Today was the spectacular launch of Southern Independant Games Network (SIGN), and inaugural conference itself. SIGN is a collaboration between Bournemouth University (go BU!), Southampton Solent University and Portsmouth University, and essentially is a network to support independent developers in the South coast by hosting various events just like today's one.
The talk from Mike Bithell was surprisingly both depressing and optimistic, as he spoke of the unlikely nature of becoming an instant indie darling success, instead that most, if not all, big name developers started making unheard and unplayed titles before ever hitting it big. Certainly solid advice, and a reminder to keep your chin up and use failures as learning experiences.
Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris from Tiniest Shark and Ben Gunstone from Stainless Games both spoke of their experiences with the core business behind turning a game concept into a viable product that can not only turn a profit, but arguably more importantly grow a studio to have sustainable releases. The highlight though, for mildly biased reasons, was the Q & A session with both the featured speakers and with a graduate developer from each University. Robin from our very own Static Games represented Bournemouth, and it was like there was no barrier at all between student developer and established developer. Well, in a way I guess there isn't. Robin actually writes a very detailed post based off of his experience at the event here.
I'm looking forward to the coming events, fingers crossed it's in Bournemouth so I don't have to travel quite as far next time.