We are alive and back to work after the exciting (and exhausting) experience at the Milan Games Week, a 3 days video game consumer show where we showcased a pre-alpha build of Nantucket. MGW is a quite recent event (this was its fifth edition) but it is rapidly growing, especially in terms of visitors. Oh god…they were “coming outta the goddamn walls”.
Let’s step back a bit. How we ended up there? Well, AESVI (the Italian game developers association) was organizing a space for indie developers inside the MGW and we decided it could be a nice idea to have people trying our game, giving us feedback and, above all, letting them know we exist. Apart from that, it was also really easy to set up, I live 150 km from Milan and we know a lot of people there. In fact, I would like to thank them all, especially Jacopo (CEO of Bad Seed) and his girlfriend Sara for their hospitality. They really took care of me and Daniele during those days.
I arrived in Milan the day before the beginning of MGW, in the afternoon, and I got the chance to attend the final day of the IGDS (Italian Game Development Summit), a parallel event for game developers with meetings and conferences. A good chance to meet old friends and make a couple of new ones.
Now, let’s try to summarize this experience.
MILAN GAMES WEEK: THE GOOD
More than 120.000 people attended the MGW. It is a lot. The opening time was 9.30 am but in the end the gates opened every day before 9.00 because the people queuing were too many.
Actually, the first couple of hours of each morning were quite calm in our stand, since people were rushing at the big ones (Sony, Microsoft etc..) to avoid long queues.
We have seen a lot of passion, dedication and competence. We have spoken with hundreds of people and have them playing our game. I have to admit our game is probably not the perfect one to showcase in this kind of events, because it’s complex and it requires time to be understood, but the feedback we received will help us a lot during this final phase of development.
We were really pleased to see some people spending half an hour playing our game and enjoying it, while others lasted the time of a click (literally, we have seen a young guy seating at our desk, doing one click and running away with the “what the fuck did I just watch” face). Long story short: Nantucket is a niche game, you love it or hate it.
In those three days, we got the chance to meet other indie developers and try their games. Some of the are past colleagues or good friend of us, while others were a nice discovery. I would like to mention a couple of teams and interesting projects you should take a look.
The Beggar’s Ride (Bad Seed) – http://badseed.co
Well, yes, they are friend of us ans we are biased, but it’s a couple of years they are doing interesting mobile games and you should check their website if you are a fan of them. The Beggar’s Ride is their latest game, and it’ a platform with a lot of puzzles, kinda like Limbo.
Blue Volta (Ossocubo) – http://www.ossocubo.com/blue-volta/
They were our neighbor and their game is visually stunning. Is a classic point and click adventure, but the visual style is amazing. Let’s say, a concept similar to Machinarium (also if the visual style is completely different).
Die Young (Indiegala)
It’s an open world first person survival game developed by Indiegala (yes, the same company of games bundles). I didn’t have the chance to try it, but it’s worth a look.
I’ve been at the Gamescom in Cologne and other minor events around the world and I have to say that the MGW was really good looking. Not as big as the Gamescom, but definitely above my expectations. The AESVI and MGW staff has been great and made everything easy for us.
MILAN GAMES WEEK: THE BAD
I had some friends coming to the MGW and they all told me it was impossible to try everything. Actually, it was impossible to try more than few things. Queues for big stands (like the Sony Virtual Reality one) were insane. Hours and hours.
I believe it’s nobody’s fault, there were just too many people, but I can imagine it’s been frustrating for a lot of people just spending much of your time at the event in a queue.
Big Games line-up
There were a lot of incoming or freshly released titles, but nothing really new. Star Wars Battlefront, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Fallout 4 and many others, but in the end everything was already showcased in other events.
I imagine that the race to become a big event in the game industry is hard and crowded, but I’m sure the Milan Games Week is going to be a key event for the Italian scene and customers in the years to come.
MILAN GAMES WEEK: THE UGLY
See you next week folks!