What makes some games great? session. L to R: Steven L. Kent, Mike Fischer, Dave Yonamine

The 15th edition of India Game Developers Conference (IGDC) kickstarted on 2 November at HICC, Hyderabad. This premier game developers conference is organised by industry volunteers, with support from corporates and industry leaders.

With more than 180 speakers and 150 sessions, IGDC comprised of a massive trade-entertainment zone. The place bustled with attendees, comprising students, professionals, indie studios, publishing and tech companies.

The sessions on gaming art, technology, developing and marketing were running parallelly across various tracks. In the session Crafting Game Design for Market Success: A Publisher’s Perspective, Bluencore founder & CEO Shelly Sinha explained the challenges involved in publishing board games and how to overcome them. “The best way to market your game is to demo it as much as possible,” Sinha explained. “Get people to experience your game.”

In another session The Future of Console Gaming in India: A Journey with the India Hero Project, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Shuhei Yoshida and Hector Fernandez, and Sony India Software’s Sujith Sukumaran spoke about their new initiative to identify and support emerging game developers in India. The speakers shared that in the first 72 hours after the announcement of the initiative on 8 May, there was an overwhelming response from cities across India. The total number of applicants exceeded the company’s forecast by 200 per cent. The company received applications not only from India but also from USA, France, UK, Singapore and Iraq.

IGDC 2023 saw a highly interesting talk: What makes some games great? An analysis of iconic games vs their forgotten competition. What lessons can be learned? The speakers University of Southern California’s Mike Fischer, MobilityWare’s Dave Yonamine, and author and video game historian Steven L. Kent discusses case studies of successful and failed games. “Indie studios cannot do production on scale as massive as the video game giants, but can be more agile and take creative risks,” Fischer pointed. Giving examples of Rocket League and Overwatch, he explained that if developers are working on a game and it fails, they shouldn’t be disheartened. “If your game fails, take a step back to think, study and bring it again if you really believe in it,” he said.

L to R: Kartik Prabhakar, Nihansh Bhat, Rohit Naini, Anupriya Sinha Das, Yash Baid, Tomoharu Urabe

The India Gaming Market Status Quo panel comprised of Gameberry Labs co-founder Afsar Ahmad, Google India, Google Play India director Aditya Swamy, Octro CEO Saurabh Aggarwal and Jetsynthesys chairman & MD Rajan Navani. It was moderated by Yesgnome co-founder Imtiaz Hussain.

In Raji: E3 to Xbox Game Pass, Nodding Heads Games co-founder Avichal Singh enlightened the attendees about his studio’s journey of switching from E3 to Xbox Game Pass, the various factors developers have to keep in mind, and how Xbox Game Pass helped them in their journey of connecting with the global audience.

An insightful panel discussion The Investment Scenario: A Snaek Peek Into the Indian and Global Gaming Market, speakers shared their thoughts on the Indian gaming market, the future and opportunities of gaming, looking at gaming as an interactive entertainment space, impact of generative AI on production and more. The speakers for the panel were: Krafton India corporate development lead Nihansh Bhat, Scopely corporate development & strategy director Rohit Naini, Nazara Technologies head of corporate development Anupriya Sinha Das, Jetapult head of investments Yash Baid and Mixi global investments principal partner Tomoharu Urabe. The panel was moderated by Aream & Co co-founder and partner Kartik Prabhakar.

IGDC 2023 was bigger than last year. This year, it was attended by 4000 plus people, and is taking place from 2 to 4 November 2023 in Hyderabad.