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Don Daglow shares tips on going indie at GDC 2014

Today’s GDC session highlights include a guide to helping players find your games, advice on how you can figure out whether it’s the right time to go indie, and more.

Game Developer

February 3, 2014

3 Min Read

Passes for the Game Developers Conference 2014 are still going fast, and today we're announcing a few more sessions for the Main Conference that you'll want to check out. Today's highlights include a guide to helping players find your games, a talk from industry veteran Don Daglow about how you can tell whether it's time to finally go indie, and more. Now in its 28th year, GDC is the world's largest and longest-running professionals-only game industry event, and will once again take place at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California during March 17-21, 2014.

Is going indie right for you?

Industry veteran Don Daglow is giving a pretty honest talk at GDC 2014 that should help attendees understand the risks, potential benefits, and day-to-day routine changes that come when a developer decides to go indie. In his talk, Going Indie: 10 Questions to Help You Decide if It's Right for You, Daglow -- who has worked on a vast array of games from Baseball to Neverwinter Nights -- will walk you through a series of straightforward questions that should help elucidate if, when, and how you should take the indie plunge. Attendees can expect to walk away with a better understanding of how to separate and manage the financial and creative sides of indie development, as well as how to function as a successful entrepreneur in the game industry.

Helping players find your games

There's more games to play than ever before, which is great for players -- but not so great for developers who need to get their games in front of the right audience. Indie Fund partner and veteran indie developer Aaron Isaksen is giving a talk on the topic, titled Game Discovery: Helping Players Find Our Games, about how you can make your games easier to find, learn about, and download. Isaksen plans to dig into a pretty detailed discussion of how ideas spread across communities through word of mouth and social networks, so attendees should be ready for a scientific analysis of how human beings choose to make purchases -- and how that information can help you improve the discoverability of your game.

Hardcore mechanics in casual games

The mobile games market is booming, but it's also maturing, and players expect more complex features and game mechanics in mobile games than ever before. In this GDC 2014 session Pocket Gems CEO Ben Liu plans to explain how his company takes inspiration from classic games to develop deeper, more engaging mechanics for mobile games like Tap Paradise Cove. During the talk, entitled Pocket Gems and the Evolution of Mobile Gamers: Hardcore Mechanics in Casual Games, Liu will discuss the strategic rationale for augmenting mobile games with systems like crafting and PVP, and how these additions can help engage players and boost an app's performance in the sales charts

More essential GDC details

Earlier GDC 2014 announcements include a Zork postmortem from progenitor Dave Lebling, the return of the popular #1reasontobe panel, and a roundtable discussion about how best to employ more women in games. Developers on Bioshock Infinite, Robotron 2084, and The Sims 4 will also be giving talks. All of the announced talks are now available in the online GDC 2014 Session Scheduler, where you can begin to build your conference week and later export it to the up-to-the-minute GDC Mobile App, coming soon. GDC 2014 itself will take place March 17-21, 2014 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. You can register for the event by visiting the info page on the official GDC 2014 website. Early Bird pricing, with discounts up to 30 percent, will remain in effect until January 31st. Some passes have limited amounts, and with the Independent Games Summit pass already sold out, interested parties should register now. For more information on GDC 2014, visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS. Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech

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