The Lineal Games Team at GDEX 2017: Postmortem

Day 1

The Truth About Game Development: Common Misconceptions

Jillian Chastain (StarlightSkyes) from Max Gaming Studios (mgtgames) gave a great talk on common misconceptions people have when getting into game development. Here are some highlights, but there’s a lot more in the following link:

  • You don’t have to move out to the West Coast
  • You don’t have to work alone
  • You need to know how to market or hire someone who does
  • The last 10% of a game’s production takes as much time and effort as the first 45% (My favorite)

Here is a link to my notes. I’ll be adding Jillian’s slideshow if and when I find it.

Marketing For Games

Tom Caprel from Hyperion Marketing gave us an insider look at how marketing (specifically the lack of correct marketing) can make or break the release of any game. Here are some highlights, but there’s a lot more in the following link:

  • Marketing for games fundamentally relies on the community you develop.
  • Good marketing is hard. Good marketing makes you ask hard questions.
  • Marketing requires consistency. You have little time/money, use it for the right stuff.
  • Games (that are sold for $) are products. You are a small business owner. (Another favorite of mine)
  • Bootstrapping doesn’t mean a $0 budget. In fact, it shouldn’t.

Here is a link to my notes. I’ll be adding Tom’s slideshow if and when I find it.

Open World: Video Games & Contemporary Art

This talk was given by Theresa Bembnister (tbembnister), the new associate curator at the Akron Art Museum (AkronArtMuseum). Her talk was centered around video games as an influence on art, as opposed to art from games or fan art of games. Her talk was really interesting, and I encourage people to follow her and see what she accomplishes. Unfortunately, I lost my notes on this talk and I don’t have any links to her presentation yet. I’ll update this as soon as I can.

B-Side Gaming: The 3 Essential Elements to Attract Money

Jennifer Juguilon-Hottle from J2H Consulting gave a talk on how to attract money to your fledgling game development company. Here are the 3 Essentials:

  • Know your numbers
  • Power of profits
  • Leverage your resources

If you want to explore the depths of this talk further, here is the link to my notes. I’ll add more stuff as I’ll find it.

Day 2

The Business End: Starting (and Maintaining) a Game Studio as a Small Business

This talk was given by Jay Kidd from Wraith Games. His talk was excellent because it was based entirely on his experiences, both good and bad. Here are some major points:

  • You can actually go to a bank for funding (who knew?)
  • SWOT is your best friend
  • You will need a 3 year projection and competition analysis

Here’s a link to my notes, and I’ll add more if I come across anything.

Buy and Play Local: Building Local Arcade Events

Google Docs died on me while taking notes, so here is a link to my notes and I’ll continue trying to track down their slides.

Designing for Cognitive Flow

This talk was given by Jason Conaway from Hypnos Entertainment. It centered around how to design games in a way that put the player in a state of flow. It’s a fascinating subject, here are some points:

  • You must have concrete goals and manageable rules
  • You must provide clear and timely feedback
  • Flow stimulators can encourage more players to reach a flow state more easily

Here is a link to my notes and here is a link to his slides.


GDEX 2017 was a great experience overall. We really enjoyed the talks and all the people we met and they projects they’ve poured their passions into.

I’ll be attempting to update this post with more information as I find it, so keep pursuing more game development knowledge in the mean time!