It’s been a week since my last day in Cologne – Well, that’s a little bit of a lie, I didn’t stay in Cologne since I live like an hour away so I didn’t actually stay in Cologne – and I took the liberty of not having a plan how to actually do this whole write-up thing and thinking about the ‘best’ way to do it. I came to the conclusion of writing this general, ‘How did I do?’ type of Blog post and dedicate at least one or two additional Blog posts to some concise summaries of the things I had the opportunity to see and play. Also I caught me some cologne cough (is that a thing? Or do we still only have Pax pox?) which put me out of commission for a bit in order to kill it before it develops into something more than a stuffed nose and coarse throat.
Also, since I’m about to finish uni, goal was to network a lot, maybe find some german studios I could potentially apply at and all that jazz – With networking for streaming and just ‘general’ networking playing less important roles. With these things said, let’s actually start recapping some of the Good and Bad things I did/didn’t do.
First of all, the networking I did worked out. I’m not the most social person, slightly awkward actually. But the networking I did was with people who really share the same kind of passion I have for video games and creating them. I feel like I have learned some important stuff just from having had the opportunity to talk with people like @dittomat or @zarkonnen_com who are developing GoNNER and Airships: Conquer the Skies respectively.
I was ‘prepared’ – Meaning, I did some of my homework and (finally) got this website up and ‘running’ – Hah, running, this website, good joke! – and got business cards made for that professionalism levelup. Thanks to my prior experience with GamesCom I also knew I’d not want to spend anything on food/drinks AT the convention center so I got all that stuff sorted beforehand (and then spend money at the McD at the train station because after 10 hours on the floor I needed a snack.) and bringing everything I needed, including a fresh Tee to switch into, with me in one of them dreaded bags.
Also, I was at the entrance around 8:40 all three days which resulted in me standing in line INSIDE the convention center for longer than outside at the bag checks and I was in by 9:05 at most. I also more or less knew where all my meetings would take place by like 10:30 on Wednesday (I didn’t have all that many, so scouting them was easy enough).
Remember me saying I was prepared? Yeah no, I wasn’t. I totally forgot about meetings and stuff beforehand. Especially since I couldn’t find comprehensive lists when I looked for them (which was.. June?) and then ‘forgot’ to check every couple days. YAY ME! In addition to that, in terms of meetings – call it ignorance, call it stupid, call it whatever – It did not cross my mind that people might actually still had slots available for meetings nor did I think about the big guys having the press stuff in the business area and the ability to maybe get in there, even as a tiny content creator / gamedev amateur. As I mentioned before, I’m not the most social person.
In that vein, there’s also those press passes that some booths gave out to allow people to cut lines on the floor. I simply didn’t know such thing existed until it was too late. In general, my lack of knowledge about what is possible and available during the show did cost me a bunch of opportunities. But, how does the saying go, “Live and learn”?
The next thing I need to work on for next year is handing out business cards. I need to hand them out left and right instead of the tame handing out I ended up doing. But again, I think that’s just an experience thing and me being this slightly awkward human being and it should hopefully go a lot smoother next year.
No writeup would be complete without a thing or two that almost went completely haywire, right? For me, that thing were (still are, actually) my Business cards.
Let me preface this by saying I’m as far from an artist as a programmer can probably be. I have a somewhat creative mind, at least that’s what I keep telling myself, but I lack the skill and practice to put it into artsy stuff. I did the design of my business cards myself – Finding a template was HORRIBLE, because as a german guy, I’m used to everything having DIN’s, norms set by the german industry, but guess what – There is no god damn industry wide norm for business cards. And finding a (good, usable) cutting template to work with? Took me at least 30 minutes to find one.
The next thing, I had the glorious idea to incorporate a QR code that links to my About page on the cards – Like the idiot I am, I didn’t copy-paste the URL, or TEST the damn QR code. You know, like a normal human being would do. Ended up with a typo in the QR code’s URL and I couldn’t change it (The site I used gave the option to register and save the codes as “can edit” but, naaaah, Dom doesn’t need that, he can do it first try! Yeah, no. Thank god my webhosting packet has free domains, and I had a free one remaining, so I could fix that problem.
But there’s another problem: While the font I used looked great on my screen, and I am pretty sure 0 was actually distinguishable from O, on the cards, if I didn’t know my Twitter handle I’d read it as @dominoe (The Gimp file correctly says @domin0e by the way). I have NO idea how that happened, as the guy who printed them didn’t change anything. So I made sure if I went to some booth and talked to people and handed out cards, to tweet at them or the game so they’d actually have the right Twitter handle somewhere.
That might also be a reason why I was shy in terms of handing out cards, and the next batch I am getting made will not be designed by me (or at least I’ll have to printing shop look over) and maybe not go to the local guy but the big guy – or Staples. It’ll probably cost me more but I hopefully won’t run into these problems then.
In the end, I like to think of GamesCom as a success with lots and lots of room to improve. Rome wasn’t built in a single day either, right? I had fun, got to know new people, network, and maybe most importantly, get the experience of what drives a Trade visitor and what to do while prepping and all that.
Since I got my pass this year thanks to Uni, which I can’t fall back on next year and getting Press passes with a tiny stream such as my own isn’t that simple either (and I need to do something along the lines anyways), I’ll likely be visiting GamesCom next year representing my own company, I guess? I’ll have to read into stuff for that. Lots of stuff, probably, but it’ll come in handy not only for GamesCom but who knows, maybe one of the ideas and prototypes I’m brooding over at the moment will actually become something that can generate some pocket money? I’ve heard having a company to hide behind is pretty good for the private purse.
But yeah, I guess I learned lots of things at GamesCom and as is always said, “After the Game is before the Game”, so I’ll hop into planning and prep mode for next year at some point. Because there’s always next time!
PS: Over the weekend I’ll do the compliation of stuff I’ve seen/played, finally! I also still need to get a few mails out but I really wanted to have the compilation post done to include in the mails. I also need to save my Recap streams as highlights so they don’t get deleted and grab timestamps for people even if it’s just me being like “Uuuhh, lemme try to remember, my brains are MUSH!”..
SO LONG! o/