by Philipp Schäfer
Today I’m so glad we have no podcast, but a blog instead, for my voice is still just recovering. First thing I can tell you about the Gamescom as an indie developer is – you will have a hard life talking to people all day while all the companies around you are blasting their trailer music through amazing sound systems and are screaming into microphones. But enough complaining – the same fact has a big upside: you get to talk to lots of people! At the beginning we were curious if our small shared Indie Arena booth would find any recognition, when everyone is obsessively hunting for big merch and the newest AAA games.
Now I feel bad for saying this about the Gamescom visitors … you guys were great! Our game was played nonstop from morning to evening and lots of unique and interesting questions were asked.
From Wednesday till Friday we also had access to the business area, which we used as a place to relax and for some planned or spontaneous but productive meetings – sometimes just drinking a coffee somewhere gives you a good contact. So what I can recommend for every developer: don’t go outside on your coffee breaks! If you have any relationship to Austria, go to the WKO booth. There is always someone around and the coffee is great! Elsewise the NRW and Bavaria booths are good spots too.
But let’s get back to the entertainment area. While you can catch the big press in the business area or by scheduling a meeting, don’t forget that there is a lot of press just walking through the halls, which you might have missed in your research. Also, who knows what the next big thing will be in press? Going after press is definitely one thing we learned from the Gamescom.
Since we are at recommendations, I can give another really personal one: don’t pull an all-nighter on the first day. Strangely this does not raise the productivity on the following days. Remember: it is not the only night you will meet great new people – so don’t get too carried away. Also, since the nights were kind of a topic, here is my opinion on this, because I think you’re really crazy about hearing it: The Gamescom party is totally worth the 55 bucks, even if you should fail to make life-changing contacts there – it’s good food and drink at a lovely, big location where you can even have a conversation without shouting for once. Concerning the hyped Sony party: well, it’s a party! If you are in for the music, go get it – if you are crazy about work and connections however, don’t expect too much. There was also a small Indie Arena come together, which I recommend for everyone related.
In case you are a Germany-related developer, we are planning to load a list of learnings from the Gamescom up to the Indie Arena forum. If there is good feedback to the list I guess we might also post it somewhere else, where it is more accessible.
Now that this is off my chest lets end with some advertisement: If you are planning on going to Gamescom next year, go visit the Indie Arena! Lots of crazy ideas were born in those days – so go and check out what games and ideas will make it into next year’s booth.
See you next year Cologne!
Till then … you can meet us in Vienna at the AniNite, in Linz at the Gamestage, again in Vienna at the Game City and maybe even in Poznan at the Game Arena. Check our Twitter and Facebook for more details when the events are approaching. Meanwhile here is a pic of our shiny new merch.