Sketchbook Games

30 April 2024

Mark Backler, Founder and Creative Director of Sketchbook Games

About the participant

Mark Backlar is the Founder and Creative Director of Sketchbook Games – an award-winning game development company. They aim to develop games that create unique, moving experiences and have a positive impact on their players.   

Mark was a participant of our first Creative East cohort in Norfolk and had this to say about the programme…

Why did you sign up for Creative East?

“I signed up for the Creative East programme because I was interested in learning about market research and how we could identify the target market for our games, and also learning more about investments and seeking funding for our projects, and how to pitch effectively. 

What were your biggest challenges or uncertainties in your business at the time? 

One of the biggest challenges we’ve been facing with our business is raising funding. We’ve had some different grants. We’ve had one game out, but we’re always trying to make sure you’ve got enough runway to get that next game out the door. So that was the first area. And then the second was scaling up and bringing more team members on board and making sure that we have the capacity to grow and be successful. 

How has Creative East helped you with those challenges?

Creative East has helped us with these challenges by pointing out different grants, teaching us about investment and potential investors, and how to pitch effectively. 

What was your favourite thing about the programme? 

There are several things I’ve really enjoyed about the programme, but one of them, in particular, is meeting the other teams who were in a similar boat to us and then learning from and being able to support them.

What would you say to other business owners considering signing up for Creative East?

For other business owners considering signing up for the programme, I would really recommend it because there’s a lot of scope for customising things and meeting your own needs. So if you have specific areas that you feel you’re weak in, then you can flag that up, and they can get specific mentors and support to help you in those areas. 

Thanks to Creative East, we’re now seeking investment for our second video game project.”



Fully funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)

Delivered and managed by:

  • Anglia Ruskin University Peterborough
  • Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority
  • Innovate UK
  • New Anglia - Local Enterprise PArtnership for Norfolk and Suffolk
  • Norfolk County Council
  • Suffolk County Council
  • University of East Anglia Innovation Funding
  • University of Suffolk