Austin GDC Round-Up

By: Derek Yu

On: September 21st, 2009

Austin GDC
Alec Holowka, Ron Carmel, and Simon Carless in attendance (photo by Dan Tabar)

The Austin GDC just finished up. It sounded like a lot of fun, with many indies in attendance for the first IGS in Austin. Here are write-ups of the various talks that were given by independent creators last week:

Day One

How Fantastic Contraption Became A Fantastic Hit (Gamasutra) – “Fantastic Contraption creator Colin Northway explained how he created his Flash-based physics game with no pro game experience, and “made a boatload of money” along the way."

NinjaBee’s Fox Gets Practically Indie (Gamasutra) – “NinjaBee’s Brent Fox discussed the history of the company, which was set up as a brand for original IP in 2001, and has made Xbox Live Arcade games such as Clonin’ Clyde, A Band Of Bugs and A Kingdom For Keflings, talking in human terms about creating a stable indie game company.”

Gaijin’s Roush on Bit.Trip’s Indie Construction (Gamasutra) – “The original concept of the first Bit.Trip title was ‘Pong with music,’ said Gaijin Games’ Mike Roush Roush — but ‘we all know a great game needs more than a concept.’”

Certain Affinity’s Bullard On Bootstrapping Your Indie Business (Gamasutra) – “In an intensely practical Indie Games Summit talk at GDC Austin, Certain Affinity (Age Of Booty) production manager Jennifer Bullard talked about the realities of game business for a mid-sized independent developer, spanning business to relationships and beyond.”

Wolfire On Making Indie Marketing Buzz (Gamasutra) – “Wolfire’s John Graham discussed how to get the word out about your independent game, based around successful tactics for upcoming PC action game Overgrowth.” Slides available here.

Day Two

2D Boy’s Carmel On ‘Beyond The Finish Line’ (Gamasutra) – “World Of Goo co-creator Ron Carmel from indie studio 2D Boy examined the world ‘beyond the finish line’, discussing what happens after your indie game is released and how to deal with it.”

Swink, Wegner On Blurst’s Rapid Prototyping Madness (Gamasutra) – “Flashbang Studios’ Matthew Wegner and Steve Swink explained how their rapid prototyping of web-based games like Off-Road Velociraptor Safari gave them larger life lessons.”

Lost Garden’s Cook On Why Premium Flash Games Rock (Gamasutra) – “Bunni co-creator and Lost Garden blogger Daniel Cook explained why he believes charging users for more complex Flash games is the wave of the future.”

Twisted Pixel Talks ‘Splosion Man Postmortem (Gamasutra) – _"Mike Henry and Sean Riley from Austin-based indie Twisted Pixel used their Independent Games Summit talk to postmortem the six-month XBLA project ’Splosion Man, a significant indie success in the ’Summer Of Arcade’ for Microsoft’s Xbox 360."_

Storytelling Through Independent Games (Destructoid) – “Alec Holowka, formerly one half of Bit Blot (Aquaria) and currently the head of Infinite Ammo (Paper Moon), was the last speaker to go on at the Independent Games Summit of GDC Austin.”

  • PHeMoX

    I’m a bit confused about Bit-Blot. Can someone enlighten me, was it simply a name of collaboration?

    I sort of hope to see an Aquaria sequel, possibly some other original games from those folks.

    Not saying their individual projects haven’t been interesting too, but still.

  • InfiniteAlec

    AFAIK “Bit Blot” is a label for when Derek and I do games together.

    We might do another one some day?

  • dr phil

    Destructoid’s writing is impeccable here. I mean, what a great pull quote. It might as well be “The last talk of the day was done by the last speaker to go on at the Independent Games Summit of GDC Austin”

  • Death Of Rats

    Congrats y’all. Hope you liked Austin and were able to get some good bbq while you were here.

  • Dinsdale

    I can’t play this either!

  • simonc

    I grabbed slides from Ron Carmel:

    …and Felix Bohatsch (his is the only write-up I didn’t finish yet):

    …and put them on Slideshare. Some great pie charts/graphs on relative revenues in there, as well as lots of other useful help.

    Thanks again for all the indie crazies that turned up. And yes, I normally move that fast.