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Blog

Retro: Game Developer’s Conference 2016
By: LizCooper
Mar 23, 2016

What should we repeat?

  • There was a need for these reviews: When we went into planning this, we weren’t certain we would be active, we hoped, we thought, but not certain. We are certain now. The only thing that limited our ability to have even more portfolios reviewed was space and time.
  • Flexibility: We decided very early to sacrifice everything looking neat and pretty to get more reviewers going and utilized space around our booth too. This on the fly change allowed us to make an even bigger impact.
  • Covering as many disciplines as possible: Trying to balance out our reviewers and creating a public schedule so artists could come when there was reviewers for their discipline was fantastic. I would even expand this, consider other mediums if the support was there too. Engineering, audio, etc.

What should we change?

  • Get more non-reviewer help: there was only 2 of us there to cover all the booth needs and management for the 0ver 40+ reviewers and 763 reviews, on top of being available to talk about the organization and build relationships. Interns and general volunteers to line management, help with Puzzle Raffle, lunch breaks, etc.
  • Involve more organizations: with the need now proven, we would for sure seek out groups to cover disciplines more completely, invite art teams to cover the stations as a whole to increase attraction and repeat reviews. This also gives another opportunity to strengthen industry organizational relationships.
  • Get financial support: Piggybacking on the last point, this was a serious financial endeavor, Peet and I personally covered most of the expenses. Crowdfunding, targetted donations, With enough lead time, and the proof of how much audience and need there was we should seek financial support. this might mean changing something, but it will make more sense as a continued activity.

What should we stop doing?

  • Making booth setup decisions about more aesthetic over function: Some of the furniture in the booth was chosen to give a polished feel to Gamers for Good, to give us visual validity. You only get 1 chance to make a first impression right? The counters were very professional looking but in terms of best utilization of space for the reviews, I think we can do better.
  • Trying to take on too much: Getting an all-access badge, running a booth full time and trying to also cover a developer meetup was TOOO much. We didn’t even get to participate in any after expo events, just too tired and the developer meetup that was given to us last minute we should have said no. Scope creep happens easy and you can never account for the unknowns, so leaving breathing room will be a future planning decision as well.

Gamers for Good’s 2016 GDC Gallery