Blog posted by Ste Pickford on Wed, 03 Oct 2007
Subject: Pickford Bros.
I did the speech at the Game Republic event in Sheffield a week or so ago, and had a really good evening - meeting a bunch of the Yorkshire lads I don't see that often, and chatting to a few people I've never met before.
I was really nervous about doing the speech though. The event was supposed to start at 6pm, and I got off the train at about 5pm, and thought I'd find a pub and have a pint to steady my nerves and read through my notes. The cinema where the event was taking place was just opposite the train station, and Craig (the organiser) spotted me walking up past what seemed to be a tasteful monument to the floods in Sheffield over the summer and shouted me to join him in the bar. There was a gang forming already, and despite me trying to drink my pint very slowly, a second one was plonked in front of me within about 10 minutes of arriving.
It's a fine line between being just drunk enough to be relaxed, and being unable to speak without slurring my words. Well, it is for me anyway. I drank the second pint even more slowly (it would be rude not to drink it!), but not enjoying a single sip ("mustn't get too drunk, mustn't get too drunk"). Surely the talks would start any minute, then it would all be over and I could relax and take advantage of the free bar? It didn't start until 7:30pm in the end, and I managed to squeeze a 3rd pint down while we were waiting, being egged on by Martyn Brown ("you'll be fine").
I wouldn't say I enjoyed doing the speech, but I was glad I did it. I think I was a bit stiff and wooden. I had pages of notes prepared, which I pretty much had to read from, while staring into the sea of eyes in front of me. I was thankful that Martyn didn't heckle me like he threatened to - my ad-lib skills weren't up to handling that! I got a couple of laughs though, and a few people complimented me afterwards. I think it was probably refreshing to hear someone talking about making games, putting forward some opinions, do's and don'ts etc., when most of these talks are from companies selling themselves or their services, or describing their business models. I was put to shame by all the other speakers though, who were all reading without notes and ad-libbing, countering the heckles, even shortening their talks because I'd used up all their time!
In the end was about a week's work for me, preparing my ideas, notes and power point presentation, which is a shocking amount of time really, when I should be working on our next game.
It was great to see everyone though, and to meet some new people. The industry seems a lot healthier now for those independent developers who've managed to survived the last decade, judging from the conversations I had, which is great to hear. The party afterwards seemed like it was shaping up to be a lot of fun too - and another free bar - but I had to head off after an hour to get back home. Maybe next time...