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What I learned from GDC

22 March 2017

Mark your calendars for next year. GDC is one of the best places to meet new people, make friends and tell everybody about your project. Here are some of the things I learned from flying to San Francisco and showing people what I had made and what I had planned:

Socializing is a lot of hard work

It takes bravery to just step up to somebody, ask questions about their work and tell them about yours. Show genuine interest and ask them about subjects not related to gaming. All that talking left me with a sore throat for a few days, but is was worth it. Never forget that behind all those digital avatars on Twitter are actual people and meeting them in person is better than tweeting them.

Find your focus

While I was busy preparing the GDC tech-demo, my main focus was getting it playable and bug free. While showing it off to a number of people, including a group of well known pixel artists, I noticed their reaction were mostly the same: “I love where this is going!”. Besides telling people I was making the most beautiful pixel art, there wasn’t much to show yet. I had had focused on the wrong aspect of my game. People were more interested in seeing more designs and quick sketches, instead of the demo I had worked so hard on. I should have known though; The main reason I received the funding was to make a pixel art game that pushes the medium further and I hadn’t pushed enough. Make sure you know what your game is about and focus on conveying just that.

Show your work online

Something I did wrong was not fill my website and Twitter with more content. Show design sketches and make animated GIFs to show off your progress. Even small anecdotes can help sell your game and you as a person.

I hope these pointers help you out if you are ever showing/planning to show your work in public. If you have any questions, find me on Twitter!