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Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by zoombapup, Mar 18, 2010.
Just fast-forward to 35:50..
As for this part - that's not really the point of the awards ceremony. It needs to be slick and watchable and as Oscars-y as possible for the same reason the Oscars are - to confer a bit of glamour and excitement and importance on the stuff we're selling and so help us sell more of it.
I've done no better than 'honourable mention'. Even that has proved a very useful thing to wave around when I'm trying to get stuff like dev kits, and the extra publicity paid for my trip over there.
When big money becomes involved, everything changes very quickly.
Is belonging to an angsty subculture more important than making a good life for yourself and family?
There has been so much anti-IGF sentiment this year and most of it is entirely unwarranted.
First off, to clear up a possible misconception: the Zynga guy accepted an award during the Game Developer's Choice Awards, not the IGF.
It is true that Heroes of Newearth won the IGF audience award this year, and at least in my book, it doesn't seem that they belong in the IGF, I think everyone recognizes that. But the organizers would rather have an open competition rather than having to define "indie" and exclude developers that may not fit a possibly narrow definition. Better to have false positives than false negatives. I happen to believe that there should be a few simple rules governing who can enter, but so far as I can remember, this is the first entry in the last 5 years that actually WON that probably shouldn't be there. That said, congrats to that team for making a great game, indie or not.
The Direct2Drive thing is a sponsorship. It's the sponsorships that bring the money, and in the end, it's the production values and the prestige that make the IGF press worthy. The IGF has had sponsors for as long as I can remember. I think it's really hard to argue that the Direct2Drive segment in some way diminishes the awards as a whole.
Erik Svedang put it perfectly this year: the IGF is not just for the people who win or are nominated, it's a beacon of light for those of us struggling to find recognition for our art. It's something we can all look to and dream of winning.
I know that's one thing that has kept me going for the past 5 years.
Imagine a world without the IGF and tell me if that world is a better place.
And as a more level headed follow up to my diatribe:
Costik shared your distaste for the production value of the ceremony. He was wrong too. The production values are one of the things that make the press follow it (and also make it fun for those involved). If you wanna have an intimate little ceremony where everyone is in shorts and tevas, go right ahead.
As for it being a cult of personality... I won't try to defend myself or my own game, but games in the past have never been voted in just because of the personality of the creators.
It is true that this year two fairly well known indies won awards (Cactus and myself), but I can say that Tuning (not Cactus) deserved the award irregardless of it's creator's standing in the indie community.
I'm honestly just sick of people whining about the IGF. Go make a game instead.
FYI, here's the transcript of Bill Mooney's acceptance speech on behalf of Zynga:
Brackets and emphasis added for clarification.
Zynga definitely sounds Indie, just like Epic and Valve.
Anyways, great acceptance speech. More and more Indie developers should include important stuff like job openings and work conditions while accepting awards for developing games. Definitely mirrors Oscar acceptance speeches.
He won a choice award, not an igf award.
He also was sitting at our table when he won, we had no idea it was him, and we all groaned. We were wondering if this contributed to the aggressive tone of his speech.
I took a picture of the massive autocue because I found the rather wooden deliveries quite funny and sad: http://twitpic.com/180lkp I was glad that Andy's speech was natural and made some good points.
The Zynga guy (who, as has already been pointed out, was not part of the IGF awards, but the developers choice awards) was obviously recruiting at the end BUT he did make a great point that social games are doing really well and that if you are Indie you might want to try making some - they are the new gold rush now that the iphone is saturated.
I met a bunch of Zynga people when I was there. It sounds like they work long hours but they are all enjoying themselves and the company is not as "corporate" as many others. Also San Fran has good weather based on my small experience, so it's probably a neat gig if you care for it.
The best bit of the awards for me was the mega64 videos
No. The Oscars are what they are because it is televised and involves famous people and the sheeple out there care enough to want to watch such a spectacle. The game industry needs to stop wanting to be Hollywood.
I'm not sure what the big deal about his speech is. Seems fine to me.
Well said sir. I think this kind of relates my feeling too.
Much as I'm not one to stir up trouble , but actually Zynga ARE an indie company. And a good one too - they make stacks of cash, employ stacks of people and make games adored by millions. Sound pretty good to me, where can I get me some?
If you don't think Zynga are indie, that's probably because you're in the camp that thinks one guy in a bedroom with no budget and a company name like "something studios" is an independent games company. It's not really, it's just a guy writing games from his house.
And I'm not having a go at people who do that, just please don't start slagging other companies because they're successful and inferring that this somehow makes them not independent.
And yes, ftr I think Zynga are bunch of c***s, personally - but that's by the bye.
I dont think anyone is whining. I just dont like that whole cult of celebrity vibe that is around right now (believe me, we get it rammed down our throats as much as you in the US do these days). The IGF seems to be going that way and it makes me feel uncomfortable.
Lets put it this way Andy, remember those old "conferences" that GG used to put on? Those felt useful and friendly. I'd prefer those over this whole "hollywood" production bullshit. Felt human to me at least. Plus I always came home with a buzz about the whole indie thing. The IGF left me with a feeling that its become mainstream and therefore full of celebrity shite.
I'm not saying that I dislike the people who ARE the celebrities, but just the concept of celebrity.
I do take your point that the value for press is that whole thing, but somehow it leaves me with a bitter taste is all. Next year I'll just skip the whole thing and be happier I guess.
The major downside to this years GDC was just never having enough time to catch up with people I wanted to. Its a big beast of a thing.
Cliffy: Yeah, I'm not sure the value. I guess it depends on what youre trying to sell and to whom. I go because I can (work pays), but I'd be tempted even if they didnt because I can catch up with so many friends at once. Plus they usually have some interesting stuff in the expo, although this year that was a bit worse IMHO.
the move towards celebrating individual designers has probably been influenced by this notable talk from Jason Rubin (founder of Naughty Dog) in 2004:
It does sound like you should just avoid the awards ceremony itself, if you are allergic to that kind of thing.
Crap...after so many years of just hovering on the sidelines and watching you guys, I was planning to make it next year just to meet everyone.
C'mon Zoomba...one more year. Do it for wazoo
Hello, I'm a bit of a lurker here. I'm Krystian Majewski, the developer of TRAUMA. I came over from Germany to the IGF and that question is an excellent one.
I'm still not sure. Yes, it was a great opportunity to show the game to a lot of people. Yes it was a great opportunity to meet a few people I only knew from the internet.
But the actual IGF was a bit disappointing. I mean not the fact that I didn't win. That was disappointing but I was somewhat expecting that (more on this later). I mean the fact that the organizers of IGF don't provide ANY kind of support and/or services. For example: when I went to set up my game at the pavilion, there was NOBODY there. Just an empty pavilion with all the hardware and furniture in place but otherwise deserted. During the entire GDC I actually haven't met anybody personally who was a representative of the IGF. I made three requests for additional hardware to floor attendants and never seen them again. I almost missed the award ceremony because - again - there was nobody there to inform me where it takes place.
But these are just basics. For example - I wish there was somebody from IGF that would help all the participants to deal with the press. Inform us when important press people are at the booth, maybe relay meeting requests, maybe even a common press conference.
It would have been also nice to have a meeting with all the finalists in a more quiet and casual atmosphere, maybe a dinner or something. It would have been nice to meet some of the judges as well.
Right now, meeting up with the press or getting to know other indie developers was left up pretty much to pure chance. Maybe you run into somebody but maybe you won't. It left me with the impression that I didn't spend my precious time there as efficiently as I should have. It also left me with the impression that nobody from IGF and/or GDC is actially interested in me or my game.
And finally, I find it still disturbing to make an indie award at a conference that costs 2000$ just to participate. That's more than I paid for the entire game so far.
As for winning - I didn't expect to wind because the chance that it would do me any good was low. The prize money is really low in comparison to the costs associated with the IGF itself, not even mentioning the game. I had to win the main competition or TWO other prizes to break even with the travel and accommodation costs.
But on the other hand, not going there would be easier on my wallet but certainly worse for the game's reputation. It is a tough choice.
Heh, speaking of Zynga, any of y'all hit that party on Monday night? It was like being in hell: 500+ people crammed in a space that should probably hold 200, open bar got cut off after just over an hour, piles of food but no plates or forks, a DJ playing asinine house music while screenshots of Mafia Wars scrolled by on a screen behind him. And you couldn't even enjoy your drink, if you could get one, without being accosted every 15 minutes by one of their recruiters..
Hello Krystian, nice to see you here. I agree; I felt very similarly about my IGF experience. Probably the highlight of the whole thing was attending the Indiegamer dinner that year, simply because it was the only real chance I had to meet other indies, despite hanging around my IGF booth for almost the entire time the expo was open. Which is something else I regret, by the way - I missed out on most of what the GDC had to offer because of it. I understand why the IGF recommends that you man your booth (at least, they did in 2008, not sure if that advice has changed or not), but for a solo developer it's a bad idea to exclude yourself from the rest of the conference. I did get one tiny piece of press coverage, which was very nice, but I'm hesitant to say whether it was really worth waiting around all that time.
All of your suggestions are good, and I hope they get taken on board. Even just having a simple welcome session for all IGF finalists would have been great. Get everyone in a room, talk about the IGF and about setting up, take requests for additional hardware, and encourage people to meet each other. Easy to do and absolutely worthwhile for the finalists, especially for those of us coming from overseas who are rather overwhelmed by the whole thing (at least I know I was - it was my first overseas trip).
I loved TRAUMA by the way. For what it's worth, you had my vote. Well, one of my votes (the other was Monaco).