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Interface: Indie experts share their advice for aspiring studios

Attendees at yesterday’s inaugural Interface event were treated to a full day of insightful talks and panel sessions designed to help developers get their games out there.

Highlights included a closing keynote from Sony’s Shahid Ahmad, a pitching workshop from Jon Torrens, a panel of PR experts on how to get your game noticed and an opening talk on indie amibtions from Execution Labs’ Jason Della Rocca. The conference was sponsored by Pollen VC.

Unable to attend yesterday’s event? Fear not – we asked the speakers to boil their advice down to a single, crucial takeaway, and have collected them all below.

Each of the talks were filmed, and we are hoping to publish the videos in the coming weeks.

Jason Della Rocca on indie development
Always be thinking three games ahead so you can build the scaffolding to get there with the current game.

Shahid Ahmad, SCEE on indie development
Value attention more than revenue.

Martin Macmillan, Pollen VC on funding
Before you launch, consider how you intend to fund your post-launch UA campaign to ensure you achieve the growth you want.

Phil Elliott, Square Enix Collective on funding
Consider your funding method when designing your game – it’s as important to your design as the business model you choose.

Darryl Still, Kiss on publishing
Be prepared to be flexible and listen to the people who have been doing this for years. There is a reason they are still in business.

Tim Woodley, 505 Games on publishing
Don’t mistake distribution for publishing. Publishing takes a lot of resource.

If you or your company is committed to committing that resource as part of its long-term vision, great.

But if it’s going to distract from the creative/development process either mentally or fiscally, then look to the huge variety of publishing options available to you.

You will find that the new breed of ‘indie publishers’ are much removed from the big controlling publishers, in that they are more open, honest, transparent and collaborative, but can still unlock far more commercial success globally that going it alone.

Also, don’t get drawn in to the earned and social media trap and expect organic marketing to drive meaningful customer acquisition. In these days of fast news cycles and changing Facebook algorithms, the marketing mix of paid, earned, owned and social is more complex now than it’s ever been and they all need to work together to cut through.

Ed Valiente, Nintendo on releasing for eShop
Don’t forget to let us know what you are working on and when you plan to release. The earlier we know about your game, the more time we have to help you.

Jon Torrens on pitching
Prepare thoroughly, keep it simple, go with the flow.

Will Freeman, Develop on getting your game noticed
For indies a strong brand can certainly make you memorable to the press. But don’t hide behind your brand too much. We remember names, faces, conversations and personalities more than logos, and when it comes to writing articles, it’s the people we actually contact, cover and quote; not the brand. So whether at events or on social media, being yourself – not a logo or corporate identity – is a great, accessible and free way to engage with the press.

Stefano Petrullo on getting your game noticed
In order to deliver your message to your audience, the games media is an important part of the mix which includes social media, YouTubers and community. Integration is the key.

Interface was a brand new event organised by the teams behind Develop and MCV, bringing developers and publishers together. For more information, head to www.interface.events.

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