Why Conferences Are Vitally Important for Game Developers

Apr
08

On the threshold of DevGAMM Moscow 2015, the international conference for game developers and publishers, we decided to share some thoughts on pros of attending this kind of events.

No matter how you slice it, gaming conferences are something everyone in the industry can gain benefit from. Especially, if you’re a game developer.

One or two days of the event can become your moment of glory and a turning point of your entire career. Here are some useful things that you can do at the conference:

1.Get your game playtested and rated by plenty of gamers.

Excellence has no limit: show your game to everyone to get unbiased opinion about gameplay and UI, then polish them considering the feedback obtained.
Tip from a pro: Don’t trust your memory, use any recording device within reach. If there’s no possibility to record a video or audio, do it the old way - put down key points in your notebook.

2.Showcase your game in a favorable light. 

If you want to get noticed, it’s essential to master the craft of presenting your product at public events, or at least learn the ropes of it: 

-Devices are your best friends. Make sure to have them fully charged, operating, and equipped with locks (if you have a thing about safety). You can place extra tv screen to demonstrate gameplay all day long, it will draw more attention.

-Quality build. You should try and fit all the creams of your game into 3-5 minutes of gameplay (no second chances! your game should win hearts right away). As an option, you can prepare a self-played build.

-Design your spot. Aside from making your booth/table look good and enticing to come over, you should put your brand to every place possible. Rollup, banner, table plate, etc.   

Tip from pro: Turn any problem to your advantage. For example, the organizer prohibited placing any rollups or banners next to the table. Override the rule by decorating your space with anything visible at a distance, e.g. branded balloons, flags or even a pot plant.

3.Draw attention to your game.

Creating a buzz around your game is halfway to success. Note that everyone is welcome, but journalists are those that should be hooked in the first place. 

Rule No. 1: Everything you do, you do it to draw attention.
Rule No. 2: Always try to collect e-mails or contact details of your “playtesters”, they’ll be your focus group.
Rule No. 3: Give them “carrot” in the form of game-related swag and entertain them with mini-contests in social media, tournaments, cosplay acting or “face in the hole” photo session. Be as generous as you can and remember: gifts must bear information about the game, brand, your contact details, anything that will refer to your title.

Tip from a pro:  Smart spam can do no harm. Hand out your business cards or flyers in queues, coffee break zones, smoking areas and even toilets. 

4. Network and find a publisher.

A quality title can “find” a publisher, even if the developer is introverted. But the chances of releasing your game under a solid publishing brand will increase radically if you network actively.
The networking opens up many doors in the gaming industry, so don’t underestimate the importance of coffee breaks and mingle parties. Get in touch with influential people, meet journalists, discuss burning issues over a cup of something, and you’ll soon find the right person to have business with.

The post is based on the tips by Lerika Mallayeva, a managing director of DevGAMM conference.

Your next opportunity for showcasing your game will be at DevGAMM Moscow 2015 on May 15-16!

Posted by Renatus on April 08, 2015