What is the Full Indie Summit?

I want to talk about conferences. Game conferences, specifically. There is a group in Vancouver called Full Indie who is organizing the second year of their Full Indie Summit.

I am one of those organizers and want to explain what the Summit is about and also talk about conferences in general, what they are good for and how to get the best out of them.

What is the Summit?

The Full Indie Summit is a conference on game development with a focus on the independent developer. The Summit features presentations and panels on all matters of interest to game developers, with the goal to inform, educate, inspire and motivate.
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FULL INDIE SUMMIT

Held by the organizers of the tremendously successful Full Indie monthly meetup, the Full Indie Summit saw hundreds of independent game developers from all over the west coast pack into the Rio Theatre on Saturday, April 20 to listen to more than a dozen short talks by independent game developers and others. Attendees included a significant number of VFS students and grads. It was great to see so many familiar faces!

Nels Anderson of Klei Entertainment opened the summit with an excellent talk on his strategies for developing Mark of the Ninja. He covered all the typical elements of stealth action games, and how he went about both converting and inverting them when creating a 2D stealth game.

Next up was Jeff Isselee from Skull Theatre who spoke about the fascinating photogrammetry art pipeline they are using for their Unity-powered game, Rustclad. Photogrammetry essentially means creating 3d models from photographs of real-world models and objects. The results are both impressive and unique.

Joel Green gave a talk called Game n’ Farmer, in which he prognosticated on the possibility of game development outside of cities — specifically, from a rural homestead on Vancouver Island. As a game developer who dislikes city living more and more every day, I found his talk intriguing and inspiring.

VFS Game Design alumnus, Nick Yonge of Krang Games spoke about his strategies for rapid development, offering tons of great tips when developing prototypes or vertical slices.
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Going Indie: Advice from the Pros

One thing that keeps popping up about this year’s Game Developers Conference (though frankly, I hear it said every year) is mention of the ever increasing presence of independent developers.

While one could argue all day long about what being “indie” even means (and many have done just that), everyone who attended GDC this year can agree that there were plenty of hobbyist developers, small teams, mobile developers, freelancers, and experimental projects to be seen.


Journey is not about the destination as much as the journey to get there.

For example, it was pretty hard not to notice the indie smash hit Journey, created by That Game Company, hauling in six of the eleven prizes at the 13th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards. When you’re up against Assassin’s Creed and Dishonored, that is no small accomplishment.
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