Startup conference manual: Game Development

There is one thing I want to believe in. If you trust in your idea wholeheartedly and are ready to crunch in to make it, then everyone around bullshitting you is wrong. Including me writing this text. But I’ll do my best.


11.5 months ago I was sitting on the plane typing

11.5 months or 23 events ago, I was flying back home from yet another regional conference that failed to attract any attention and deliver any result. I was typing hard this text for partners looking to kick off a gamedev event in Vilnius.

  • Game development conferences are _not_ needed in the region, since no one would attend them. Keep calm, read on.
  • You need a very good brand with a proven track to be able to collect the crowd, to draw attention, gather people around.
  • Good content does no mean it gets its listener. In fact people come for very marginal and well-defined purposes [get money, get published, get contract], and not to learn something new.
  • Now take a break and read this again. It was an expensive lesson to learn – people would not come to learn something new.
  • There should be a culture of attending the events in the area to draw generic crowd.

These are facts, not demotivators. Please, please… read them again.

Today I am typing similar words to a Skype chat

That moment when you’re trying to share experience, explaining people they may be wrong, yet they still get aggrieved and bitter.
Yes, I should get better at explaining things, yet… time…hurry…blinking phone and overfull inbox…catch-the-context-yourself…listen to me, I know what I am talking about! Probably…

[1/30/14, 12:28:08 PM] Oleg Pridiuk:

Lets brainsturm on case studies for nice speakers:
1) The speaker gets a highlight for him or his company
2) The speaker earns connections he could not earn otherwise

People _may_ see Lithuania as a cheap market to outsource to (backend, sysop, front end, development, art).
People _may_ see Lithuania as a way to save on taxes (think Cyprus, Virgin Islands, Singapore)

My plan: make Enterprise Lithuania, Invest Lithuania, maybe other high profile people explain investment climate in Lithuania for gamedevs – like two 30-minute tracks targeted at foreigners (would still be relevant for locals)

Then make two sessions of execs from whoever was able to build profitable business here in Lithuania to tell their success story

Now you’ve got a lineup to pitch to RU/UA/BY and to Scandinavians. Also to Latvians, it is getting more and more expensive there =(

[1/30/14, 12:37:00 PM] Oleg Pridiuk: Now donts:

1) Don’t focus on gamedev infrastructure in LT and their needs (would bring frustration and zero result)
2) Don’t focus on local market – it is of zero interest and zero upselling opportunities to both locals and aliens

Again, in a nutshell now

Normally I write stuff so you, my dear reader, had an opportunity to draw own conclusion. But so far the idea of this wall of letters is to draw one. Here we go.

Multiplying by zero gets you a zero. Multiplying by 0.001 gets you something close to zero again, unless you have a BIG NUMBER to multiply by.

Smaller guys, smaller studios, smaller creative houses benefit much more from having a profitable big company with established processes and business model, than by gathering together to summarize life is pain, and gamedev is a success driven market.


End of story. Please tell me I am wrong.

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Posted in Blackmagic
  • Gediminas Tarasevičius

    Hi, Oleg, we value your information and your proposal. You said you have nothing to add and you are better at communicating by email, so I saw no purpose in leaving you at that chat. You may be upset and think I got personal, but it wasn’t the case. I am sorry if it looked like this. Have a good lunch! Cheers!


    • Oleg Pridiuk

      I often feel perceived as an usurper of a kind of foreign spy pitching all those foreigners to take part in whatever is happening in Lithuania. Well, I am not.

      Lithuanians often target the local market need, maybe the Baltics… OK, Scandinavia for the most ambitious. But the more I travel and talk to people around, the more I see that people in Lithuania are smart and talented enough to compete on the global arena with much more money, higher gross margin and, huh, infinitely more customers.

      And basically that is what I try to achieve advertising Lithuania to the World and asking locals to support some of that interest.