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Indie game exhibition organizers open up about how they work

"We'll get like 300 submissions for each event, no sweat," longtime game event curator David Hayward tells Waypoint. "10 years ago, you could pick any indie game, and it'd be unusual and interesting."

Alex Wawro, Contributor

March 28, 2017

2 Min Read

"It's a really serious amount of research and discipline and craft that goes into creating a decent show of anything, and I feel like the video games industry does not understand or appreciate that."

- David Hayward, who helps organize game lineups for the Feral Vector and Leftfield Collection events, speaks to Waypoint about what it's like to organize indie game events.

What's involved in organizing and running a successful indie game exhibition?

That's a question Waypoint recently sought to answer by talking to a few indie game event organizers, and their responses make for intriguing reading -- especially if you're an indie dev wondering what exhibition curators are thinking when they pick which games to showcase.

"We're interested in finding different things, people who are producing exciting work that we can articulate within the festival," longtime Now Play This game festival organizer Holly Gramazio told Waypoint. As an example, she noted that "we've the 'ten-second room' this year, where every game takes ten seconds to play."

Elsewhere in the piece, longtime game event organizer David Hayward notes that the business of putting on effective indie game showcases has gotten significantly more challenging due to the ever-rising tide of game releases.

"We'll get like 300 submissions for each event, no sweat. Ten years ago, you could pick any indie game, and it'd be unusual and interesting compared to everything else the industry was doing," Hayward said ."Nowadays, though, 'indie' has established itself as a part of the commercial industry ad [UK game event] EGX and I are both very aware that Leftfield should continually be looking outwards to that boundary. So, we were never content to just bill it as a show of indie games. We're looking for a mix of games that will be accessible to the audience who come to EGX, but we also want them to showcase stranger, or more experimental work."

The full article is well worth reading over on Waypoint, as it sheds some light on the thought processes of folks who are often making weighty decisions that can significantly influence the course of a dev's career.

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