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Speaker Spotlight: "Getting into game mod communities is a fantastic way to learn," says Javier Barnes

PGC Digital #5 kicks off on February 8th

Speaker Spotlight: "Getting into game mod communities is a fantastic way to learn," says Javier Barnes

Pocket Gamer Connects Digital is back for 2021, set to bring together some of the finest voices in the games industry and beyond.

PGC Digital #5 takes place on February 8th - 12th. To give you a taste of what to expect, we'll regularly be publishing interviews with the speakers at the show.

The conference spans across five days and will feature a broad selection of tracks, talks and speakers, as well as various fringe events and the return of our meeting system. For more details on PGC Digital and to book a ticket, head to the website.

Today's spotlight is on Javier Barnes, head of game design at new indie studio Pixel Noire Games. Barnes has over 10 years of experience in game design and also specialises in F2P monetisation strategy. He also currently works as senior product manager at Tilting Point. He'll be heading to PGC Digital #5 to share his insight on user-friendly monetisation tactics.

PocketGamer.biz: Tell us a bit about your company?

Javier Barnes: Pixel Noire Games is a platform where different visual novel creators develop games with Lovecraftian themes. It was founded in the Summer of 2020.

What does your role entail?

As the Head of Game design, I'm in charge of all creative decisions and making sure that the games we're creating are true to the brand spirit!  

Why did you want to work in the games industry?

I entered the games industry because I was researching A.I. at college. I participated in a competition to create A.I.s that played poker and one thing brought me to the other...

My original plan of building machine-learning A.I.s that would play poker online and make money for me didn't work, but I got into making A.I.s for games.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?

Download Unity, find some courses on YouTube, and start creating your own stuff! Also, getting into game mod communities is a fantastic way to learn as well.

What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?

2020 has been extremely disruptive. We were thinking for sure that new consoles wouldn't lift off, that Cyberpunk would be an immediate success (I still think it can be great in the long term!) and now it seems we have fallen into an alternate reality!

What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?

I think that the push of the new consoles is going to slow down. I believe that subscription models like the Xbox Game Pass and Stadia will win at the end. We will see!

How has the games industry changed since you first started?

When I started it was quite rough, because there were few jobs and a lot of people trying to get in the industry. Salaries were quite low and the conditions terrible.

Now, the industry has grown a lot and companies are putting more effort into retaining their employees, which is great!

Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?

I'm looking forward to the Big Indie Pitch mobile edition!

Want more?

The full conference schedule is now live on the website. In the meantime, you can also check out our other track rundowns and coverage of previous Pocket Gamer Connects conferences ahead of the event itself.

Register for Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #5 today!


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