Last week played host to game development conference GDC. Held in San Francisco, it’s is one of the biggest game dev events of the year. It also costs thousands of dollars to attend, let alone arrange travel and accommodation for.

Not to be deterred however, a collective of rather passionate and enthusiastic indie game developers decided that rather than watch the goings on from afar, they’d create a much more valuable use of time. With a little help from friends, trade body UKIE and enterprise backers Microsoft, #IGC15 was also held this week and I was fortunate enough to attend. And it was excellent.

IGC- TheMeatly Art

Talks from various game development experts shared experience, advice and opinion across a whole raft of issues from localisation, monetisation, emotion and loads of other topics not ending in “tion”. Every talk I saw was excellent and equally as valuable was the discussion had with other attendees during lunch and between sessions.

Our recent work with Lionhead has motivated me to further explore the game dev scene as it’s an industry I have a long standing affinity with. Whilst I certainly wouldn’t consider myself a game developer (although I have dabbled on and off for many years), I find there are always valuable lessons to be learned from anyone willing to stand up and share their experience. It’s fascinating how some of the challenges people face apply across industries and equally the approaches taken to solve them.

What amazes me most about game developers is how much they achieve in such small teams (frequently a lone dev will produce an entire game end-to-end) and often with little to no financial backing. Whilst financial successes and struggles are frequently a topic of discussion in a room full of game devs, there’s no doubt passion and enthusiasm is the main reason they’re there and I found this extremely inspiring.

This has got me even more excited for Kinecthack which I am hosting on 21st/22nd March where I hope to see plenty of game dev projects among others (let me know on Twitter if you’re interested in attending). I strongly recommend getting along to the next IGC event if you can make it and am extremely grateful to Byron and everyone else involved in arranging and hosting #IGC15.