State of Play 2016 – Dublin

Yesterday (8 June 2016) I went to the State of Play event held in Dublin Institute of Technology.

It was overall a great event, many speakers with relatively short talks (10-20 minutes each) kept the evening dynamic and filled with a variety of sage advice and colorful demonstrations.

Among the speakers were (not in order)

  • Owen LL Harris (also MC for the night) –
  • Llaura NicAodh –
  • Kieran Nola –
  • Robin Baumgarten –
  • Evan Balster –
  • Charlene Putney –
  • Jen Carey –
  • Sherida Halatoe –
  • Kevin Murphy –

Unfortunately I didn’t take note of all the names and can’t find a complete list of speakers, so might be forgetting one or more.. sorry!

(Also William Pugh was meant to be there but unfortunately could not make it due to his recent leg injury. We wish you a quick recovery William!)

I strongly suggest you check out those websites, all of them had interesting things to say.

Among my favorites, definitely Robin Baumgarten and his ‘hardware experimental game projects’. He showed us a bit of his process while working on projects such as the Line Wobbler and A Dozen Sliders

It is always inspiring to see someone creating something entirely new from scratch. Makes you want to lock yourself in a studio and do the same, because why not!

I was also otherwise surprised (or maybe not) that many of the talks related to the topic of coping with stress and creative blocks, motivation and self-care. The games industry is one to attract passionate, talented people hoping to fulfill themselves working on a project they believe in. Most of the times I like to think that this is true, but it would be foolish to ignore the harsh reality of crunch times, crazy deadlines and immense amount of pressure that come with the job.

I can imagine that all of the speakers went through this realisation more than once in their career, and provided us with their tips and techniques to try to stay sane in these periods of high stress.

There was also some talk about the value of networking (Kevin Murphy), as well as advice on how to create game narratives starting from personal experience (Sherida Halatoe)

Llaura’s talk, which was more of a storytelling than a speech, was also very strong while she played an excerpt of her latest game If Found Please Return, which seems to be really promising.

The generally informal tone to the evening made it refreshing and quite friendly. The event continued in an even more informal manner at the Odessa pub for some social drinks.

Looking forward to State of Play 2017!

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