Last weekend, Norway’s biggest video game convention, SpillExpo, was held in Lillestrøm. Here are some of indie studio Sarepta’s experiences from the expo.
SpillExpo offers esport, talks, and lets consumers try out the upcoming AAA titles. But it is also an opportunity for the indie developers to show off their games and talk to their audience.
The indie stand at SpillExpo this year was the biggest one ever, as this year Hamar Game Collective teamed up with SpillExpo to create an “Indie Blackroom”, which had room for a total of 16 developers.
Sarepta Studio, the developers behind Shadow Puppeteer, have gained a lot of experience from attending game conventions almost all over the world. They are a regular sight at SpillExpo, and gladly share their convention experiences.
“We attend SpillExpo mostly to visualize Norwegian games to Norwegians together with other developers from Norway. There’s still a lot of people who don’t know that a lot of exciting stuff is going on here in Norway, so it’s our pleasure to proudly show it off. It is also much fun to meet players at all ages and hear what they think about the games”, says project manager at Sarepta Studio, Marianne Lerdahl.
SpillExpo is a rather consumer oriented convention, but Sarepta is not first and foremost attending SpillExpo because Norway is the main stage for their games.
“Shadow Puppeteer is available in both Norwegian written languages. Norwegians are not our main audience, but we definitely want Norwegian players. It’s all about mathematics: There’s simply too few players in Norway to cater exclusively to the Norwegian market”, says Lerdahl.
Sarepta Studio attend several conventions during a year, both consumer- and industry oriented. Lerdahl tells about the several differences between the two kinds of conventions.
“Age and diversity is probably the biggest differences. Game developers are a pretty homogeneous group with about 80% men, most of them Caucasian. At the consumer oriented conventions we meet kids and grown ups, men and women and other groups of people than on the industry events. A family at an event will spend their time different than two colleagues”.
“We have different goals for different events. The industry events are superior in regards to making contacts and network building. It’s at these events vi can initiate, continue or end negotiations with other companies, wether it’s providers, distributors or hardware developers”.
“It’s hard to tell which kind of events have more value for us. Consumer oriented conventions gives us contact with the players, industry conventions gives us business related opportunities. We appreciate both kinds very much, and feel lucky to have organizers like SpillExpo that really cater to the needs of the indie developers, making exhibiting possible for even the smallest companies”, says Lerdahl.
After all their travels to conventions, Sarepta Studio has picked up some handy tricks that they would like to share with companies attending their first convention:
“We recommend you start planning early on, and set some clear goals. Handing out merch, buttons, t-shirts, key chains, works really well at consumer events, but is not popular at industry conventions. If you’re planing to get some interviews done, you should make sure the press will be at the event and establish contact with them early on. If you’re having a booth to show off your game, make sure it’s nicely decorated and welcoming”, Lerdahl concludes.
After attending EGX with Nintendo, Sarepta Studio wrote a blog post containing tips and tricks before attending tradeshows.
Denmark’s largest games industry conference for Nordic game developers returns on December 7th to discuss the future of business in the games industry. The lineup of speakers includes as Ex-King Tommy Palm, Christine Thaarup, Steffen of Betadwarf, and many many more!
Tickets are limited and can be booked here.