We never stop moving forward, carefully following our brand values: Be Pro, Be Bro, Be User Oriented, Be Game Changer. It is great when a company has guidelines, but MOJAM doesn’t just have them, we use them actively. That is why we did not think twice and two weeks before the start, we got in the last car of the departing train of the Games Gathering 2023 conference, which was held in Kyiv, saying to ourselves: “We are in”. We had a limited amount of time, thousands of preparation tasks and one main goal: to show us as cool as we see ourselves. Isn’t it great to love your job and want that your job, your place of power, will be loved by others? That’s what we thought when in fourteen days we managed to make layouts for cups and tablecloths for a coffee point, for several banners, for handouts, print 1350 sticker packs and create two animated videos of one minute each, write 100500 texts and prepare designs for posts / stories. All of this is taking into account the fact that after submitting the application, we barely had only a logo, our colors and a couple of templates and ideas.
Phew, okay, we just shared the main stage of preparation. Let’s move on in order!
The conference began with an online block. Each participant who bought access to this day had the opportunity to connect to GG 2023 through the PINE platform, search through the list of speakers, lectures, companies, indie games. It was convenient and comfortable to choose any of the 4 halls (Earth. Water, Fire, Wind) in the same place and open the speeches. My colleagues and I chose for ourselves a certain number of presentations that interested us. Do you think we just sat and watched? Of course not! Like real Mojamers, we didn’t just listen, we fiercely screenshotted everything at the same time and prepared our top stories for our Instagram feed. By the way, at the end of the article, we will share a list of the top 5 best GG lectures, because there were topics and speakers that really surprised us.
Speaking of performances. We completely forgot to say that during those busy two weeks of preparation, we also managed to pack our wonderful Marketing Team Lead Anya as a speaker, design a 40-page presentation, and make a couple of lecture test runs.
Anya spoke that day with the topic “Influence marketing in gaming products from the inside”. The lecture went great! We were sure beforehand that Anya would be able to fit really important information into forty-five minutes presentation, but it turned out that the audience even came to private messages after the end of the lecture and thanked for interesting and useful materials.
We also want to bring you a great news that we are already preparing a text version of the presentation and we will definitely share it with you. So don’t get upset if you missed GG 2023.
This is where a rush hour definitely started! Firstly, our super agents Vika, Danya and Sasha (and how could it be otherwise) went straight into the middle of the event. They had an excellent opportunity to feel the conference from the inside, walk around the halls, communicate with people and attend to the lectures by themselves. We were downloading the whole process in the feed, followed their every step and were glad that MOJAM was heard and seen from everywhere. Well, we mean it, EVERYWHERE. You go along the corridor to the entrance – our banner. You take coffee – our cup is on our tablecloth. You get closer to the tables – oh, and here are our handouts. If you decide to relax on the bench, you look at the screen with our video. Even we, subscribers of the MOJAM account, were slightly dizzy with joy that we were everywhere, and we showed ourselves really cool.
We would like to say a few words about the organization. It’s great that the most important thought was clearly visible inside the event: “Yes, we have a conference, yes, we want to continue to gain new knowledge. Yet, we don’t forget that we are at war now”. That´s why it was so important to see foreign speakers with Ukrainian badges, to hear words of support, to understand that the offline part of GG did not begin with immersion in topics, but with a moment of silence. Yes, we live but we must remember thanks to whom.
On the other hand, and here we will throw a small stone in the GG garden, we found several deficiencies of the organization: firstly, it was terribly stuffy, the air conditioners could not cope, and secondly, as if there were more people than planned, because the food, for example, was gone before almost all the participants returned from the lectures. Well, and coffee. Here we recall that we made cups for coffee-point, but we were not responsible for the quality of drinks. If we were given such an opportunity, then we would definitely bring several options of interesting coffee blends. Then you would not see a small queue for coffee for sure!
Anyway let’s not talk about sad things: everything was compensated by the atmosphere, cool participants, cozy small talks conversations on the street. So we never regretted that we flew into this spontaneous, but such a fun and useful event.
On this day, the ranks of our special agents have diminished, and only Vika went into the event-battle, having gathered all her will into a fist. Let’s be honest, offline events are exhausting at least physically. Just imagine that you spend two days in a row for seven hours at conferences, chatting, taking pictures, running back and forth. Therefore, we decided to exhale, slow down a little and not push ourselves too much on this day: we selected only those speakers we really want to listen to, drank all instant coffee because we didn´t sleep due to the rocket alarm until 5 in the morning, listened to Buddhist asanas in headphones before the start and set off to conquer GG second time.
There were noticeably fewer people. Whether everyone was killed by yesterday’s heat mixed with stuffiness, or the participants were delayed by an evening walk around Kyiv, but on this day it was definitely easier to maneuver through the halls, look at the points of companies, communicate with the robot from G5. Yes, they brought a robot! This mechanical friend could shake hands, offer to take a picture, spin around and even speak Ukrainian. We were so impressed that we even took this miracle to one of our posts on Instagram. Then we smoothly moved from the main hall into the lecture halls. It was there, at the lecture from developers from Ubisoft Ukraine, that we found all the missing people. To say that the apple has nowhere to fall means to say nothing. People were standing. People were sitting. People propped up the wall. They stuck their heads in the doorway. By the way, the presentation was really great, we spent this hour with great pleasure and were never upset that we squeezed through the crowd with the tenacity of an icebreaker.
Then there were a couple more lectures, but, frankly speaking, we were still under the impression of the previous one and a little distracted. We definitely remember “Top Unity Assets”, because we remembered together our youth when we assembled prototypes on Unity, and “Democracy or Dictatorship? Experience in building an effective team”.
Well, in the evening there was a closing, where the organizers shared a cool project from volunteers to collect donations for drones, awarded the winners among the best indie games presented at GG23, apologized for the heat, which they themselves were not ready for, and once again reminded with a minute of silence that the war is not over.
Yes, yes, we haven’t forgotten, here you have the list of the best Games Gathering lectures (according to the Employer Brand team). Obviously, our Anya’s lecture is beyond this top 🙂
- Da Roof Is on Fire: The history of burnout. It was more than just a lecture. Zarianna Nikolaeva, respect to you from the bottom of our hearts.
- Philosophy of UI in the series of games Metro. An excellent lecture for those who want to train their skills and start making top interfaces.
- The labor market during the war: the realities of gamedev in Ukraine from Bini Games. Everything is clear here. Actual, painful, but important.
- Democracy or dictatorship? Experience in building an effective team.
- The role of a level designer as a director of game events for Ubisoft Ukraine.
We don’t know yet if it will be possible to download these lectures for our guys from MOJAM, but we will try our best.
It was great. Just like this, shortly, going to the point. We liked that you can finally enjoy not online, but also offline atmosphere, which we have missed so much during all this terrible time. Of course, it was important to show that MOJAM not only follows the rules of an established game, but is also ready to change it, ready to transform and join a new movement in an instant.
Be Game Changer, because standing still is not about MOJAM.