This year I was able to have the honour of attending GCAP (Game Connect Asia Pacific) in Melbourne and wow, what an amazing conference! We heard talks from people along the likes of Carl Callewaert – Unity Evangelist, Richard Iwanuik from Bioware and Phil Larsen, the Chief Marketing Officer of Halfbrick Studios.
Now I could write up a complete novel of information about what was discussed at GCAP but let’s face it, that would be way too many words and not enough pictures – for my liking anyway! So I am going to summarise what I found to be the key discussions that impacted us all at GCAP.
I found that most talks were leaning towards the indie game development world and the growing trend of mobile and social platforms. This is not a bad thing at all and Mike Acton of Insomniac Games did a very inspirational talk on the current state of the Australian Video Games industry. He strongly stated that it IS NOT DEAD as some may be led to believe with the closure of some of our largest gaming development companies such as Team Bondi and THQ. It is changing however, and we as Australian game developers need to act as a community to collaborate and mentor each other. Our country is full of passionate and talented individuals, and that it a cause for hope!
Here are some important questions that we need to ask ourselves when in this industry:
What am I passionate about?
This is different for everybody and can help you determine exactly where you want to go within the industry. Is it creating relatable and lovable characters? Bringing a character to life with animation? Creating emotion through colours and texture? Working out what you really have a true passion for will send you in the right direction professionally.
What drives me?
Do you thrive under pressure or prefer the relaxed atmosphere? Work well within large groups or better off alone? Knowing what drives you will help determine whether you’re better suited for a large scale AAA company or a small Indie group.
What inspires me?
Knowing where and/or whom to find your inspiration from is important for keeping you motivated and productive in your project. So before you start anything, find your inspiration! Without it you’ll get nowhere fast.
How can I make an impact?
I guess you could also ask “How do I want to make an impact?” And decide how you are going to go about it from there. In order to make an impact, your game needs to have a “something” that stands out to people. That “something” is the reason that people are going to buy your game.
What do I have to say?
Everyone should have something to say. Everyone should be able to say “My name is *blank* and I’m here… to shock and amaze you; to tell you a story; to give you the best gaming experience of your life; to make you feel emotions you never thought you could feel while playing a game; to bring you into a story of love, hate and revenge.”
If you have nothing to say, then you do not have a game. Players need you to show them what you have to say and be able to take that away with them. In a way, what you have to say can be the very essence of your game.