So I wandered down to Brighton last weekend and attended the first Rezzed PC & Indie Games Show hosted by Rock, Paper, Shotgun and Eurogamer.net. It was genuinely really good. Twenty pound for two days of gaming, networking, industry talks and drinking. It speaks for itself really.
My favorite aspect of the event were the Developer Sessions, the most interesting of which were the talks by the indie companies. Although there were a number of sessions by larger developers they weren’t as immediately interesting as they are restricted to what they can say by publishers etc. The Project Zomboid team were the most entertaining in their hilarious talk about “How Not to Make a Game” and joked about the companies precarious past involving next door bomb labs and being robbed. Introversion on Prison Architect, Dean Hall on DayZ and the Indie Game Jam were great fun and genuinely really interesting.
As well as the talks by the various indie developers there was also the Leftfield Collection sponsored by Saga. Some of the indies such as Introversion and Unknown Worlds could afford their own booths, but they are essentially still indie teams. It was incredibly interesting to talk to the developers and play some of the games to get some idea of their thought process. It was a fantastic marketing opportunity for those on display as indies don’t usually appear in this type of environment.
After the show most of the attendees went to a bar down the road for drinks and conversation which is where I bumped into a number of the Natural Selection 2 team. NS1 was by far one of my favorite modifications for the original Half-Life and the NS2 team bought my loyalty through the free drinks they were buying me. It was a blast.
There was also a number of AAA games being shown such as Borderlands 2, Colonial Marines and Far Cry 3 and although I sat down to play them all they were not my focus for the event. The AAA developer sessions were also a lot less interesting than the in-depth talks of the indie teams.
For me that was what made Rezzed really stand out though. The events out at the moment are either extremely consumer targeted (e.g. Eurogamer & e3) or for paid developers in the industry (e.g. GDC & develop), Rezzed on the other hand was a good mix of both. The indie teams are small enough and not tied down by publishers or marketing people which allows them to really speak about the nitty-gritty of development but they also got some great marketing out of displaying their games in the Leftfield collection. The AAA industry was there with the blockbusters but it was in no-way overpowering and felt much more like a 50-50 split between the two different types of developers. They are already planning Rezzed 2013 for which I will be grabbing tickets as soon as I can.
Oh, I had to go on stage for the 1-Hour gamejam session and won my second piece of signed Valve memorabilia in the form of this limited print Dota 2 poster:
Tthats not me with mine but I assure you mine is just as prettyfied. I’ve left mine in the cardboard packaging otherwise it most definitively will get ruined as soon as my messy little fingers are upon it. I’m going to get it framed I think.
Every attendee also got keys to the closed Dota 2 beta so I’ll be playing some of that in the coming weeks also. Its much less forgiving than League of Legends I’ll tell you that now.
Till next time…