Games Gathering 2023 Kyiv is the first offline event in a long time, so Ukrainians were especially looking forward to it. It is, after all, true that the best networking is conducted in a warm atmosphere (and it was really warm, +32C both days) during informal conversations. Where else could you make a quip about the Assassin’s Creed games lacking Ukrainian localization to someone who works at Ubisoft Kyiv? So let us quickly reminisce about how this meeting went.
This year, Games Gathering had a surprisingly large amount of people. This, of course, couldn’t be more pleasing for the organizers, but some flaws were also present due to the sheer amount of people involved in an offline event. The first thing you felt after signing up was the crowdedness. The event proved way too popular for the Rus’ Hotel’s lobby, which was chosen to be the event’s location. Huge lines to play indie demos were intertwined with the lines to buy beer, so oftentimes you would be blocked from almost half the area. So instead a lot of people were avoiding the clamour and moving their conversations outside to speak in relative comfort. It is also worth mentioning the coffee break, which would magically disappear in mere minutes. Those aren’t critical flaws by any means, but still, there was a lot of talk about previous iterations of the event being more successful.
But as we know you don’t visit a gaming conference for the location. You visit it for the atmosphere! And it was provided by companies, such as: Plarium, Fraglab, VG Entertainment, Ubisoft, G5 Games, Zagrava, Gameloft (and others), and even the State Emergency Service of Ukraine! The latter ones decided to share some details about the development of their timely children’s game “Ryativnychok” (Little Saviour). The sponsors were gifting cute trinkets to everyone (pens, pencils, magnets, and even SOCKS!), so nobody left empty-handed. Some sponsors were conducting interesting interactive games (PacMan, air football etc.). The vacancies wall was also a place of activity, offering something exclusive and interesting to apply skills.
The representatives of Mal’opus publishing house were also at the event, so we took the opportunity to share a photo together.
The lectures were divided into four halls depending on the topic: business, game design, production, and marketing. So it was possible to find something worthwhile to listen to both for a regular gamer and a professional C++ developer. Even if you have never thought about a certain topic before, the lectures topic could intrigue you and have a listen at least for a bit. Some good examples include “Monkeys Strong Together: How to write an interactive story with a team of authors”, “Job market during wartime: the realities of gamedev in Ukraine”, “Workshop: Creating trailer for 3D game” (by the way, we got acquainted with Andriy, it’s creator! We heard some details about NightCat Studios future game, so keep an eye on their socials, because it’s sure to be worthy of your attention!) “Your QA thinks you’re a #@(₴?$0) and it’s your fault”.
Overall, despite some minor inconveniences, Games Gathering proved to be a long-awaited celebration for those who share a love for games. And even though we can’t call it a “celebration of games”, because it is a conference after all, despite the informal nature, it motivates you to look for sponsors/jobs/partners/coworkers… But still, it’s a place where you can feel at home.
Did you visit Games Gathering? How did you feel about it? Are you planning to go next year?
by Bohdana Vozniuk
translated by Yurii Bisyk
Sept 3, 2023
Photo by Tetiana Cherednychok
Video by Valentyna Puryha