Last week Konsoll was arranged for the 2nd time. It was an amazing half week which I’m truly grateful to have been part of. People came from all over the country, even some from abroad, to see the talks, attend the workshops, and hang out with other students and developers, not to mention our fantastic speakers.
In addition to the 200 participants who were there, we also had 300 unique viewers watching a total of 235 hours of live stream. This gives us a total reach of 500 people, which is about four times that of last year.
The main goal of Konsoll is, of course, to educate and inspire. This year we had a great lineup of speakers, including Ernest Adams, Emmy Jonassen and Luke dicken, who did an exceptional job at just this.
Between them they covered a broad aspect of topics that truly managed to capture and involve the audience, who really took advantage of the opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussions.
I really enjoyed every single talk, but have to give an extra mention to Emmy Jonnassen, who’s talk on how to market your game on a zero budget certainly is going to be a big help for a lot of the students and developers who were there.
In addition to the talks, the wonderful Alex Trowers and Ken Wong gave workshops in their respective fields, which certainly seems to have created an appetite for more. And, as always, it was a true delight getting to hang out with the two.
Which brings me to the parties. There is of course no conference without the mandatory conference party. This year we had two. One to open and one to end the event, which may seem a bit much seeing that it only lasted for two days. It was all great fun though, so no regrets.
For the first party we carried on a tradition from last year, and gave developers the chance to showcase their games. Having people walk around with their drinks, trying out different games, and hanging out with friends and like minded seems to be a winning concept, and to quote one of our speakers – Where else do you get to play Vikings on Trampolines in a bar? (That game is awesome btw)
The second party was combined with this month’s dev beer, which is the monthly developer get-together here in Bergen, arranged by Spillmakerlauget. It’s a hangout and networking event, and that’s what it was this time as well, except this time the Bergen Student Radio were there to interview our speakers as well.
Links to the interviews:
As our grand finale we decided to repeat the great success from last year and arrange a Dragon’s Den where local developers could pitch their idea to a panel of experienced game developers, investors and businessmen, for feedback and advice. The participants also get to test their ideas on the audience, whom we gave the opportunity to vote on their favorite project. Dragon’s Den is, in addition to being delightfully entertaining, an exceptional learning experience, not just for the participants, but for the audience as well.
And (allow me to brag just a little) I have to mention that the winning pitch was that of my own company, Henchman & Goon, given by Bjarte Sebastian Hansen and Henrik Mowatt Haugland, (I love you guys, you are the awesomestest).
After these fantastic few days, what I’m left with is the strengthened belief that there is a need and a thirst for these kind of events in Norway. The industry here is small, but growing and to be able to meet, learn from, and get inspired by experienced developers, as well as each other is invaluable for the continued growth of the industry, and the community around it. Konsoll has received nothing but praise from participants and speakers alike, and we are already receiving questions and requests for next year. The participants want more, and the speakers want to come back, and what greater compliment than that could we get?
What I can say for now is that the will and eagerness to arrange the next Konsoll is stronger than ever, and with the feedback and experiences from this year we will aim to create an even better event next year. We have more people who want to help and we are starting earlier. The one thing it all depends on are sponsors. However, with a little bit of luck, and the continued excellent work of the comity, we’ll climb this obstacle and deliver according to all your expectations.
A great big thank you to everyone who were there. If the conference gods are on our side, I shall see you all again in a year or so.
P.S: We will post the videos and some slides from the talks online. I’ll post a link to it here as well as soon as it’s up.