Simon Bland in Games

03/03/2015

GDC 2015 GamesLab Dev Diary - Day 1

Our GamesLab team are currently at the Games Developers Conference in San Francisco. 

With them are five UK-based games development teams who we've taken along to help promote their work and make new connections within the industry.

Below, you'll find the first of our GDC Dev-Diary blogs from each of our attending teams letting us know how they got on on day one... 


Greg Pryjmachuk - Minsk Works

t: @MinskWorks

"Great first day. So I started my day attending the art direction seminar. Whilst I've never been, and have no real desire to be an art director, I was interested in hearing how Ben Thompson transitioned from university lecturer to deciding the art direction for Blizzard Entertainment's 'Hearthstone'. The talk consisted of naming 7 rules which enable art directors to create the best work the possibly can. The talk was given at a high level, so all 7 rules could be applied to multiple disciplines, not just art direction. 

"Throughout the day, I spoke with various people, making some great 1-1 connections with American developers and attending some of the smaller kiosks. One interesting kiosk was PlayJam, a micro console publisher who are in the relatively early stages (planning for release end of Q3 this year), but offer a great opportunity to get onto their publishing platform during launch.

I then attended some narrative design talks which dealt with dissonance and diegesis in games - two core problems that I feel hinder the medium.

During the afternoon and evening, I was lucky enough to be able to demo an early build of my game at IGN's offices for theMIX (Media Indie Exchange). This was really an invaluable opportunity for me. Not only did I get some great feedback for the game and continue to build a brand but I managed to meet other developers who have had a real influence on my craft, Aubrey Serr, Greg Rice, and Alex Austin to name a few. There was also a Twitch stream where I was interviewed by Gamespot's Danny O'Dwyer whilst I played through my game.Overall a very rewarding day and can't wait to get back out there."

Dave Costello - Pixel Blast

t: @PixelBlastLtd

"I met with DeNA and they went through their business focus what kind of products they are looking for. They reviewed our game demo too gave some good feedback.

"I also met Graham from Player Research, showed him the game and talked about the future and getting their fantastic user-testing service.

"This is the first time we've had a playable demo so I met some old colleagues and showed them the game, getting some excellent and consistent feedback which is going to be great to take back to UK

"I then met the great Trevor Williams from Playground games for a lunch and watched some pitches which were good to see."

Dan Walters - Calvino Noir

t: @Dan_Games

"I spent all day yesterday at an invite-only Intel design workshop for some new hardware they are developing. I met several people from Intel, and some interesting other developers who were invited."

James Parker - Ground Shatter

t: @GroundShatter

"I only made one talk - which was the producer panel about managing an indie team. It was very interesting and there was a wide-range of views and possibilities presented, and a lot of good practical advice, too.

"I then had a meeting with Execution Labs, a Montreal Based games accelerator program which was very interesting. You can see more info about their programmes here.

"In the evening I came third-place in the 'Write Club' contest, which is organised (I think) via the IGDA Writers Special Interest Group. It's a knockout competition where each round you get a couple of minutes to write something witty based on a given - games related - brief. Just a bit of fun really but quite tense and exciting. I met someone who liked like a young Matthew Broderick."

Liam Comerford - Slug Disco

t: @SlugDisco

"I started the day at Google's mobile games presentation: 'Making Mobile Games More Magnificent'.  The emphasis was on Google's analytics system for android games and new, upcoming features to better support game developers - of particular interest was the array of business management tools available.  

"Following this I was intrigued by the Math for Game Programmers session which had already begun and spent the majority of the day here. I was introduced to some fantastic tricks for maximizing performance when using fractional powers and logical inequalities that I intend to make use of in the future. I took breaks from the session to see individual presentations on selling in the Asian marketplace and even some character animation tips & tricks (a topic I am quite unfamiliar with).  It was difficult to decide where to go, there were so many great parallel sessions."


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