My beloved Meetup

Every month, game developers from all around the Swiss French part come together for a casual meetup to learn about a new subject and drink some beers. It is the central place of the Swiss French scene. Even though not everyone is a professional, people share their knowledge and motivate each other to move forward. It is hard to define if the meetup is moving the whole scene forward (like it is hard to know if the Nordic Game Jam helped the game industry in the Scandinavian countries).

I started to go to the meetup in 2014, before going to the ZHdK. The first one I attended, funny enough, is the one that Kevin Péclet, my current colleague, actually presented Otherworld (now Starfallen): https://www.meetup.com/Game-Developers-Suisse-Romande/events/176334712/

Several months later, I presented my work about game jams and afterwards, I went to Zurich, but even then, I was still going every month to the Swiss French meetup. I went to a game jam with Kevin and following the production of Splash Blast Panic, we found a company.

The meetup made the game developer I am today. Being able to see what game development was concretely and being able to share insights, tricks and talks taught me a lot of things. So to give back to the community, I started to help David Javet in the organization. We managed to push the quality of the presentation to another level, invite international guests over skype or live on stage. The meetup did not completely change, but the community became more professional, but still keeping this passionate root.

Students from EPFL, ECAL, HEAD, SAE Institute, EPAC come regularly to meet the game developers from the indie scene, ask them questions and for some of them, integrate our community. This is why I joined the organization of the meetup, to help people connect and to share. Some companies do not come, often telling that they already work all day on their game, they don’t think that they need this helping community. But when they die or bankrupt, nobody pity them and they become a joke for the game community, instead of a dream of old.

Game developers from all around the Swiss French part, Geneva, Neuchâtel, Fribourg, Lausanne come together and share. This is my meetup. This is our game development community. This is my beloved meetup.

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ADDON 2017 – A replacement of the Stunfest pause

This week, I was at ADDON in Brittany, France, to meet my fellow French game developers. This year, the Stunfest hit pause, whch was pretty sad. The Stunfest is one of the only festivals were people were actually beating me at my own game. It is the meeting point of the best players in France and compared to Paris Games Week or Gamescom, it is not a money grabbing event, but a passionate one.

I had two presentations to make, one about my upcoming game Splash Blast Panic and the other one about the gameboy homebrew entry of the GBJam 5 we did back last year. So with a small Swiss french delegation, we went there to network. Here is Twitter story:

 

Kevin had a panel talking about his project Helvetii.

Finally, after some nice crepes and a final boss at the Libanese restaurant, we went back home.


And I am really looking forward to go to Stunfest next year, even if I don’t know with which games already.

You can find the link to my two presentations here:

http://eliasfarhan.ch/addon_spash

http://eliasfarhan.ch/addon_gb

I also discussed game jams and indie game development during the Indie Dev Lounge here:

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/148692478

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Indie Train Jam 2017 and GDC17

 

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March was an intense month for me. After we signed the contract with our new publisher Digital Smash for the upcoming release of our game, it was time for Kevin and I to pack our things and to go to the USA for the Game Developers Conference. At the same time, the Nintendo Switch was about to release March the 3rd and it was a really good occasion to get it for 50CHF cheaper than in Switzerland. Nintendo announced a conference at the GDC (I could not attend it, I had to many things to do) but here is a link:

 

However I went to see the post-mortem of Civilization by Sid Meier and Bruce Shelley. It was amazing to see the two game designers talking about the birth of this game series. I took 5 pages of notes just from this presentation. You can find it on the vault: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1024294/Classic-Game-Postmortem-Sid-Meier

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But before the GDC, I went for the second time to the Indie Train Jam from Chicago to San Francisco! Last year, I could not sleep well in the train, so I was worried on how I could sleep well. Fortunately this time, I slept well enough. I also did music for a team, making it a relaxing jam. Here is a photo of the team:

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If you are looking carefully, you should recognise Jeremy Spillmann from Switzerland. Yes, this year I was not the only Swiss in the train. With this team, we made the game Take Your Shot, a duel game with a twist for pacific players. Here are some more photos from the train:

 

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Then it was time to setup the GDC booth and go to Game Connection America. The #SwissGames booth was all covered in red carpet, we were in the complete end of the booth in the corner, probably not the best place, because not that many people were going through this part. On the other hand, Game Connection America was mostly a B2B  event, pretty boring compared to GDC, so I figured out I could train my soft corporate skills. At least, the venue was in a Baseball stadium:
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So when Game Connection America was over, I was ready for GDC at the #SwissGames booth. I met some very interesting people, networked hard. We went to meet Nintendo to get Splash Blast Panic to go on the Switch. And of course, I did the queue to get a Switch on Friday the 3rd:

 

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But I got one! As soon as the GDC was over, Soufian and I went on a road trip to California Highway One, before I took the plane back home to Geneva. Here are some photos:

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Then I was on my way home, saving the Hyrule Kingdom.

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