We're back after a short week long break, straight back into game development. We've released another Development Blog that you can enjoy above, which is all about discussing our experiences from Insomnia 57. Not so much about actual game development just a little chit chat really.
A lot has happened over the past two weeks and its been our first chance to really break down all the feedback from Insomnia 57. We had over four A4 pages of bugs, features and recommendations to talk through, quite the intensive meeting! A lot of back and forth on what we wanted to see put into the game and some much needed time for reflection.
We're relatively new to attending events and conventions but each time we've gone now, we've come away with so much more experience and massive smiles on our faces. I thought this would be perfect to go into detail about the pros, cons and generally our experience with attending Insomnia 57. A lot of the stuff I'll comment on is no doubt applicable to any indie-dev looking at applying to attend future events!
- Pros Valuable feedback:
We're still at quite an early stage of development, I threw around the phrase "pre-pre-alpha" more than once over the weekend. Simply having over 100 people sit down and play our game lead to some incredible feedback. Obviously not everyone who visits your booth are game designers in disguise, but just make note of every little feedback we quickly began seeing trends or reoccurring feedback.
- Indie Zone:
We were so fortunate with our booth neighbours across our row, getting the chance to meet John from CSR Studios, Ella Romanos and Oscar Clark working on the Rocky Horror Show game. Any lull in attendees walking by, it was always great to pop by and have a really good chat with fellow indie devs and have a go across a whole host of genres.
- Great Environment:
Insomnia 57was also the biggest so far, expanding into another hall to accommodate for even more attendees and exhibitors. The whole weekend just had a great buzz about it all, we could still be victims to the honeymoon period with showing our game off at conferences. As it was said multiple times in our development blog this week, it was just great and fun.
- Cons First come first serve placement
We were quite fortunate to get an outward facing booth for this Insomnia, but that was down to the first come first serve nature that they had running this year for all booths. Insomnia 56 had pre-set placements, so it was fortunate we arrived a day early to set up and get a decent booth.
- Indoor camping
Being a six man student indie-team does mean we do have something of a limited budget, so rather than bundling into hotel we all took part of the indoor camping. It was an experience to say the least. Equipped with some sleeping bags we were not prepared for the concrete floor, so sleep was limited too! Note to anyone doing indoor camping in the future, get a blow up bed! Your spine will thank you.
- Younger Audience
This isn't always going to be a con, obviously it depends on the game that you're making but Insomnia has quite the big Minecraft/YouTuber presence and with that comes a large percentage of under 10 years old. I should say that it is always great to see a kid intuitively pick up a controller and enjoy your game, others are simply too young to get into something like Super Street Skate.
In conclusion then, Insomnia was an absolutely amazing experience and I couldn't recommend it enough for other developers. There are quite a few events set in the UK each year and with quarterly Insomnia's, its worth putting one or two events on your to do list. It's been growing in popularity recently so things might change for future events, but this is just our perspective!
We do have another large event coming up in the next few months, so keep your eyes peeled for the announcement. As always, let us know what you guys think and feel free to leave a comment below!