Organizers of this September's Independent Games Summit at GDC Austin have announced first speakers, with the indies behind titles like Bit.Trip Beat, Age Of Booty, Fantastic Contraption, and DeathSpank speaking on a multitude of notable topics.
Initial information about the September 15th-16th Summit, a separate part of the wider, 'connected game'-focused Austin-based event, is available on the GDC Austin website. Other Summits taking place at GDC Austin this year include a brand-new iPhone Games Summit and the notable, long-running Writing and Audio Summits..
Details on the Independent Games Summit at GDC Austin include specifics on the first five lectures and panels for the first-ever Austin edition of the popular main GDC event, and the highlights include:
- In 'The Bit.Trip Series: Holistic Indie Console Game Design', Gaijin Games' Alex Neuse will speak on "how the small team created the retro-infused [game] series, giving tips on standing out on WiiWare and how to intelligently mine classic gaming for a unique look."
- Speaking in 'Business Managing Your Indie Developer Through The Downturn', Jennifer Bullard of local Texas independent developer Certain Affinity, which has done contract work for big AAA console titles (Left 4 Dead, Call Of Duty: World At War) and developed significant original IP (downloadable title Age Of Booty) will discuss running your indie as a business, and how a small company intelligently juggles work for hire and original IP.
- In a lecture called 'Postmortem: The Design & Business Behind Fantastic Contraption', Colin Northway will explain how the Flash-based physics sandbox webgame -- which has been played by millions of people, and brought in six-figure profits for its single developer -- was designed, monetized and marketed itself, based on an initially free title with paid upgrades.
- Wolfire COO John Graham (co-creator of the upcoming Overgrowth) will discuss 'Effective Marketing For Indie Game Developers', explaining how you use your own website, social networking channels, independent editorial content, and even pre-release versions of your tools to build a robust community around your game before it even ships.
- Finally, in 'The Indie Business Rant', notables including Hothead's Joel DeYoung (DeathSpank, Penny Arcade Adventures), Klei's Jamie Cheng (Shank), and IGS advisory board members Matthew Wegner (Blurst.com, Crane Wars) and Adam Saltsman (Fathom) will "each give short 5-10 minute presentations on aspects of indie business that irk, disgust, or nauseate them, hopefully also including some panaceas for the indie business pain that sickens them."
More information on 2009's Independent Games Summit at Austin GDC, including registration details and other specifics, is available at the official IGS @ Austin GDC website.