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Hear real talk from fellow devs at GDC 2017's Independent Games Summit!

From digital psychedelics to reflecting on good, old advice for indie devs that's now maybe totally wrong, there are a lot of great sessions lined up for GDC 2017's Independent Games Summit!

February 2, 2017

3 Min Read

Independent game development is more common than ever, which is why organizers of the 2017 Game Developers Conference want to make sure you don't miss out on all the great indie-focused talks taking place at the show!

In fact, there's an entire GDC Independent Games Summit dedicated to the topic, one of eight that will take place Monday, February 27th and Tuesday, February 28th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA -- the first two days of the conference.

Each Summit is designed to offer GDC attendees a practical, comphrehensive overview of a specific discipline or business, and the Indie Games Summit aims to do just that for the independent games business -- even as the business itself continues to change.

For example, in their GDC Independent Games Summit talk on "Everything I Said Was Wrong: Why Indie Is Different Now", experienced game makers (and GDC speakers) Liz England, Rami Ismail, Lisa Brown, and Daniel Cook will consider indie game development advice they adamantly stood by several years ago that they consider bad ideas today, and share tips for critically questioning even the best advice. 

It promises to be an earnest discussion in which these longtime devs refute their past-selves on topics like F2P as a sustainable business model for indies, brainstorming practices based on bad science, and the role of motivation in the average indie developer.

In addition to the amusement of watching developers debate their past-selves, attendees will take away skills for how to critically approach game development advice, even seemingly great advice, by questioning context and measuring its relevance in the ever-changing indie games landscape!

Plus, the Summit will host a great session about indie game PR and marketing -- from someone who's done just that for everything from Gone Home: Console Edition to Night In The Woods and Thimbleweed Park.

Chris Dwyer is an expert in marketing, PR and production for indie devs, and as part of the Independent Games Summit he'll be speaking about "(Opportunity) Cost Effective Marketing & PR for Indies." Dwyer aims to arm indie developers with limited financial, mental and time budgets with good (and more importantly efficient) marketing & PR strategies.

Whether using external or internal marketing resources, he'll discuss how to evaluate which parts of marketing & PR their specific game needs, and how to make a template to prioritize and adjust those needs based on monetary and opportunity cost. It promises to be a great talk, and those who attend will walk away knowing how to prioritize and budget the needs based on their own game and resources.

Also, indie game developer Robin Arnott (SoundSelf) will be delivering a great talk on "Designing a Trance: Meditation and Game Design" aimed at helping you understand the trance phenomenon.

By exploring the myriad causes and types of trance, the audience will better understand how to induce these states of mind. More profoundly, they can leverage trance itself as more than the bi-product of good game design, but as a tool for deepening a player's relationship with themselves and with others. In fact, the editors of Gamasutra (official media partner of GDC) recently talked to Arnott about just that (as well as his talk in general) for a video you can watch below:

Arnott himself looks to meditation and music performance for game design inspiration, and if you attend his talk you'll likely walk away with a workable model of how game mechanics can (and do) lead to altered states of consciousness. Applied gently, the "trance model" can help make any game more immersive and entrancing. Taken to an extreme, though, it provides a road-map to creating the world's first digital psychedelics!

For more details on these and all other announced talks head over to the online GDC 2017 Session Scheduler. GDC 2017 itself will take place February 27th - March 3rd at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. For more information on GDC 2017, 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 Americas

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