Games Forum Germany – some thoughts

The trip to Germany was pretty uneventful, although Hannover was really cold when I got there – about -7 degrees centigrade. Thankfully I was met by someone who drove me to the hotel. He was also taking Darius Kazemi to the hotel and it was nice to meet a fellow speaker so soon, especially when I later found he was a fellow Game Maker enthusiast.

We had a great meal in the evening where all the speakers were in attendance. It was such a pleasure and an honour to be in the company of varied speakers of high quality and reputation. I can’t thank the organisers enough for inviting me and giving me a truly fabulous opportunity.

The food was excellent that evening but the company and the chat was even better and talking with others who are passionate about the work they do in games is incredibly inspiring. Needless to say, because we were enjoying ourselves so much it was pretty late when we headed back to the hotel, by which time it had been snowing and was still doing so. Just as well we weren’t too far away.

The next day was the first day of the conference and I spent the morning listening to the talks of RJ Mical and Raphael Lacoste, both of which were highly informative. I spent the first part of the afternoon taking part in a discussion panel in front of a large group of students. It was a pleasure to contribute and I’m sure it was something the students got a lot from because I certainly did from the other members of the panel.

The next couple of hours were spent hanging around and chatting to people as I waited to give my talk. The programme was running a little late by this point and I didn’t get on stage until after 6pm. However, there was a good crowd and the talk (on aspects of character) seemed to go pretty well – they even laughed at a couple of my jokes. But strangely enough, no one asked any questions afterwards.

My first thought was that perhaps the talk hadn’t gone as well as I’d thought, but as people were leaving a few came up to me and told me they’d enjoyed it. So perhaps they didn’t ask questions because the party was about to start in another venue.

When I got to the party I was chatting to a young Australian guy called Oscar who was incredibly enthusiastic and kind about my talk. He said he was more into film than games, but that my talk had made him think again about a short film script he was working on and he was planning to look more closely at the characters in the script. If I’ve only helped this one guy with my talk it will have been worth it.

The time flew by at the party and I remember talking to a lot of people through the night, some of whom were again very kind in what they said. I met some of the people I knew from DTP and it was good to catch up with them as they’ve always been good to me. In fact, every time I visit Germany I’m made to feel very welcome and I’ve enjoyed myself on each trip I’ve made there.

Because I flew out on the Friday morning I didn’t attend the second day of the conference and so didn’t get the opportunity to say goodbye to all the other speakers, so I hope I get the chance to meet up with them all again soon.

It turned out that my incredible bout of nerves before the trip was totally unjustified. Well, maybe not totally – it’s still pretty nerve-wracking standing on stage and baring my creative soul, so to speak.

Perhaps I’ll get invited back again one day…