Presented by Intel
It’s a fact that indie developer conferences, whatever form they take, are more than drinks and appetizers, or beer and pizza in a local developer’s loft. If one fact is clear among the indie devs, it’s that it’s a fundamentally supportive and even collaborative community.
One programmer’s roadblock is another’s solvable challenge; one designer’s integration problem is another’s proven success. The camaraderie among this cadre of committed professionals has been a source of its emergence as a powerhouse source of creativity. Everyone is looking for their angle, their story, and their success, and all wins are considered a positive reflection on the collective.
It’s always possible to find meet-ups in your community, if not through specific contacts, just by asking among your social media contacts. As per the expectation, new members are always welcome.
Now, if you happen to be in one of a few lucky cities, an incredibly affordable, approachable, and useful conference is the Intel Buzz Workshop.
Whether it’s GDC or the various GamesBeat events that support and promote indie game developers, any opportunity to hear experienced, expert commentators inject their insight into the discussion is worth digesting. The guy you’ve never met before at the beer and pizza night may be incredibly useful in a utilitarian kind of way.
Intel has developed the Buzz Workshops to formalize some of these opportunities to learn the war stories and hear the advice of big-name experts and industry insiders.
Each Buzz Workshop is hosted by the local indie dev community with the intention of sharing the wealth of knowledge—from core programming and graphics optimization to managing marketing opportunities and handling those pesky YouTube commentators.
That’s a wide range of topics for any developer to digest and apply to their business, and the themes are those that are key to forming successful patterns of design and routes to success that so many studios could use.
The next day-long event will be held in Portland, OR, one of the many hotbeds of inspired indie game development. This particular event mobilizes its community on August 19,2017.
What should attendees expect?
For starters, the workshops are very affordable, costing just $10 or $20 for either the day pass or additional access to the evening’s Indie Game Developer Showcase. (And, if it weren’t already a bargain, all proceeds are donated to a local charity.)
Starting at 9.30 a.m., expert speakers from studios around the local community will present 30-minute talks covering a wide range of topics relevant to every indie development studio.
What do you need to know?
They’re a friendly bunch—give or take—that are happy to answer questions pertinent to your specific needs. Or at the very least, to swap that business card. The community is definitely on board with a sense of collective success, and that drives the overall mentality of collaboration and mutual information sharing.
Panel discussions cover the gamut of details that will perplex, even haunt, a small-team indie developer: how to optimize my engine, how to pitch the game to partners, my game is out what next?
Capping off the day is the Indie Game Developer Showcase that makes available to play the top ten indie games being developed in the local community. These Showcases provide the opportunity to play the games and discuss them with their creators. Prizes are awarded for Best Overall Game, Best Artwork, Most Innovative Game, and the Audience Pick. Developers can submit their games for inclusion in the Showcase through the web site that also highlights the full program of events for this information-packed day.
And keep a look out for more Buzz Workshops that are held regularly, around the country, to find one in your back yard. If you can’t make it or the events are not held close to you, you can always follow and absorb the talks through livestreams and videos of the events, which are hosted here:
As with many developer conferences, networking can be a vital part of the process in finding support, ideas, and strategies that could help make your game better and your processes smoother. Rub shoulders with the speakers and other guests who are all active locally in the indie game scene. And enjoy drinks and appetizers as you peruse and play the games on display in the Showcase.
The Buzz Workshops are information-packed days that help illustrate Intel’s ongoing support for the indie development community, and should not be missed by any studio looking to learn more about the best practices that lead to success.
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