The organizers of the 2009 Independent Games Summit have revealed the completed line-up for the March 23-24 GDC 2009 event, with Electronic Arts exec and art-game creator Rod Humble, Audiosurf's Dylan Fitterer and Flower's Kellee Santiago among the newly confirmed speakers.
The third annual Independent Games Summit, which takes place on the Monday and Tuesday of this year's GDC at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, features lectures, postmortems and roundtables from some of the most notable independent game creators, including many former and current Independent Games Festival finalists and winners.
The 2009 IGS seeks to highlight the brightest and the best of indie development, with discussions ranging from game design philosophy, distribution, business, marketing, and much more. A synopsis of the full summit line-up is as follows:
- Rod Humble is head of the EA Play label, which includes The Sims, Hasbro and the Casual studios. Which is about non indie as you get. But in 'The Indie Advantage? A View From Both Sides', the creator of art-game The Marriage discusses how the world looks when you can see both sides of the fence, and ways to make money and - more importantly - create games which are true to yourself.
- 2D Boy's Ron Carmel and Kyle Gabler (World Of Goo) will present a lecture named 'Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Going Indie But Were Afraid to Ask', discussing costs, publishing deals, IP control, and more.
- 2008 IGF Grand Prize winner Petri Purho will present a postmortem of Crayon Physics Deluxe, with much detail into what went right and wrong during the game's genesis.
- Audiosurf creator Dylan Fitterer is talking on 'Embracing Constraints', with the IGF prizewinner discussing "using constraints to fuel creative output in indie game development."
- Hothead Games' Vlad Ceraldi and Joel Young are discussing 'Episodic Content and The Evolving Indie Landscape', with the Penny Arcade Adventures and DeathSpank co-creators looking at opportunities for indies, how you make episodic titles as an independent developer, and more.
- In a lecture called 'How Do You Manage Small Indie Teams?', ThatGameCompany's Kellee Santiago (Flow, Flower) gives practical tips from her own experience on the subject of project and creative management for indies.
- IGF Chairman and Game Developer/Gamasutra publisher Simon Carless presents 'Independent Games & Sales: Stats 101', an attempt to quantify a key question for indies: 'How much money can you actually make out of PC web, casual, and downloadable indie titles, iPhone games, XBLA, WiiWare, and PlayStation Network titles?'
- As part of a rare North American appearance, Swedish creator Eskil Steenberg presents 'Making Love in Your Bedroom', discussing the process of developing the acclaimed, procedurally generated first person online adventure game Love as a totally solo project.
- In 'The Indie Game Maker Rant', you'll see a series of exquisite rants by indie game creators including: Mark Johns of Doomlaser (Space Barnacle), Petri Purho of Kloonigames (Crayon Physics), Kellee Santiago of ThatGameCompany (Flower, Flow), Alec Holowka of Infinite Ammo (Aquaria, Marian), Mare Sheppard of Metanet (N+), Erin Robinson of Wadget Eye Games (Nanobots), Heather Kelley of Kokoromi (Super Hyper Cube), Phil Fish of Polytron (Fez), and Steve Swink of Flashbang Studios (Raptor Safari, Blush.)
- In 'How to Finish a Game Project You... Hate?', Infinite Ammo's Alec Holowka (IGF Grand Prize-winning Aquaria, Paper Moon) and Pillowfort Games' Tommy Refenes (Goo!, Grey Matter) discuss finding and maintaining motivation on an indie game project, long after it feels natural to do so.
- A panel named 'Indie Games: From Buzz To Business', sees indie-friendly lawyer Tom Buscaglia chairing a group of developers including Michael Wilford (The Maw), Zach Aikman (Synaesthete), and Dylan Fitterer (Audiosurf) in a practical discussion on how, after buzz starts on your game, you can translate that into an ongoing business and career.
- Notable artgame creator Jason Rohrer (Passage, IGF finalist Between) discusses 'Indies: Beyond Single-Player', a look at why, 'to push games forward artistically, we may need to return to the medium's pre-digital roots: multiple players seated around a game.'
- In 'Making Web Games: The Indie Experience', Experience, PixelJam's Rich Grillotti and Miles Tilmann, the creators of Flash-based online games including IGF finalist Gamma Bros and Dino Run share the many lessons learned from their ongoing journey to become self-sustaining, artistically satisfied game developers -- and how those two concepts do not always have to be mutually exclusive.
- 'No Publisher? No Problem! iPhone for Indies' is a lecture from indie developers Adam 'Atomic' Saltsman (Semi Secret Software - Wurdle) and Sergei Gourski (Subatomic Studios - Fieldrunners), in which the duo talk about their experiences developing hit games for the iPhone without any publisher assistance.
- Stardock's Brad Wardell heads the publisher/developer behind PC 'core' game hits Galactic Civilizations II and Sins Of A Solar Empire, and in 'Stardock On The PC Hardcore Scene As Indie', he'll discuss this important indie-friendly area, and how developers can get ahead in it.
- In 'The Art Of Independent Game Promotion', Phil Fish of Polytron (Fez) and Kyle Gabler of 2D Boy (World Of Go) reveal the secrets of massive promotion on a shoestring budget: how to speak to the press, how to create a trailer the internet loves, and how to best promote for your game.
- Acclaimed indie creator Jonatan 'Cactus' Soderstrom (Clean Asia!, Psychosomnium) is renowned for the wide-ranging, eclectic multitude of freeware games that he creates. In 'The Four-Hour Game Design by Cactus', he discusses how he creates standout, beautiful games in such short amounts of time.
- In 'The Indie Businessman', you can hear from three highly successful indie game developers on their own unique indie-focused business models, and why they aren't just selling $19.95 downloads. Hear how Hampus Soderstrom (IGF nominee Toribash) earns money by selling in-game decals and motion trails, how Jamie Cheng (IGF winner Eets) is pursuing free-to-play online games, and how Daniel James (Puzzle Pirates, Bang Howdy!, Whirled) manages multiple major microtransaction-based games while staying independent.
The Independent Games Summit takes place alongside the yearly Independent Games Festival at GDC 2009, with IGF finalists invited to attend IGS for free. This year, organizers have also extended special 'scholarship' pricing to fifty of the IGF Main Competition entrants, allowing those indies to attend at a significantly reduced price on a 'first come, first served' basis.
Other interested parties are able to attend via a GDC Summits & Tutorials Pass, with the early deadline to register being Wednesday, February 12th. More information on the full line-up for the Summit, including more details on each individual lecture, is available at the official Independent Games Summit webpage.