Montreal International Game Summit wrap-up

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The sixth edition of the Montreal International Game Summit occurred on November 16th and 17th and I’m still thinking about the event. No official stats are out yet, but more than 1500 people were expected to attend the Summit. I can tell that there were many people there, both days, and it was amazing a many people from different expertise could find conferences, seminars or workshop that fit their needs. Being a production manager, I attended conferences on production, but there were presentations about art, technologies and design too. Here’s how it went for me.

Yoichi Wada, president and CEO of the Square Enix Group opened the event with a very inspiring keynote, talking about the corporate philosophy and the new group-wide game development environment they are building.  I also enjoyed the humor and passion of Reid Schneider. During his talk named “Preaching to the Choir: Do We Make Games For Ourselves?” he mentioned the projects he’s proud of, and those he’s ashamed of, it was really funny how he presented that.

I went to some other presentations on Scrum, relationships within teams, collaboration skills and production planning. I really enjoyed those, because I learned many things and opened my mind as much as confirming that the way I manage my projects, people centric, is a nice way to go because you can get more from your teams this way.

Jason Holtman from Valve also came to talk about digital distribution and Steam. It was interesting because we are discovery a new way to evolve our games and get them bigger without getting bankrupt. By delivering a game online with just a couple of features and adding new features from time to time will help giving a game that gamers like (through their feed-back you can improve the game), stay in the business and extend the life of the game.

Chris Hecker’s closing presentation was fun, because the guy is a real comedian and has great ideas. He ended his talk by asking the developers to work hard on delivering games with a message, as much as music, books and movies has messages. This way, video games can be considered as Art one day. This is what we all want, right?

Next year, the Summit will be held on November 8th and 9th and I’m really looking forward to attend it for a second year. How did you like the 2009 edition? Are you already planning to go next year?