Full Indie Summit Vancouver – October 22, 2016 – Personal Thoughts

On a busy weekend, I attended the Full Indie Summit in Vancouver. I was looking forward most to Kayla’s presentation but being up working on a cosplay (yeah, I’m THAT person) until 3AM unfortunately got to me and I only got to her Q&A.

I’m really glad I got to see her Q&A because I think she touched on something that I somehow always had trouble admitting: looking forward (and yet not looking forward) to multiplayer experiences in virtual reality. I can’t help but want to share so much virtual reality with others concurrently, but at the same time, being misgendered to a lower registering vocal tone is disheartening and it makes me not want to speak to anyone in VR.

Immediately all I could think of was the (unfortunately fictional) customer service voice altering technology in Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One”. I know the book has been relentless beaten to death by VR enthusiasts, but it did scrape the surface on things/dreams like this.

I also extremely enjoyed Kert Gartner’s presentation on mixed reality trailers because a lot of what he spoke of lingered in my mind when I did a brainstorm on how to stream virtual reality on Twitch. He mentioned that one of the trailers after the dual square headset mirror view (tragically unappealing to consumers), was Sony’s announcement trailer for Playstation VR:

Now what makes this trailer so different is that it allows viewers to “emotionally connect” because you can see someone’s eyes. I thought about this a lot when creating a VR stream – what makes streams so enjoyable? Being able to connect with the streamer? I think for the most part, that’s it. When your eyes are covered, you feel like you don’t have that connection. I thought to have multiple people commanding a VR stream but I’ve yet to figure it out. If I do, well, I’ll stream it!

Loved the nod to altgames by Claris Cyarron. I think alternative experiences (non-conventional games) is perfect content for virtual reality. Creating the abstract into something with presence is what I look forward to most! Imagine this in VR:

Steve Swink’s talk covered some elements of game and puzzle design where you create your own components of why something works and how to improve your workflow. I wish I was more conscious for his talk but it was fantastic.

To close things off, Ryan Clark gave a presentation on how to make an indie hit. It came down to analyzing trends (which he streams live on his Twitch channel), finding a niche, and proper marketing. An extremely relevant talk – and easier said than done. Ryan has been analyzing trends for over a decade so it’s interesting hearing his expertise on game trends in the last few years.

It was my first Full Indie Summit and it was pretty fun! I just wish I had some more sleep, haha. (But at least I finished my cosplay… Right?)

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