Calling UK Indies: World Of Love

By Jim Rossignol on April 21st, 2010 at 5:09 pm.


Pixel-Lab – with a little help from Channel 4 – are putting together a brand new conference that seems pretty significant to independent games development in the UK. They’re calling it World of Love. I asked David Hayward from Pixel-Lab to explain the concept and he’s provided us with the evolving story behind the project, which you can read below. In brief: UK Indies deserve their own conference, and this is it. Confirmed speakers include Terry Cavanagh, Simon Oliver, Robert Fearon, and Sean Murray. Tickets are £65, and I think they’ll go pretty quickly.

World of Love has grown from some of the indie projects we’ve been doing for the past few years. Eurogamer asked us if we’d like to organise a small show of indie titles for the Expo in 2008, so I started looking into UK companies that might like to show there.

It makes sense in retrospect, but after Introversion made such a huge splash at the IGF, the focus around the word “indie” seemed to have stayed in the US, particularly the bay area, and we wanted to pull some of that back to the UK.

It’s not as if there aren’t indie developers over here, in fact there are loads belting out some amazing work, but a lot of the time they haven’t had the opportunity to meet each other for real. The first IGA pulled a few of them together, and for the second year it started snowballing.

The community here isn’t what you might expect, either. Big studios tend to be quite insular, and some segments of indie gaming have reputations for trolling, fractiousness or hipsterism, but by far most of the indies I’ve met in the UK seem to be a little beyond all that, and mostly take the piss out of it.

We want to actually create somewhere for them to gather, with a bit more focus than just going for drinks or something. To an extent the Indie Games Arcade and the Show & Yell thing we organised around it in 2009 have done a little of that, but we’re sure there’s potential for more.

Show & Yell was a real turning point. I’d invited a load of developers to the back room of a pub in London, where they’d be able to get up and show their work on a huge plasma screen. The only thing the venue didn’t tell us was that the screen was fucked, and we found out half an hour before it started. After a little panic, I thought “I have: A room full of indie developers, a bar tab, and a megaphone. How can this not be fun?”.

It was amazing. People got up and ranted, they showed their work by passing around laptops while they spoke, and they raised matters they cared about really deeply. Nothing was filtered through a PR department. It was unlike any developer event I’ve seen before; I’ve never been among such a supportive and happy group of game developers.

World of Love is going to be a bigger, slightly more sensible brother to Show & Yell. While it’s not an exclusively UK thing, we want to wave the flag for UK indies. There are plenty of them, they have a lot to say, and they shouldn’t have to travel half way around the world for the opportunity.

So that’s World Of Love. I’ll see some of you there, I suspect.

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20 Comments »

  1. LewieP says:

    Sadly clashes with Glastonbury, or I’d be there in a flash.

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    Vitamin Powered says:

    Not sure if I’ll be able to afford that, and it annoyingly clashes with the GameAI Conference in Paris. I could do it, but I’d be insane by the end of it.

    Will have to think about it :-)

    • Robomutt says:

      Yep. Wish I’d known about this one before Paris. I got a ticket for that Game AI Conf and am now slightly freaked out at the reality of it. :D

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      Vitamin Powered says:

      @Robomutt

      Oh, I know how you feel! “Wait… why did I decide months ago that I’m going to have to organise a flight/train trip and a hotel, all for a conference on game AI?!?” I know Paris is relatively close and easy to get to, but I’m still a little confused over what made my decide it was a good idea.

    • Robomutt says:

      @Vitamin Powered

      Yep. Exactly. It was so cheap! Cheaper than this indie shin-dig…

  3. Alex Bakke says:

    I’m there.

    • Alex Bakke says:

      Or I would be, if school wasn’t in the way. Fuuuuuuck.

  4. Dan Lawrence says:

    I’ll be going along, great to see the UK indie scene finally pulling together. The main thing you miss out on by being indie and working on your own, or in a small group, is the cross pollination of ideas and skillsets that happens naturally in a bigger mainstream company with many more developers. Events like this can hopefully help bridge those gaps, and make the process more sociable. I hope as many indies make the trip down as possible.

  5. Robin says:

    The Show & Yell was a bit of a shambles (whether this was charming or just frustrating was subjective – being able to hear the speakers would have been nice), so I’d definitely like to see a similar gathering of the best indie dev minds in a more sanely organised setting. Not sure who’s going to be paying £65 to get in though, or what Channel 4′s interest is.

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    Flimgoblin says:

    Sounds interesting, shall be there.

  7. DMcCool says:

    Okay, diary checked, no reason not to go, now money. See you guys there (‘opefully)

  8. roBurky says:

    I’ll be there.

  9. HairCute says:

    Why couldn’t they have picked a less hokey name?

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      Flimgoblin says:

      Think they’re running the theme on from their ‘pixel-love’ blog, but yeah I agree :p

  10. Cas says:

    Hmmm maybe I should attend and do a bit of “networking”.

  11. Smames says:

    I’m just a bit confused.. Can we showcase our games there as well? Do we need to register or anything in order to do that or do we just buy tickets and go down with a copy of it?

  12. cliffski says:

    I’m not sure why people think indie developers need to pay £65 ti meet each other. I’ve met loads of UK indies for pub meetups and chats about the business (Hi cas! Hi Georgina! Hiya Moonpod! Hiya Mode7).
    We just normally meet at a pizza restaurant, and spend the £65 on food and drinks. Indies are normally very cunning where they spend their money.

  13. iggie says:

    @cliffski I enjoyed the time we met for pizza – it was one of the factors that convinced me to go indie full time!

    I’m very interested to how C4 gets on with it’s budding studio funding projects.