Two weeks after the previous game conference we attended (see our Reboot Develop 2017 – Indie Report), we were back on conference carpets! On top of having fun, it is easy to compare these two events. So let’s start with some common areas.
Another conference, another batch of cool indie games. And again, there wasn’t enough time to see, meet and talk all fellow indie developers, yet alone to play their amazing games!
Read about those we have visited and played below or see all of them for yourself: game-access.com/indie-expo.
A game we first come by at Reboot Develop was in Brno too. With even more time to observe it an play it, I can confirm that it is shaping up to be a great game. It has 70’s visuals and really amusing proposition – your job is to clean the crime scenes. The gameplay is fun, which is the most important thing. Now let’s hope for a lots of levels and many platforms to be present at. Check it out for yourself at Steam Early Access (here: store.steampowered.com/app/522210/Serial_Cleaner).
A notable game named Mashinky (steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=821959155) is a local rising star – a mix of classic Transport Tycoon and Railroad Tycoon. Although only in Alpha stage and being Greenlit in Q4/2016, it already looks very promising. If you liked either of mentioned classic games, you cannot help not to be hooked instantly.
A simple left-to-right running/platforming game but visually super attractive, where you can play as a Unicorn (or Lama, Deer or Ram). Their other game mobile game – Flippy Knife (see both here: beresnev.games) is also rather addictive, but this one follows more a easy-to-learn-hard-to-master formula. Looking forward to play them both.
Not mentioning specific games, just noting something that is probably a trend. More and more VR indie games are being showcased. I guess that is a good thing, right?
Talks & Speakers
I had almost no time to catch any of the interesting talks. Which is a great shame, because those 3-4 I did attended were really good. This is the main reason why I won’t be announcing any highlights and will only provide a summary for the event as a whole.
Only two weeks after one of the European’s largest game conferences (Reboot Develop 2017), organizers were able to provide compelling program packed with useful talks. Kudos for that! All went smoothly, maybe missed a moderation from and there, but nothing major. There were only two halls/tracks to choose from (which is obviously less than Reboot’s five!), but our team found all of the talks in a high quality.
There is probably only one think that was a bit disappointing, but turned out better than expected – placement of the indie showcase.
On paper, putting indie games into a garage looked like a bad idea. At the end of day one, we didn’t complain really. The area itself looked great (red carpets and game banners everywhere), coffee was close to get, space was nicely distributed and provided good opportunities to showcase, gather feedback or just start conversations with anyone and everyone. I was a bit concerned that putting games far from both halls will turn off majority of people and nobody will come. Yet, just enough people come by to play our game that were able to handle. For gathering player feedback, this was ideal. For studios that wanted to gather as many eyeballs as possible, this might not have been as good, though.
Perhaps the only learning we have is that preparation pays-off. We had a showcase-specific build ready in advance, simple feedback questions written, game’s pitch rehearsed. Of course, we will polish every part of a showcase for the next event.
Overall impressions & Summary
In our home city, there was no excuse not to visit the evening parties. All with carefully chosen locations, with good networking opportunities and partying (although the parties were a bit limited in amount of served drinks and food).
Attendees were friendly and in a great mood (not just for playtesting and feedback), the coffee was really great (again!). One of the highlights was the closing ceremony – moderated awards to indies in a style worked better here than in Reboot Develop (read about it in our previous post here – Reboot Develop 2017 – Indie Report).
The big question is if we plan to attend next year? Most definitively!
— Matej & team gamifi.cc games
PS: Next years’s Game Access has been announced at the end of the show, yet no date has been mentioned.