There are a handful of conferences that talk about the research and innovation behind the game industry. Unlike other professional subjects, there are virtually no published works like other subjects in Mathematics or Computer Science, but there are still talks and presentations to attend.
One of the biggest conferences is GDC (Game Developer’s Conference) in the USA. And I just discovered via friendly reddit commenters that they have a YouTube channel with many of their talks uploaded for free, including some very specific animation talks that I was excited to watch.
I’ve complained enough about the transition shock of full time employment. I was afraid I’d have no chance to go to conventions and events like I have over the past two years, let alone time to continue game development.
But I am going to places this year – Toronto, Vancouver, Hamilton and Ottawa.
One of the best parts about indie development is the ability to participate with the community. There are many conventions and events every year throughout the world that celebrate video games, anime, comics, television, and geek culture in general, perfect opportunities to promote yourself. However, I noticed that most major game events in North America are on the West, East and South sides of the United States, central North America (specifically Ontario, Canada) has very little for indie games. Comics and tabletop games, sure, but indie games don’t really have much to be at. Its also really difficult to find any reviews or information outside the events’ homepages, so its hard to know what to expect.
If I Want To See Indie Games in this “Dead Zone,” Where Do I Go?
The following is a list of events I’ve been to, with my impressions of what type of atmosphere they provide. I hope the following information will be useful to developers in the Ontario area. This comes from me being in Windsor, Ontario, depending on your location you might have other better options.
SOME COOL ARTICLES THAT MENTION ME BEING AT CONVENTIONS:
(A shout-out to a handful of the awesome people who wrote about me and/or my games, this list also gives a fair representation of how much “press” going to such events gets you. Generally, very little: larger events may have larger press representatives, but its still a lottery as to whether they even see your work, let alone care about it. Sadly, small press will also garner little to no business, but small press is better than no press. The dates give a vague idea of where the writers/bloggers saw me. For a detailed list on what conventions I’ve been to that correspond to these, see my next blog post.)
I take pride in being from the Windsor, Ontario. That being said, I also know it’s very easy to make fun of. It’s one of the most southern parts of Canada, at the very bottom tip of Ontario. It happens to be a major border crossing with the United States, being across from Detroit, Michigan, which has its own infamous reputation. We used to be a city with a big part in the automobile industry, until it crashed in the late 2000’s and we were left without any real identity. You could write a joke book of “dissing” Windsor based on this information alone.
However, I’ve spent the last couple of years living near enough to the downtown area to start to notice public events that make our city what it is. One of our biggest identities right now is comic books: we love them, and 2015 has been a big year of showing it, with multiple comic conventions and even an art gallery exhibit.
“Comic Book Syndicon,” one of several Windsor Comic-Cons in 2015