PixelFest Recap 1: Developer’s Conference

Hey there!

PixelFest 2.017 just wrapped up in Norfolk, VA. We demoed a few prototypes and met some amazing people!
 There was a floor dedicated to showing off indie games as well as a Developer’s conference running simultaneously.
 This post will be an informal info-dump from the event. Enjoy!

PixelFest recap
screenshot of PixelFest’s website

~ The Entrepreneur Talk

Speakers:

Who is this talk for?

There is a difference between a hobby and a business.
 It’s okay to have a hobby. But if you want it to be a business, then get ready to be uncomfortable!
 PixelFest will focus on combining ideas from both GameJams and StartupConferences

GameJam — showcase of skill in a craft: art and engineering
 StartupConferences- workshop to sharpen business and marketing skills

What does it take to be successful?

How can People usually are skilled craftsmanship get games in front of people. A timeline to real success is long (think 4–5 years).
 You can’t rush success. Start with a $100 project and then build to a $1,000 project. Then take your $1,000 projects and then build slowly to $100,000 projects, etc…

Relationships and networks are super important!
 Be energized and get excited to solve problems for others. Make yourself valuable to others.
 Be highly competitive AND highly cooperative.

Norfolk, VA?

Norfolk is a tech center! Visibility is hard in this area. We have a substantial amount of ability and depth here, but it’s hidden….
 Lots of super talented people who can’t talk about what they’re working on (navy town)

What can you be doing to improve?

Always have a side project!
 Feedback is important. Seek it out and get your work in front of people.

Ask yourself:
 “What prevents me from wanting to release right now?”
 Challenge that and push into it. Avoid just getting input from family/friends: Find first 10 customers outside friends and family. Friends will give you wrong advice in both directions. Push through it and work on sharpening your instincts.
 MVLP = “Most Viable LOVABLE Product — Focus on what takes Least amount of time money and resources, BUT put extra effort in the things that will make someone LOVE your project. That is what will make you stand out.
 Look for early adopters. Do people like the IDEA? Forget graphics and presentation. Test the core IDEA behind your project ASAP!

Directions after feedback:

  • What did people Love?
  • What will be most valuable for Marketing?
  • What was wrong with your idea? Do you have time/resources to fix before you ship?
  • What could push this so more people love it?
  • What were people confused/turned off by?

~ Building Lasting Change

Speaker: Tom Flake

  • Book: “Acres of diamonds — Russell Connell” Summary: Guy sells his house to travel the world seeking to mine diamonds. Only after he dies do they find the largest diamond mine right in his backyard… Moral: “Stay home and dig”
  • When growing focus on developing culture. Recruit like-minded people by being passionate about your vision.
  • Remember that success is about your clients’ success. If they succeed so will you!
  • Eat your own dog food. Does your product work? Would you use it? Model the behavior you want.
  • With the “Googlization” of culture (Things becoming more and more personalised), we need to make a concentrated effort to cross pollinate.
  • When developing technology, remember to always capture the user’s intent and build for that.

Originally published at LightHeart Labs.