Game industry events always feel bittersweet to me; I try to forget how much work (and email!) is piling up while I enjoy a conference, and when the conference ends it’s always sad as another brief "family reunion” comes to an end. But these feelings are easily outweighed by the opportunity to hear great lectures, meet old friends, network with new contacts, and discuss our craft during an intense few days.
Coming soon is yet another chance for a family reunion, but this one is particularly special for the IGDA community. Now in its third year, the IGDA Summit will take place on 31 July and 1 August once again in conjunction with Casual Connect, which has relocated this year from Seattle to San Francisco to accommodate its growing popularity. Both IGDA members and non-members alike have asked me what the IGDA Summit is all about, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to explain.
While the IGDA continues to be happily partnered with many events around the world and throughout the year, the IGDA Summit is the only event created by us and for us. As such, it’s an event that’s truly representative of our ongoing mission in the global game development community. Naturally, you’ll see topics and themes echoed from other game conferences; after all, our membership is everywhere throughout the industry!
After a tremendous response to our Call for Proposals, we selected and organized 67(!) talks into 9 tracks, including Advocacy, Leadership, Getting Started, Indie Development, and more. Glancing through this year’s IGDA Summit schedule, you’ll find a wide variety of topics addressed, for example: "Top 10 Easy Steps to Make Your Game More Diverse”, "A Manager’s Guide to Conquering Bad Behaviors”, "Maximizing Press Coverage for your Game,” and "Monetization in Emerging Markets - Stop Ignoring 50% of Your Audience.”
We also have two key workshops, "The Diversity Workshop” and the "The Game Attorney’s Indie Bootcamp” as well as our much-anticipated keynotes, the opening keynote "+1 INT, +1 CHAR: Leveling Up as a Leader” by Jen MacLean and our closing keynote "Secrets from the Future” by Ed Fries.
Over time, the Summit will continue to evolve and become the key event for IGDA members to congregate, share insights and collaborate on the organization’s initiatives and goals. We hope to eventually see regular sessions from active chapters and SIGs, as the Summit highlights the expertise and experience of its global membership. We also will continue integrating our content into other key events, such as the IGDA Advocacy Track at this year’s GDC as well as the IGDA Leadership Track at the forthcoming SIEGE event in Atlanta (3-6 October).
So please check out the IGDA Summit this year, and I hope you’re able to attend (register soon for your early discount!). We're also still accepting volunteers as well as sponsors, please contact us as soon as possible. And even if you can't attend this year, I would appreciate if you’ll at least review the content and format, and contact me with any ideas and feedback for future events. Please help us to make the Summit the kind of forum that best serves you as an IGDA member!
Thanks and I hope to see you soon in San Francisco!