I think I might mentioned it at some point, but here we go again:
In the last couple of months we and other small developers in Hamburg/Germany joined forces to establish a local meetup for
independent developers. And we succeeded! But I would like to write a little bit more about the whole thing.
So, why does Hamburg need such an event? Maybe some of you (if you happen to be german developers) know that Hamburg runs the so called “gamecity” project (more information here: gamecity:Hamburg)
This is a great initiative and is well-known in Hamburg. There are a lot of different activities: From Gamelabs, Coaching to Recruiting and also regular meetups.
Yes. Meetups. Though these gatherings are sponsored by the “big players” of Hamburg (InnoGames, GoodGames etc.), every developer in Hamburg can participate.
We already attended at this Gamecity Meetups, which were nice, but we felt a little bit out of place, since most of the people worked at the bigger studios and though it was cool chatting with them we asked ourselves:
Where are the other small and independent developers?
We wanted to get to know these folks, since they were in the same boat. It didn’t take long and I found out there was a so called “Hamburg Indie Alliance” which consists of a handful of small studios. I approached them and asked if there is already an Indie-Meetup like in Berlin or Munich. There were only very little groups of regulars, which were also fragmented. And this was the main problem. Not every indie-dev attended at the Gamecity Meetups, not every indie-dev knew about other devs around him.
I proposed we should arrange a central event for us, the smaller developers of Hamburg, to be able to get to know each other.
And since we lived only for around a year in Hamburg and didn’t have yet the contacts, we were so thankful that especially Slash Games helped a lot to plan and organise. Thanks to them we got us a nice location to hold the meetup.
We found other devs who were also dedicated to make this happen. But how should we execute it? What’s the idea?
Should we exclude developers from bigger studios, because they’re not “indie”?
Should there be an admission charge? How many people are actually interested in something like this?
We feared that most people would say: “Why bother? There is already the Gamecity Meetup!”
So we just asked different solo-developers and small startups if they’d actually be interesting in a dedicated event targeted to independent developers and those who are interested getting in this part of the gamedevelopment industry. The answer was clear: Yes.
We didn’t waste time and thought about how we should construct the meetup. We thought we should distinguish ourselves. That means it shouldn’t only be networking but also an interesting and informative event. We came up with the idea to split the event in two parts.
1) Talks, Presentations and Discussions
2) “Free Roaming” aka Networking 😉
The first part of the event should emphasize the idea of events: this is from devs for devs. We want to learn and help each other out.
That’s why we also decided that we won’t exclude anyone.
In order to gather everyone we created a facebook-group. But there are a lot of people who don’t use fb but other platforms, so we had to search some of them 🙂
The seach paid off. The first “Hamburger Indie Meetup” was hold on the 07.10.2014 (Monikas Birthday btw, yey!) and it was great. About 50 people actually participated.
I also managed to get us a guest speaker, Rick Hoppmann (more info, here: tinyworlds) who held a presentation
on “Living Tales – Tips for lively (game)worlds”.
We talked about the event, about our industry and met so many people. Most of the people took notice of the event through the fb-group, but there were still some folks who get the information through our direct email-contact, twitter or other channels.
We were so happy that we could bring all these people together. We got lots of positive feedback.
Most of the people wanted to network, but didn’t know how exactly to find like-minded people
and thanks to this event now everyone knows where to go.
And the best part: Stefan Klein, who happens to be the Managing Director of Gamecity,
participated in the event and ensured financial support for the next events!
We had an awesome time and we already plan the second event 😀
Thanks to our other planing-team-members, thanks to the Betahaus for the awesome location, of course thanks to Stefan Klein
and above all: thanks to all the people who participated! We see you at the next event!
We made also some pictures, I’m afraid not the best quality. Promise to bring a better camera to the next one!