A GamesCom 2016 retrospective with an indie dev attending guide

I always hesitate to write about GamesCom because its simply too big for me to dare say anything. It feels like the honour of covering this behemoth can only belong to huge publications like Kotaku, Polygon, Rock Paper Shotgun or Eurogamer. But looking over what GamesCom 2016 Post Mortem pieces are out there, this year I dare. So here we go, a GamesCom 2016 retrospective that includes an attending guide for any gamedev.

GamesCom 2016 Post Mortem in numbers

345000 visitors should be quite a good reason for any sane game developer who wants to make a game known. But if this is not enough, here are some more numbers: 30500 trade visitors, 97 countries, 877 companies, 193000 square meters. GamesCom is currently the largest event for computer and video games in the world and these are its numbers in 2016.

Gamescom 2016 Post Mortem and guide

Early morning at GamesCom – © Sebastian Bularca

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Don’t make games with your SO

This is a very personal post. I feel the need to apologise for it in advance. It is hard for me to talk about this.

What is the meaning of life? This is a question that lies at the base of philosophy, and one that shaped the world as we know it. It’s an important question; it is what drives each and every one of us, regardless of how often we think about it. Even if we don’t think about it at all. Continue reading

Introducing Heart. Papers. Border.

Hi everyone! We have been away in a holiday and it feels like its been ages and just saying this makes me cringe. See, indie game developers don’t do holidays, but I did it, which means… And I want to be very clear, I did plan to work on Project: Freedom while away, but I didn’t. I just starred at my laptop a few times at the beach, I starred at it until I realised that sand is an all moving stuff that’s not exactly great for electronics. And that is when I decided not to bring my laptop at the beach anymore.

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Look at me Not Working, now should I jump, or not?!

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Game Pillars, Buyer Persona & other Project: Freedom updates

As many of you know, we are making a game. For now it is called Project: Freedom, and we are doing what no indie should do, which is, we are not talking about it. Don’t do like us! And… Here are some updates! Continue reading

How to publish your indie game

Today I held my very first workshop. It was called How to publish your indie game and it focused on things to consider when preparing to get your game out there. And a savvy gamedev should prepare for that even before writing a first line of code – which is why the workshop also spoke about things like no hardcoding, localization, menus and HUD, controllers and other super exciting stuff.

Here are the slides. AMA if you want or need to! The workshop was for Framtiden, which is a 10 week entrepreneurship course open for everyone who wants to start their own business in West Sweden!

 

Lessons learned at Creative Coast Festival and Nordic Game Conference

Sebi and I dedicated an entire week in the middle of May to celebrating games and game development. On May 16 and 17  we went to what I think is the fanciest, most relaxed gamedev conference ever (that I know if, at least), called Creative Coast Festival in Karlshamn, then drove some 150 km directly to Malmö, where we attended Nordic Game Conference for the rest of the week.

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PRECISELY the car we travelled in! … I wish 🙂

I might have mentioned this before, but just in case anyone has forgotten: I LOVE MY JOB. And to top that – because yes, I am luckier than 99.9% of this earth’s population, and most grateful for it – I was also joined by Sebi who was the official photographer for both of these events. How cool is that! Obviously all pics that you see around here* are shamelessly stolen from his Creative Coast and Nordic Game Conference albums. Continue reading

Gamedev conferences – the benefits of abundance

I almost wrote a bit of a rant post about how next week there are at least 4 gamedev conferences taking place, and how the increased number of these events results in a loss of quality and how we are rapidly heading towards a big fat gamedev conference bubble.

But I am wrong. Continue reading

Indies, we have a problem

I asked a question on Twitter:

Thank you, you wonderful people who answered <3 BUT MOST OF YOU ARE WRONG. Continue reading

We are making a game

It is a statement game about borders, nationalities and the freedom to travel and live where you wish. This is a very important subject for us, and also one that’s currently in the spotlight, given the recent events and the visceral reactions to them. Yes, I am thinking about refugees, attacks, fear, restrictions and prejudices. I am thinking about love and death and that we are all fundamentally the same, as humans. And that, if we really are the most intelligent animals on this planet, we should at least be smart enough as to not invent silly, arbitrary rules regarding where we may go, and what we may aspire to, based on where we were born, our gender or the colour of our skin.

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If they can be friends, why can’t we?

But Project: Freedom* is not a sad, oppressive game, like, for example, Papers, Please! or even The Westport Independent. Quite the contrary.

In Project: Freedom, you are a digital nomad who wants to live life travelling, unattached to any one particular place. The entire world is open to you, but in order to travel from country to country you need to buy visas, arrange your travels, make sure you can work, keep an eye on the cost of living, and also enrich yourself by visiting worthy objectives – but with the downside that you don’t work, hence don’t earn, when you do touristy stuff.

And of course there’s a catch: your nationality. You have a nationality in game, and some degree of choosing it (expressed in an Easy, Medium, or Hard setting :D) but you can also let the game choose absolutely randomly where your digital persona gets born in this fantasy world. Continue reading

UPDATED: A list of random important things you should remember to do when you move to Sweden

This post is for Andreea. And for anyone else who moved or thinks about moving to Sweden. Its pretty random, quite naive, and not well documented list, but given the complete and utter lack of similar endeavours, I hope it does help.

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This is a list of random things to ask and check, to ensure a problem free life in Sweden. All Swedes do it, and it is so natural for them that they forget telling you about it. I was quite frustrated that no one told me, and I noticed a lot of expats as frustrated as me. But this is not a sign of bad will on behalf of the Swedes – they are just so used with these things, they think everyone in the world does it. Continue reading