If the stereotype of video game developers and enthusiasts being anti-social, loner types still truly existed, this year’s Full Indie Summit put the final nail in the coffin.
With beer flowing between presentations and not one but two separate after-parties, those at the summit were as lively and energetic as any I’d seen before and, in my short time being around them, showcased how interconnected the indie game community truly is.
In only its second year, the Full Indie Summit has already seen remarkable growth. In its inaugural year, 400 people came to the sold out event to learn from the professionals in the indie game world. Such a turnout required a move to a larger venue and also meant doubling the amount of speakers to fill an entire weekend, rather than just a single day.
Of course, with increased popularity comes increased expectations when it comes to presenters. The organizers behind this year’s event did not disappoint as they pulled out all the stops to top the previous year. Among the most anticipated speakers were Nick Suttner of Sony PlayStation, Dan Adelman (formerly of Nintendo), and Chet Faliszek and Aaron Leiby of Valve.
“Coming into the event, I would have said Rami Ismail or Valve [generated the most buzz],” says Alain-Daniel Bourdages, an organizer of the event.
“Dan Adelman’s current situation also caused lots of news stories and many people came to the Summit to talk with him. I have done an informal survey after the talks and asked which presentation people liked most and the answers were all over the place. I think that’s a great sign that attendees are all enjoying a slightly different aspect of the conference.”
Valve’s presentation on virtual reality definitely seemed to generate the most chatter from what I heard. While it’s difficult to boil down a 40 minute presentation on such a complicated topic, one of the more thought-provoking moments came when Aaron Leiby spoke about how VR technology could give developers an incredibly powerful tool to share experiences with others.
With the summit being so well received, and so quickly, the pressure is on for organizers to continue to bring in increasingly popular speakers. While it may not happen this year, Bourdages has at least one name in mind he’s hoping to snag.
“This is not an exhaustive answer because I’m picking the first name that popped into my head: Notch [creator of Minecraft]. That would get people super excited. Also, Minecraft’s ripple effects will be felt long, long after the game will have faded away. What will the consequence of millions of kids growing up playing creative open-ended game like that? What kind of games will those kids then create? That’s incredibly exciting for the future – and it is all stemming from 1 indie game. Crazy!”
Featured Image: @phedran via Twitter