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Games Horizon Thoughts Day 1

Conference Professional
Games Horizon Thoughts Day 1
So I just got back from Games Horizon at Sage in Gateshead. Really awesome small conference which lets you really network and connect with people and some great speakers. Most of the real buzz from the conference has already hit the web by more talented writers than me. Here is my personal run down.

Roadmap to the Gamepocalypse

Jesse Schell – CEO, Schell Games

Jesse is an amazing speaker with really intelligent and engaging things to say. I strongly encourage you to look at his DICE talk, viewable here.

He built on those ideas and asked how we were going to get to the Gamepocalypse. He also tried to see the positive side of it. A very optimistic and awesome talk, games will be everywhere.

The question the talk really stirred in me is should developers try become the nexus of these massive swarms of interactivity or just be a service provider.

Edge did a nice piece on his talk here.

Without a doubt the best talk of the conference and my head is still buzzing from it. Great way to open the conference.

Edit: Slides from Talk

Bigpoint Games

Nils Holger Henning - CCO Bigpoint Games

Not much to say other than the obvious, Bigpoint is raking in the money bigtime.

One interesting thing covered was why Germany?? The truth is not so long back web games were mostly numbers and static pages. As the euro boardgames movement proves, Europe and especially the Germans love number games. So they just had the knowledge and fan base to take advantage of web games improving and becoming more accessible.

Free versus paid – the best way to make money from your game

Nicholas Lovell – Gamesbrief, (Chairman of Panel) Mark Rein - Vice President, Epic Games Ian Baverstock - Consultant, Tenshi Ventures James Brooksby – Studio Head, doublesix Dylan Collins - CEO, Jolt Games

This panel wandered all about the place like a drunk monkey. Mark as always was an interesting point of action and spoke good common sense. The one real question on my mind was a long term one.

By fragmenting, slicing, and spreading our games are we not devaluing the cultural artefacts we create. I want to return to this thought a revisit it once I've had more time to think on it.

Lessons leaned building Moshi Monsters to 20 million users

Michael Acton Smith – CEO, Mind Candy.

The Moshi talk was fun and highlighted some interesting points. Nothing ground breaking, but good to see some numbers and methods.

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust: Reincarnation of the console games model

Yohei Ishii - Senior Director Business Development, CCP Games.

I've known about the Eve and Dust 514 for a while, but World of Darkness was news to me. The massive thing was the ambition of this company. The courage to press forward truly important gaming and the bravery not to be a nanny.

I've spoken and thought about Eve quite a bit. It's one of the most interesting things out there. If not for my tendency to get addicted to MMO I would be applying Eve right now. I have played briefly in the past.

I really hope the Dust 514 initiative gets past console gates. It would be a complete game changer no doubt. I wish all the best to them and cross my fingers.

Modern Technology will Kill Us All?

Todd Eckert – Director of North America, Eutechnyx (Chairman of Panel) Steve Mayall – MD, MusicAlly Duncan Smith - Music Supervisor, SCEE

Can't say I enjoyed this talk. It felt poorly targeted and did not flow. It left little time for questions.

The Games Industry v William Hogarth

Charles Cecil – CEO, Revolution.

A real education, I was hooked for the entire talk. Charles spoke about William Hogarth's creative endeavours in comparison to the modern environment. A real eye opener and educational talk, drawing some strong relations. Hogarth was keen on being direct to the consumer.

One thing which was really interesting is he spoke about subscription model that Hogarth used for his pressings. 50% upfront, and a further 50% on delivery. The initial money coming directly from customers on a basis of creative trust.

I immediatly thought of Frozen Synapse from Mode7. They offer you the chance to buy into the game now and take part in the beta and the development process. Getting the final game when it is released. It's a model I like and hope we see more.

A short write up is here

The rise and impact of social network games

Rick Gibson - Director, Games Investor Consulting. (Chairman of Panel) Michael Acton Smith – CEO, Mind Candy Seb Hayes - COO and Co-founder, Playfire

Not a great panel, a lot of people with gold rush in their eyes.

The real disappointment is I wanted to find out what they thought about OpenID and OAuth. Considering how much of a big quiet push its getting. How it can dissolve walls between networks. Well either I really badly phrased my question or the panel was not familiar with the topic. Too many people just see Facebook connect I think. Ah well.

I ended the day with a big social foobar and decided to skip the party.