Hi everyone and welcome to a new entry on our Dev Blog!
This time we’ll share with you our recent experience attending 5 different industry events, in one of the most strenuous journeys we’ve had so far: Game Access, Digital Dragons, Casual Connect, Dreamhack Summer, and White Nights.
Why did we decide to attend such different events? This decision was due to the current goals for our in-development games: Causa, Voices of the Dusk and Hexland Heroes.
On the one hand, Causa, Voices of the Dusk is a multiplayer collectible card game with original game mechanics, which is currently in Closed Beta for Steam after over 3 years of development. In this case, our main goal is to attend events to exhibit and promote the game in order to increase our list of subscribed players.
On the other hand, Hexland Heroes is a casual grid-based strategy-puzzle game for mobile, which stands out for its innovative mechanics and cute art. While this project is in Pre-Alpha stage, our main goal is to attend business events to meet publishers and discuss potential collaborations.
To put all this into context, our studio Niebla Games is an indie team located in Valparaiso, Chile, so attending these events meant a long trip for two of our team members: the Creative Director and Game Designer Nico Valdivia, who attended Digital Dragons and Casual Connect; and the CEO and Producer Maureen Berho, who attended all these events except Digital Dragons.
GAME ACCESS (Brno, Czech Republic, May 24 - 26, 2019)
Even though we didn’t have previous references of this conference, we considered its geographical and temporal proximity to Digital Dragons as an advantage, so we decided to take the chance and attend to exhibit Causa, Voices of the Dusk.
As we got selected to be part of the Indie Showcase, we got access to a free Booth to showcase the game during the two days of conference (aimed for developers), and also during one day of festival (aimed for the general public). Also, this gave us the chance to be considered for the Game Access Awards.
Among the positive aspects of Game Access, we can say the event is very well organized, and has lovely atmosphere to network and learn from other developers. The event provides all meals for its attendees during the days of conference. This is very nice, especially considering the relatively low prices of the accommodation and public transport in Brno.
On the negative side, during the first two days the only participants were the exhibitors and the professionals who attended the talks, so there wasn’t much people to try the games that were showcased. The day that was open to the public was also not very crowded.
RESULTS: During the event we obtained 20 new subscribers for our game, which is not such a high number for 3 days of showcase. However, we got A LOT of very valuable feedback from other developers in order to improve our game.
DIGITAL DRAGONS (Krakow, Poland, May 27 and 28, 2019)
Digital Dragons is one of the main professional industry events taking place every year in Poland. This time, we decided to attend because both of our games were selected to be part of the Indie Showcase, and Hexland Heroes was even chosen as a Finalist in the Best Indie Game category of the event’s awards.
We’d like to mention that the Chilean governmental agency ProChile supported us to attend Digital Dragons y Casual Connect as part of the Chilean delegation, covering the cost of the round trip from Chile to Krakow. Also, the staff of ProChile Poland was very active in helping us before and during the event.
There’s no doubt Digital Dragons is an excellent business event, which we highly recommend if you’re interested in meeting European publishers, covering a wide range of platforms and types of games. The event has a very effective matchmaking system, and there’s very good opportunities for networking at the showcase, the talks and the parties. We could also mention as positive aspects the meals provided by the event, as well as the low prices in the city of Krakow.
RESULTS: We got had a total of 16 meetings with publishers during the 2 days of event.
CASUAL CONNECT (London, England, May 28 - 30, 2019)
Casual Connect is a business event which focuses in casual and hypercasual mobile games. This is why it was perfect for our goal of meeting potential publishers for our game Hexland Heroes.
In this opportunity, Hexland Heroes was selected Finalist for the Indie Prize, which allowed us to get two Premium Passes, a minibooth in the showcase, and also gave us the possibility of being considered for the Awards. The organization covered our meals and the accommodation of 2 team members, which is highly appreciated as the prices in London are quite high.
In sum, Casual Connect is an excellent event if you’re looking to meet up with publishers. Apart from the meeting we managed to book in advance - despite some issues with the matchmaking system -, we were also able to book new meeting on site, and even made new contacts during the pitching event.
RESULTS: Overall, we had a total of 20 meetings with publishers.
DREAMHACK SUMMER (Jönköping, Sweden, June 15 - 17, 2019)
Dreamhack Summer is an event that focuses mainly in online games. In this case, our game Causa, Voices of the Dusk was selected in the Best Multiplayer category, a recognition that allowed us to obtain 2 exhibitor passes, a booth in the Indie Playground, as well as 15 minutes to present our game in the Activities Stage - which is part of the official streaming of the event.
The event is very well organized and produced, but we could say its focus is not the showcase: Dreamhack is a huge LAN Party with the attendance of over 30.000 players, who play online games for 3 days in a row.
Apart from exhibiting at the Indie Playground, we also got the chance to be part of two other activities: the Art Gallery, which included art of both Causa and Hexland Heroes; and the Game Pitch Championship, in which we presented our game Hexland Heroes.
It’s relevant to mention that Sweden in general is very expensive, and it can be very hard to find places to stay in Jönköping, but fortunately we were hosted by a very generous and engaged member of the Couchsurfing community. Other teams decided to rent an Airbnb and even stay at the event, which offered a Sleeping Hall, Showers and other services.
RESULTS: We got a total of 25 new subscribers, which is quite good considering that the showcase was less crowded than we expected. Additionally, our game Hexland Heroes was selected as the Winner of the Game Pitch Championship! Therefore we got the big prize of $22.000 Sweden crowns (approximately USD $2.300). :D
We’d like to thank the office of ProChile in Stockholm. They support in different tasks that made our attendance to this event possible. :D
WHITE NIGHTS (St. Petersburg, Russia, June 19 - 20, 2019).
Even though over 100 indie games for different platforms are exhibited at the White Nights conference, in term of business this event focuses mainly in casual and hypercasual games. Due to the selection of our game Hexland Heroes in the Developer Showcase, we got a discounted Indie Dev Pass, we were assigned a booth with electricity and internet access, and also credentials to use the matchmaking system of the event.
Apart from the main event, during June 18 we were able to attend the Finnish Game Day, so we got to mingle with industry professionals from Finland, and also had a couple of meetings.
We didn’t have any previous reference about White Nights, but fortunately now we can say it’s a highly recommended event if you’re looking for mobile publishers. The matchmaking system works perfectly, so we managed to book a lot of valuable meetings. There’s also a lot of services providers attending the event, so you’ll be able to meet them as well.
Additionally, among all games in the Developer Showcase, Hexland Heroes was selected alongside other 4 indie games to be part of the Deconstruction Workshop. Therefore, a panel of experts took the time to play and analyze the games, give detailed feedback and also choose a winner.
RESULTS: In just 2 days, we had 21 meetings with publishers and investors. Also, our game Hexland Heroes was selected as the Winner of the Deconstruction Workshop, obtaining the preference from both the panel of experts and the audience!
As a conclusion, we believe this trip was a great experience and allowed us to access great opportunities for our projects. We hope this Dev Blog entry is useful as a reference for your future plans!
Thank you very much for reading this entry! And remember, the Closed Beta of Causa will be extended for the whole month of July! Subscribe here if you want to receive a key.
You may also follow us on our social channels: