|Posted on October 27, 2014 at 5:20 PM|
Staffordshire University teamed up with Ukie, and were sponsored by Epic Games, Overclockers UK and Flix Interactive, to host a Student and Indie Game Conference last Wednesday (22nd October 2014).
The event was free for everyone to attend, and was ideal for students, alumni (like myself) and current indie devs, who were looking to gain an insight into what needs to be considered for a start-up studio.
Over 20 industry speakers visited Staffordshire University, to give talks about their areas of expertise. Topics ranged from tips for starting up a studio, to building a fan base for a game.
All of the talks I attended were highly informative, and everyone was confidently knowledgeable about their area. A couple of talks that really grabbed my interest were by Louise O'Conner from Rare Ltd, and Simon Callaghan from Johnny Atom.
Louise's talk had some very helpful tips on how to keep your mind creative. These tips were along the lines of:
• Have something with you, like a notepad, so you can make notes, or doodle at the time when you have an idea
• Play games, and not just video games, board games as well, to gain an understanding of new mechanics and other game aspects
• Read books, watch films and look at other forms of media for inspiration
• Talk and collaborate with others to get feedback on an idea, to develop it further
• Think wacky ideas, they might seem silly but people should respect your ideas
• Find a way to get your ideas on paper, through something like a Mind Map, so you can see what ideas can flow and connect together
These tips are things I am going to try and do more of myself to keep thinking creatively, and use the methods to help develop personal project ideas in the future.
The second talk I mentioned by Simon Callaghan covered points for planning a PR (Public Relations) campaign. He gave an overview of each area a campaign should cover, and stressed the importance of planning ahead a full PR campaign, to use during the entire development schedule of a game, and not just doing it as an afterthought.
PR is an area I find quite interesting, particularly because of the wide array of methods available to now interact with a target audience. For example, with sites like Twitch becoming ever more popular it provides real time interaction with the players, that isn't just limited to expos and other events, making it easier to get feedback on updates while a game is still in development.
With a good turnout of people, I hope Staffordshire University and Ukie will run an event similar to this in the future, so more people can get an up to date insight about games from the industry insiders. I would certainly look forward to heading along to the event again.
For more information about Ukie, and their upcoming events, check out their website http://ukie.org.uk