Making games as a business involves a different set of skills and challenges than jams or prototypes. In addition to getting the design right, it also requires a next-level of coordination, strategy, and getting the word out. At our one-day online conference, industry speakers will share their professional experience in tackling these challenges. A full third of the time from each speaker's slot will be dedicated to Q&A and live discussion to address questions you have as an attendee.
Networking periods scheduled throughout the day create opportunities to get to know more about others attending, and for them to get to know more about you.
Speaker topics include business communication, publishing, marketing, and a few additional topics which will be announced soon.
Find out more about our speakers and their talks below.
September 30th, 10am-3pm Pacific One Day Only
All times below are Pacific (convert time zone)
The event is online, attend from anywhere!
(Schedule is preliminary and subject to change)
10:00am "Doors open" and informal networking
10:20am-10:30am General Introduction
10:30am-11am Making a Living Off Game Tools
11am-11:30am BizDev for Technical People
11:30am-noon Starting the Indie Studio Supergiant
Noon-1pm Break, optional networking
1:00pm-1:30pm Lessons from Indie Musicians
1:30pm-2:00pm Indie Game Advertising
2:00pm-2:30pm From Designing to Signing
2:30pm-3:00pm Attendee networking time
After beginning his career as a professional game designer in AAA game development at Electronic Arts on Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars and Red Alert 3, Amir took the leap to go independent. He cofounded Supergiant, the indie studio behind the award-winning games Bastion, Transistor, and most recently, Pyre. In his presentation for GameDevBiz, Amir will share how the cofounders built the team, the experiences and setbacks of starting their company, and philosophy behind deciding which games for the studio to pursue.
Caspar worked in product acquisitions at Eidos and Square Enix for over a decade, assessing over 4000 game pitches. Nowadays, he puts his experience to work helping indies pitch to publishers, negotiating favorable development and distribution deals. He's worked with teams such as Psyonix (Rocket League) and Heart Machine (Hyper Light Drifter). This talk will give you the confidence and expertise to land a deal by having an understanding of how to zero in on a good idea, get people excited about it, negotiate smartly and sign a fair contract.
You can make money from selling games, or you can make money from selling tools that help people make games. Stephanie Hurlburt and Rich Geldreich (co-founders of Binomial) do the latter – they make Basis, an image compression tool. This allows games to perform better, stream better, have better quality, and shorter download times. There's lots of room for others to make and sell game tools. Think of all the things a game team doesn't have time to specialize in and spend lots of time perfecting! Stephanie will walk through what it's like to run a business-to-business company and talk about different ways to build a company selling game tools.
Chris has started multiple businesses doing independent and freelance game development, and trained others for over 1,000 hours. When game makers go into business we soon find it involves very different challenges than we're used to as developers. It's tempting to hide from all that, hoping a superior game will make up for ignoring those aspects – that rarely ends well. We'll talk bootstrapping, networking, requirements, festivals, and spotting when paying for outside help can cost less in the long-run.
As both an indie musician and indie game developer Jarryd has seen a number of parallels between the two experiences. The indie game industry and indie music industry have more in common that most would realize. Many of the business, creative, and collaboration techniques indie game makers need can be modeled from what musicians figured out long ago. Jarryd is a Lead Coding Bootcamp Instructor at We Can Code IT, is active in Cleveland’s game development scene as an instructor and indie developer, and he recently co-authored Game Programming for Artists.
Tim built and sold a digital marketing company in 2015. Even if releasing on an existing platform like Steam or the App Store, it's critical to understand that platforms rarely promote new games as heavily as they used to - it's on your business to get the word out. Tim's tired of seeing people throw money away running paid ads ineffectively, or missing out on opportunities from failing to keep and develop prospective customer leads. He founded the community and YouTube channel GameDevUnderground to help more indies learn about the marketing side of game development.
Tickets are all-access, including every speaker's session, as well as all attendee peer networking periods.
This event takes place live online this Saturday, Sept 30th, 10am-3pm Pacific.
"A game-changer. Online conferences are paving the way"
-Clayton Tapp of Orb Soundwerx
(Regarding EnjoyGameDev, our August event)
Q: What's the platform used? A: This event will be conducted as a Zoom webinar. It's like a Skype or Google Hangouts group call, except with better performance for larger groups. You can test your setup, although no account creation will be needed and the install is fast and simple.
Q: Where is this event taking place? A: Completely online. We have speakers and attendees joining from around the world.
Q: Is there a discount for pre-ordering video? A: Nope, it's just for convenience to able to set it up before it's available.
Q: Will I need a microphone or webcam? Will I need to be on video? A: You can stick completely to text chat to ask questions or interact. No need to have a microphone or webcam. If you're set up for voice or webcam then we can use that during Q&A or the attendee peer networking discussions.
Q: Can I join from Windows, Mac, or Linux? A: Yes, all major operating systems are supported by Zoom, as well as Android and iOS smart phones via the app. Test your setup if you'd like to be certain ahead of time.
Q: Will it be available to watch as a recording afterward? A: We'll make a recording of the event's speakers available one week after, on October 7th. The event video is available for $40.
Q: If the ticket cost would be prohibitive for my situation, is there any other way I could attend? A:
We're setting aside 10 tickets for raffle. The raffle winners will be notified Sept 28th, so to eligible your name needs to be added by Sept 27th at latest. (Raffle is now closed, in order to give attendees sufficient prior notice. Free ticket winners have been contacted by email.)
Q: Who is organizing and hosting this event? A: Chris DeLeon and Christer Kaitila, HomeTeam GameDev's mentors.
GameDevBiz is dedicated to providing a friendly, professional, and harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, level of experience, age or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Stalking, threats of violence or intimidation of other kinds, and doxxing are not tolerated in any form and should not be joked about at the conference. Attendees and speakers alike are expected to refrain from language or imagery (memes or otherwise) designed to antagonize or oppress, including slurs of any kind. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference at the discretion of the conference organizers. For a minor, unintended violation we'll seek apology, unless or until there are repeat offenses.
If you experience abuse, harassment, discrimination, or feel unsafe, during the event you can send Chris DeLeon a private message on Zoom (the webinar meeting platform) for immediate assistance, or can contact before/after the event through email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org