Quo Vadis + A.Maze Indie Connect Day 1

All game lovers, business suits and socializers had their reason to be the whole week in Berlin, since the Deutsche Gamestage (German Games Days) took place from April, 24th until the 28th. This event covers the Quo Vadis (business meeting and developer conference), the first German Indie Festival - A.Maze Indie Connect, the Lara Award (German Games Award) and a public play event at the German Computer Games Museum where you could play the winners of the German computer games award.

quo vadis

Thanks to our overwhelming creativity we both won tickets for the Quo Vadis some time ago and could afford to take part in the developers conference.
But to be honest: We missed the whole event. Of course we were there, took our nice accreditation map and bag and walked a bit through the place. But I didn't feel that comfortable there. The conference was scattered through the building and the amount of conference rooms, without being actually crowded with people, built a cold atmosphere. Business suits all over the place, and I really missed an enthusiasm about making and loving games.

Which is not completely true, of course. The conference featured some student works in their own room, too. Although I missed a certain uniqueness of the projects, they all had an amazing quality and it was fun to talk to the people - reminded us of our own time being even more green-eyed than now. Except them being extremely professional in their appearance.
And because of our will to still learn about this business game, we attended Teut Weidemann's talk about the death of the console. Since I hate console playing for being unable to use two sticks at the same time and treated like a retard through huge symbols and blinking signs, I optimistically entered the room. But the slow death of Nintendo is no fun at all, especially for being replaced by free2play and social gaming. And this combination with the triumphal procession of Apple really bothers me. Innovations and fun games could definitely persist in this combination. But business talks, buzzwords and assumed trends often lead to crusted systems desperate developers are willingly to follow. Which is extremely simplified, I dare to admit, but in order to go more into the details I'd have to write another article.

At least he mentioned this Indie thing in one or two places in the personification of Notch which was followed by "Nobody could have seen this coming" mumbles out of the audience.

Looking at the schedule we decided to leave the place to play the games the Indie Connect presented in their exhibition at the What?! club. In the end I regret my stubbornness a bit, because I missed some great talks that for example were given by CD Project Red's Michal Nowakowski about their company.
I guess without a pre-alpha title and proper financing in the backpack, talks about monetizing and the iPad3-hype are no fun at all.

The exhibition on the other hand was very cuddly, thanks to the fact that it was in a cellar with a bar and comfortable stools surrounding widescreens. This was one thing to really be there: Discussing game design with other game enthusiasts and not merely the monetizing aspect - although in the end this fact shouldn't be neglected, sadly.
Although one of the Buskers - Sos - had sealed copies of his soon-to-be released game McPixel in his bag to sell them around - just to end up using them as business card instead. Which on the other hand turned out as play-testing event, too, for many developers had their iPad (posers!) with them to show and test their game.

The day closed with a nice meet-and-greet party that was held at the quarters of the Games Academy. Nice place!

To AMAZEing days 2 and 3! >>

exhibitionsos amodo rat king

Comments 3

  • Hey, so you were at the Quo Vadis after all, but only quickly. And mostly in talks I haven't been to :) That's the reason I haven't crossed you probably. I was at Quo Vadis most of the time and only quickly at Indie Connect (to finally meet Mario von RIckenbach when he gave his talk, a fellow Swissy).

    I had the pleasure of hearing Michał from CD Projekt RED talk about the Witcher. This was really good stuff.

    On the other hand, I personally don't have such strong feelings and I can't quite understand the "hate" against "suits". Yes, I absolutely agree a lot of talks were about free2play and monetization, monetization, monetization. And I think models where you have to pay over and over again to buy items only to compete with other players is quite sick. Some companies go too far here and just really calculate their chances without caring for players or the game itself. They don't respect players and treat them as cash cow. But as always, there is A LOT of middle ground and many shades of gray. There were super cool talks about a Bud Spencer fan project that is crowd funded, and how smaller studios survive and what strategies they developed to pay their bills, and where they failed or succeeded. Really cool stuff.

    One can't deny that there are people who need to make a living from their games. Those people made their passion their job. A little "business" just needs to take place, otherwise they can't feed their families. Many of them are trying hard to make cool games and care for the players as far as I heard from talking to them. There were many cool people who were very helpful, took much time to talk to us, share their tips and insights. I profited a lot.

    It's quite interesting to read about the same event from a totally different point of view! And I just wanted to drop my 2 cents and show the perspective of somebody who was mostly at Quo Vadis ;)

    OR, maybe I'm just spoiled already. Having worked in IT consulting for several years, I may have grown accustomed to suits and how to cope with them ;)

  • @Chris: I guess I just was in the mood to talk to people instead of listening to monologues.
    There is btw no complete hate for business suits, but it felt definitely more comfortable to talk to people wearing more casual clothings.

    Why haven't you been at the Indie Connect that much?

  • I had a premiere for a new theater piece in Basel Friday evening, so I had to rush back with the first plane 6 o'clock Friday morning. So I only had 1 day at Indie Connect, and that day I mostly spent at Quo Vadis, since there were some talks I wanted to hear. So I only rushed to Indie Connect quickly to meet Mario, hear his talk, and rush back :) We were at the Lara Awards in the evening, but then I went back to get at least some sleep. :) Well, maybe next time. From your photos I judge you quite enjoyed it the way you wanted. Well done :) As it should be.