DevGAMM 2014 – indies, indies everywhere!

So, I’ve visited DevGAMM 2014 in Moscow last week. It took me one hour wait on Russian border where they’ve tried to check if I’m eligible to visit the country (Glory to Arsztotzka!), but it was worth it.

DevGAMM 2014 was surprisingly good: nice place (Radisson Slavyanskaya), a lot of visitors and indie-centered talks. In fact, you could easily mistake DevGAMM for indie conference, because a lot of game developers from big companies (Nival, Mail.ru, Gaijin and so on) visited DevGAMM as indies – probably because they’ve paid for their tickets themselves.

DevGAMM is obviously not GDC, but compared to KRI (so called “Russian GDC”) it is better organized, friendlier and more useful.

While I don’t recommend everyone from outside Russia or Ukraine to visit DevGAMM to learn something (most talks are in Russian), it is a great place to establish connections, find partners and talk to local game developers.

DevGAMM, GamesJamGAMM and some pictures of naked ladies

Ain’t no rest for the indie – there is a new games jam coming and this time it’s going to be a proper jam, not a festival – GamesJamGAMM. Also, let’s talk a bit about Russian game developers events and DevGAMM in particular.

So, for years KRI was the most popular game developers conference in Russia. KRI literally means Game Developers Conference, but it is not in any way related to the original GDC. There was GDC Russia once though, I was there and I’ll probably tell its sad story later.

KRI usually happened in Spring, gradually moving from February to May. Nevertheless, KRI was almost always accompanied by snow, except for last couple of times.  Before Igromir, a Russian version of Gamescom, KRI was not just a conference but also a press event, where journalists could learn about new games. Well, these days are all gone now, but journalists are still a plenty at KRI.

Maybe because KRI is always packed with half-naked and literally naked women. Here are some pictures I took personally and they’re NSFW:

My name is Commander Sheppard and this is my favourite promo on CitadelYes, that’s Mass Effect logo on her boobs. It was official game promotion in Russia back in 2009.

Something somthing developers something mobile something LOOK AT THIS ASS!I took it last year. I have no idea what they are advertising.

This year is different. KRI has moved into Autumn and is going to be connected to Igromir. There is also going to be Russian Comic-Con packed Igromir. It’s obviously has no relation to real Comic-Con and is called World of Heroes (great name for Wargaming’s new MMO, right?).

So, Spring is free for grabs and DevGAMM is trying to take KRI’s place. DevGAMM (formerly FlashGAMM) was usually held in Kyiv, Ukraine in late Autumn and was dedicated to casual, social and mobile games. So it’s unusual to see DevGAMM in Moscow going for KRI audience, but it just might work – a lot of people I know are going to visit it. I guess old habits die hard.

BTW, GamesJamGAMM is supported by that all-girls gaming website Kitchen Riots. I guess we’ve come a really long way since KRI 2009. Or not.

Of course DevGAMM and KRI are not the only events for game developers in Russia and Ukraine. There is Sociality Rocks (another Ukrainian conference that expanded to Russia), there is Winter Nights and there is Casual Connect Kyiv among others. And if you’re not in the mood for spendings there were at least 13 free to attend Games Nights last year in various cities of Russia and Ukraine.

But if you’re in it for naked ladies, you should go to KRI.

And the winners are in for GamesJamKanobu

I wrote about GamesJamKanobu before – it’s basically a local version of IGF, where indie games compete for attention and some are awarded with money prizes. So, winners were finally selected in three categories and here they are.

Disclaimer: I’ve voted in design document category.

Best design document: Evolution.

Evolution sounds a bit like Black & White with RPG system and a bit of Spore mixed with From Dust. Ambitious to say the least.

Selenium

Best concept art: Selenium.

I worked with Mikhail Rakhmatullin for two years and he totally deserves this award.

Maze

Best playable prototype: Maze.

I still wish creators would finish 5734L3R first.

Video Hero Story

Grand Prize: Video Hero Story

For some reason I’m a playable character in this game, so I think it deserves its victory.