Why would anyone attend the Reboot Develop game industry conference next year? Should great talks by amazing people from the gaming industry all over the world be enough to not hesitate? Find out in our short recap of one of the most exclusive game developer conferences in Europe. Ladies and gentlemen, Reboot Develop in all of its glory was organised in sunny King’s Landing Dubrovnik this year! Reboot Develop was held from the 20th to 22nd of April 2017 at the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera resort. The most luxurious and gorgeous location imaginable.

We participated in this year’s conference in Dubrovnik within the Indie Expo Area, where we presented and demonstrated our games Bear With Me and Agenda to the attendees and fellow devs. If you’re a small indie studio or an individual that makes games for the love of the joystick and keyboard, this is the right place to showcase your masterpiece and connect with the gaming community. One thing must be said about it though – Indies have the friendliest gaming community in the world. They share their knowledge wherever you go and whatever you eat and drink! It’s amazing to be a part of that community.

Among us, little Indies, were over 100 of the world’s most prominent game industry legends, including Cliff Bleszinski, Daniel Vávra, Jonathan Blow, Chris Avellone and Tim Cain. Also, you wouldn’t believe, Rob Finck from the Nine Inch Nails, who enlightened us with a very interesting and inspirational lecture about sound and music in video games.

Some of the highlights and key takeaways from the conference

The talks were awesome, and we wanted to share our key takeaways from a couple we attended. Between eating cookies and drinking beer. By the pool in good company, just so we’re clear on that.

Reboot Develop 2017 Conference
(Source: Reboot Develop)

First of all, the opening ceremony was not just a “good morning” speech. We had a frickin’ orchestra in there! Epic Game of Thrones pieces were performed by the Reboot orchestra that blew everybody away! It progressed with a great motivational keynote by Alen Ladavac. In our lead programmer’s (hi Andrija) opinion, the most impact-full part of the talk was that “the meaning isn’t about money, neither the fame, but the accomplishing progress in technology, science, and making people feel better and understanding life and each other through emotions and experiences invoked through video games.”

A talk about pre-production phases of Fallout series, adding and improving features was held by Avellone, Cain, and Isaac. That was one hell of a tale from before the explosion. Also mentioning terrible crunch times, unrealistic expectations and the responsibility of the lead developer to hone the team to deadline accomplishments. Everyone once had their bad times, consequently, it’s natural to fail sometimes. So the most important thing is that you get up and get the job done in the best way possible. They worked their asses off. In the long run, it paid off. All of the learning and sacrifices was necessary to be where they are today.

If you’re a game developer, then you know how hard it can be to create unique and functional gameplay.  So it’s really important that you cut corners where you can and do your best to enjoy the ride. Mike Bithell shared his magic tricks that might just help with that.

20 Magic tricks for Developers by Mike Bithell

  1. Add surprises
  2. Implement instant input responsivity
  3. Find the fun and repeat it
  4. Mash together gameplay and story – game action = story progress and metaphor
  5. Reuse content in a twisted way
  6. Use AAA tricks in the indie game
  7. Do something new once or a lot of once-s
  8. Delete something that sucks
  9. Consistency – be consistent in an interesting way
  10. Remember playtesting with someone you don’t know
  11. Focus where the player focuses
  12. Steal from something new
  13. Use Assets well (well hidden)
  14. Try making games for other people (not yourself) and respect audience, do your research
  15. Find a tech that nobody else has popularized yet (preferably an easy one)
  16. Photorealism doesn’t exist – if you can’t come close, rather do a stylized game
  17. Implication is cheap – leaves to imagination
  18. Don’t call attention to cheap stuff
  19. Be unique. There is an idea, a story, an experience only you can create tell provide
  20. There was no 20th magic trick because he edited it out of the slides for “suckiness”

You probably know all these, but are you aware of them every day? Now go copy-paste it and pin it to the wall of your workplace!

Conference Charpentiere(Source: Reboot Develop)

Another takeaway we resonated with was from Renaud Charpentier. His talk was about game direction through system design. Peak moments should decide of the game systems you need. If you have a peak moment in the game that makes good marketing and distorts the point of the game, remove it. The point of the game is more important than marketing. Also, there are no superior game systems, only adequate or inadequate. Remember, game systems are a mean, not an end – they serve your intentions!

After all, we want to thank Damir, an incredible dude who is responsible for organizing this amazing conference with his tiny team and a lot of stubbornness. We are grateful for the opportunity to learn something new and make new connections with amazing people. Overall, Reboot Develop is definitely something you must experience at least once in your professional life!

In conclusion, you shouldn’t hesitate to join us next year!