Wow, I had a great time and I got to meet a ton of really great people!!
Steve Reid and Gano Haine gave excellent advice on how to pitch a game idea. They stressed topics like tailoring to your target audience, discussing key factors in your game, avoiding things that would make someone’s eyes glass over (like talking someone through the opening video scene — kill me now!), to catching executives attention with creative strategies.
One example they gave was someone who’d spent months developing a game about whales. When he walked into the meeting the executive looked at him and said, “I hope this doesn’t have anything to do with whales. I hate whales.” Instead of panicing he made up a new game on the spot and sold the idea lock stock and barrel.
I also had a chance to introduce myself to Matt Shaw whose currently working on WarHammer Online. What a nice guy! He looks a lot like someone I know, it was strange, I got this deja-vu kind of feeling. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to watch his whole talk but he had a great video he played about MMO’s that I caught the end of.
Finally I introduced myself to Chris Olytan. I asked him what advice he would give someone trying to become a game designer and his tips to me were:
- Be able to tell someone what you like and don’t like about a game
- Be able to come up with cool and innovative ideas for a game
- Be able to identify the things you like and dislike and why you have a problem with them
- For instance, if you had a UI and it was hard to read but would work better if it had a tinge of color behind it
- Don’t expect to get a job in game development right off the bat, but don’t give up either
All in all I had a great time, gave out a bunch of business cards, a business plan and a resume. The Jedi Training session was adorable, the DDR competitions were fierce, and the exhibitors were well put together. The layout was a little confusing but it didn’t stop me from finding everything and the turnout was great. There were lines at the ticket counter like people lining up to file for credit cards, wrapping around the building until about 3pm on Saturday!! Thanks everyone who worked so hard to get the VGXPO up and running, it was well worth it.