Yesterday kicked off the first Pocket Gamer Connect in SF, a 2 day conference where game devs, publishers, device makers and more meet and network. It's a modest venue this year but it's fully packed with lots of great pros and indies. Here's some thoughts I had from day one.
Samsung is spending a good deal of cash on this event and some of their top level execs are here trying to stir up talent. They've got some new programs opening up for their Galaxy App store that seem very interesting.
If your game and team seems promising they have a Co-Dev program where they will give you money and engineering talent to bring it into the world. Obviously they want exclusivity to their Galaxy App store for a certain amount of time, but it seems promising for indies who can't raise a lot of money or talent.
Their Galaxy App Store is being re-written and is going to become a curated store with extremely high quality standards. They flat out said they'd rather have a store with 100s of great games than millions of junky ones. I think that's pretty ambitious, but we'll see what they do with it.
Pebble are some cool people and they've got a crap ton of money (after they broke kickstarter). They're looking for anyone who wants to add wearable functionality to their game.
They've got a feature called timeline which is pretty slick. In short, it's like a ToDo list that is pulling data from an API and has quick and easy function calls to it. It's like a push notification with lots of new features. You can tell your players that their upgrade of whatever is available, and send a few options along with it. So without even booting your game (like when they're in a meeting at work) they can start a new thing being upgraded, sell it, or whatever.
The Very Big Indie Pitch
My game is in alpha so I really only did this for fun. The Big Indie Pitch is speed dating for pitching to game critics. You get 4 minutes to show your game, talk about it, and take questions. They pick the top 3 winners who get some advertising money as well as written up on the Pocket Gamer network sites.
All of the judges are critics or seasoned pros. All but one of them were very friendly and seemed to really care about games and gaming. That other guy, well... people are weird.
That's kind of the highlights from day one. About to get day 2 started here soon and (Voat willing) I'll give you guys an update. All the parties are happening tonight as well, so things might get a little blurry.