ONLY KNOW HOW TO STRUCTURE MY OWN GAME DEVELOPMENT STUDIO, BUT ALSO WHAT I NEED TO BECOME A GAME DEVELOPER."

- AARON SABRI, GAME ART AND ANIMATION STUDENT

   

 

Firdaus Khalid, SAE Liverpool Programme Coordinator for Animation, Web and Games, said: “Everything about the talk was really crazy cool; Frank was amazing in sharing his experiences since the days he started in the games industry up until he set-up his own game development studio and his first baby called Project Boundary which the audience absolutely loved so much! There were a lot of attendees for his talk from our current SAE undergraduate students, SAE postgraduate students, alumni, staff members and as well as external visitors who wanted to come and check out our event. Attendees just couldn't get enough of Frank, so much that he stayed around for a bit to answer a lot of questions, especially on setting up indie game studios. Thank you so much to Frank for flying into the UK all the way from China; we sincerely appreciate it. This is the kind of highly super-experienced industry experts that we are having on our campus, and you can only find it here at SAE Institute!” 

Find out more about studying Animation at SAE here.

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