c/o pop is over

Business hours are over! Baby!

(The photo is from c/o pop 2007 and obviously not from my stand but I like the face of the guy in green shirt. He’s so inTENSE!)

I would like tow rite a few impressions I’ve got from c/o pop this year. It was my first time there and my first exhibition and I really enjoyed it. I’m defiantly planning on exhibiting next year, too! So here is what I’ve learned:

What went right:

  • I was a bit afraid that showing a game on c/o pop was a bit out of place because it had almost nothing to do with music. I was wrong. The Affair area is suits this kind of projects perfectly. On top of that, because it is not a dedicated games trade fair, you expose your project to and audience outside of your expertise and you get less competition. Good idea overall!
  • I’ve leaned a ton of new, cool people which I realized is tremendously helpful for an indie developer like me. I see now that this is also the way things get done in Europe generally, where the infrastructure and social networks are very dense.
  • The game features cool technology, which is interesting for people on its own. This was planned deliberately as you could read in my thesis but seeing how it works in real life was very assuring.
  • The game also has a very unique visual style which people can relate to on different levels. Some recognized the places I photographed. Some were generally fans of fucked-up industrial areas. This – again – was deliberately planned but it was even more assuring finding out how people reacted.
  • Having a portfolio is good. Because people can immediately check out your work if you give them your address. Having the address on a business card is even better.

What went wrong:

  • Never use a beamer (=digital projector) if you don’t have a room with EVERY FRIGGIN WINDOW SEALED OFF. A digital projector has the advantage of producing a large image quickly but it just doesn’t work if there is any kind of natural light in the room. I made that experience too often now. If you can’t seal off the windows, don’t even try. Setting the whole thing up so that people don’t accidentally cross the beam is difficult enough. I’ve ended up only frustrated since there were times where you could see NOTHING and my game does depend of visuals. Next time, I get myself a nice big flat screen TV. In fact, this solution might be even preferable in almost every case.
  • I had the wrong kind of game. Even if people found the technology and the viusal style cool, the completely missed out on the mood and the story. These things are just impossible to show off in this kind of environment. They are better experienced alone and sealed off from other people. So next time I might want to try to show more action-oriented games.
  • The game was not finished. That’s really a bummer. An unfinished game looks less impressive and the whole presentation does become slightly pointless. I would have liked to give out flyers with the web address of the working game or even giveaway copies. Now I don’t even have a website up.
  • Didn’t have a business card. I’ve ordered some from Moo Mini Cards but they didn’t arrive in time. The first day way very bad since I had NOTHING. On the second day I’ve managed to print some on my home printer but they weren’t as spiffy as the Moo Cards. Oh well.

So overall great opportunity! I’ve gained a lot of EXP and I now know how to do better next time. :-)

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

3 responses to “c/o pop is over”

  1. Yu-Chung Chen

    Thanks for sharing! So I’m like this ally who didn’t actively take part at the battle but still gets some courtesy EXP ;)

  2. sirleto

    thanks for sharing your insights!

    after being to the GC a few times, i finally believe there is NO game that fits to such a fair. each and every game has some obstacles/problems/details that take to long, don’t work with the noise of the fairs, don’t work with the lighting situation or don’t appeal to the average people walking arround on those fairs ;-)

  3. Krystian Majewski

    Well, c/o pop is a bit different from GC and it does look like the guys from GEE had a lot of fun presenting games like Guitar Hero, Rock Band, REZ and Everyday Shoother. That’s what i ment with “a different kind of game”.


The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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