TriplePoint Participates in the Italian Videogame Conference (IVDC)

Italian Videogame Developers Conference logo

This fall, Kate Pietrelli and I were invited to give a talk at the Italian Videogame Conference (IVDC) on the subject of PR for independent game developers. Always up for an adventure and eager to address one of our favorite topics, we headed to Milan, Italy, where the event was held at IULM University.

The conference took an academic approach, with presentations on the state of the Italian industry, how to evolve it, and instructional talks geared towards students. It was practical, with was a sense of urgency about advancing the business and art of videogames in Italy. Here are a few takeaways:

Growth via education

According to many speakers and attendees, videogames are not taken seriously in Italy. They are seen more as a childlike diversion than a serious business, and the consensus at IVDC was to overcome this issue via education. The idea is that if university courses are made available, development talent will emerge and the industry will grow from there. As it stands, there is very little training available because the industry is small, and conference participants agreed that it’s time to take the initiative with education.

Focus on traditional games and original IP

Unlike conferences we have attended in the US and China, discussions related primarily to making traditional PC and console games and on retail distribution. The importance of developing original IP was also a theme. Though mobile is big in Italy and the number of handsets in use is nearly double the population, the iPhone hasn’t emerged as a popular gaming platform. Social games were also not covered in the program and don’t seem to be an area of interest just yet. Alternative means of distribution and monetization will likely be a hot topic next year and will provide developers with new opportunities to cultivate original IP when they arrive.

Kate Pietrelli and Eddiemae Jukes speaking at the Italian Video Game Conference

Our contribution

In the spirit of the conference, we kept our talk educational and actionable. The intent was for attendees to walk away with solid ideas on how to build awareness for their projects, and we addressed five points: how to refine your message, knowing your audience, creating great assets, optimal timing and strategy. If you’re interested in receiving the presentation, please email me at eddiemae [at] triplepointpr [dot] com.

To view photos from our trip to the IVDC, please view our Flickr gallery:

Developers Gone Wild! iPhone Gold Rush Uncloaked: Q&A with Rock Ridge Games

The iTunes App Store is a booming marketplace, full of opportunity for independent developers. At an Apple press conference earlier this month, Steve Jobs said that over 30 million iPhones and 20 million iPod Touch devices have been sold to date. There are over 100 million customers on iTunes, and they’ve been busy – downloading over 1.8 billion apps since the App Store launched in July 2008. But with over 75,000 apps and counting (more than 21,000 in the game category alone), it’s a sink or swim space. The unique iPhone platform is luring talented designers from top names in the traditional video game development industry – ambitious artists, code-monkeys and entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes looking to try their hand at a new medium, and take on whatever responsibility necessary – including new shoes they’ll learn to fill along the way.

There are already more than 100,000 third-parties in the iPhone Developer Program, and the App Store marketplace has created a community mindset among many of these smaller independent companies, who are willing to share some of their “secrets” and learn from their competitors to further their cause and to coexist symbiotically, if you will. One such indie developer is Rock Ridge Games. I had a chance to pick the brains of Rock Ridge’s president and VP, Mike Mann and P.J. Snavely, on what it takes to make the transition from licensed, big-budget console game development to the DIY world of iPhone app development – here’s what they had to say…

RRG Western Wind iPhone

Can you give us a little background on Rock Ridge Games and your experience in game development?
Rock Ridge Games was started in April of this year with the goal of developing interesting and fun original  games for the incredible new smartphones hitting the market. There are only two of us (Mike Mann and PJ Snavely) but we’ve got almost 30 years of combined experience in game development, having come from the console side of development. We’ve worked on everything from multi-million dollar licensed sports games to small independent titles for XBLA. The iPhone is our new frontier.

Continue reading Developers Gone Wild! iPhone Gold Rush Uncloaked: Q&A with Rock Ridge Games