Usually I don’t write articles about me. But I think it will be my review of the last year, my review about my independent game developer job and to motivate some game devs.
My year was marked by a little health problem during several months. But I had the chance to travel across the Europe and to meet a lot of interesting people.
I learned only this year that I had to move from my village in the south of France. I moved back to my birthplace in 2009. Making game alone in his house is cool but YOU MUST share them, show them and meet other developers.
I had the chance to develop 2 series of successful Flash games without moving from my house. FlashGameLicence, ArmorGames, Kongregate, Newsgrounds, etc. are not viable anymore today for web games. It’s the time for mobile games and indie games’ boom.
For me this is “The Indiepocalypse”.
I’m develop my games and promote them alone so I had to change my behavior. My game, EnigmBox was nominated for the European Indie Game Days in 2013 in Paris but I didn’t had enough money to purchase the entrance ticket. I also was selected for the Indie Prize at Singapore in 2013 but it was really too expensive and I was not motivated to travel alone. It’s complicated when your publisher goes bankrupt and your invoices are not paid. At the end of 2014 I finally bought a ticket for the European Indie Game Days 2014. When you meet others indie dev it’s really motivating, so it was the time to wake up.
The force awakens…
February 2015 Casual Connect Indie Prize @ Amsterdam: Exhibitor of EnigmBox
It was my first showcase. I deciced to travel to Amsterdam because the Casual Connect can give you a room and some food on site for 2 persons.
We were placed between French developers. I met a French developer from the south of France like me, William David from the Swing Swing Submarine studio. Lozange Lab studio was also our neighbors. We spent some crazy moments with them.
But what happens in Amsterdam stays in Amsterdam!
On the other side we met the developers of Out There. 2 guys who already won an Indie Prize award. So I also met the famous game designer, FibreTigre.
A lot of people appreciated EnigmBox. But It was difficult to find a publisher because the game was already published on iOS. However, GamesBoosters a new Spanish game publisher was interested to publish my game in Spain and Latin America market.
During this event, SpilGames organized a filmed Interview to talk about our games: “The Unsung Heroes”. Everyone can participate to talk about a cool game and the difficulty to promote a game on the mobile market.
During this event I also met in person Mr Vadim, an old friend. This Russian guy developed a copy of NanoWar in 2008 called: “Clone Wars”. A very similar game. But now a lot of time has passed. We were so young.
Thanks to this interview, a new Canadian publisher, called Gigataur (Playmium) contacted me because they looked for games without publishers and they appreciated Rolling Jump. So we make a deal to re-publish “Rolling Jump” and “Nano War” too.
Festival International des Jeux de Cannes: Visitor
Free entry for an interesting festival. You can try a lot of board games. I met Inateo, one of my old students who showcased his video game.
Japan Touch Haru @ Lyon: Exhibitor of NanoWar, EnigmBox, Shifumi 6
A Japan festival at Lyon but with also a retrogaming area and an indie games area. Thanks to Inateo, we showcased 3 games and I got a lot of good feedbacks.
During the event I also pitched 2 of my games in front of Marc Albinet the creative director of Assassin’s Creed at Ubisoft studio. It was really cool but I just made this for fun.
Indie Games Workshop @ Montpellier: Visitor
Workshop organized by the association “Play” localized in the south of France.
GamesCom @ Cologne: Business
It was the first GamesCom of my life. I was invited by the publisher Gigataur. I visited the biggest gaming conventions of all Europe. I met an old friend but now he is producer at Spiders studio. During this event I met Skywilli from IndieMag.fr. He is a rare French journalist specialized on Indie games.
I also met Florent Gorges from Omaké Book. He works on NoLife TV, the only one Geek TV in France. We discussed a moment then I showed him EnigmBox and he really appreciated it.
It’s always motivating when someone we like also likes your work.
I also met the Spanish Publisher of EnigmBox who published in the same time the game of a Spanish indie dev: Ludipe. Ludipe is a Spanish game designer with creative ideas. He loves the game jams. He made a game during the travel to Cologne in a van. I urge you to try out Missing Translation.
Madrid Games Week @ Madrid: Exhibitor of EnigmBox
There, I was alone at Madrid for 3 days. I lost my Spanish but when you are motivated and with a “cerveza”: ¡Puedo hablar español muy bien amigo!
Spanish people appreciated EnigmBox and the Spanish press too. It’s very tiring but that’s alright I make games for gamers after all.
Ludipe was also present. My neighbours, Rodaja Studio showcased a polished game named “Unfair Jousting Fair”. A multiplayer 1v1 jousting game on monocycle. Perfect for this kind of event.
That was an awesome experience but Spanish people speak loudly.
European Indie Game Days 2015 @ Paris (Montreuil) Touriste
Etre développeur indépendant finalement c’est aussi se serrer les coudes, se motiver mutuellement, ne pas se sentir seul discuter et trouver des idées ensembles.
Paris Games Week @ Paris: Visitor
After Germany, Spain, I’m back in France. I met my old students but now some are professional game developers.
I also chatted with Marcus. He is the pioneer of the “Let’s Play” video on TV. Definitely the first in the world because he started in the 1990s. He tested few minutes the game Enigmbox and he was bluffed. It’s always exciting to see how players react.
I was wearing an Indie Prize Tshirt so an entrepreneur asked me if I’m a indie game developer. We chatted together and he gives me some valuable tips in marketing and UX.
Intel Buzz Workshsop @ Paris: Exhibitor of EnigmBox
The Intel team contacted me with LinkedIn 2 weeks before the Intel Buzz Workshop. A workshop about game development with a tiny showcase. EnigmBox is selected for the event. It was a rich day that I don’t regret.
I didn’t win the audience award but I won the best selfie award.
— Benoît Freslon (@BenoitFreslon) 24 Novembre 2015
Everything I have done gave me a good motivation. But I can’t handle the projects for clients and my indie games. I had only few time to work on my games. I will try to spend more time this year and I will take some holiday.
Today, I’m back in Paris since October. I will be near from a lot of gaming events in France because everything takes place in Paris.
- I can conclude in few sentences:
Be yourself especially on social networks
- You can’t do everything alone
- Show that you exist
- Ask help or advices!
- Harass the journalists! But not too much!
- Go to the gaming events, workshops, conferences, gamejams.
- Players during showcases are super cool! ¡En particlar los jugos espanõles jajajajaja!
- Observe and listen the players
- The gaming industry is tiny
- Take the opportunities
- Don’t be shy! Meet other people!
- And practice your English (Y Español tampoco) !
And a very special thank to my girlfriend who was with me during some showcases! :D