There’s really no such thing as The Monthly Recap on here, but since I haven’t posted in a while…welcome to the Ironzilla March Recap Special Edition! This is a really long post, so click Read More below to see what I’ve been up to!
Game Developer’s Conference 2012
I went to GDC (Game Developer’s Conference), and it was pure euphoria. But first, I have to give a special thanks to Aaron (IGN) for connecting me with Steve (Adult Swim). Luck was on my side, and Steve hooked my friend and I up with GDC passes! Both are great guys, and I’ve been trying to pay the karma forward as much as possible.
Back to GDC. It was cray, and please say that in a Kanye West voice. It lasted the whole first week of March and I got to meet developers and entrepreneurs alike, attended lectures by industry veterans, and overall just went on a grand adventure looking at all the cool stuff.
Quick tips for GDC Noobs like myself
- Don’t you dare forget your business cards: The first sin when attending a networking event. The ability to exchange your information quickly and efficiently is key, especially with all the handshaking you’ll be doing. It’s not what you know, who you know, but who knows you.
- Bring your computer if you’re a developer: People want to see what you’re up to. They want to see how you express your ideas. But mostly, they want to see if you’re talented. They’ll take you more seriously when they see that you’re not all talk, that you’re here to FSU. You never know who you might be showing your game to — a gamer, a developer, a producer, a publisher, an investor? I made a mistake of not bringing mine when I met a key player who I thought could provide input or take the game in a direction I never could myself — business wise and creative wise. If not, at least have footage of the gameplay on your phone or have a trailer of your game’s features. Seeing is believing.
- Don’t think, just do: In a networking event, it’s scary talking to someone you don’t know. Especially if that person just gave a lecture about how awesome they are to five hundred people, or how they made wads of cash. What’s more important is that they know you exist. These guys can help you out, but they’re always on the go. If you can’t think of something to say to them, don’t let them slip your grasp. Just go up to them. Do it before you never see them again. Do it before your mind can say no. Even if you embarrass yourself — the person will find your humility almost comforting. If you want to avoid this whole ordeal, know what you’re looking for before entering the playing field. A developer? A partner? A co-founder? The bathroom? Remember, GDC is a place where closed mouths starve fast.
- Be a Lego: You can’t be the one always trying to network. Connect people together! People will appreciate that you hooked up Bob the artist with Joe the programmer. Or Mark with the great idea and Parker the investor. Because someday in the future they’re gonna remember you and shower you with money (not really be you get what I mean).
- Understand the Map: Because you’ll miss a whole half of the conference like we did. Yes, GDC consists of more than one massive building. What the hell is West Hall? Why not name it West Building That’s Across The Street With An Entrance In a Hidden Location Leading To An Underground Fortress Of Stuff More Amazing Than That First Building You Just Came From.
Indie Game The Movie
We watched a special screening of Indie Game: The Movie. It’s about the hardships and struggles indie game developers go through just to make their dreams come true. As a game developer, not only can you feel for them, but you almost feel as if you ARE them. Sacrificing so much because you believe in your cause, your vision, and your dreams. It featured people like Phil Fish, the Super Meat Boy team, and Jonathan Blow. All very talented game developers, and made somewhat famous from the movie. For those not familiar with the indie scene, Indie Game: The Movie is like Rocky for developers. Or Pursuit of Happyness. Very inspiring.
Went to a GDC after party at IGN with my buddy Aaron. Surprisingly, they know how to get down. I met with a bunch of indie game developers from IGN’s web series The Next Game Boss, a dev from Frozenbyte (creators of Trine), the creator of the very successful indie game Q.U.B.E., and what do you know…the musical composer for Angry Birds, Ari Pulkkinen! He’s the most listened to composer right now since Angry Birds has been downloaded over 300 million times. Did the usual handshaking here and collection of business cards.
Went to a Yetizen networking event at the Parimosa Innovation Labs. Man these guys mean business. I met so many talented entrepreneurs, developers, and the founders themselves. One of which told me I had the crappiest business card he’s ever seen. Thanks Japheth! And thanks Fedex! And thanks creative business card online that I copied the template from. But really, I found it so memorable and hilarious. Now we’re setting up a meeting some time soon so I can tell him more about my current project. They’re great people, and believe me, these guys are super connectors. Like Lego land connectors. They told me about their Yetizen Accelerator, in which they basically put you in hell for 3 months, pummeling you with knowledge from industry veterans, and connect you to all the resources and people you can imagine. When you come out of it, you’re basically ready to fight the world one on one. And take your start up to a whole new level.
I have a bunch of projects lined up, but I’ve never been so focused. Prepare to get pissed off too because I’m not gonna tell you any of them in detail:
- I spent my entire spring break compiling a business plan for a future project. About 40 pages in I realized what I really wanted to make was a deck (aka a pitch, something you show an investor). Either way, I killed two birds with one stone. This is for a future project, currently in stealth until everything is prepared and we’re ready to start development (hopefully by mid April). It involves devices with “i” in it, Ironzilla’s fan base, YOU, and a talented team comparable to Seal Team 6. It’ll be my biggest endeavor yet, but the most rewarding.
- Marketing part of the first project. But this is a project that’s so massive it’ll have to be it’s own project. It involves Kickstarter, gaining exposure / hyping our product, Youtube, and taking over the world. I have a really good team for this so I’m looking forward to what they can do.
- Got something really cool brewing with IGN! But of course I can’t tell you what it is [NDA alert].
- Still in talks with a big publisher for Super Ski Runner. Looking forward to the outcome of this. If it turns out good, it’ll be my biggest win yet. I have my fingers crossed!
Thanks for reading this month’s recap. If you made it this far, high five and congratulations. Stay tuned!