Every time I start to write an update, I am astounded at how much has happened between the last blog and this one and how we managed to fit as much as we did into such a short amount of time, and this is no different. So unendingly proud of all the amazing folks I have the honour to work with, collaborate with, and represent.
I am still shocked at the amount of content, speakers, sessions, panels, and events the organizers of devcom managed to fit into two days. Between Andromeda Entertainment, we managed three sessions and two panels over three colleagues in just two days! What an incredible honour to be a part of this world-class event. It was such a joy to finally have a chance to connect with these brilliant and passionate folks for the first time in person after having been a part of the virtual version of devcom in 2021.
On top of that, devcom 2022 marked the first time many of us had a chance to EVER connect in person with friends, colleagues, and peers we have been collaborating and creating with, in some instances, for years online.
For me, it was the first time I had ever been face to face with Ashley “Vause” Foo, Marketing and Community Director for Andromeda Entertainment, after having known and worked with her for four years, not only on Audio Trip and at Andromeda, but in my own personal Twitch Community as well!
We also had a chance to hang out (and dance the night away) with the Audio Trip developers, Ashley Cooper and Brady Wright, for the first time in person after YEARS of working with them on their award-winning fitness-focused VR dance game, Audio Trip. Along with Niel, creator and solo developer for SolarBlack.
Session, Panel, & Event Round-Up
For speakers, the festivities of devcom started on Sunday with the Networking dinner hosted at The Flora, an stunning venue that the team made exquisite in every way to accommodate the guests. It was here that I first had the pleasure of finally meeting Nico, Head of Program, after working with them since my virtual session at devcom 2021. I also had an opportunity to reconnect with several teams and faces I had not seen since GDC!
It was the perfect way to recharge and invigorate before sessions began the following morning.
Feedback Can Be Fun! Tips for Parsing Player Reviews with Ashley “ashleyriott” Blake
I was delighted for my session; Feedback Can Be Fun! Tips for Parsing Player Reviews, to be the very first one on the Andromeda Entertainment list of involvement at devcom as it provided me with an outstanding opportunity to lead by example--to show everyone how awesome and simple giving a talk is, even if it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do.
Despite being the most nervous I have ever been for a session in my life, I had an absolute blast sharing my tips and techniques for handling community feedback and player reviews. The crowd was attentive and respectful and asked terrific questions! Thank you so much to everyone who showed up online or in person.
FLINTA Opening Session: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Daily with Ashley “ashleyriott” Blake and Ashley “Vause” Foo
I am glowing with pride at the work Vause did before, during, and after our session to open the FLINTA meetup and networking event at devcom this year. To honour the safety of the space surrounding FLINTA, the session was not recorded and won’t be shared; however, I would like to recognize the tremendous amount of work, research, and mental fortitude Vause demonstrated while making this happen. Without her, it wouldn’t have been possible.
FLINTA Panel: Being a better ally
I was also incredibly humbled to be asked to participate in a panel on allyship hosted during the FLINTA event. It was so cathartic sharing my experiences and hearing the experiences of others. Thank you to the organizers and the guests for allowing me the space, platform, and opportunity to share and participate.
EU Video Games Society Workshop: Health, Wellbeing & Video Games
On the second day of devcom, Tuesday, August 23, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm; I participated in the EU Video Games Society Workshop: Health, Wellbeing, & Video Games. I was joined by Hank Howie (Modulate) and Johanna Pirker (Graz University of Technology) in an excellent discussion on how games promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle under the direction of our most excellent moderator, Jenny Molyneux title at Ecorys.
Iteration in Isolation: Finding Success as a Solo VR Developer During a Global Pandemic with Niel Widy
The Andromeda team headed over to Niels's session, Iteration in Isolation: Finding Success as a Solo VR Developer During a Global Pandemic on Tuesday afternoon to learn more about the origins and history of SolarBlack. Here we learned the story of how Niel turned his passions of creating art, music, and programming into a bonified VR global success story. It was inspiring to listen to him speak, and I’m proud to see how far he has come.
No Hands? No Problem!
I can’t think of a better way to close our devcom than by attending the fantastic workshop from our friends over at Miru Studio, creators of Finger Gun. The workshop, No Controllers? No Problem! Designing VR Experiences for Hand Tracking, which closed out devcom took a deep dive into designing for new frontiers and had participants make their own mini-game concept utilizing hand controls! It was an absolute blast thinking in new ways with old friends and new ones.
Pico Interactive VR Get Together
We partied Tuesday night away as we said goodbye to devcom and prepared for Gamescom starting Wednesday morning, but it wasn’t just any party… it was a Pico party! This event surprised and delighted us with an all-star guest list of VR developers, content creators, and enthusiasts. With excellent studios like Vertigo games set up and a virtual DJ provided by Tribe, it was one of the largest in-person gatherings of VR folks I have seen since Oculus Connect 6, and it was awesome.
Andromeda Entertainment Expands
Like the universe, Andromeda Entertainment finds itself expanding. We are ecstatic to announce more titles have joined our lineup of developers. We are helping reach new heights by bringing their titles to new platforms.
About Iron Guard
IRON GUARD VR is a sci-fi tower defence game in the spirit of classic RTS games. The lives of the surviving crew members are in your hands. Find out why the terraformer robots have rebelled and help evacuate your crew from an unknown planet, where survival is the new frontier. You can score Iron Guard on Steam and Meta Quest 2 via AppLab.
Whew, that’s a wrap on August, gamescom, and devcom! The conventions were definitely a huge success, with our team out in full force participating in panels, sessions, and meeting lots of old friends. If you missed our sessions, don’t worry – we’ll be sharing all the details on our social media channels soon.
In other news, Andromeda Entertainment continues to grow with two new titles joining our offerings this month and more news to share soon! Finally, September is here and that means developers are hard at work on The Next Big thing we can’t wait to announce. Stay tuned for updates – in the meantime, follow us on social media or get in touch if you have any questions!
Ashley “ashleyriott” Blake & Ashley "VauseKV" Foo
Links Mentioned in this blog
Workshop: EU Video Games Society: Health, Wellbeing & Video Games. (2022, August 23). gamescom biz Community. Retrieved from https://bizcommunity.gamescom.global/event/dev-com/planning/UGxhbm5pbmdfOTc3OTQz