Monday, February 14, 2011

Casual Connect Europe 2011

Let's start by saying that the last couple weeks have been interesting times. The game we made at the Global Game Jam got nominated in the Gamesauce Challenge. As a result, I traveled to Hamburg, Germany, to take part in Casual Connect and to present Hamsters and Plague. While Casual Connect is a business conference, I went there with research interests. Turns it was indeed useful.

First of all, getting involved with the actual games biz helps me understand better what kinds of games sell right now. This valuable information tells me where I should look when searching inspiration. It also gives me a bit of credibility as a game designer, so that when I claim to take influences from game design people can assume I actually know what I'm talking about. Having contacts who know the business facts of games can't hurt either. So yeah, the people angle, definitely a good thing.

Second, the lectures I attended there were also quite useful for my next project. I took special interest in all things related to social gaming (i.e. gaming on social networks) and learned a lot of stuff that might not seem relevant to researchers at first, but is of tremendous advantage when deploying serious games and game-like applications in the real world. It is much easier to do wide scale research if I our applications are actually used by real people, of their own free will.

Now back to the usual stuff. I've been reading on gamification, so perhaps a summary is in order next. Until then, bye.