On 2011-09-08, Jonathan wrote:
I was disappointed with this panel for a couple reasons:
1) The really lame “indie vs. trad” setup really got in the way of having more interesting conversations, I think, and made everything about publishing rather than about the games.
2) This was especially lame because it was at PAX Dev, which was supposed to be about game development, not just enlightening newcomers about what was going on. Most of the folks in the room (we got a hand vote) already played both trad and indie games, so we we’re really doing them many favors, I don’t think, by retreading this stuff.
Really, the couple of asides about designing for your audience were among the more interesting things said.
At this and some of the other panels I went to, I thought it would be better to start with a brief presentation (either by a couple individuals, or each person on the panel, if it was a small group) giving an overview of the state of things. And then you roll into discussion and Q&A. This is how we do things at academic conferences and there’s a good reason: it helps focus the discussion and actually make sure you have things to talk about and that the audience gets primed to ask more insightful questions because we’re all starting from the same baseline.
As it was, we were wandering around all over the place, especially with the number of people on the panel, and I felt like we never really got down to it and talked about much that was really significant.
Maybe I have too high expectations, but there’s no reason to settle for whatever chatter we can come up with on the spot, rather than really knock it out of the park with a little more prep and thoughtfulness beforehand.