A Winter World of Love – Indie Game Development Conference

I went to this game dev conference on Friday (http://indiegamesarcade.com/world-of-love/) and just wanted to write out some brief notes about the speakers.  Hopefully some other people out there will find this useful, especially if you couldn’t attend or need to find a website/twitter account.

Ricky Haggett and Richard Hogg – Honeyslug
http://www.honeyslug.com/
Twitter – @KommanderKlobb (Ricky Haggett)
These guys mainly talked about their upcoming game ‘Hohokum’ – you control a worm type thing and have to rescue people while their world is being invaded.  They also talked about how the game evolved into what it is today and working practises they use to get things done… also stuff on their relationship as game designers and the whole ‘good cop bad cop’ thing.

Tak Fung – Supermono
http://www.supermono-studios.com/
Twitter – @mrfungfung
Tak Fung is the developer responsible for EpicWin on the iPhone.  He spoke about his MiniSquadron game (inspired by Biplanes on the Amiga – awesome game!) which is available now on the main mobile platforms.  One of his main points was that you don’t need to sell your house or change your life to become a games developer – he managed it by contracting a few days a week and then spending the rest of his time on games projects.  He also couldn’t stress the importance of having an art director to keep his games looking good and of a consistent style.

Ella Romanos – Remode
http://www.remodestudios.com/
Twitter – @remodestudios
Ella spoke with the other founder of the company who’s name I’m afraid I can’t remember.  These guys were inspirational – straight out of uni and already doing something pretty cool.  They seemed to know what they were talking about and have produced some great looking work.  One of the main things was Mole Control – a puzzle game based on Minesweeper.

Alice Taylor – Formerly Channel 4 (now freelance I think)
http://www.wonderlandblog.com/
Twitter – @wonderlandblog
Alice talked briefly about her career history and then mainly about her new freelance project – making custom 3D character models based on avatars that people can design.  Much of the talk was about Stortroopers (http://www.stortroopers.com/) and the processes behind 3D prototyping.  Very interesting stuff especially as I’m into vinyl toys!

Sam Redfern – Dark-Wind
http://www.dark-wind.com/
Sam is a lecturer by day and a game developer by night.  He’s famous for the game Dark-Wind, which can be described as a ‘turn-based 3D persistent world multiplayer car combat’ game.  I’ve never tried it but it looks interesting to say the least!  He mainly spoke about this game and also how he managed to combine his lecturing career with Dark-Wind so that he pretty much gets paid to do what he loves – nice!

Phil Stuart – Preloaded
http://preloaded.com/
Twitter @philstuart
Phil offered a very brief and sneak peak of their upcoming game The End – a platform puzzler aimed at teens and dealing with death and religion.  Particularly interesting to me was the insight into gaming analytics and the usefulness of the information when recording users’ actions.  Phil also spoke about how they produce 3 versions of each game – a bespoke one that sits on its own game URL (for SEO reasons), another for sites like Kongregate and Newgrounds and then another for ‘pirates’ to use and virally market the game when it starts to take off.

Charlie Knight – Charlie’s Games
http://www.charliesgames.com/
Twitter – @charliesgames
Creator of Scoregasm, Bullet Candy and Space Phallus.  Charlie was interviewed by David Hayward (@nachimir)  about life in general and obviously gaming… the main thing that stuck in my head was how he loves his fans and their support/loyalty because some people pre-ordered Scoregasm 18 months ago and it’s still not finished yet.

Ian Hardingham – Mode 7
http://www.mode7games.com/
Twitter – @mode7games
The main thing discussed was the use of generative level building to dynamically create randomised levels every time Frozen Synapse is played.  Ian went through the system they use to lock key areas to certain parts of the map while allowing the spaces around it to be randomly generated.

Robert Fearon – Retro Remakes
http://www.retroremakes.com/
Twitter – @retroremakes
Basically share your code/art/sounds for projects you’ve created but abandoned… thereby helping people like Rob to use your assets and finish their own games.  One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure!

Sophie Houldon
http://sophiehoulden.com/

Twitter – @S0phieH
Use the element of surprise in your games because it builds anticipation and reduces boredom.  But don’t do it too often, and don’t make it weird because that’s just shock.  Oh… and we’re all cooler than ninjas.

Nicholas Lovell
http://www.gamesbrief.com/
Twitter – @nicholaslovell
Nicholas wrote “How to Publish a Game” which you can buy from here – http://www.gamesbrief.com/store/buy/.  He only spoke for a few minutes which was a real shame because he was an excellent speaker… except rather embarrassingly I can’t remember anything he said – oops!

That’s it – after that it was down to the pub.  Hope this information helps some people :)

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