Wow, this last week was completely inspiring!
Wednesday and Thursday I spent at first ever PaxDev. The short of it is that the conference was super awesome. And as if that weren’t enough Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I spent at the infamous PAX (Penny Arcade Expo)!
Dev was exceeded my expectations, everyone I spoke to were nice and receptive and I learned a ton about a wide variety of industry topics.
During Dev I also created a small game for myself. I had printed out one hundred business cards with the goal to hand out as many as possible.
I set a point value +1 for every card given away and +2 for every card received.
Here are my end of Dev totals:
50 Given Out.
110 Points Total!
Maybe I will keep this up. It might be a good motivator for future networking events.
Daniel James gave a talk about the non-fiscal costs related to game development. Serious, friendly, open, and while still lighthearted the talk really set the mood for PaxDev. Next up were two of the people from Trendy Entertainment who talked about their game Dungeon Defenders. The panel began with the four representatives playing the game together, one on the iPad, one on the Android phone, one on the PC, and one on PS3. All four representatives used GameSpy for the networking. At first, I wondered if it was a not-too-subtle advertisement from GameSpy. However, after awhile I realized that Gamespy was the only option for this kind of cross-platform networking.
The next three panels were filled with surprises. ‘The Art of Story’ panel was primarily about cut scenes, so I am excited to have some good guidelines for whenever I am tackle that.
Here are my two favorite takeaways from “The Art of Story”:
- Even if a player never sees the information, it is critical to have a backstory.
- Every player is naturally anti-dramatic meaning they want the easiest path to their intended goal. However, to create drama requires creating hardship.
Jason VandenBerghe gave an unexpected but highly insightful talk called “The Four Types of…” . While I am really not sure what I had expected from this presentation, it ended up being my absolute favorite event within PaxDev. He was an engaging speaker who presented content that was truly well presented. Many ideas were things I had encountered previously but this streamline approach gave me some new ideas about Player psychology and design.
The last lecture that I went to was “A Strategic Approach to Game Design” led by Geoff Zatkin from EEDAR. Honestly, I was not the intended target of this panel which was created for Directors, Producers and Team Leads. Nonetheless I gained some interesting knowledge.
My favorite part of that talk was a relative statistic of how marketing and reviews work together to effect sales:
A game with bad reviews and bad marketing the game earns X
A game with good reviews and good marketing the game earns 11X to 13X
A game with good reviews and bad marketing the game earns 1.5X to 1.7X
A game with bad reviews and good marketing the game earns 3.5X to 4X
It was one of those statistics that blew my mind, even though the reality is not that shocking!
That was Day One of PaxDev, Day two wil be coming up soon.
Off to eat mac and cheese,