From exhibition to exhibition. Why communication with professionals is necessary for indie-developers. Article

STAY ALIVE 2018-01-12 1254

For a long time I was going with thoughts in order to write about our first exhibition and it lasted until the time when the next one will be take place less than a month. The reason is banal - lack of time. We received a large number of impressions from the exhibition and reviews about our game. After this event there were a lot of meetings, conference, disputes etc.

For our team Games Gathering 2017 is like a breath of the fresh air. This is the first gamedev exhibition which we visited in general and immediately with the stand of our game. That's cool! We were transported for two days to another world, a wonderful world with amazing people.

We were preparing for the event for about a month. There was a lot to prepare: a playable build for the jury, an advertising video of the game, a polygraphy, the souvenirs, a design of the stand. There was a lot of work. But we did it.

The main condition of the preparing for participation - to drop the build in time – this was a real test for us. As for the "law of presentation" one by one the bugs had appeared. In the last two days before the deadline the whole team worked hard and left the office after midnight. But we have made it in time. And I’m very grateful for all our team!

The video of the game is an another story. Thanks a lot to the guys who worked on it: Vadim (artist-animator), Valera (artist), Iuriy (sounder). Everything was done in the short deadlines and despite the fact that they all worked distantly, they worked hard with us like a real team of professionals!

So why indie developers need to take part in such exhibitions? The most important thing is look at your product from the outside, an opinion from the professional people! And there were so many different eyes. After all, with a ticket price of 60-100 dollars, I doubt that exhibition will be visited by ordinary gamers. It’s better for them to spend this money on Steam or for replenishing the balance of their favorite game. Such events are attended by people directly involved in the gamedev life (developers, producers, bloggers, etc.).

Our stand was visited by more than 150 people for one day of the exhibition. Almost everyone liked our game, its design, an idea and the team. But there were remarks and this is the most important thing that it was necessary to get from the such event! Professional criticism for the indie-team is like a free internship at the University of gamedev. We got into our head every remark, every advice.

But what I want to warn about - in any case, do not shoot from the hip! Do not start immediately implementing everything that you heard. After all, despite the fact that these are professional thoughts, they still do not know your product the way you know it.

This is your child, which is born before your eyes and with your help. The professional studied it maximum for 5-10 minutes, after playing and talking with you near the stand.

First of all consider the comments, discuss it inside of the your team, consult, think about utility of the such changes, rate the opportunity of this changes to alter your idea radically.

We almost made such mistake. I mean we did it, but because of that we got only slightly frightened - we loss of 7 days of the work and a big amount of the nerve cells. The fact is that one of the large-scale remark was that our plot will scare fans of sandboxes. The arguments were serious and argued. When we removed the effect of the plot line from the game and taking into account another remark of another person about the craft, we turned into a clone of the very famous game - Last Day on Earth from the coolest Russian developer, the company ‘Kefir’.

We thought about changes and realized that we make a big mistake - we kill our original idea of the game and start to swim in the wrong direction. The most important thing is that we did not discard these advice and comments, we modified them and took into account. It turned out cool!

Now we are preparing for DewGamm Kyiv 2018. We work on preparing a new build with the already taken into account comments again - we reworked the whole interface, corrected the crafting system, replaced the running around the location from the machine to the machine by studying the tree technology and so on. The main task for this exhibition is to looking for a potential publisher and the evaluation of our work by professionals. This is greatly increases self-esteem and believing in your work.

Who will be at the exhibition we will meet with you. Also we want to give advice for all indie-developers – it is necessarily to visit such events, you have to put your child on the jury's assessment. There is no guarantee that it will take some prize. The most valuable is participation, advices, flattering reviews and professional criticism.

See you on the pages of our devblog!