Reboot Develop Blue 2019

Reboot Develop Blue is my yearly conference since last year in April. The lineup of speakers are always crazy and the costs are super cheap, adding that we are by the sea. It’s hard for any other conference to compare. This year, the main keynote was a discussion between Fumito Ueda and Hidetaki Miyazaki.

My colleagues and I took the plane from Geneva to Munich, ate a schnitzel, then from Munich to Dubrovnik. I had the chance to be seated next to George Krstic, the director of Story, Creative Development at Blizzard Ent. We discussed about various topics ranging from working conditions to their processes of creating stories for Overwatch, I guess I got the Thursday keynote spoiled.

Arriving at the hotel, I was a bit afraid for the weather, because it was raining a bit, but it went better during the week, with some sunny weather with sea wind to cool it down. Compare to last year where I wanted to relax, this year I went to the most talks possible and took a lot of notes to share with my students.

Some of my talks were by Croteam on terrain generation, Warren Spector on the definition of success, Andrew Parsons from Devolver about making decisions. The nice thing is te possibility to ask questions to speakers to deepen a bit the talk, unlike GDC where you have thousands of people running everywhere, Reboot is more relaxed.

There is a nice restaurant on the way to the conference, we could taste seafood and rosé from the region, even if the prices are quite comparable to Swiss prices. Anyway, that was Reboot 2019 and I am already looking forward for the next one next year.

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Train Jam & GDC 2019

In March, I went to GDC with Alexis Simonetta to showcase our game Soup Raiders. Our goal was to get contact with publishers. But before that, our first stop was Chicago:

I had the misfortune of having my luggage delay before Train Jam, but it was long before the departure, so everything went back to order pretty quickly. I did some shopping and we embarked into the train:

With about 300 game developers filling the train, we had the chance to enjoy the wonderful landscape of the USA, with two panorama cars:

We went through Ilinois and had to detour in Iowa due to flooding, so we were already 16 hours late when arriving in Denver (I wented my breakfast at the train station). Then we went through Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada.

We finally arrived in Calfornia about 20hours late (which meant we missed the Swiss dinner, but enjoyed the Salt Lake regions).

Before GDC, it was time to visit a bit the city and we went to the Comic Museum:

Now it was time for the GDC and the European Game Showcase. We showcased the game on the Switch for EGS:

And then it was GDC, with our booth:

But I spent also some times at the park Yuena Buena park next to the convention center, meeting old and new friends there:

I enjoyed this GDC more than I was expected, no stress, never bored, always meeting with friends and I guess, that’s the true GDC experience. That was for GDC 2019

 

 

 

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BIC Fest 2018

In mid-September, I went to South Korea for the BIC Festival (Busan Indie Connect, not to confuse with Casual Connect) with a little detour in Seoul. The first thing that happened in Busan was the “Make Play Jam”, a game jam before the conferences & exhibition. There, I had the change to meet Zak (programmer at 11-bits studio) and Wolf (part of Poppy Works). Each of us got separated into different teams as we were mostly the only programmers. The novelty for me was to make a game with people that barely spoke english, which was challenging in a way. We were communicating through Slack to exchange informations. I was also sick to death, so I was happy to buy laxative.

 

We finally did a small platformer game called Happy Dog:

After the jam, there was one day (13.11) for conferences, with high quality talks from Chris Hecker, Tyrone Rodriguez (Nicalis), Casey Muratori, Nick Suttner and others. Even though the day was full, it seemed pretty short of a lineup compared to events like Reboot Develop, Respawn (before Gamescom) or other smaller conferences events (not like GDC).

Then the day after was Business Day (14.11), it was the occasion for press to test the game before the consumer’s days and to pitch to publishers (mostly sponsors of the event). I got the occasion to pitch the early prototype of Soup Raiders to Nicalis and Devolver Digital to get feedback (there was also Humble Bundle and Epic Games).

Of course, the two days following where the exhibition open to the public. The festival organization did a little game where developers gave stickers to players when they came to their booth, motivating them to test as much game as possible. Because it is a indie game only festival, there was no too much noise (compare to Taipei Game Show for example).

BIC Fest would be what it is without talking the Beach parties. every evening, after dinner, was probably the best networking opportunity with beer and alcohol. This is the place I met some developers from the Kyoto indie game scene and other.

In the end, the BIC Fest is a nice stop before TGS, without the crowd and noise, but with the high quality developers.

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