While competition is hotting up for indie game devs, fresh opportunities continue with ever more tools, services, and other resource emerging to help turn your ambitions into reality. To help you become one of the winners, the Indie track brings together the indie community plus a few super star speakers to share hints, tips, lessons, and dreams.
From picking which game to make and building communities all the way through to presenting your games in digital stores... all the best stuff has already been done. So here's 25 ideas nicked from observing thousands of indie game launches.
The Unity Asset Store is a great resource for developers, but it can also be a surprisingly profitable secondary revenue stream for small Indies. John Campbell shares his experience of developing for the Store. During the development of a game we all create tools, systems and assets for our own needs, but often these are valuable to others and can enjoy a second life on the Asset Store providing not just additional income but also secondary benefits to your studio. Learn the publishing process end-to-end, starting with identifying potentially successful assets, creating and refining them for best success, release and store presentation, and post-release growth and curation. Also practical advice on user experience, documentation and how to efficiently manage your community and support requests. Triangular Pixels has been publishing to the Asset Store for four years. We started as an experiment but have steadily grown our store presence to where it’s an important part of our business. We include knowledge gained from our successful (and unsuccessful) assets, what we did right and what went wrong, and how we’ve integrated our learnings into our day-to-day development of our game projects. We also cover the risks (and perceived risks) with publishing on the Asset Store and how to evaluate their impact on you, how to mitigate those that are relevant and which perceived risks you don’t need to worry about.
Guy Cocker is a games journalist of 15 years' experience including editing GameSpot UK and Stuff Magazine. He has helped video game publishers including Electronic Arts, Activision and Sony by consulting on their in-development products and giving insights on how they are viewed by journalists and the media at large. This session will reveal some of the common issues faced by developers/publishers when communicating with journalists, insights on the prejudices and pressures journalists bring to the reviewing process, and specific methods the games industry can use to make sure their games are well received by the press.
Part of a team responsible for securing multiple high-profile projects, Natalie discusses her methods for designing, creating and delivering successful pitches and presentations. Whether you’re pitching your own game to a publisher or trying to secure work-for-hire, a thorough and well-reasoned approach can make or break your project. The lecture will include practical advice on how to approach and create high quality documents, as well as talking about common pitfalls and easy-wins, with content ranging from high-level objective-setting, document design rules, presentation delivery and applying a product design methodology. The lecture focuses on objective-based design as a tool for creating contract-winning work.
Every game starts as an idea, but not every idea will make a good game. So, how do you test your idea? And how do you test it fast? This talk will reveal the prototyping process at Bossa Studios, taking game jams ideas like Pigeon Simulator and I Am Fish through to prototypes in the hands of players worldwide. We will explain methods to achieve more with a small team and where to focus your energy so you can get the right feedback from your audience.
Releasing your first game on Steam can be a daunting prospect when you're a solo developer or a small indie team. What happens when you release a small game on Steam? What can you expect from Steam in terms of impressions and visibility? How does that affect sales? In this talk, Brian Shingles will attempt to answer those questions as he shares details and stats from his experience with releasing three small games on Steam through his microstudio, Bad Logic Studios. Brian will discuss the mistakes that were made and the lessons that were learned along the way, as well as offer advice and strategies for small indie studios looking to release their own games on Steam.
At the end of this session you will
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Develop is important – the networking is very important. And go to talks they’re inspiring and get your creative juices flowing, they can make you think and you’ll learn how other people do things.
Develop is a really great way to network, it’s also great for going to talks and finding that little tip that you didn’t know before and thinking – oh I’ll bring that back to the team!
I really like Develop, I really like the intimacy of it and I love the location.. there’s a good diversity of talks going on so there hasn’t been a time when there’s nothing I want to see.
A lot of the opportunities that come from being here are speaking to other developers who are doing exactly the same thing as you. And there are some good parties – it’s very much a pleasurable work experience!
Develop:Brighton is especially unique - it’s by the seaside and there’s a lovely relaxed tone that goes with that.The talks are cool, the networking is cool and having the opportunity to catch up with people – that’s always the excitement for me!
There’s something creative about Brighton, so it’s the perfect place to have the conference.
Develop always gets put in the diary. There are many reasons to be here, not just the talks, but the networking, people exchanging ideas about where the industry is right now and where it’s going to. It’s pretty essential to be here I think.
Ian Livingstone, CBE
Develop is an excellent way of catching up with people – there’s a really nice community feel here.
Mike Bithell Games
Develop is a very important place – it’s one of the few developer focussed conferences we have in Europe and that makes it very valuable.
It’s really nice to see some of the younger people in our studio come to Develop, interact with other people in the dev community and make new contacts. I think it’s really important to learn from other people.
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