Yesterday was certainly a whirlwind of a day. Bobbie and I travelled up to London to go to the gaming conference EGX Rezzed.
Our main aim for the day was talk to as many developers as possible, asking them general questions about the industry, jobs and any advice they would they give us for developing or getting into the industry.
Though most importantly our plan was to go and talk to the developers of Overcooked and bombarding them with questions about their development process, what the next step was once they created a game and how they got it onto the Nintendo Switch platform.
Talking to Phil and Oli – Creators of Overcooked
We talked to both Phil and Oli who are the creators of Overcooked and asked them questions about how they published their game and are getting it onto the Switch platform. As well as talking about our game
We asked them various questions highlighted below:
What was the next step after having an idea and starting to develop a game?
- They had quite a polished prototype before they started thinking about publishing the game – Suggested that they probably wanted to find a publisher sooner as this would have helped with funding costs
- Suggested finding a publisher to help with marketing the game and getting the word out there
- Going to Norwich game festival – Great for user testing – A lot of families, they won’t know your game, they won’t have played a lot of games before – Gives you a real understanding of how others will interact with the game – what they will and on’t understand and it will give you a good understanding of how to develop the game.
Who’s their publisher?
- Team 17
- However they said that they had sent their game out to a fast amount of publishers – Some didn’t like it some did – You will get rejected but just keep trying, don’t give up.
How much control did the publishers have over the development/ design of the game?
- Phil expressed that the publishers didn’t have a large amount of control over the design of the game – They would make suggestions and they choice whether to take them on-board or not – So very much Phil and Oli were in control
- Though all publishers are different ad some will want more control than others – Just a case of working this out beforehand – Research and ask questions
- Though always talk to other developers who have been published by the company and get their feedback on whether the publishers are good or not, to give a better idea of whether you should or shouldn’t go with that publisher.
How did you get it on the Switch? What was that process?
- Phil states he was in contact with Nintendo since 2013 and there was many back and forth communications between the two companies. Firstly they had envisioned Overcooked being created for the Wii U but Nintendo weren’t interested as they had started production of the Switch and so the platform was changed to the Switch.
- He said we could apply to become a Switch developer on their website, but expressed this wasn’t the best option – Slow and likely to be unsuccessful. He stated that gaining a contact in Nintendo was vital to them getting on published on the platform and so he would advice us doing the same.
Would publishers come to our London graduation show?
- The guys weren’t sure if publishers would come to our graduate show but seemed like there would be no harm in trying to contact them and inviting them.
Talking to Kevin – Zoink
Kevin was part of the developing team that produced Flipping Death and game created for the Nintendo Switch platform. We asked him about the game and how it managed to get it onto the Switch platform.
- Already had a contact with Nintendo – Helped get it on the platform
- They already had produced a game and so had a following for that.
- Polished prototype before they showed it to Nintendo
- Seemed very keen for us to show him our game and get some feedback on it
Talking to David – Sumo Digital – Created Snake Pass
Talking to David was lovely, he was so enthusiastic it was great. We asked him general questions about the size of the company and any advice he had for us.
- Company of 300 people
- Working on many different games at once – Smaller teams working on games in a larger company
- Many internships going on
- Many jobs
- The company is always looking for new people – Check the website or email me or the company.
Talking to Will – Curve (publishers)
We were quite lucky we found Will actually, as we were talking to another game developer and when we mentioned our game he called over Will who was from Curve digital to chat to us about their publishing agency. He seemed interested in hearing more about the game and gave us his business card to contact him is we had any questions about Curve.
During the game they were doing panels where they discussed particular topics within the games industry or games design. Bobbie and I went to the talk ‘It’s Dangerous to Go Alone: Developing for the Nintendo Switch’
On the panel were, Phil and Oli from Overcooked, Kevin from Zoink and developers from Dangerous Kitchen and Image & Form.
Notes from the Talk
The overall feeling I got from the talk was that the Switch was definitely an up and coming platform to work on and Nintendo are definitely branching into the indie market and interested in finding developers, but their games need to be creative and use the functionality of the console. Also the talk helped to clarify that the Nintendo Switch is very much designed for local coop play and that all of the developers reiterated this point, stating how suitable the genre was for the platform.
Key Information From the Day
- Form a polished prototype – Before showing to publishers
- Send information out about the game to all publishers – Some will reject you but some will like it
- Publisher can help you get onto the Switch platform
- Try to get a contact within Nintendo than going through their application service, in order to get the game on the platform
- Nintendo definitely like local multiplayer games
- Unity was great for transferring to the Switch – solved all porting issues
- Try to exhibit at conventions – Norwich Gaming Festival
- Get as many connections and contact as possible.
Looking back over the event I found it very inspiring to be there and talk to all the developers, as it brought the idea of making a game more down to earth. Because as a course we always talk about making a game and releasing it but I never really believe it is actually possible, because it just feels like this unachieveable goal and we need years of experience in the industry otherwise we will fail. But actually talking to game developers I realised that we are going in the right direction, we aren’t doing anything majorly wrong, we have a similar working process as them, we’ve formed an idea and are creating a prototype. It made me realise that it was just that next step of getting a game out their that was missing, and talking to the developers it just seemed like we need to push on and keep going with the game. Talking to them it helped clarify what we need to do, eg get a publisher and get our game out there as far as possible. Learning what we needed to do next just helped me personally understand what we would need to do and so gave us more of a plan and a direction. Which I feel in-turn has made the possibly of actually publishing this game far more achieveable and it simply a case of working hard, continue to learn and making contacts. Meeting people and making contacts is definitely key and it is so hard at uni when we have little connection with the gaming industry, I tend to feel very closed off and don’t look at the bigger picture of how to actually publish the game and get it out there for people to play. So going to Rezzed definitely helped me to see the bigger picture and where the game could end up with some more hard-work and dedication.
I certainly and I think Bobbie would agree with me, that we would definitely recommend other students to go this event and others like it and talk to developers, who were all so friendly and supportive, and they really bring the gaming industry down to earth and I believe will to help to inspire others and boost people’s confidence that they can publish a game and that it isn’t impossible.
- Research into Norwich Gaming Festival – When is it? How can we get the game in there?
- Research into Publishers – Who is out there? What games have they published? What are their contact details? Could be invite them to the London show. – Talk to developers who have been published about their advice on which publishers to use and why
- Go through the contacts we have made and follow up with them – Find questions to ask them