Monday, November 29, 2010

MIGS 2010 Post-Mortem: Two days ain't enough!

I recently had the opportunity to attend, for the first time, the Montreal International Game Summit, which was held on November 8th and 9th, right here in Montreal. Now for those of you who may not know about this Canadian metropolis, you might want to keep this town on your radar. It's a little known fact that this city has become in recent years the sixth-largest games developer hot spot in the world. With over 7,000 developers, most major studios have an office in town (Ubisoft, EA, THQ, Funcom, WB Games, Bioware, Eidos and many others.

And so it was with great excitement that I spent those two days as a Media Partner, having thus a chance to mingle with local developers, producers, artists and heads of studios. The summit started off with a brilliant keynote by Ed Fries who talked about the evolution of the art form of video games, and how the industry needed to break out of the various molds and limitations it had established as it had evolved, and embrace the notion of constraints and limitations (see this Gamasutra article for further reading).

And then I was off the races, trying to attend every and all the sessions that were of interest to me. That is, far to many of them! Suffice to say that if I could have split myself up a number of times, I would have had a chance to see them all. But as it stood, I had to make a few tough choices. Some of the highlights for me were  Todd Northcutt's on Leaderboards, Veronica Zammitto on Game User Research and Rui Manuel Cassais on Tech Development and MMOs.

At the end of the 2 day summit I had attended maybe two thirds of the session I had originally wanted to see, not for a lack of interest, but of time. You see, despite the fact that I use this blog as an outlet for my passion as a gamer and a geek, this blog, and the podcasts I've done (or am starting again) are just part of a hobby, an interest that I have.

Despite this, and the fact that though I tend to gravitate in and around the Montreal Game Development Community despite not being part of it, I'm starting to know a lot of folks that work in this amazing industry. And low and behold, a good chunk of them were at the summit! As such, I spent a good time catching up with old friends and getting to know new faces.

In the end, that's a lot of what this summit is about: sharing knowledge, growing your network, and looking for new opportunities. And in that senses this last edition of MIGS was a great success!

I can't wait for next year!

[Flickr MIGS2010 set]

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