From Friday the 22th to Sunday the 24th of January, I was at the Ludicious Festival in Zürich. The lineup of speakers was incredible, John & Brenda Romera were the rockstars, but even others like Sergey Galyonkin from Steam Spy, Ru Weerasuriya from Ready At Dawn (that released the not so good Order 1886) or Thomas Grip from Frictional Games. And much more of course.
Switching between interesting talks and taking a lot of notes (I have 10 pages of detailed notes) was my main activity. I learned a lot of things on Interactive Storytelling, Game Development philosopies, Game Jam as Pre-Production process, Game Data Analytics. I had the pleasure to meet very interesting people like Vesa Raudasoja from Finland who organize the Finnish Game Jam (the Finnish locations of the Global Game jam at the Art Museum in Helsinki) and who is now running forthe election of IGDA Board Director. But of course, there was also the Swiss Game Award, with the gala:
Probably, people will remember me from my amazing moustache. Cloud Chaser won the Audience Award and Feist won the Swiss Game Award. I was eating with the swiss-french, Mikhail Chatillon from Microsoft, Sylvain Cardin from MindMaze, and Basile & Ben from Digital Kingdom. We laughed so much of everything. A let’s player was playing all the nominees’ game, but he played so badly that we could not stop laughing (wine was probably not completely out of the equation).
But one the most learning experience was on Sunday, the Unconference. It was not a conference day and everyone can propose a mini-talks of 5 minutes. I presented my experiences with 2 years of One Game A Month:
— Rae Knowler (@RaeKnowler) January 24, 2016
— David Stark (@zarkonnen_com) January 24, 2016
Of course, I was not the only one who was talking during the mini-talks session from Unconference. We had Gino Yu who came from Davos to the Unconference by inviation from my teacher Mela Kocher. He had some amazing insights on the mental model space and the physical state. For example, if we have a jump scare in a video-game, we will have a physiological response that is the same that if a real lion attacks us (typically adrenaline rush to make our body ready for any decisions we can make). He gave a Ted talk about meaningful media.
In conclusion, it wasw an overwhleming learning week-end and I probably have to digest all the informations I learned in the following weeks. But what I can say for sure is that I am as motivated as ever to follow my dream and to create games.