Friday, July 18, 2008
I recently attended to the Gamelab, a gathering of videogame developers in Gijón, a northern spanish city. It's an annual convention, and most relevant professionals of the spanish videogame industry were there. You can check their website here (unfortunately only in spanish).
There is no a proper congress of videogame makers for the spanish industry. In other countries the GDC takes care of those gatherings, but for lot of reasons the local GDC chapters in Spain have proved to be unable to keep a continuous activity. I was one of the professionals trying to activate the Madrid chapter. We organized a couple of events, but eventually there were more people interested in attending than in organizing it. To be honest we were probably too ambitious, and it was too time-consuming. As far as I know Dani Sánchez Crespo is in charge of the Barcelona chapter, but he has never organized not even one meeting.
With this situation, I'm quite happy that Gamelab has managed to put together so many relevant professionals of the spanish industry. Even the weakest keynotes were interesting since they offer a view of the current state of the spanish industry. I really enjoyed Enric's since it was full of real-life experiences about how to sell a next-gen project to a publisher. I also had the chance the see some in-game footage of The Lord of the Creatures, Gonzo's own Duke Nukem Forever (who knows, maybe they'll eventually publish it. I was always eskeptic about that). ZedCity was also presented. It intends to be a casual World of Warcraft, but so far it looks more like a Walking simulator. I sincerely hope Juan Tamargo will find the way to make it more interesting, I'm sure they will. Anyway, here you can find some pictures that I made of the conferences.
I'm one of those optimistics thinking that just talking and sharing experiences is good for the industry. Talking specifically about Spain, what's good for one company is generally good for all the others, so in a way we're all a bunch of guys trying to build an industry without any government support. Maybe we'll make it. I hope we will.