SO… I just came back from the crazy inferno of people, games, meetings, beer, gameswag and
hangovers that is Gamescom, and I thought I’d share some light on what goes on in Cologne once a year.
It’s hard to describe Gamescom to someone who has never experienced it themselves.
It’s similar to VR in that regard: Those who have tried it can nod at each other knowingly
and talk about how mindblowing it is, but words just don’t do it justice for someone who has not tried it themselves.
Pictures might help a little bit though, so I’ll share those too!
The first rule of Gamescom: Show up early or don’t bother at all.
After the doors open to the public all hallways look like this and getting from one end to the other is slow going.
Your best bet is to flow with the tide of gamers and hope the currents take you where you need to go.
You don’t want to be behind this lot (or in front when the gates open and the stampede begins).
Our agenda for Gamescom was mostly focused on meetings in the business section,
as well as showing of our sweet arcade machine at the Sweden Game Arena-booth,
So we escaped the worst chaos out in the public section, but there are always times when you
have to go out there and weave through the crowds. Best get it done early.
Second rule: Book your meetings early
Most publishers and developers fill up their agendas weeks before the chaos starts.
If you still haven’t booked meetings when you show up, don’t worry. The meetings are actually not the important thing:
what you want is a big stack of business cards (or emails) so you can follow up with peeps after the event.
Chances are that most of the meetings you have just become one big blurr in your mind anyway, so the follow up
is what get you stuff signed. To get a hold of said business cards you can do two things: Run around the business section
and find all publisher booths. There you ask for whom to contact for a game pitch, and most of them will give you
the contact info without much of a hazzle. That’s why they came to Gamescom, after all.
The second way is to follow rule three.
Third rule: Go to ALL THE PARTIES
A wise woman once told me that as a game developer you should go to every developer gathering
that involves beer (thanks Tau)that you possible can. Her words are especially true at events like Gamescom,
because at parties you can actually talk to a lot more people and build connections that
can be usefull the rest of your career. Free beer is also nice, but consider it a bonus.
The real value is making friends and let people know you are still in business.
I had a blast at the Paradox Party this year, and made a new friends. I also talked business
with people I did not have a chance to meet at the conference, which is not uncommon at all.
Make sure to exchange business cards with as many people as you can,
and write notes on the cards to remember what you talked about.
You can never have too many friends!
Combining advice two and three seems tiring? It is! Getting back to your hotel at 02:30
and being back in business at the venue before 09:00 is not the average workday,
but that’s basically what you need to do to get the most out of Gamescom as an indie.
Drink Coffee and sleep on the way home! (That and aspirin is how I survive the madness).
That’s all I had to share today. I had a blast at the event,
and I’m allready looking forward to next year!