We have all been affected by the recent global as well as local developments. Many call Covid-19 the event that will mark this generation, much in the ways World Wars marked previous generations. So far that appears to be true as it has altered our perception of safety and routine, and has directly impacted our lives and the way we function. As game developers, as well as gamers, many of us are annually looking forward to big events such as GDC, PAX, Steam Dev Days, and E3. It's not just a great way for us to network and spread the word about our projects, it is also a great way for our inner gamer to discover new things and get all excited. And yet, here we are, still in the earlier half of 2020, with all these marvelous events cancelled, stuck somewhere inside for our safety as well as for the safety of others.
Nothing can replace the actual human interaction. Many of us already miss drinking that beer with each other after a long tiresome day on an exhibition floor, sharing stories of intense development crunching, legends of unrecorded high scores and so many other things that connect us.
Yet, as humans, with all our flaws and shortcomings, one of our biggest strengths is the ability to adapt. The ability to carry on, even if we have to change our ways. And when changes are necessary, an opportunity to improve also presents itself.
Indie World Order™ started late 2019 as an idea, as you can read in this great blog post made by Skull himself, but in 2020 we already grew as a team of hard working and dedicated individuals, tirelessly working around the clock to achieve Indie World Order's ultimate goal: to serve and empower the Indie community! Given all the recent event cancellations, we saw, as well as felt, the negative impact these had on so many developers, especially indie developers, and we knew we had to come up with something to help. As a first step we launched an initiative on Twitter, asking all indie developers who had plans for GDC to share with us their work, and the response was overwhelming! We kept promoting all these projects, sharing them and circulating around the community, and we saw that had a positive impact. Yet we knew there had to be more we could do.
Those of you familiar with our movement, already knew we were planning to create a convention which would mainly focus on all things indie. Yet, all that planning was mainly revolving around the idea of a physical, on-location convention. Obviously, just like everyone else, we had to -at the very least- postpone these plans. But we still needed to address our priority: you, the indies! As a result we came up with the idea of creating IWOCon, a digital convention.
A digital convention in its own, is a rather vague term. And let's be perfectly clear. Digital or virtual conventions, cannot replace physical conventions. Nor should they. Instead they should be used as an opportunity to offer something different, something new that can serve communities in different and more efficient ways.
That's why we are designing IWOCon in such a way that we take advantage of existing technologies, while putting into good use many of our skills, all for the purpose of creating a fully featured, rich and fun environment for the community to convene with each other. We are offering digital exhibition floors allowing you to experience all the glamour of fully featured and interactive booths. In addition, we will also have online streams tailored to accommodate the many different timezones we all find ourselves in with various things such as workshops, discussion panels, interviews, Q&As, game play, and so much more. All of this is being worked and arranged at the time this blogpost is being authored, all with the common denominator of serving you!
All that without abandoning the convenience or safety of yours and our homes, without stressing about these expensive travel and lodging arrangements, and without the fatigue that is associated with such events.
On the other hand, there are costs associated with planning and setting up a digital conference as well. A lot of people need to put in a lot of work, a lot of time, a lot of effort in order to organize and set up an event of such magnitude. Even so, we decided this year to take the hit and focus on the community's immediate needs rather than our operational needs, and therefore we are happy to inform you that attending as well as exhibiting at IWOCon 2020, will be absolutely FREE. If you would like to help more, click here.
There are many ways you can participate, as an exhibitor, as an attendee or as a volunteer. To compare the different passes visit the IWOCon page.
Please note availability for exhibitors is limited and selective, so we strongly encourage you to fill in an application ASAP.
If you want to simply attend and enjoy what exhibitors have to offer, simply register as an attendee. Registration for the time being is unlimited.
Lastly but certainly not least, we could use the help of artistic/musical volunteers, so if you think you can help, feel free to apply for the Volunteer pass, which once again is limited and selective.
Thank you for your interest in the Indie World Order and IWOCon. We look forward to interacting with you!