Nordic Game Conference of 2015 is over. I had a blast! It was very nice to get the opportunity be part of the Art Contest hosted by Wacom and Epson. I did my best to make sure everything was running smoothly, writing the rules, designing a poster, convincing artists to try out the Wacom gear in the booth and counting the votes on Friday. The people from Wacom were nice, and I got two students helping out as well. We printed the participant’s art and posted it on the wall by the coffee table, where conference attendees were invited to vote on their favorite piece on Instagram or Twitter. The winner, Jerina Kivistö, got handed a brand new Intous PRO M on stage during the wrap-up of the conference on Friday. Her interpretation of the theme “Blueshift” was a worthy winner, but I’m really happy I didn’t have to pick a winner since there were so many talented artists joining this. I’m glad the crowd on social media got to decide, haha!
NGC always makes me feel like the Nordic games industry is one big family, and it’s really one of the high lights of the year to me. When everything is over I’m totally exhausted and overwhelmed by new ideas and inspiration, while at the same time I’m just super excited about what I’ve learned and all the people I met. This was my 7th time, and it’s starting to feel more and more like a class reunion each year. It’s the yearly opportunity to meet everyone you only speak to by email or on Twitter, to catch up and get drunk together, comparing war stories and meet new folks. This year I really felt like a n00b in so many ways. When you talk to people like Vic Bassey (editor of the Indie page The Square, top image), Laura Bularca (producer at Gothia Science Park and the person who snapped the photo of med and Vic) or listen to Brie Code (3rd image from the top) talk about how to assemble a kick-ass team, you just realize just how little you actually know. How it is even possible that learning new stuff makes you feel even more like >THIS<? Huge thanks to Jacob, Marie and all the others at Nordic Game for making this possible each year < 3
Speaking of art, Margel posted this very cute drawing of me, Ola and Ivan. It’s us from back in the days when we worked at Junebud together. The best part is that it does really look like Ivan’s haircut in real life ; D
Drinking a cup of tea and thinking about all the game developer conferences I visited since I got in contact the game industry some years ago. I’m not gonna pretend I’m a veteran or anything, because I’m not. During the last weeks I met so many experienced and talented personalities working in the industry I realize how far I still have to go If I want to become good at this (the company where I’m working sent me and the CEO to the Nordic’s most important game event: the Nordic Game Conferance, last week).
But anyway, I made a small list of events and get-togethers I attended over the years. I like to order, name and label things in my life. Started thinking of my own path and how I got to where I am today, when I met with all the volunteers at Nordic Game Conf. Most of the volunteers are students studying at Malmö’s game developer school “The Game Assembly”. They get the chance to hand out their CVs, attend the lectures and help out at the conference for free when studying. I think it’s a good way of getting into the industry and get inspired by folks already working with game development. This year I noticed a lot of the companies giving lectures ending with announcing they have open positions. It seems like the industry in Sweden is growing and in need of new talent.
I’m very proud I started out as a volunteer back in the days myself. I especially remember the first time ever I attended the NGC and listened to Media Molecule giving a talk about how they prototyped their game “Little Big Planet”. That presentation was very, very inspirational and has left a deep mark in me. I dared to ask for the business card of the talker, and had it hanging on my wall for a couple of years (stalker warning anyone?!). It’s still one of the best business cards I’ve ever got (gonna take a picture of it and show you later). Its basically a hand-made old fashioned luggage tag of paper with the name, company and e-mail written on it, by hand. Reflects the whole LBP feeling of creativity and unique art direction.
Another very special memory is when me and our CEO went to Casual Connect for the first time ever. Casual Connect is held in Germany, Hamburg. We packed our stuff, flew to Germany from Sweden and on the flight down I put on my makeup. We morphed into party outfits, switched on to party mode and grabbed a cab to the big mingle as soon as we touched ground. It felt a bit like we were on a secret mission haha! When we went to Gamescom last year we arrived late at night and the taxi driver was really crazy, driving in 140 km/h on a highway in the dark. I just closed my eyes and prayed we would be OK. The other taxi driver we had that day talked about his time in prison and how he despised common traffic rules. I could see myself making headlines: game developers from Sweden axe murdered by German taxi driver.
A lot has happened since then, but every time I get the chance to go to these game events I try to put my best into them. I know I need to represent not only the games we made, but also the effort every single person on the team has put into what I’m showing a potentional business partner/investor or someone we want to hire. Since it’s a part of my job to go to these things and bring back observations of industry trends and contacts for the company I view it as work. But very fun work indeed.
This year I met with friends and dawgs from Southend, Coffee Satin Studios, Massive, King.com, Triolith and Mojang + others : ) There was just so many inspirational developers and I must say I feel very energized after attending the key note given by the Art Director Jonathan of new Deus Ex game, and dancing with the up and coming talents of Sweden’s game developers. Got bruises and soar muscles after all the dancing!
My boss Ola Holmdahl had plenty of meetings and I went to the lectures & took notes. After my metrics lecture at the Swedish Game Conference : South a couple of moths ago, several people have approached me on conferences and parties, asked me “are you Sara?”. This happened at NGC as well. It’s kinda fun and I get to meet so many nice people!
Nordic Game Conference is held in Malmö, my current home town!
Noric Game Conferance!
Dressed for a hot day in the conference rooms! It’s summer in Sweden <3