MIGS: Final thoughts

Posted by Miguel Esquirol

There were too many presentations, good advices, stories and ideas to have a full idea of the repercussion of the event. Many of the assistants have returned home with new projects, inspiration and business models, others with new connections, may be a new job or an opportunity. The Montreal International Game Summit is a place for networking, a place of contact between companies, developers and designers and to hear the last ideas in the industry.

Among the different exhibits that were happening at the same time of the exhibits I found a couple of really interesting ones:

  • Creating Interactive Narratives: A project of teaching game creation from the narrative point of view, but focusing in the interactivity of the medium. The same project presented a two day workshop on Narrative Briging.
  • Zbrush: Is one of the big new competitors in the 3D software market, and their tool for 2D and 3D sculpting is really amazing. I had the chance to try their free simplier version called Sculptris and is totally worth it.
  • Convergence: The french magazine of digital culture, with a completely different view of video games, and an overview of what is being created in Quebec.
  • Rabbitholes: The amazing 3D holograms printed in plastic panels, without glasses or equipment and much more advanced than the old single color holograms. Embedding 1280 high resolution images.

In the same area of the exhibits many contests happened together with workshops for students on how to present their own pieces. Probably the most interesting part of the contests besides seeing the process of creation on the different pieces was the public presentation by the judges talking about the strong and week points of every design, making the students face with an experience close to what they will find in real life.

Conclusions

But the most important part of the MIGS is the chance to look to what is happening in the world of video games. To feel the different tendencies and the future changes in the industry from the people that is working there right now.

Some of the important things we learn in this two day event are:

  • Big companies are going to keep bringing amazing super productions in a constantly fight to find a Hit in a  difficult market. And like in any Hollywood movie there are so many people involved that it can be dangerous for the final product.
  • Small indie developers play in a completely different game, with smaller but content rich games. The size of these teams don't need games that become big success to be profitable, and because of that we will find more interesting and risky projects, quickly developed and sometimes without all the quality that a big company can generate.
  • The iPhone and the Facebook are two of the most important markets for the industry today.
  • Platforms came and go and like stock market is important to know when to start and when to retire.
  • With world-wide distribution, every day is more important the localization of the products.
  • Marketing and PR are important factors for the success of any video game.
  • Most of the bigger agencies are looking for smart and creative people, but that is not the only place for new graduates, but perhaps is the best option to start in the industry.
  • Montreal is becoming a important hub of communication for video game developers.

In general after this two days I can say that the video game industry is in hands of smart people that don't want just to make money but to create amazing products as well. And they managing to do it.

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