By the End of Us: Documentation of Process

Early in 2015, Block Stop decided two things:

  • We wanted to make a new, bigger, better game.
  • We wanted to develop as a business.

Needless to say, in our quest to achieve these scary, giant goals, the year went by in a blur of funding applications, gantt charts, game design, budgets, colour-coded narrative maps, project management meetings, rehearsals and approximately 63 bazillion cups of tea.

We were successful with two of our funding applications: one was the Deutsche Bank Award for Creative Enterprise, the other a project grant from Arts Council England. The money went towards investing in a more advanced technical set up and paying those involved in the development and delivery of our project, By the End of Us.

We recognised that getting funding from both DBACE and ACE were never guaranteed. The DBACE award was more than just funding; it also included business mentoring. It would be affirmation that developing Block Stop as a business was a good, maybe even great idea. But we never took for granted that we would win the award. As with our last project, we set things in motion so that By the End of Us would happen with or without funding. Without funding it would be harder, scrappier and none of us were likely to get paid. With funding, we would be able to invest in time, equipment and people to make By the End of Us a serious level up from our previous work. It was thanks to endless research, number crunching, planning and some very helpful advice and guidance that we were successful.

Looking back, it seems like we blinked and suddenly By the End of Us was over, and 2016 was staring us in the face. Thankfully, when we set our goals at the beginning of 2015, we’d decided to document our (somewhat insane) journey of trying to achieve them. We knew that what we were planning was hugely ambitious, given that for the majority of the year, all four of us were in full time work or education. We wanted a way of capturing the triumphs, the failures, the lessons and emotions that we knew we wouldn’t have the capacity to appreciate at the time. So we each kept a series of video logs throughout the year that could be pieced together into a documentation film at the end of it all.

Much like the last documentary film we made for Dead Wait, the footage is largely personal, and was not initially intended to teach or instruct others. That being said, the content is extremely honest about the challenges and triumphs of making creative work and trying to develop a business, so we wondered if it might be of interest for others pursuing similar goals.

Our documentation process has allowed us to reflect not only on the goals we set for ourselves in 2015, but also on ourselves as a team. It allowed us to identify issues that were present in both our first documentation film and this second one, and think about why that may be. It allowed us to have honest discussions about our skills, our beliefs, our hopes and our dreams for the future, both for ourselves as individuals and for Block Stop.

And so it’s 2016, and things are changing for Block Stop yet again. We have more plans, and yes, you guessed it, they’re even bigger and more ambitious than last year’s. We’ll be revealing these plans in due course, but in the meantime, how about watching what became of our plans from last year?



Post by Ilayda Arden

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Block Stop – Creators of Live Video Games
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