We spoke to Ivan Venturi of TiconBlu, a game design company that specializes in safe driving simulations and other “special” games, to learn more about the “Svilup Party” that took place in Bologna, Italy on March 10-11.
To combat the fact that there is almost a nonexistent “special” games community in Italy, Ivan hosted a Games for Change Meetup at the Cineteca di Bologna, a beautiful cultural center in a historical district of the city. To begin laying the groundwork for a community, Ivan used his 25 years of professional experience and network to bring together other independent game developers, technology specialists, innovative educators, local government, and the other few “special” games creators he could find. This Meetup drew in over 250+ attendees.
Over the course of two days, Ivan and the other presenters worked together to begin establishing a system, and solidify what an Italian “special” games community would look like. He knew that to gain any traction, he would need to do creative match making so multiple stakeholders could collaborate to produce quality work. One of the main goals of the Meetup was to bring together three separate universities with a particular interest in games and allow them to not only meet with game developers, but with experts in the specific markets their “special” games would serve.
With the lack of a strong commercial video game scene that produces AAA titles, it’s quite hard for Italians to find the budget to work on titles of that caliber. However, Ivan understands that there is a strong economic parallel between the production costs of a “special” game and that of a traditional indie game. Using this understanding and desire to create a bigger “special” games community in Italy, Ivan Venturi remains hopeful.
“I think we can make it. I’m not only a video game producer, I’m a dreamer too!
So only time will tell!”
Ivan’s Top Three Tips for a successful Games for Change Meetup:
1. Project an image of your Meetup as something that would be interesting to anyone. Don’t focus too much on marketing it with “specific lexicon”, instead talk about it in a way that uses common language. Try not to promote your event solely to game designers or education professionals.
2. Think of your Meetup as an occasion to have unique sets of people meet, not just as a venue for people to talk about their projects to a wide audience. Ivan suggests envisioning your Meetup as a party, a social event. Instead of thinking “here is some interesting work to show everyone”, say “everyone, enjoy the party and have fun!”
3. Be mindful of what projects and content you’re curating. With that in mind, you have the opportunity of pairing up presenters and attendees in ways that will be beneficial for both parties. Your Meetup might have game designers, academics, local government officials and more. How can you leverage what you know about your audience to make strong connections for them?
Learn more about Ivan’s company, TiconBlu, here: www.TiconBlu.it