GDC 2010 organizers have revealed an initial set of Independent Games Summit talks for the March event, including notable lectures by Ron Carmel (World Of Goo) and Randy Smith (Spider).
The summit, now in its fourth year and taking place on March 9th-10th during Game Developers Conference 2010 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, features lectures, postmortems and roundtables from some of the most notable independent game creators -- including many former and current Independent Games Festival finalists and winners.
Overall, the 2010 Independent Games Summit "seeks to highlight the brightest and the best of indie development, with discussions ranging from game design philosophy, distribution, business, marketing, and much more."
Advisors for the Summit include Independent Games Festival chairman Simon Carless and independent developers such as Flashbang Studios founder Matthew Wegner (Off-Road-Velociraptor Safari), as well as colleague Steve Swink (Shadow Physics).
With a final set of lectures to be announced soon, a number of major talks have been revealed on the Summit homepage. Highlights include the following:
- Indies and Publishers: Fixing a System That Never Worked
In IGS 2010's kickoff talk, 2D Boy co-founder Ron Carmel (World Of Goo) will discuss "the problems with the current model (a tenant farming ecosystem built upon a weak security model), contrast how Valve and Microsoft deal with developers, and propose that creating more transparency in the game industry will give rise to a healthy model for developers and publishers/distributors to work together."
- Increasing Our Reach: Designing To Grab and Retain Players
During his keynote talk, Looking Glass Studios veteran and Steven Spielberg collaborator Randy Smith (Thief) will talkk about the design concepts behind 'immediacy with depth', as applied to his recent iPhone hit Spider: The Secret Of Bryce Manor. He notes: "The indie games movement should be the wellspring of daring and innovative ideas, but we need a sizable and devoted audience to help us realize that potential. How do we reach more players? Is there something we’re doing wrong?", and vows to look at design solutions.
- How to Manage an Exploratory Development Process
Thatgamecompany co-founder Kellee Santiago and producer Robin Hunicke "will discuss thatgamecompany's experiences in managing a creative process that needs to be exploratory and experimental without leaving the team feeling aimless", with particular reference to the developer's leading games, which include multiple Choice Awards-nominated PSN title Flower and Flow.
- Scrap Metal: Pushing the Envelope with a Team of Two
In a talk on the upcoming Xbox Live Arcade topdown vehicular shooter from Slick Entertainment's Nick Waanders (N+) and Kees Rijnen, the duo discuss making the XBLA title with a team of two. They explain how "a lot of choices had to be made to get the biggest bang for the buck, while maintaining the high polish level we wanted" -- discussing tools, the game's deferred shading engine, design choices, and more.
- NinjaBee's Top 10 Development Lessons
In this lecture, Brent Fox from Kingdom For Keflings and Cloning Clyde creators NinjaBee presents 10 key lessons from their work, which has spanned platforms such as PC, XBLA, iPhone, WiiWare and beyond. Fox notes: "These pieces of wisdom should make your development experience smoother and help you avoid some of the same pitfalls" that the notable independent developer is now managing to avoid.
Other confirmed lectures include Wolfire's John Graham (Overgrowth) on Effective Marketing For Indie Game Developers, the co-creators of IGF finalist Osmos on the creation of that game, Jeff Lindsay and Jim Munroe on 'Creating And Nurturing Your Indie Game Community', plus talks on making Fantastic Contraption and Scrap Metal -- as well as the return of the multi-speaker Indie Game Rant.