Why You Should Check Out GDC's Indie Games Summit

Several indie game developers are already prepped to participate in this year’s Independent Games Summit.

11 months ago by Morgan Shaver

Each year, San Francisco’s Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) brings together some of the biggest names in the gaming industry to showcase their latest projects. 2017 is no different, as GDC's phenomenal lineup includes companies like Nintendo, Blizzard, NVIDIA, Sony, Twitch, Ubisoft, and Valve, among others. 

In addition to checking out everything your favorite game publishers have planned, GDC hosts a lengthy list of interesting events. For indie game fans, there are two you should mark on your calendar: The Independent Games Festival and the Indie Games Summit (featuring speakers from every corner of the indie game realm).

Below, we’ve picked out some notable sessions that demonstrate why this year’s GDC Indie Games Summit is one you can’t miss when it rolls around February 27-28!

Indie Soapbox

To go out of order a bit, the Indie Soapbox takes place at the conclusion of the Summit. However, it’s definitely one you should check out, as you’ll be able to hang out with 10 popular indie game developers (including the Lead Artist from Firewatch developers Campo Santo), as they partake in various discussions regarding the industry.

Owlboy: The Evolving Art of a 10-Year Project

Join Jo-Remi Madsen (CEO of D-Pad Studio) and Simon Stafsnes Andersen (Art-Director at D-Pad Studio) for an illuminating look at Owlboy and the 10 years spent honing and perfecting the game’s gorgeous pixel art style.

The Sound and Music of Hyper Light Drifter

If you love the creativity put into indie game music, you’ll love this session with Heart Machine Sound Designer Akash Thakkar, and Composer Rich Vreeland (Disasterpeace), as they talk about the sound and music behind Hyper Light Drifter. This is a unique opportunity you definitely don’t want to miss out on!

Seven Years in Alpha: Thumper Postmortem

Join Marc Flury, co-founder of Drool, as he explains the lengthy and complex development process behind one of last year’s breakout indie titles, Thumper. Flury will divulge the secrets and techniques needed to help push the game forward towards its eventual release.

Making Night in the Woods Better with Open Source

Crowdfunded indie game Night in the Woods looks to be one of February’s hottest indie game releases. If you’re interested in learning a little bit more about what makes Night in the Woods tick, join Jon Manning (quoted as 50% of Secret Labs) as he discusses how the studio open-sourced Yarn, the dialogue system responsible for managing all of Night in the Woods’ text.

Building Game Mechanics to Elevate Narrative in Oxenfree

Co-founder of Night School Studio, Sean Krankel, is offering a session that focuses in on the narrative development of Oxenfree. This makes sense, as the game features a heavy focus on story and communication. Krankel will dig into the developer’s decisions that helped make Oxenfree feel so personal and unique.

Salt and Sanctuary Postmortem

Have you ever wondered how Salt and Sanctuary came together? Well, the two-person team responsible for the game will be offering a session during GDC’s Indie Games Summit explaining the challenging aspects of development, right down to the surprises that come with self-publishing a game.

These are just a few of the many interesting summits offered at GDC 2017. For a full list of all the sessions offered this year (including AAA sessions), head over to the GDC Session Scheduler to start marking down the ones you wish to attend. Additionally, you can learn more about the Game Developers Conference on their official website