Ukie headed over to Belfast last week, a highly anticipated return after a vibe filled 2022 session during our Next Level Indie series. Despite the weather being a mix of snow, ice and high winds, local game makers turned out to bunker down and enjoy 2.5 hours of engaging talks and warming pizza. Fun fact – Belfast is 2.5 Chiles away from Chile….confused? Read on and it’ll all makes sense.
First up was Leela Collins and Robbie Coey who discussed how agile planning assisted with their game ‘Guitar Zeros’. Leela noted how ‘retros’ (retrospectives) using a virtual white board were important to provide moments of reflection. When things weren’t ging to plan, or didn’t seem right, it wasn’t about pushing forward with the next sprint. Agile planning with whole team retros throughout the development process allowed Holomoon to be effective, trail ideas and pivot where necessary. Watch the video here to find out more about their development process.
Next up was Ezequiel Muñoz from Mastered. Ezequiel is from Chile and open the talk on new roles in the games industry and how to find them – by providing some interesting facts about his home country including how Belfast is 2.5 Chile’s away from Chile. Ezequiel discussed how jobs in the games industry are often not found on job boards or LinkedIn – but are often shared throughout a community of hidden networks. Likewise, as the industry develops, new roles are appearing all the time and are becoming crucial with studio environments. Watch his video here to find out more.
Our final talk came from Thomas Hislop of Bellular who provided an interactive, behind the scenes talk on their latest game ‘The Pale Beyond’. Demonstrating the tools and processes they used to make creating marketing assets easier. A key takeaway from this was to make sure as a game maker, you think about marketing early and at all stages of development. This makes it easier to get what you need in a productive manner. Watch Thomas’s video here to find out more.
Finally, Ukie was joined by Chris Thurston and Holly Johnstone who travelled over from Derry~Londonderry to converse with our Innovation and Insight Manager, Colm Seeley, for the Hub Crawl Hero fireside chat. Starting from origins of Hypixel, to acquisition by Riot and how they remain fiercely independent – the three covered a breadth of topics including remote work, what success means and what the future looks bright for game development in Northern Ireland. Watch the full video here.
A massive thank you to all our speakers and attendees who braved the weather and of course, to our wonderful partner Barclays who facilitated the recording of all these sessions. If you’d like to catch up with the talks from the Developers Unite series, all 28 videos are on a dedicated playlist. So why not grab a drink and watch a couple.