Indie BootCamp

Free sessions on Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 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

10 Best Practices When Building & Growing a Mobile Game Studio

Wednesday 10th July: 14.00 - 14.45 : Room 1

Building a business comes with trials and tribulations. For companies, growing multiple studios across different countries can be challenging -- especially when dealing with recruitment/hiring, establishing company culture, planning for long term and even understanding local needs. This panel will highlight 10 best practices for managers and executives when dealing with company growth across regions, including: hiring a team vs. hiring individuals, establishing company culture organically and without control, trusting your gut when in doubt and the importance of short-term success. 

Sharing personal lessons that'll help companies navigate the start-up / growth stages of their business.

1500 Game Pitches Later... A Publisher's Notes on How to Sell Your Game Idea

Wednesday 10th July: 12.00 - 12.45 : Room 1

I get asked all the time for feedback on pitches, what publishers are looking for, what direction developers should go in, how much developers should ask for, etc etc. This session will offer extensive, sometimes candid insight on what I'm thinking when looking at your pitch.

  • How to Pitch
  • Market Insights
  • Publisher Insights

A Guide to Succeeding at Exhibiting Your Game

Thursday 11th July: 14.00 - 14.45 : Room 1

Our ever growing industry provides more and more opportunities for developers to get their games in front of consumers at expos. But how do you judge if an event is worth it and how do you maximise your game’s presence on your limited budget? Is it even worth going at all? With a background in marketing and a veteran exhibitor of games Nick aims to give guidance to indie developers on the realities and problems that come with exhibiting along with some solutions to the big troubles smaller developers can face. This talk includes advice on planning, merchandise, press, measuring performance and more. With examples from across the industry and lessons learned the hard way this talk promises to be a concise, honest and hopefully witty guide on succeeding at games expos.

  • A realistic guide on how to exhibit your game to consumers and tackle problems along the way.

Alice in Attribution Land

Wednesday 10th July: 17.00 - 17.45 : Room 1

Sharing a small Indi's experience of game metrics and attribution software. We will be talking about some of the big name solutions like Appsflyer and Firebase but this is not an exhaustive analysis of what services there and advice on which ones to use. It will be a case study on what Legendary did right and what it did wrong some of the intricacies of using these systems and to try and help others decide whether it is frankly worth the time money and effort involved.

  • Frank and direct advice from a dev on analytic and attribution software aimed primarily at new devs. If you don't know the difference between analytics and attribution you should come.
  • Strengths and weaknesses of certain toolsHow much dev time to devote to eachWhen is it worth using them and when it isn't.

Crowdfunding: Making Games for Subscribers

Wednesday 10th July: 11.00 - 11.45 : Room 1

How can an indie make money before releasing a game? Steve Sparkes investigates a new model for making games, where parts of the development process can be packaged and sold to subscribers on services such as Patreon. Steve will explore the ways that games developers are making “making games” a product in itself. Simple changes to a studio’s workflow can start to bring in money long before release. Steve will also breakdown the processes of studios who make games specifically for subscription platforms, such as the Sokpop Collective who commit to making two games every month.

  • Learn about which parts of your development process can be used to give value to paying subscribers
  • Learn how to structure and run a Patreon service in synchronisation with developing your game
  • Learn how to scope out your subscription service so that it doesn’t threaten your game’s development 

Indie Game Porting Tales, Real Examples from PC to Console

Wednesday 10th July: 15.00 - 15.45 : Room 1

If you're wondering what it's like to take a game and port it to any of the current major consoles, this session will give you the low down. Using real examples drawn from the porting work undertaken by DO Games, Steve will dig into some practical takeaways to consider when designing and coding your indie game. Whatever the engine you're using it's never as simple as selecting a new build target and waiting for the ping! Obvious considerations include the primary differences between PC and console development environments, game control schemes and platform holder requirements. Not so obvious though are the myriad left field things that can catch you out, like engine limitations, online portal issues, plug-in compatibility or version management, to name a few.This session won't be a technical deep dive into console details, and let's face it, who wants to stare at lists of API calls. Some names may have been changed to protect the innocent, or comply with NDA guidelines. By using a set of examples to illustrate the processes and know-how that go into porting, Steve hopes you will gain a better understanding of the porting phase of a game life-cycle. You will be able to better prepare your own game for a smooth porting process, whether it's still in the design phase, or you already have a PC product and are looking to get it onto modern consoles.

  • An understanding of game runtime lifecycles
  • An appreciation for user engagement
  • A general view into the porting process

It’s Your IP. Keep It That Way

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.  

Not Dead Yet: Running a Small Studio on Financial Fumes

Thursday 11th July: 12.15 - 13.00 : Room 1

People with money like to say that “Cash is king”. When the cash runs out the business dies, unless you expect it to happen and have a plan to deal with it. Jonny Hopper will discuss specific challenges that Glowmade faced and present insights into running - and keeping running - a small business where cash is in short supply. But the reality is cash isn’t always king. The choices you make when you’re small and skint have ramifications that extend far beyond the lean times. The flailing pound doesn’t trump the people you have in your employ, and as a leader you are responsible not only for setting the tone, but building and keeping the team throughout. We will be looking at the importance of building culture and community in the present, and how to use them in your planning for the future.

  • How to get money when you have none
  • What compromises will you (can you) make in this situation? Where are your red lines?
  • Culture matters: And it matters, even more, when you're skint. How do you stay true to your company culture? 

Pitch Review

Thursday 11th July: 15.00 - 15.45 : Room 1

Are you looking to raise investment and are working on your pitch? Is it in draft form, or maybe you’ve already shown some investors but would value some feedback. Following on from Ella Romanos' talk - ‘What Investors Really Look For', this session will provide an opportunity for you to get honest direct feedback from a range of financers and funding experts, in small groups. With a range of experts from publishers to VCs, get feedback that helps you develop your pitch in the direction that you want. Expect honest and constructive feedback to help you improve your pitch and chances of raising funding, as well as an opportunity to meet the financers.

  • How to improve your pitch
  • What financers look for

The Long Game

Thursday 11th July: 16.00 - 16.45 : Room 1

Once your masterpiece ships the real work begins. How can you deliver new players, support your existing community make new content and speak with one voice to multiple audiences. How do you show your game to be a living, breathing entity on a minimum viable audience and build a roadmap for growth. James Binns, CEO of games media business Network N on the very real challenges facing developers and publishers, after their games ship. With unique data and actionable insights, the presentation features 16 concrete steps to take, mysteriously all of which start with the letter 'C'.

The Long Tail - Important Lessons to Remember Once You've Shipped Your Work

Thursday 11th July: 11.15 - 12.00 : Room 1

Producing and shipping your work is incredibly tough. Not only does it take a huge final push from the team to get all of the moving pieces aligned & package up the last few months (or years!) of work out to your tribe, but you also need to dig deep and find the energy to shout about it at each opportunity. 

Engagement can be tough and creating your own voice so that you know who it is you’re speaking to will help you stand out. It’s OK if your work isn’t for everyone, you don’t need to appeal to the whole industry, just the people who you created your work for. More than ever, you need to be specific about who you’re aiming your message towards as we see more and more games being released weekly.

This talk puts focus on creating systems and process before you enter the last phase of shipping your work so you not only know the key dates and milestones to hit but to also know how you’re communicating to your audience and why they should care. It will build upon White Paper Games’ experience in shipping our work to help provide insight on not only approaches that have worked, but the failures and wrong turns to watch out for on your own journey. The talk will have practical advice to put in place at your own studios to ensure you don’t lose track of your marketing activities in the build up to release.

  • Understanding the importance of how to communicate who your work is for so that you’re not trying to appeal to everyone in a busy industry
  • Ensuring developers keep focus on the long tail, not just month one sales
  • Putting practical production steps in place to focus on key marketing beats before release

Working Together for Smarter Prototyping

Wednesday 10th July: 16.00 - 16.45 : Room 1

Every project starts with an idea, which becomes a prototype if you’re lucky. This talk is about how different studios establish prototyping processes and make their ideas a reality. 

We will take a closer look at development guidelines and methods on two different platforms, mobile and PC, and how a platform’s constraints can shape ideas and production.

We will talk about how to create a basic toolset for rapid prototyping, reuse pre-existing production codebase & mechanics to improve the prototype’s quality, and identify the technical limitations of the platform as a part of the prototyping process.

We will look into multiple prototype stages and ways of getting feedback, and how we as developers can improve visibility through data analysis and analytics during playtesting.

  • What we can learn from the different approaches on mobile and PC platforms
  • How to create an extended toolkit for rapid prototyping
  • How to establish an archive of codebase and mechanics which can be reused and built on by successive projects
  • How to use prototype development to identify technical constraints
  • How to apply data analysis as a part of extended prototyping

Don’t miss out!

Develop:Brighton offers you an inspiring mix of top-notch speakers, practical how-to sessions, insights into the latest trends and technologies, plus fantastic networking opportunities. Find out about the different conference pass options and prices here or...

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