Some really smart people scheduled the European Game Developer Conference in the exact same week and location as Gamescom. Since we were already attending the Big Indie Pitch we could not miss the opportunity to network with fellow game developers, publishers and industry veterans.
As with all events of this scale, in the evenings sponsored meetups take place in various locations outside the main event. Usually for networking over some snacks and drinks. No game developer should miss these opportunities of talking with people, so we were present at one event every evening.
Right on Monday we attended the Mobile Mixer, organised by PocketGamer. To take a break from talking, playing and drinking, the organisers held a discussion panel. People in the panel debated what mobile platforms can do to evolve and outperform other platforms. Some of the panelists included the CEO of Paradox, Oscar Clark – Everyplay and Unity Evangelist (this fellow really enjoys talking and he does have a lot of fascinating insight + a quirky hat), one of the founders of The Dutch Game Garden and some top executives from advertising networks.
Two points struck me from the panel discussion:
- Fredrik Wester (Paradox Interactive) mentioned that they have a rule in their games, to never ask money from their players based on frustration.
- Oscal Clark shared some experience about why an App Store driven by charts is broken. In the past, when he introduce top charts in an App Store, revenues for the platform owners dropped considerably because the top games were already more or less ubiquitos, so there was no incentive for users to re-download them.
Tuesday was the Big Indie Pitch, organised by Pocket Gamer again. And a swell job they did! Following a speed-dating workflow, we pitched to members of the media, sponsors and organizers. You can find more info about this over here. One interesting point is that both here and at the Mobile Mixer from Monday, there was a contest where people played Timberman for a chance to win some VIP passes for the upcoming event in London. Nice way to attract attention from the right crowd!
Wednesday Vungle organised a meetup in a pretty fancy location. We met a bunch of very interesting people over there and enjoyed a few drinks. The organizers were super open and friendly, giving us a lot of new info about their video ad platform and what is to come.
Thursday we followed the Gamescom calling, feeling a bit envious on all the people we saw around the city flashing their event badges the day before. We started with the business area which was quite temperate and calm. Most stands were exclusively for the press. The only lively places were the stands for each country with UK, Spain and Holland sticking out. The big companies (Rockstart, 2K, Activision, Blizzard, etc.) had big and closed areas, accesible only to the press.
In the evening we attended the Chartboost meetup where Bleau met the guys who developed Timberman and this happened:
Note: Only one beard is real. Guess which one.
Friday was solely dedicated to the Gamescom entertainment area. Oh boy! That’s a lot to cover! 6 enormous halls packed with huge stands, cosplayers and waiting lines.
The big game companies brought their best. The only line which we thought was worth waiting in for almost one hour was the Oculus demo area (note: one hour is a short waiting time ). Here we got a chance to demo the Oculus playing some Eve Valkyrie. The experience was not disappointing. So what if we looked funny from the outside, twisting our heads like mad men? We actually could inspect almost every inch of that sci-fi cockpit and dodged some missiles. And looking out the side window in space was quite something.
The Indie Mega Booth, while much smaller compared to the rest of the stands, was pure visual pleasure. We discovered several games which are a blast to play: Out There, Chroma Squad, Broforce, Typoman, The Next Penelope,
One observation: Twich.tv was present everywhere. Kind of gives a sign of how powerful of an influencer it has become.
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