Hi all! I updated the tab “My Videos” (or more like created it). It’s not like I have plenty of videos to show you (some just get stuck in the computer and I never seem to finish them), but there’s two of them if you are interested. As you can tell the link in the videos to my old blog, is no longer active. Enjoy!
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!
I’m back from the Nordic Game Conference (NGC), that took place in Malmö, Sweden last week. I have not visited that many game developer conferences so far, but it’s absolutely my favorite! It’s a really friendly atmosphere, it’s always plenty of old friends there and the Nordic Party is super sweet. And the fact that I can go straight home and sleep when the conference is done is a huge + ; )
So last week we decided to host a “Suit Up Day” at the game development company where I work. I kinda suggested it for fun, and the crew seemed to be very happy about the idea! Here’s some pictures of me, our producer Ivan (with the white tie) and our CEO Ola. Ola suited up in his death metal clothing instead of the regular suit, which was a nice change!
Had a super after work yesterday. We went to a small pub near the office, took a few beers and shared stories. It was nice to see everyone again after the Easter vacations! Here’s some pictures from this week at the office!
This week I joined the Tuff Tanks project at work. Tuff Tanks is our newest game, to be published for iPad, if you want to see the trailer, click here. This means I’m now involved in two games. Exciting but challenging at the same time! We are making Tuff Tanks together with Aeria Games, and the game will launch this spring.
Anyways, here’s some selected photos of what’s been going on at work for the past two weeks!
I just love smart and beautiful packages! It can be food, shampoo or toy containers. I think a beautiful package is part of the experience when you buy or use something. Apple is obvoisuly doing something right when people are recording videos of themselves unwrapping a Mac or an iPhone and uploading it to YouTube. When I got my Sony Vaio PC 3 years ago it was delivered in a grey, easy to lift box, but when I got my iPhone it came in a small slick, black box that really made an impact. If the package is to easy to lift it feels cheap, don’t you think?
So I was thinking today, why do people care more about good looks than good ideas? In the end beautiful people come and go, but good ideas and inventions stay with us for a long time. Sometimes they become immortal or have the power to change the world. I think it could have to do with how hard it actually is to achieve something remarkable or how long it really takes to get to know inside of someone. Are constantly judging other people based on their outside, cuz it’s much easier than spending 3 years getting to know someone, and then judging their inside, their hopes and fears? Speaking of judging people by their looks, here’s a picture of me doing the all famous duckface! Have a great night, I’m going for Mission Impossible 4 : D Check out this blog about package design if you like to judge more wrappings!
All in all we stayed in Hamburg for 3 nights and 4 days. It’s hard work to visit these kinds of conferences. You meet an awful lot of cool people, you need to take notes and photos if very important information, you need to do much face-work and after a 9-5 day at the lectures it’s usually time for some kind of mingle party with loud music and late nights. Alcohol is often free. I tend to take a beer or a soft drink since I need to stay on top the next day. It’s very important to rest when you can and remember to eat properly.
My top tips for surviving a game developer conference is:
1. Make sure you get time to rest, eat and sleep. It’s important to take care of yourself and listen to your body. If you are traveling far you might be jet lagged and if you don’t reserve time for sleeping and eating properly you will most likely end up catching some kind of cold or asking someone to kill you when the conference is over. Or more likely, you will need to take a day off next week in order to get back in shape.
2. Bring a notebook, a camera or some kind of recording device with you. There are different kinds of conferences, some are more business focused (Casual Connect), some meant for developers (Nordic Game Conference) while others are a mix of gamers and developers (GamesCom). If you have payed a lot of money to attend lectures, make sure you are able to take all that precious info back to your company. I have a notebook and an iPhone I use to take pictures of all the power point slides, and writing down the really interesting stuff. Trust me, you won’t remember all that info when you get back to work, your brain needs all the help it can get on this one! Pro tip: take a photo of the first slide in the power point presentation telling the audience what kind of lecture this is and the contact info. This way you will be able to sort one endless row of power point slides from another when looking at your pictures in the computer later on. I’we even seen people record whole sessions and the e-mail them straight to their companies during lunch breaks.
3. Bring business cards and be professional. It’s easy to forget your business cards or your conference badge. Make sure you have plenty of fresh, up to date cards and guard your badge with your life. It’s not always that easy to get a new one if your old one gets lost at a mingle party or you leave it somewhere during a lunch. My best tip for a successful mingle is to start talking to the other conference goers (omg who could have guessed!?). A lot of them really wants to talk to other developers, but might be a bit shy. Present yourself and ask them what they are doing. People love talking about themselves, just be sure to pay attention and keep a pen in your pocket. After you get someone’s card, write down a few notes about the person or the company. This will be tremendously helpful when you try to remember who you want to stay in touch with, when you send follow up e-mails back at the office.
Ola and I will write a post about our trip to Casual Connect for the MilMo Developer blog at http://milmogame.blogspot.com/ next week. There you will get hold of more photos!
I found this beautiful old looking notebook in the book store last week. Just couldn’t leave it there, so I bought it for my little sis and took it home. Wrapped it up and went to the post office. I know she was so happy yo get it. Feels good to give people you love pleasent surprises! By the way, got back from the game developer’s conference in Hamburg; Casual Connect yesterday. Need to share some awesome pictures with you, so stay tuned!