Past gaming events: devcom digital 2020, Week 1

devcom digital 2020 was two weeks full of talks and networking possibilities, with the first one already including some interesting examples of past and present game development.

Being a digital conference, it was obviously a different feeling of not seeing people talk in front of a crowd, but in front of a computer. However, despite a few technical problems, this worked quite well, especially if one wanted to have more time for a Q&A session that would happen in another online room. Last year’s event involved a lot of sitting around and walking from one session to the next, which wasn’t particularly good for one’s back or head. This time each talk was recorded, so it was possible to watch a re-play the day after, making it much more of a viable option to see presentations one would have missed otherwise with the old conference concept.

In addition to all the talks that would usually start in the afternoon and last until evening, there was a virtual pavillion where developers and publishers from various countries could present their products, games, and themselves. Just as a special NRW indie game development section (I unfortunately didn’t have time to check out), this would lead to even more live streams and presentations, making it a bit hard to keep track of it all. This was also true for the time schedule which would not necessarily show the starting time in your own region, in my case Germany, so there was a bit of confusion about when these talks would take place. Still, the sheer amount of content was impressive, especially since there were individual chat rooms that worked amazingly well in the Q&A section (with upvoting certain questions) and in individual game development topics, too (like jobs, storytelling, game design, etc.).

August 18 started with the talk Building the narrative of a pocket-epic: take-outs from Little Orpheus by Dan Pinchbeck, Creative Director at The Chinese Room. Considering the company’s former output (like Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs) which was pretty dark, it was surprising to see a casual- and family-friendly game with a humorous sci-fi vibe. During his talk, it became apparent that situational comedy and absurdity played as much a part in the development of the title as thinking about the nuances of the Russian language.

The next and actually final talk of the day was How Digital Play can teach 21st Century Skills by Rob Lowe, Head of Value Creation and Marketing at LEGO Ventures. It dealt with how gaming could help people learn new things, so it was very much focused on the educational aspect, and how LEGO, LEGO Ventures in particular, could encourage people’s creativity and support social interaction. Games should not be considered as another hobby or, even worse, a time-waster, but as a meaningful contribution to culture and society. While the talk was mainly just one Power Point slide after another, the Q&A session was much more engaging, probably because one could finally see the face of the person who gave the talk.

On August 19 I only attended one talk, and it was a very special one: A Devil Makes History – Classic Post Mortem on Diablo 2 by David Brevik, co-founder and ex-president of Blizzard North who is now President of Graybeard Games. It was a much longer presentation that didn’t only include an overview of the beginning of Blizzard and everything that led up to the two Diablo, but also a very long Q&A session. This was great, because one could feel that Brevik loved talking about the series and especially the RPG genre. With some very funny anecdotes (like the body parts in the inventory debate), but also a critical look at how crunchtime worked back in the days, it was an insightful talk about an action-RPG that so many people are still very fond of today, me included.

Three talks might seem like a very small number, considering it was a whole week, but there would be much more to come in Week 2…

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About nufafitc

Being an avid gamer, cinemaniac, and bookworm in addition to other things the internet and new media present, I'm also very much into DIY music, rock and pop in particular. Writing short or longer pieces about anything that interests me has always made me happy. As both an editor for German website "Adventure-Treff" and UK website "Future Sack", I like to write reviews and news about recent developments in the movies, games and book industry.
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2 Responses to Past gaming events: devcom digital 2020, Week 1

  1. Pingback: Overview of (blog) life in September 2020 | Emotional Multimedia Ride

  2. Pingback: Upcoming gaming events: devcom digital 2021 | Emotional Multimedia Ride

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