The first “Interakt” Conference – impressions of a layman

Gaming industry? Mima, our sales lead, only had a touch with them through Super Mario Bros. However, she was amazed to learn the pace at which the gaming industry is developing in the Balkans, and that is slowly but surely conquering the world. Check out her impressions.

I must admit I was skeptical about the point of my presence there, since Super Mario Bros. was my biggest step ever into the gaming world. However, the lectures on the first game dev conference brought more than just an insight into technologies, news and trends in the gaming industry.

The first ever game development conference in Montenegro – Interakt, took place during the first day of the tech event Hackathon in the Port 2019. What welcomed me and more than 80 other participants were excellent lectures given by extraordinary lecturers, who came from some of the biggest regional Game Dev companies, united under the Serbian Games Association. The path of creating a video game was told through its design, art, animation, development and business development, while its ultimate purpose has been explained through the story behind it. During six lectures, great set of technical information was presented, which was of utmost importance for anyone who is already engaged in or wants to develop games. The step further was made by reminding us of some key rules and principles which should be applied by anyone who wants to go in for any business seriously.

Carry out the winning strategy

One of the most important principles when designing a game is the principle of applying 60% of proven successful concept, 30% of proven and improved concept and 10% of innovation in a total of 100%. In today’s world, it is difficult to find something that has never been done before, and if that happens to be the case, one should ask themselves what is the reason that it has not been done so far. According to Marija Ilić, Chief Product Officer, Two Desperados, who talked about the Game Design, what proved as a successful path for them was creating the minimum viable product (MVP), which is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future product development. The essential principle is not to bite what you can’t swallow.

The importance of being Eearnest

Professionality is what makes the difference and what is a necessary hoop of success not only in the gaming world but also in business in general. Our parents have often “motivated” us to study by telling us to “warm the chair.” The temperature of the warmed chair shows the extent to which your passion drives you. ? Creativity and skill go side by side and require time to be devoted to. If you don’t have time for your passion, then it is not your passion. Uroš Banješević. Chief Creative Officer, Mad Head Games, during his Game Art lesson fantastically explained it both on his own and his colleagues’ examples. When you make yourself a true professional, you have enough credibility to request and to get a parasol over your working desk in an indoor office. But note the following: you continue to work under that parasol. ?

You must be ready to „kill your babies“

Another striking message Uros Banješević reminded us of is that one should be ready to “kill his babies”. Every single idea is always a loved one, but it should also always be objectively examined. If it doesn’t bring quality, no matter how much it is a “loved one”, you must be ready to dismiss it. If that does not happen, it will become a stumbling block on the way to much better ideas and success in general.

Animation Tips & Tricks and Importance of good communication

The creation of games as an art and science joint was presented by Aleksandar Petrović, Technical Artist of Two Desperados. During his Game Animation presentation, he shared numerous animation tips and tricks, but also emphasized the necessity of being aware of the whole surrounding you create animations in. On the one hand, there is cooperation with game artists, and on the other, you should take into account many things such as memory space necessary to host what you have created or communication with developers explaining what is expected to be the outcome of an action, which they further transform into the adequate code.

Aleksa Todorović, Chief Technical Officer, Mad Head Games spoke about the necessity of quality communication inside the teams of different sizes. The quality of Game Development, which was the subject of his lectures, largely rely on the quality of team communication. Through the example of the growth of his company from 5 to up to 160+ employees, he showed how it has been organized during many growth stages and explained the importance of achieving high-quality communication. The most important thing is „to speak the same language“.

Sailing the game to the market sea

In front of the Serbian Gaming Association (SGA), Nikola Čavić, the CEO, talked about the importance of the game’s business development. He presented key points when pitching the game to various stakeholders, and what is to be taken into account if you want your game to get its market value and be played. The high-quality lines of your game code are just not enough. Too many words and descriptions divert focus from the essence of the game. Let the main message of your game sound like “brutal off-road racing in a chaotic environment” * The most important of all is the following: you must show that you believe in your product, in order to make others believe it too.

Create the desired reality (and take care of yourself)

Since ancient times writing has been mostly done by the procedure. Ph.D.Art. Mirko Stojković, Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade, made us aware of algorithms behind stories, told to us through movies, episodes of a TV show and video games, and also AI doing it in the way we don’t even notice it isn’t written by men.

Mirko’s lecture was awesome, despite not being live, but streamed through a conference call. His inability to be physically present at the conference also generated a lifetime message: “Be physically active and strengthen your body, especially if your job implies spending many hours a day sitting in front of a computer”.

As the conference approached its end, I was left positively impacted by the passion, resilience and motivation of speakers to make our region game development paradise. Montenegro is certainly joining the gamers’ club, as there seem to be a lot of people who are working or intend to start working on developing games. More than 80 conference participants are positively proving this statement, and we, at Logate, are happy to have been able to bring them all at one place to network, share and boost their confidence that they can make great products in their own country. ?

We will see you at Interakt 2020! ?

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