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Amaze and Quo Vadis 2015

You would expect a new, coding-focused article here today. But as I just returned from a 4 days trip to Berlin and I am a bit weary. Therefore I thought I just do a little wrap-up of my Quo Vadis, Amaze and Berlin impressions.

Wednesday: Off to Berlin!

I managed to persuade some fellow Indie developers from Hamburg to join the trip. We shared an apartment from AirBnb and used the bus to get a cheap transport to Berlin on Wednesday evening.

Travelling to Berlin for the Amaze 2015
Travelling to Berlin for the Amaze 2015

My fellow travelers were:

After we arrived and checked out our accommodation, we visited the opening event of the Amaze 2015 at the Urban Spree Gallery.

Thursday: Quo Vadis

On Thursday we were invited by the Amazon Appstore to show our game FreudBot at the Quo Vadis. There weren’t too many visitors, as most of them were at the conference for the talks instead of checking out games. But nonetheless it was nice to be there and talk to some fellow Indie game developers like:

I tried to beat the game, but it gets quite difficult. It’s a lot of fun nonetheless, so try it!

We also had the possibility to visit some talks which was nice as the tickets for the Quo Vadis are a bit more expensive if you have to buy them.

In the evening we joined the Games Academy party with free beer and barbecue. Berlin presented itself with really sunny weather, so it was a really nice evening. Thanks a lot to the Games Academy for the nice event!

Friday: Amaze 2015

Due to our visit at the Quo Vadis on Thursday, we missed the talks of the Amaze on that day. But on Friday we finally managed to experience the spirit of this great Indie festival.

Rami Ismail was interviewed live by Leigh Alexander on the first slot. Parts of the interview were really motivating. The core statement for me was, that you don’t have to put the fun for the consumer in the center of your development, but your own fun of developing the game. If you had fun developing it, it’s very unlikely that the experience your game delivers won’t be fun for the players, too. It is much easier to develop this way, I think, than to always have doubts about the question, if you game will be enough fun. Just have fun developing it and your players will feel it in your finished game!

Another interesting talk was the one from Terry Cavanagh, who documented his work on a former game jam game which got out of control and took much longer than planned. It’s always nice to hear honest field reports, so you know that you are not the only one having problems during development. As it may feel like from time to time.

If you couldn’t attend the Amaze, here are some recordings of the talks at Voice Republic.

The Amaze ended with a really funny award ceremony where the game Line Wobbler won two of the five prices. Which were also the first two prices its developer Robin Baumgarten ever won as he let us know. Well deserved in my opinion!

Saturday: Amaze 2015 Exhibition

We used the Saturday to visit the exhibition of the Amaze again as we didn’t have too much time over the last days to play all the great games there. Some of my favorites were:

Unfortunately some games were already dismounted, so I should really take my time to try out the games at the start of the festival already.

Conclusion

All in all it was a really nice and interesting trip to Berlin. Such festival can bring back a lot of motivation that might get lost when you work on a project day-by-day. It’s also a great way to keep in touch with old friends and meet new ones. So I can fully recommend allowing yourself to go to some events like this to recharge your batteries from time to time!

Currently I am involved in the organisation of an Indie development festival here in Hamburg, Germany, called Indie Gameleon. Hopefully its first edition in Germany will happen in autumn. If you like to keep informed about it, follow the event on Facebook and Twitter.