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.
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!