Making indie games (and classic videogames as well) is a noble duty, but one day will come when you will have to spread the word. In the ocean of more or less interesting titles released every day, it is no simple task to stand out and it takes a lot of time. It’s a real job ! Sound Mind takes interest in people contributing to promoting a game, an event or the whole videogame industry. This week introduces Laurent Checola, coorganizer of IndieCade Europe which kindly answered our questions.
Please introduce yourself and tell us what you’ve done before organizing IndieCade
I started my journalist career 10 years ago at Le Monde (editors note : one of the biggest French newspapers) and quickly specialized myself in new technologies and videogames. Aside from this, I organized an event called Xplaytime which promotes young game makers. After quitting this newspaper I made webdocumentaries for television about videogame culture, continued organizing events such as IndieCade and co-founded a studio named Label Games proposing cultural, social or political games.
Since when have you been organizing IndieCade Europe ? Have you seen some change in participants from when you started ?
This event is quite young since the first edition was held last year in Paris. It’s the first time IndieCade crossed the American border. Then it’s quite hard to have a long term analysis… But this year, games were more engaged and pushed the boundaries of videogames, since we had for example games in augmented reality and VR.
How do you choose which games are presented ?
It’s quite a singular process: everything is made to put emphasis on creativity. The selection process spreads on 6 to 8 months during which around 1000 games are reviewed by jurys from the videogame industry or press, to create a 150 games shortlist. From this panel will be selected the 30 games or so presented at IndieCade. The submission fee is around 80 dollars (with discounts for early birds) and if it doesn’t assure you to access the event, the few chosen ones will have the chance to take part in the three IndieCade events in Los Angeles, New York City and Paris without paying any other fee.
What challenges did you have to face in terms of communication ? Is promoting indie games a benefit or a drawback ?
People say we have to promote creativity in the industry, but when you do it they say it’s not enough popular, not this, not that. It’s kinda hard to have games which are not standards. But we benefit from IndieCade’s strong brand image, which is a quality label ensuring visitors and press to find interesting games. Our second challenge was to make IndieCade Europe an European, if not international event. We created partnerships to do so, because it would be a shame to keep all of this for France !
Finally, any advice to gamedevs willing to participate ?
Put emphasis on your creativity. Thinking outside of the box is one of the best way to prove your uniqueness.
Thanks again to Laurent Checola for his time, see you at IndieCade Europe 2018!
Thanks to : Pampel (Nico), MSK (Hervé), Vignou (Quentin), PM (Paul), Srompich (Sai), Sly (Sylvain), Mommy and Daddy.