Last Friday 18th of March was a clear milestone in my professional live. I was invited to give a little talk at devUp11 in Barcelona (Spain). The talk was, obviously, about New Sokoban This article is going to be my personal story about the devup11.
Everything started one month ago, when I first heard about this conference. In the conference, it also was celebrated an iOS apps and games contest. My idea was to submit a polished version of the current state of New Sokoban. I managed to do it in a pair of weeks and submitted the game. However, I was not chosen to be one of the 6 finalist. What a pity! :p
However, the organization of the event liked my game and the work behind it, specially this blog, and decided to invite me to the conference as speaker. Wow!! This was 2 days before the event, so I quickly prepared a little presentation. And finally the day arrived.
The organization of the event was pretty cool and the content of the presentations was also fine in general. The people in charge of the organization was delicious and attended me very kindly. However, from my point of view, there were too much branding presentations. But the content always depends on the audience, so I guess that it was fine for the organization.
To tell the truth, I had not been able to prepare my speech. I was so nervous that it was impossible for me. My turn was just after lunch, so I decided to peacefully attend to the morning sessions and decide my speech during lunch, talking with my girlfriend (and marketing manager ) that came with me, taking into account what others had said on morning.
I finally decided to talk about content creation in videogames. The conference was very branding, monetization and coding oriented, so I thought that talking about something more on the creativity side could be interesting. Actually, I consider myself a game designer and creator of experiences!
I talked about the importance of content creation in videogames and the game experience. I said that all the puzzles in New Sokoban are created one by one, as individual projects. I said that, because some people think that I have some magic sokoban-puzzle-creator that does the work for me. But this goes against my philosophy as designer. I like to carefully handmake every single puzzle, trying to impregnate each one with a little part of myself.
People at the room were looking at me astonished. 400 people in absolutely silence. They probably were thinking that I was completely crazy. After my talk, I returned to my seat and started thinking about what had happened a few minutes ago. “What the hell I’ve just done? Nobody liked my speech. Why not talking about technical issues? It would have been easier and less embarrassing… Now 400 people think that I’m crazy…”. This was, more or less, what I was thinking…
But suddenly, I started to receive support and congratulation messages via twitter. It was incredible! Some people understood my speech and they liked it!! After some minutes we all went to the coffe break and then I had the confirmation. Several people stopped me to talk to me, ask me questions or simply congratulate me. So, it seems that there were some game designers in the room after all! However, I still think that most of the attendants are still thinking that I’m crazy
Mental note: always say what you think, don’t be afraid. There are a lot of people in the world, and probably there are other people that are as crazy as you think you are
So, no doubt that the balance is absolutely positive. An incredible experience gained, the opportunity to talk about my loved game, some buzz in some spanish sites, a few more followers on twitter and some work offers. But the most important think was that I met a lot of nice and interesting people. It is usually called networking. I think that it is the main goal of every assistant on any kind of event: to meet new people with similar interests and preferences.
Mental note: attend to events! You will meet nice and interesting people. At the end of the day, this is the most important thing in your work and your live.
So, I think that I can definitely say: mission complete!!