Pocket Gamer Connects London 2020 is sneaking up on us - it's taking place on January 20th-21st, which is less than two weeks away. You should get your ticket right now, if you haven't - just as a heads up.
But what should you actually do when you're there? With so hundreds of speakers to see, events all over the venue, and thousands of people to meet, it can be pretty overwhelming, whether its your first time or you're a veteran of the conference.
Well, worry no more. I, Ric Cowley, the editor of this fine website, have picked out some of my favourite things to do at PGC London 2020, from the side events at the show to some specific talks that you absolutely should not miss.
So get out your planners, grab a pen, and make sure you jot down the following (or at least some of the following) events and talks to see while you're there.
Oh, and make sure you've got a ticket!
Meet the Pocket Gamer editorial team at the Journalist Bar
I helped run the Journalist Bar at the 2019 edition of PGC London, and it was a lot of fun. It's a great opportunity for us journalists to get our hands on exciting upcoming games, and a chance to put names to faces when we've got a heap of press releases pouring into our inboxes.
You can sign up for a 15-minute slot on the morning of both days of the conference, or you can take your chances and roll up any time in the afternoon to see if someone's free for a chat. There's no guarantee of coverage, but it's always worth getting your game in front of as many people as possible.
Get your game in front of, well, everyone at the Very Big Indie Pitch
We do Big Indie Pitches all over the world these days, but the Very Big Indie Pitch in London is still one of the biggest and best. Not only will you get three minutes with some of the leading figures in mobile games, you're also in with a chance of winning some wonderful prizes should you impress the judges.
Developer submissions are now closed, but you can still check out the entries on the showfloor. The winners and finalists will be announced in the venue, so you can still see who takes the top prize.
Do some serious networking at the Global Connects Party
It wouldn't be a PGC without a great big party being thrown at the end of the first day. Hosted this year at Bounce on Old Street, it's the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends, make new contacts, have a drink, and do some extra networking in a chilled out, relaxed environment.
If you've ever been to one of our parties before, you'll know that we know how to host a shindig. And if it's your first time, well, trust me, you're going to love it.
Learn even more at breakneck speed at the Pocket Gamer 2020 Sessions
A personal favourite of mine, the PGC Sessions grants speakers just 400 seconds to give their entire talk. They've got 20 slides of images only, and 20 seconds to discuss each slide, and then they're done.
It's relentlessly fast-paced, often includes some hilarious presentations, and is a great way to start winding down at the end of day one.
Seek out your next round of funding with our Investor Connector
One of the main reasons to attend PGC London 2020 is to connect with others in the industry, and if you're a developer looking for funding for your companies, then the Investor Connector is where you need to be.
There's not long left to apply - the deadline is this Friday 10th -, but if you are selected by the process, you'll be guaranteed a one-on-one meeting with an investor looking for their next project. And with companies like Garena, Niantic, London Venture Partners, and more already signed up as investors, there's no reason why you shouldn't give it a go.
Top Talks To Attend:
A ticket to Pocket Gamer Connects London 2020 also grants you access to our other major events Blockchain Gamer Live and Big Screen Gaming, the latter of which sees Riot Forge head Leanne Loombe talking about how to find and amplify your unique identity.
It's certainly an exciting time for Riot Forge, given that they're trying to build off the success of League of Legends in numerous ways and on a variety of consoles (including mobile!), and you can't deny their pedigree as a developer. Simply put, it's worth straying away from the main PGC events for this Big Screen Gaming talk - and maybe some others while you're there.
You might not know about Turkish hypercasual outfit Rollic yet, but you will soon. Hypercasual continues to be a major area for mobile developers to look at, and Rollic is poised to make waves in the sector over the next year.
So you should definitely go check out the studio's managing director Burak Vardal and his talk on creating a future-proof ecosystem for hypercasual games. Those games are here to stay, after all, so you'll probably want to know how to keep up with them.
QA isn't as cool or exciting as other aspects of game development, but it's one of the most important - nobody wants to play a game that barely works. Thankfully, King QA analyst Ana Luca is on hand to talk through how the developer does quality assurance, which should give you a better understanding of how to do it in your studio.
You'll also learn all about Agile Jenga, which honestly sounds like a lot of fun, and is clearly a useful tool if the Candy Crush developer is making use of it.
Black Desert is nothing short of a global phenomenon, and the mobile version of the game has helped considerably with generating even higher revenues. Now Black Desert Mobile has gone global and the only way is up for Pearl Abyss.
CEO Jeonghee Jin will give a rundown of exactly how the developer made it to this stage in what is sure to be a fascinating talk, particularly the details on bringing such a complex MMO to mobile. Do not miss this one.
Timur has been at Supercell for the last eight years, leading games like Boom Beach and Hay Day. He's also been leading development on Supercell ID, which makes it easier for players to switch devices and keep playing their favourite games.
All this means that his Fireside Chat, focusing on the best practices for developing games, is sure to be an interesting one. And there's a chance that a familiar face might be hosting it… (it's me).