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 made “Dust Scratch Games” over two years ago. This was and still is a “sole-proprietorship,” a special type of business label. When I started, I also considered the idea of incorporating this game company. This is still something that eats away at me from time to time.
While I fully intended to jump into incorporation this month, I decided at the last minute to cancel and stick with what I have now. I thought a lot to reach my current decision. I suspect many other startup entrepreneurs are in the same boat, and not many resources online give a point of view appropriate for my situation. This article outlines my logic and reasoning, and I hope it guides other game developers when they decide what to do for themselves.
E3 seems bigger this year. Maybe it’s because of Bethesda and Square Enix entering the fray, joining Ubisoft, EA, and of course Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo (and PC?) to try to convince you why they are the company to look at.
This is all a further sign of modern times both in industry and culture, how everyone is trying to not only be in the spotlight but steal the spotlight entirely for themselves. Such selfish people. I’m just as guilty: if I had games that stood out like that, I’d be trying to steal the show too (my current games “Drew and the Floating Labyrinth” and “Unfinished – An Artist’s Lament” are not even close to worthy… although if you haven’t yet seen those hand-drawn 3D games, do take a look). All the same, I ended up being more pumped then ever this year, with this many groups and now years into the current generation, surely everyone had something to show. Even Youtube had it on their homepage logo, advertising their new game-streaming service, helping ensure millions could comfortably watch it all (although I had some unusual slow down times in streaming, maybe even Youtube can’t handle that many viewers at once).
If you follow indie-developer news lately, you probably noticed since late 2014 that Desura, a online store prominent for small indie games, has been late to pay many developers. I was one of those developers waiting to get paid, although I did eventually receive what I was owed in January 2015. The only reason I post this now is that I feel some responsibility… several game news-sites have only recently started writing stories about Desura’s excuses, and most have specifically referenced a reddit page I made asking if this was a common problem.
The reason I bring this up is that I’m scarred. Legally, developers that have waited months for their owed payments have a case to sue Desura if they wanted to, but doing this type of action always seemed petty and out of anger and spite to me (America has a reputation of treating suing someone as a business rather than a legal action). I don’t think it’s worth the effort. I don’t think it’s worth the pain.
For the last few years, I was a (semi) active member of my school’s game development club. Last year, it was almost disbanded due to a lack of members, which was due to a lack of a leader. I stepped in at the last minute, but missed opportunities ensured no one knew we existed that year. Thankfully, a new group of friends were much more involved the following term and invested in taking the club in a new direction.
Having been a “leader” for this club for a short time, another student one day asked me how to get friends involved and invested in working on a team project. It was a general question that could be used for club leaders, class projects, or general fun stuff to do with your friends or family. If you have a project to finish, and are able to get other people to join your “team,” how can you get them to contribute and get excited in the project as much as you are? Having been a poor club leader, I had no real answers. It didn’t help that people in my area happen to be very laid-back and uninvested in general (whether this has to do with being Canadian, being from Windsor, or being from my lazy generation, I may never know). But after seeing a handful of ambitious students struggle to encourage involvement, including my own experiences, I think I see several cases where people have gone wrong. I hope this post helps guide wannabe directors and leaders in the right direction. Keep in mind that there are thousands of other good website posts that also state similar advice (see wikihow or google), but mine comes from my personal experience as an indie game developer and as a student, even though it can likely be applied elsewhere for project-based work.