Respawn 2014 – Wednesday

This is my recollection the talks I attended at Respawn this year on Wednesday. For the Tuesday talks, see this post.

Indie past, present and future….
a survival guide to keeping the corporates at bay
Jon Hare – Tower Studios

A very inspiring talk. Jon Hare, co-founder of Sensible Games, covered the differences between the home computer era (Atari, Amiga, PC, …), the console Era (NES, PS, …) and the current generation (mobile, …). Some key differences are the number of games published, the kind of deals developers can get, and the prevalence of original IPs. He gave the number of 1000 games being published for home computers during a year, with the current number of games released for iOS being closer to 100.000. Deals were seemingly better in the old days, but they are getting better with self-publishing on app stores. Finally, original IPs were much easier to establish in the old days, but again, this is getting easier.

He gave some guidelines that he stressed throughout the talk. One was to never sell parts of the company or the rights to IPs.

Watch it when it’s online? Definitely!


7 (Business) Habits of Highly Effective Indies
Jason della Rocca – Execution Labs

He covered 7 examples of indie game developers, explaining what they are doing right. For example, he had Rami of Vlambeer. His effective habit is to always sell, no matter what situation.

Watch it when it’s online? Yes.

Iterating Creativity
Oswin Skomroch-Neumann – Freelancer

Oswin’s talk was focused on his process for creative work as a visual artist. He described the phases he works in, starting with a more chaotic, idea-finding stage. This is followed by a phase in which he fleshes out the concepts he was working on. He mentioned that this process is a fine line between being creative and being quick and efficient. Too much efficiency would lead to ideas that are not new enough and don’t appeal to customers. Another tip he gave was working in the industry as an employee for some time (in his case, 8 years) before going for the freelance way.

Watch it when it’s online? When you’ve seen the others, yes.

A link to the past –
How to benefit from classic game design
Martijn Wenting – Bitstorm Games

In the times of millions of “Flappy Bird” clones, Vlambeer’s game concept being copied before they could release it, this talk might seem provocative, but in fact it was quite interesting. The idea is to make use of the vast archives of arcade and home computer/console games to find “new” ideas, ideas that have never been taken up again or that haven’t been combined in a novel way before. His game he is currently working on, Wildforce, is a mixture of several classical genres, in their words:

Wildforce is a 2D arcade/action game that provides a unique mixture between classic arcade platform/action games like Metalslug and Gunstar Heroes with elements normally seen arcade horizontal shoot’em ups like gradius or R-type. Add to this modern gameplay elements like procedurally generated content and dynamic destructible worlds, sprinkle it off with high quality 16-bit pixelart and you have got a unique experience that can be enjoyed by young and old.

Watch it when it’s online? Yes, for sure!

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