Ireland has a tremendous pool of talent and resources available to those who wish to succeed and while headlines in papers might harbour nothing but words of doom and gloom, this initiative aims to restore your faith in what we can achieve as individuals, what we can achieve collectively and we can achieve through perseverance. Welcome to The Gaming Liberty’s “We Are” initiative…
Memods are next to join the “We Are” initiative. Their “infinity” design caught the attention of the internet when their development video went viral. Sitting down with the team, we had a chance to ask them about that design, the creation of the company itself and what the future holds for Memods.
The Gaming Liberty: How did Memods come about? What was the inspiration behind it?
Memods: Memods (Me-Mods came from My Mods but with a Dublin Accent) started as a hobby in my kitchen much to my ex girlfriends dismay. I used to redesign PC cases and consoles for fun, put them online and see what people thought. I always loved toys like Lego, Meccano and Warhammer as a kid so I carried that with me as I got older and took more things apart. The problem was always the barriers for other people to be creative with their PC or Games console. To me, stickers on their own suck and it’s an expensive mistake to fry a console & have no warranty left. Even without the voiding your warranty bit you need to know a bit about crafting and electronics, I’ve electrocuted myself more times then I’d like to admit. Thinking up something that would get rid of the barriers was what I really aimed for.
TGL: You’re first Memods video that showed off the console armour went viral. Was it difficult to create the overall piece? Can you tell us a little about the “infinity” effect?
Mm: It was so much fun building it. I built it by hand over the course of about month of testing the effect and planning the design. The effect is really quite simple, Two, two-way mirrors facing each other with a ring of LED’s, seeing it in person is what matters. A month later we put up a design to thank Reddit for their support. The console had lights and magnet snap on costumes…that got over 200k views in less than 4 hours….an unreal feeling.
TGL: Personal customisation is a very prospective business. Can you run us through the various aspects of console armour and how it can be customised?
Mm: Memods Console Armour, Out of the box, takes about 5 seconds to snap to the console and turn on. The box contains surprises too, we’ll say no more on that. We wanted to give long term value for people that’s why designing the base unit to have interchangeable parts was key in giving something to build up over time. You don’t want to have to pay for another snap on again and again so the frames come off the armour so that people can build, paint and customize things with the kits we have lined up. Wanting to mix the best parts of toys like Lego, Meccano, Airfix and Warhammer into something that was relevant gaming, to the games and characters people love. Over time we’re more excited to see what people build then what we can come up with ourselves, the hivemind matters.
TGL: An up-and-coming addition to the memods range is the custom frame feature. What can we expect from this? Is there a possibility of officially-sponsored designs in the future?
Mm: That’s exactly it, there’s little point in making things generic, Licensing is key. Building an Alien’s head coming out of a console or crystal light structures that are rebuildable are some of the mountain of designs we’ve been working on bringing to gamers. To us there’s not much sense of achievement when you take the bonus Gears of War figure out of the box and just put it on a shelf to become a dust gatherer, we want people to feel that they’ve built something that’s personal to them and that they want to show off. YouTube will feature heavily in showing people how to do the things we do and create amazing design. Tutorials and how to’s will be in abundance.
TGL: Do you think memods console armour could be applied to other consoles in the future? What about the PC’s “custom built” market – that would be ideal wouldn’t it?
Mm: That’s the plan for sure. There’s no limit to consoles/PC’s that we could build on provided people like what create in the first place. It can be difficult to differentiate ourselves from being seen as “just another accessories company”. Sure we’re a business but we’re building toys and helping build hobbies too, not shoddy plastic accessories to extort money from people at the till at Christmas.
TGL: Was it difficult to get funding for your venture? With the recession hitting Irish shores hard, do you have any advice for those that might have an idea for a product/business – but are a little unsure on how to apply it?
Mm: It was initially. I sold everything, my car, TV, laptop, gaming PC, games consoles, DVDs Cd’s if it wasn’t nailed down had to go. The virals helped to get people’s attention when showing what could be achieved from a kitchen table to being seen around the world. I got a lot of No’s from banks and investors but that’s part of the process. When I finally pitched and got funding I didn’t have a business plan or a product. I simply explained what I’d done and where I wanted to go, that was enough for the guys and we’ve put blood, sweat and tears in since last June.
As for advice, ask for help often, learn to take no’s like a boss, pitch to everyone you possibly can, friends, family, shopkeeps, cats, it’s the best practice and helps validate your idea and approach. The more passion you have for what you do the more that will come across when you tell people about what you do. There are loads of support networks out there to help with funding, office space etc again just contact people. I have only come across one person that would not return my emails out of the hundreds I contacted to help with Memods, people want to help you out.
TGL: What’s next for memods?
Mm: Building a product that people want and then communities around that idea. Console armour is a new type of product which is both exciting and scary, what have we got to lose? We’ll be building and shipping our first units in the coming months and will be taking pre-orders from the new site over the next few weeks.
As for what we have coming up….Custom designs, original console creations, Game interactions with Sound and Light, Moving parts etc we’ve been planning a lot to come out between this year and next. With the continued support from people who hear about us (I get emails every month from people encouraging us, that’s just unreal) we’ll keep working hard to build cool things. It may seem insignificant but a like or follow matters when you’re a small company, It was a bunch of seemingly virtual-upvotes that got us this far, we are aiming to keep the upvotes coming.
You can reach Memods through the following links: