In the video above I share some quick thoughts about Day 2 of the Capital Gaming Expo here in Ottawa. CGX had some awesome talks from industry people and game developers and it was a pleasure meeting a lot of them on Day 2 of the expo. Above I shared my thoughts and below I share my notes on the speakers that I saw at the expo.
If you’d like to hear more about the games I played Day 2 of the Capital Gaming Expo, follow the link.
Capital Gaming Expo Day 2 Speakers
Jason Vandenberghe – Creative Director at Ubisoft Montreal and for For Honor
Jason Vandenberghe gave a talk about his 10 years of taking “No” for an answer when it came to For Honor, a medieval style combat game released by Ubisoft just this year. He was a charismatic speaker and truthfully held my favorite talk at the conference. Here were my main takeaways from his talk:
- Never stop pitching. Pitching is how you keep your project going. You first pitch your project to your bosses. You then pitch your project to your team and employees. You hold town halls and allow the employees to ask questions about the project so that everyone is one the same page, which is another form of pitching. You keep pitching the idea until it becomes clear as day. Eventually, in the process, you’ll be an expert when it comes to pitching the game and you’ll be able to pitch the idea to your audience and to gamers coherently.
- You don’t actually pitch for the sake of getting money. Money is just a consequence of pitching. What you’re actually doing is signaling your values and establishing your relationship with people.
- Stop pitching your ideas, start pitching your purpose. A good example Jason gave was Dell computers. Dell computers are more affordable, arguably run just as fast as any other computer. It’s a no brainer you should totally pick on up. Apple computers believe that design is a human right and that they design computers to push the human experience further. With an Apple computer, you become more efficient than you could have ever dreamed. Which one sounds better to you? I don’t do it justice but the way Jason pitched it was fantastic. If there’s one point to take away, pitching your game logically means people have to think about it. Pitching your game in a way that touches people’s hearts skips the logic and people end up buying with their emotion.
- You pitch should solve a problem that a lot of people have. When it came to For Honor, he saw a gap in competitive multiplayer and immersive experience. For Honor filled a void in the market.
- This was a bit off topic but something that is it important. Ask yourself, “what would be the game of your life?”
Nicolas Eypert – Director of Conception at Ubisoft
Nicolas Eypert gave his talk titled “Everybody wants to develop their great game idea but where do solid ideas come from? And how to make real progress on them?”. His talk was a great insight from a Director of Conception on how to really polish your ideas from start to finish. Here were my main takeaways:
- The pizza recipe dilemma. Pineapple is good, pepperoni is good and salmon is good but all together on a pizza? Not too sure that works out. This is like asking your friends and family what they think a good game would be. Some might say World of Warcraft is pretty cool so add something like that. Another might say they like spaceships while your mom tells you she likes games with puppies. All these on their own is good but together in a game? Who knows.
- You have to balance Open and Closed. Closed is your own personal ideas and vision for the game. You develop the game on your own. You look to other games for inspiration. Open is venturing out into the jungle and going to expo’s, talking to non-friend people about your ideas and seeing how people react. When you get to the spot that people are posting “shut up and take my money” you know you’ve won.
- Always be deviating but never stray from the path. You have to think of idea conception like a sailor on a boat. The swerve left and right but they’re always moving forward. So always be trying new things, always be looking for new ideas.
- Creativity is not a talent, it’s a way of operating.
Mickey Macdonald – Developer Evangelist at Microsoft
Mickey’s talk was less speaking to making great games and more about an emerging technology. He spoke about Microsoft’s Hololens which honestly looks amazing. I personally believe that virtual reality is just a stepping stone to what mixed reality has to offer and Mickey’s demo didn’t convince me otherwise. You can watch a quick clip of his demo in the video above.
There were a couple of things that stood out to me to here were my notes:
- The tech is completely untethered with about a 2 – 3 hour battery life but is fully functional when charging.
- When… “summoning?”. Do you summon a hologram? When summoning a hologram, the tech can scan the room and know a couch from a picture frame. So when you summon a human hologram, they’ll know that they can sit on the couch like a real person. Or when robots come busting out of a wall and there’s a picture frame on that wall, the tech will know to include damage to the picture frame.
- The Hololens has 3D sound making the experience as immersive as possible.
- The applications of the tech seem endless from game development to enterprise applications. For example, Mickey mentioned a trucking company who uses the Hololens. Before the Hololens, it would take months to fabricate a headlight just to see what it would look like on the truck. With the Hololens, they can select from hundreds of assets and just flip through them like flipping through pictures on your phone, and see what they look like on the real world truck using holograms. This saves the company both a ton of time and a ton of money.
- One of the coolest things he said is that his mind is beginning to perceive some of these objects as real. For example, he once left a dog in the middle of his living room. He knows very well he can just walk right through it but instinctively he walks around the dog. That was a super interesting little tidbit.
That was it for the talks that I attended on Day 2 of the Capital Gaming Expo and can’t wait to see who they bring on next year. If you missed the talks from Day 1, you can check my thoughts and notes from the speakers on Day 1 of the Capital Gaming Expo.