The Midwest Game Developers Summit (MGDS) had its first conference back in July, and was held in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. The summit, aimed at students and professional game developers alike, received its funding through a Kickstarter campaign earlier this year. The location included speaking halls and an expo floor. It’s the only conference in the Midwest to cater specifically to game developers.
The summit attracted about 450 people over the two day conference, including 50 speakers. Notable companies in attendance include Robomodo, Human Head Studios, Unity, Deep Silver Volition, Extra Life, and Game Seed. There were also a plethora of indie studios from all around the Midwest. There were talks that ranged from video game law, to the death of multiplayer games.
I recently had a chance to speak with Travis Garski, co-founder of MGDS, about the summit, and its future.
Twinfinite: “How would you describe the overall event? Was it successful? Did everything pan out as expected?”
Garski: “I think it went great! There were some registration issues, but you can only plan for that so much. It is funny how our group really planned for the worse, and when it is game time, everything seems to work out just fine. So yes, and no. The event was a great success, but there were happenings that were not expected and we dealt with them pretty well.”
Twinfinite: “Did you speak with many attendees? What were their thoughts on the summit?”
Garski: “We had a fantastic amount of feedback from attendees. There were lots of praises, and some suggestions as well, which we always take into consideration for future years. We always want to make each year bigger and better for everyone involved.”
Twinfinite: “What would you like to change for the upcoming years?”
Garski: “Definitely the location. We want to be closer to where our speakers and attendees are located, in order to make easier for them. We also want to go through the list of suggestions from our attendees and speakers, and make sure that we strive to meet their expectations for next year.”
Garski told me that planning for MGDS 2015 is already underway. He hopes next year will have a bigger venue, more exhibitors, and more attendees. This years conference was a blast, and I can’t wait until next year. Checking out the bustling expo alone was worth the price of admission. Some of my favorite games from the expo include Tetrapulse, a four-player co-op extravaganza, and Lacuna Passage, a survival exploration game set on Mars.