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In March 2014, I travelled to Kyoto, Japan for BitSummit MMXIV -- an Indie Game Festival celebrating Japanese games and developers. To accomodate the enthusiastic feedback from the community on its inaugural year, BitSummit significantly expanded its venue size, transitioned to a three-day event with hundreds of developers displaying their games, and drew over 5,000 attendees. It was a very welcoming, energetic and creative environment.
I wasn't in the industry when E3 and GDC first started out, so being at the event in its second year and seeing it blossom was remarkable and a personal highlight in my career. It was truly an honour for me to be there as a Guest Speaker.
The sense of community really stands out at BitSummit. While most of the people there probably hadn't met before, video games and being Indie brought the developers and attendees together. Developers got valuable feedback from players and attendees could play the latest, innovative creations before anyone else.
I was given the last timeslot of the weekend for my presentation, so I had a few days prior to explore the showfloor and talk to people. Everyone there had passion for different types of games, so we ended up seeing some very innovative creations.
There were also some big announcements made at BitSummit MMXIV, one of which was the 3DS eShop exclusive Azure Striker Gunvolt
by Inti Creates! For those wondering, it played great. I'm definitely looking forward to this game!
Not only were there Guest Speakers, but also Guest Musical Performances. Professor Sakamoto definitely had the crowd's attention!
My Presenation: From The Heart
My BitSummit Presentation is very personal, going into my childhood influences, how I learn, and my iteration process during game development. It is split into three acts:
1) Revealing the influence that Japanese games had on me as a child, bringing my friends and I together for social experiences.
2) Discussing my experience with fun video games breaking down cultural barriers.
3) Delivering my personal opinions on game development -- embracing failure and learning how to fail fast in order to find the fun in your game.
BitSummit has posted my talk on YouTube, embedded below for your convenience. :)
I don't get to present my thoughts in this format too often, so I was very appreciative for the opportunity from BitSummit Director, James Mielke to present at the festival directly to the Japanese game development community.
A big thank you to everyone who made the trip to BitSummit, attended the presentation or tuned in during the live stream on Nico Nico at home, and those who came up to me after the presentation with kind words. It meant a great deal to me.
It makes me very happy that the presentation is now available on the BitSummit YouTube Channel
. It was a great honour to be able to share my experiences and thoughts to the BitSummit audience in Japan -- and now with everyone else via the magic of the Internet.
I look forward to next time.