Digital Dragons is a new polish game industry festival that took part in 19-20 April in Krakow. Organised by Krakow Technological Park, it started last year as a 2-2.5 times smaller, nonetheless successfull. This year it was again a closed event, only to people from the industry and press. Here’s a short relation from yours truly :)
I was there for two days, almost from the very beginning to the very end, and was given one computer from organisers to show Ninja Cat and Zombie Dinosaurs as part of Indie showcase. My motivation? I went to Digital Dragons mostly to show my game, listen to some lectures and panels, network a bit and perhaps find an investor/sponsor. And so to attract attention I was wearing custom and totally awesome Ninja Cat T-shirt. Other 2 T-shirts were printed for my girlfriend and father :)
I was also giving out little stickers with my game’s logo. I got 7 and given around 11 bussiness cards – which is something new, since at other gd events that I visited so far (IGK, WGK, GameDay, ZTG, KrakJam, Mrroczne Sekrety Tworcow Gier Komputerowych) I was exchanging around zero bussiness cards. Maybe it’s because of me, my different role or the event – perhaps all. Anyway, I made a few nice contacts that way.
People who were playing my game (and the audience consisted of developers and press), were mostly positive, sometimes even very. Many were asking where they can find it later – haha, sorry guys, game is finished but not released yet on internet due to lack of sponsor. I got a lot of feedback, little things that I can improve. And I observed even more people playing my game in real life. Below you can see a video of other indie dev playing. That guy totally f**** the system. Just watch him destroy one boss on hard difficulty. Even I, knowing all about the game nuts and bolts, having designed all the levels and being also very good touch typer, couldn’t do as good.
The building of Arteteka was great – modern, beautiful, ideal temperature, lots of space, lots of computers. Catering was everywhere. Only one caveat: indie devs were put on two top floors, where not many people came. Hmm, it’s better to say almost noone came, especially on the first day. Mostly people were crusing between lectures and catering, and sometimes – only sometimes – coming to second floor, where half of the indies were. And I was on the third floor (in the corner! thanks organisers), so we were totally forgotten and mostly talking with and playing games of other indie devs. Nice time killer, yet it wouldn’t hurt to have more visitors.
As for the actual conference part – there were many lectures and discussion panels. You could meet almost everyone important in polish game industry, as well as a some people from abroad. Full list can be found on DD webpage, so I won’t repeat. Just wanted to share an interesting discussion with the bossess of well known polish gd companies, about the future of the industry:
There was one smaller panel organised on the spot by Game Mode On, about indie games. It quickly grew from 6 to 50 people, so it shows how hot is the topic. It happened that I also took part in it:
In conclusion – great event, congratulations to organisers. And if you’re one of them and would want to have even better event next year, few things for improvement:
- invite more people – even though it was AFAIK 300-350 heads, you could hardly say it was crowded. No, on the contrary – it seemed rather empty, because of the huge amount of space. And the invitations went out in like 15 minutes. I got in only because I was taking part in Indie showcase.
- schedule some time without lectures, so that people can walk around the exhibitions and actually see all the other great things that you (and others) prepared.
- be better in marking the places on the spot, so that it’s easier to find what you’re looking for (at the beginning it was a labirynth).
And keep all those good things from this year :)
PS Cheers to indie guys and gals from Stalwart Games, 4toonStudio, Oozi : Earth Adventures team, Duma Szlachecka and Grimind.