The summer of 2012 is shaping up to be rather busy. We’re not talking about the Olym-ic-, or the opportunity to be die of exposure at a picnic. We’re talking about the games goodness and the head-to-head smackdown taking place between the incumbent Edinburgh Interactive Festival and the plucky upstart of Dare Protoplay and it’s mewling offspring, the Indie Festival.
We know, we know, Protoplay has been around for aaages and for quite some time, the two events lived together, like Morcambe & Wise, or the two dads in My Two Dads. Now, however, we’ve got a stark choice to make. They’re both on at the same time (one day aside) and you’re going to have to vote with your conscience (or remain in the office like the filthy little stop in that you know in your heart that you are).
Yesterday, we outlined the keynote speakers and sessions which are on offer in Edinburgh. Now it’s Dare’s turn.
The indie festival is offering quite a lot.
There’s an Indie Showcase. Independent developers from across the land (that’s the UK, fact fans) have been offered space to pop through to Dundee and showcase, promote and generally get enthusiastic about their games. You may well see some of the future hits of tomorrow. It’s even FREE!
There’s a two day conference focusing on useful and practical advice for new, independent developers, with speakers including…
- Gavin Shields from Turbulenz (Awesome company. You should speak to them)
- Chris Wright from Games Analytics (No matter what you say about analytics, this is something you *will* need to understand. Now stop snivelling, suck it up and listen to the man)
- Andrew Smith from Spilt Milk Studios (The nicest man in indie development. Also: clever)
- Hilmur Veigur Petursson from CCP (Eve Online! Space ships! No orcs! Yay! Madly fascinating…)
- Richard Scott from Axis Animation (You’ve seen their stuff and gone ‘ooooh!’)
- Colin Macdonald from Channel 4 (local lad, done good, now has budget and wants to hear from genuinely, properly creative and clever developers)
- Simon Harris from BBC (the BBC!)
Oh and should you have been short-sighted enough to miss Brian Baglow give his fascinating, practical presentation on marketing for indies without spending a penny, which was received warmly – and in some cases rapturously – at the recent Develop conference, he’ll be reprising the experience as part of the Indie Festival.
All of which makes it entirely worth the measly £20, which you can pick up until the 26th of July. After which it becomes even better value, at £30. Or you can add on a one day HTML5 workshop, led by the affable and expert Martin Beeby from Microsoft UK, for another £10.
Even the most wretched, penny-pinching, miserable, stay-at-home ‘we’re too busy’ developer can spare an afternoon out of the office for a line up like that. At the very least you can go and see Brian Baglow, who’s performance in Brighton was consistently rated higher than that of Madonna at her recent Scottish date (we believe he was asked to step in as the support act, but was ‘too busy’ and ‘couldn’t get to Edinburgh after dark’).
Plus there will be drinks, networking, friends, good times, sandwiches and the future course of the entire interactive industry will be plotted, agreed and set in motion.
There’s even a UKIE tax break consultation workshop taking place, so you can get proper, grown-up business advice there too. Not to mention all of the developers, studios and awesome people involved with the Dare judging and mentoring scheme will also be present, so it’s going to be a who’s who of who’s not in Edinburgh (but is in games).
Last year, the plain, straightforward vanilla ProtoPlay event pulled in nearly 10,000 people over the course of three days. The team behind Dare have pulled out all of the stops now and are promising a bigger, louder, shinier and gamesier event for 2012.
Be there, or be forever consigned to the uninteresting and irrelevant end of the interactive spectrum.