On November 9-20, DevGAMM team held the first two-week conference in the online format. During week one, our focus was on all the aspects of game making, and week two was dedicated to business and networking. Let’s see how it all went.
DevGAMM 2020 has been literally worldwide! This time, 8 themed tracks included 77 sessions with speakers from Brazil, China, USA, Sweden, UK, and over a dozen countries more.
At this event, we hosted our first-ever Unreal Engine track, and, thanks to the support of DevRel.Events, set up 4 Fireside Chats with industry professionals. Overall, the conference featured talks by the representatives of EA DICE, Wooga, Ubisoft RedLynx, Playrix, tinyBuild, Pixonic, Google, Snapchat, MY.GAMES, BoomBit, and lots of other companies and game studios.
We also held 4 Review Sessions in Game Design, Art, Audio, and Marketing categories. The experts in relevant fields reviewed certain aspects of games and suggested ways of making them much cooler. When the sessions were over, developers moved to a special Off-Record Q&A room, where they could ask the experts additional questions.
Traditionally, the event was held on PINE platform: using the online meeting system under the support of Xsolla, attendees made more than 500 video calls.
This time, we held a few hour-long Random Networking sessions every day. As a result, owing to the support of Skillbox, the randomly picked attendees have met each other in 5-minute meetings over 300 times in two weeks. We divided the sessions by themes, so at various times one could hear discussions of game engines and the future of gamedev, as well as sharing lockdown experiences and longing for offline events.
An extra serving of networking opportunities was brought by Mentors Dialogue, which took place during the first week of the conference. We divided 57 experts based on their activity and field of expertise allowing the attendees to send them requests, have video calls, ask questions, and use their exclusive attainments.
The second week of the event had seven closed roundtables with discussions of burning topics such as hyper casual gaming trends, COVID-19’s impact on the industry, and 2021 year forecasts. One of the roundtables even crystallized into a generally useful post.
The projects we’ve seen at this event were really strong: Games Hub received 131 game submissions from 25 countries!
As part of our preparation for DevGAMM 2020, the activity all of you know was given a complete makeover since May to become Public Pitch 2.0. This time, during the first round industry experts were reviewing the pre-recorded video pitches from 14 developers and giving their advice on making them better. The top 4 pitches proceeded to the final that took place on the last day of the event.
The finalists presented their reworked pitches live. In the end, the panel of judges from CD Projekt Red, gamigo, Those Awesome Guys, MGVC, and META Publishing, decided that the best pitch was the one delivered by Happy Volcano team, which developed the You Suck At Parking project. Those guys even received an offer from the publisher right there, during the live stream!
We had another Streaming Showcase, a format where gaming bloggers test projects in front of their viewers and conference attendees. This time we invited Rami Ismail, Amiko-chan, Mr Holodilnick as our streamers, as well as LookinPlay, PHombie, and Tomatos with the support of HypeFactory. Altogether they live-streamed over 70 games in 50 hours!
Virtual Showcase was a special opportunity for everyone who wanted to have a chit-chat with developers and check out their games. In total, there were 83 developer booths. And Industry Expo yet again served as a venue for the conference partners’ booths. For example, guys from MYTONA organized extra activities and shared interesting stories at their booth, and tinyBuild set up a live stream where developers could pitch their projects to the company producers!
Publisher Cafe by Belka Games presented another great opportunity. It featured a convenient list of the most active publishers and investors for developers’ use: they could request meetings with them to discover new prospects for their games.
A special sale on Steam – DevGAMM Steam Showcase – became our exclusive cherry on the cake. It was a selection of 39 games from this and our previous conferences available at up to a 76% discount, as well as free game demos and projects in development. The sale lasted for the whole 5 days.
Live-streaming and award ceremonies
During the last two days, there was an official live stream organized with the support of Unreal Engine and hosted by Disgusting Men. It featured interviews with developers, new games, and three award ceremonies, including the announcement of Keep Calm Do Games festival winners.
One of the live stream highlights was the awarding of the winners of the Unreal Engine Developers Contest Awards. You can find the winners here.
Parties and more
Two Fridays could only mean one thing: two parties! This time, the conference attendees gathered at Party.Space platform, where they could move around between themed rooms, do an open mic, have fun with friends in a photo booth, and talk at private tables, as well as follow the DevGAMM Awards live stream and enjoy the concert by Stanislav Polesko from Strategic Music studio.
The virtual Career Wall, which was again placed on InGameJob portal, presented the attendees with 147 job opportunities from game industry companies and gathered over 450 applications from the candidates.
Our special thanks for the support that we needed so much this year goes to our sponsors and partners: Unreal Engine, MYTONA, tinyBuild, Wargaming, Vizor, Melsoft, Nekki, Gismart, myTracker, Xsolla, Belka Games, Skillbox, HypeFactory, Unity, Global Dots, Strategic Music, PINE, Values Value, InGame Job, NIKO Firm.
We’re sending all the rays of light we have to our main heroes – the conference attendees. It was a difficult year both for us and the entire industry. Thank you for staying with us. We hope to see you offline next year.
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