Indie BootCamp

Free sessions on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 July for students, start-ups, and anyone else looking to be the next big thing! Join us to hear straight talking from successful indie developers about how they started, what worked for them, and what mistakes they made – so you can avoid repeating them.

Indie BootCamp sessions

It’s Your IP. Keep It That Way

Wednesday 11th July: 15.00 - 15.45 : Room 1

Creating original IP is hard. We all know that. But how you exploit it, value it, monetise it, and perhaps most importantly, how you protect it, are critical if you want to give your IP the best chance of success.  Come and hear from this expert panel - chaired by Will Freeman, who will share their advice and experiences of how to get the most out of your IP and keeping it safe along the way.  

Go Beyond A Single Server - new online game types with SpatialOS, Unity and Unreal

Thursday 12th July: 15.00 - 15.45 : Room 1

In today’s saturated marketplace, differentiating your game is critical - but going beyond the median often means running into tough technical challenges, especially for online games. Improbable will talk about SpatialOS, its platform for making massive simulations, and how it enables developers to bypass the technical challenges inherent in creating more complex online games.

The session will then go through two new SpatialOS integrations Improbable is working on, for Unity and Unreal.


  • What SpatialOS is and how it works.
  • What’s special about the games built with SpatialOS.
  • How to use Unity and/or Unreal to build a game on SpatialOS.

How to Make People Love You, Or at Least Love Working With You

Wednesday 11th July: 14.00 - 14.45 : Room 1

In an industry where your team is your strength or weakness, this talk will cover how to create a positive company culture, a work environment where your employees want to be, and more importantly where they want to give you their best. Taking a look at examples from other companies, industries, and cultures, this talk will reflect on how to successfully manage company morale, how to attract the right staff and one of the most important topics: how to retain talent.

Game development is a fast-evolving industry, with younger generations having more input into the way it's shaped. Recruitment for talented staff, especially for smaller studios without big budgets, is becoming challenging, so companies need to look at other ways of attracting new talent. With a national average of 25 - 30 year olds staying in jobs for only 2-3 years, you also need to look at new ways to hold on to your staff.

And to help you walk the fine line between "domineering boss and push over", Nina will also be talking about how to nip damaging behaviour in the bud and how to work with your team to get to the root of why it's happening.


  • Advice and tips on how to make your company the best place to work and make sure your employees never leave you.
  • Create and maintain a positive company culture

Technical Art – What it is and How to Get There

Wednesday 11th July: 16.00 - 16.45 : Room 1

Technical Art is a fairly new specialisation within Art teams, is not strictly defined and often means different things to different people. In this session we take a deep dive into the variety of different specialisations, roles and responsibilities which are broadly categorised as “technical art”. How do you build a technical art team? Hiring is notoriously difficult for these positions; we also cover what we look for in potential Technical Artists, common ways that artists transition into more technical roles and ways to foster cultural adoption of Technical Art within your team.


  • Greater understanding of the variety of roles and responsibilities within Technical Art
  • Things you can do as an artist to transition more towards a Technical Art role

Demystifying the Media: How to Earn Your Place in the Press

Wednesday 11th July: 11.00 - 11.45 : Room 1

Laying bare the inner workings of the games media, Lewis explains how indies can earn their place in the press and on influencer channels.


  • Understand the meaning of 'earned media'
  • Learn how journalists, editors and channel owners work, and what they need to tell a compelling story
  • Learn the value of trust in building media relationships - and how to earn it!
  • How to use this knowledge to create PR campaigns that create mutual value and benefit.

Herding Kittens at Bossa: Production Practices for Indie Teams

Thursday 12th July: 14.00 - 14.45 : Room 1

If there is one thing that Bossa Studios is known for, it's taking risks. The likes of Surgeon Simulator, I am Bread, and now the very first Community-Created MMO, Worlds Adrift, are just a few of the creative and unique projects that came out of Bossa and enticed the gaming industry.

But have you ever wondered about the people behind those games? How have these creatives been found and moulded into the developers they are today? Has it always been this way? What's next to come?

This talk will cover the unique approach to picking out the right people for the company as well as the flexible approach to production. Expect to leave the talk with a better understanding of the creatives behind Bossa, the attributes we look in people, how they are brought together with projects and the ways we keep them focused and passionate. Perhaps you will see yourself in this talk or you will wish to adapt the same process with your own teams. Perhaps even come up with something brand new! Either way, it's all about finding the best and brightest people, and finding the right ways to allow them to be as creative as possible.


  • Learn and understand the Bossa company values
  • Find out what's the Bossa production process like
  • How to bring teams together

The Messy Collision of Blockchain and Gaming

Wednesday 11th July: 12.00 - 12.45 : Room 1

Blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt all areas of human activity and gaming is in the vanguard of that assault. Forget Bitcoin and CryptoKitties, the ability for players to own their in-game assets, sell them on, or use them in other games - Overwatch characters in Super Mario Kart? - will radically impact the sector, providing opportunities for the current leaders to grow their businesses or go the way of one-time leaders such as Midway, THQ and Acclaim. 


  • What is blockchain?
  • Why is blockchain important for gaming?
  • What should you be doing to make the most of this opportunity?

You Are Spending Too Long Making Your Game

Thursday 12th July: 12.15 - 13.00 : Room 1

Veteran indie dev, Jake Birkett, will talk about why you are spending too long making your game and how much a "good" game can earn on Steam.


  • Why making games quicker is sensible.
  • How much an average "good" game on Steam will earn in the first year.
  • Tips for how to make games quicker.

Designing for Learning: How a Small Team Can Create Exceptional Educational Games

Thursday 12th July: 16.00 - 16.45 : Room 1

Bobbie shares her experience as a games designer and developer working on small educational games at Mangahigh. Bobbie introduces the talk by analysing the role of educational games within the games industry, considering the importance of this sub genre. She then looks at the role of games within education, particularly how and why schools are using games within the classroom.

After introducing the relevance of games for learning, Bobbie expands upon her own design process. How designing for learning focuses on three main criteria: who you are designing for, what outcome do you want to achieve and how you are going to measure it. Bobbie includes practical examples to bring the design process to life. She then goes on to look at different types of learners and how you can design systems that engage all people.

Finally Bobbie illustrates the development process involved with making small educational games using titles she has worked on. Bobbie shares her journey from design, prototype, testing into MVPs and then the continued development of these games after release, as part of a small team.

Bobbie concludes by summarising the role of games within the education sector, how you can design for meaningful play and an overview of the development process when making small games.


  • How games play a part in education.
  • How the process for creating educational games is a lot like creating indie games.
  • How educational games fit into the games industry.
  • How learning in the classroom relate to how players learn to play games
  • How learning types influence game design.


Start-up Toolkit

Wednesday 11th July: 17.00 - 17.45 : Room 1

The BFI Certification Unit and Sheridans present a tutorial on how and why you should set up a limited company so you have the best foundation to enable you to create great games. The talk features a step-by-step guide on how to set up a company at companies house, a summary of how much this costs and a discussion on how to best position this company to access private and public sources of finance. 

Do I need to register a limited company if I'm making games? Find out why you definitely should, how to do it, and what it costs.


- You should I set up a limited company ASAP.

- You have a strong idea of how to do this and how much it will cost.

- You have an overview of what investors look for in a company (rather than a game).

- You have an overview of different sources of public funding in the UK and details on how to access video game tax relief.

Seismic Changes to the SEIS/EIS Regime and Their Implications to You

Thursday 12th July: 11.15 - 12.00 : Room 1

If you are looking to raise investment in your business, you will most likely be considering the numerous benefits of the SEIS and EIS arrangements. Such benefits can include various generous tax reliefs to investors who buy shares inappropriately qualifying businesses.

On March 15th, the Finance Act 2018 introduced certain changes to the SEIS/EIS rules, some of which will impact a number of games businesses seeking to raise investment using these methods. 

Crucially, companies issuing any new SEIS/EIS based shares after this date will need to ensure that they still qualify under these new rules, or risk any tax benefits being restricted or even clawed back.

This session will explore some of the key rule changes, some of the potential impacts and a few potential strategies that might help you out.

TAKEAWAY: Attendees can expect to get a broad understanding of the changes to the SEIS/ EIS rules and some ideas about how to address these moving forward.

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