3 days at the Gamelab were not enough
My first time at the Gamelab.
As I promised, I am back from Barcelona and ready to tell you how I lived the GAMELAB. A keay event if you work in game indsutry.
What I first felt is that the developers community in Spain is not huge, but they know well each other. I could even meet some people already known. One of the studios with more visibility was The Game Kitchen. Their stand was reallly well located and you found them as you arrive downstairs to the magnificient basement floor of the Hesperia Hotel Barcelona Tower. I have met many interesting people in those three days, but we will come back about this point. First, I would mention the only negative thing I saw, the access badge distribution. Even If I followed my good advice (come early) we had to wait for a long (and surreal) queue which was twisting in a spiral like a snake. As many people came the queue was more messy, but fortunately, or because developpers are well polite, there was no problem at all. Even if we had to wait almost one hour to pick up our badges. I hope next year they are reinforcing the staff since the beginning. Once the additional staff came, everything speed up.
First of all, there are many reasons to come to the Gamelab, but my favourite ones has been the talks. The level was awesome. Since the indie developpers tips and hints (what I found incredible useful) to the developers rock stars. For the reason that my talks started with Maja Moldenhauer (Behind the scenes with Cuphead) the starting level was really high. To be honest, I did not know Maja before. I knew well Cuphead. And as many of you, I love Cuphead, the concept, the art, and the courage they had to launch such an original game with the hand-drawn style. But I didn’t know Maja. After listening to her interview, pleasently conducted by Rami Ismail, I also love both of them. It was an exciting pannel to start with. And they knew how to make it pleasant.
After that, I went to the “Indie area” where we had some sort of workshops. The one called Efficient indie tricks to get close to AAA Quality, performed by Carlos Coronado from Pantumaca it was really clarifying. He gave us lot of tips any indie developer should know. A rermarkable one was: No LOGO is the best Logo. According to him, if you are not really good at art, don’t waste your time designing a logo. No one will buy your game by the logo. Inspite of this, isbetter to invest in SEO and ASO and find a good name for the game. He explained his frustration when he was about to launch his game, at that time called inferno and Mr. Dan Brown decided to launch his also well Best Seller with the same title. Therefoe, he had to change it for Infernium. And he did it right, because Infernium is a succcess.
The legends from Game Industry, two meters away
After that we could attend very interesting talks with very high leverl speakers (as professionals and speaker) but we would like to highlight the following ones: David Jones, Jonathan Blow, and specially Debby Bestwick, from Team 17. Debby surprised us all with her honesty, transparency and also telling about her tough moments, From a huge success as publisher in the UK and Europe in the late 80’s and creation of Worms in the early 90’s to difficult moments after wasting money and losing the focus. We really thank Debby for the good comments and tips she gave us. She has recently sold part of the company to secure Team17 development. Because, she loves the company she created, overall. And her main priority was the people workin in the company. I felt that indie company created in 3o years ago, who became a best seller and had to reinvent was kind of a son for her.
One thing we did not like too much was the food because we had to eat outside, as there was nothing organised. We ate Kebab at a fast food and sandwiches the second day. Because the place was called Cervantes. We found out that the most popular writer ever was a Kebab lover 😉 It is true that you don’t come to a Conference cycle for the food, but I wish we had had something better organised. For sure you can eat at the hotel or at the food corner. Probably the first one was trully expensive for us, and the second one was low quality. Fortunately, we all thought the same and we met at the same places. This allowed us to cheer up and celebrate with some local drinks. But this last only a shor while, because we still had on of the best moment of the whole event (in my opinion).
Spanish Game Industry associations
First of all, I would like to clarify our support to association as a good way to defend collective interest. This is the reason why I was so enthusiast about one of the last talks in the Gamelab: Who is who in the spanish game industry. I could identify DEV (Spanish Develpers asssociation) and AEVI (Spansih Association of Game industry companies). Another association represented was DEVICAT but as they are a local association I was not really on their position.
A fight for no real reason
First of all, we were really shocked as once the debate started, it seems that DEV and AEVI had issues from the past. I noticed that there were fighting each other. After a long argument, finally no one among the public could really understand the problem, the reasons or the topic. It seems that DEV was defending developers’ interest and AEVI big companies interests. And now, AEVI is trying to gather also developers interests so that they have more power to negotiate in front of government and institutions. And DEV feels in danger tis position. But at the end, I got more confused than before. So we (Ofiuco Games) have now asked AEVI and his representative to come to Sevilla and explain their position and how we could benefit from being associated. We think that both are doing a good job. In summary, no one has a clear idea yet, but we all expect links bewteen companies and stakeholders in the industry to be reinforced. There is a lot of talent in this country, so we have to join our forces to make it grow up.
The best of Gamelab:
- The People
- The Games shown
- Quality of the talks
“Not that good”
- Badge Distribution
Therefore, we hope you have found useful our summary. For us has been really inspirational and we are more motivated than ever to keep on working on “ILEKUN”. Learning from the best ones trying to adopt their techniques and know-how as much as possible. It’s no possible to summarize everything in just one post. Next year we will be writing a daily post. So ideas are fresh and we won’t forget anything. Our final consideration. If you can, you should come next year. Please give as a call od DM, because we will.