Popular Gamesweek Berlin focused on a more professional edition this year due to the cancellation of public events. After the innovative and experimental digital edition of Amaze in springtime, the other program sections of Gamesweek were summarized this fall in a three-day digital conference under the newly created umbrella of gamesweekberlin PRO X.
The conference mainly used Zoom sessions for rather intimate professional exchanges on developer topics like games funding, serious games, game technology, design and production experiences, marketing and scientific research. A Discord platform served for more personal exchanges between the participants. An open-access live stream on Twitch presented new game productions to a broader internet audience. Special online events like a RecRoom paintball session or a virtual metal rock concert spiced up the sincerely professional formats during this online gathering of developers.
Public funding and accompanying financial sources and services for local and international game productions were the main topic of the show. Germany’s digitization and funding politics gained steam this fall with the recently activated application procedure for public game funding. Gamesweek offered several presentation sessions and workshops to prepare a successful application with the necessary legal services and further financial upscales through VC money, crowdfunding or project support in a generally thriving industry.
Due to the digital presentation mode, the presented game productions were all screen-oriented. Even the paintball session in RecRoom was restricted to the flat version to be streamed on the Twitch channel. The conference program offered two sessions on VR, one already presented at the springtime art event with Ubisoft‘s insights on VR comfort design. The other session on VR introduced a fascinating research approach combining machine learning with motion controls to speed up AI character design in game production.
Even if the pandemic situation prevented the city to celebrate its annual game festival on the streets, the condensed digital edition of gamesweekberlin PRO X nevertheless managed to maintain all relevant theme areas and even expanded their audience on the internet. But going digital also makes these business activities comparable to other online developer events, and their programming then needs more differentiation. For this year, the recently released local funding perspectives helped to make this event a landmark in the ‘new normal’.