This weekend, St. Louis hosted its first game development and gaming convention, the PixelPop Festival. (You can view our photos below.)
Held on the Webster University campus, the day-long event featured gaming industry speakers from St. Louis-based companies, as well as professional guests from outside the community. The event was filled with speaker panels, group participation discussions, and workshops. Topics included writing for video games, the St. Louis gaming community and opportunities within it, music and audio production, and much more.
IGDA St. Louis chair and Happy Badger game developer Carol Mertz led a panel with other local game devs and business founders to discuss the advantages gaming companies have in the area, and how those opportunities are growing. The co-founders of development company Butterscotch Shenanigans walked attendees through the creation of a game built on an available platform (Game Maker), discussing the various UI design steps and the reasoning behind them. Voice actress Elspeth Eastman presented a 101 course on the business, career opportunities, techniques and equipment of voice acting.
Outside of the PixelPop panel rooms, attendees had plenty to keep them busy with the indie game demo room, card- and board-game demos, and rooms devoted to classic consoles and multiplayer tournaments. Graphite Lab gave players the first hands-on experience with their recent Kickstarter success, HiveJump. Local company Pixel Press showed off their impressive build-your-own Floors game, and their new partnership with Cartoon Network and Adventure Time. And during downtimes from gaming and talking about gaming, attendees could enjoy live music, DJs and dancing in the commons.
Nerd For A Living was a proud sponsor of the event, and we were excited to attend and soak up excellent information and anecdotes. The fun, relaxed atmosphere of gamers surrounded by what they love made for a wonderfully nerdy day well spent!