Earlier this December, I had a chance to attend an event by Badan Ekonomi Kreatif (Economy Creative Agency or BEKRAF) Indonesia called BEKRAF Developer Conference 2018. This event was attended by around 600 Indonesian top developers, ranging from apps developers, web developers, to game developers.
The main goal of the event was to identify problems and challenges in the industry, and to try finding the best solution to solve them.
The conference was divided into two parallel sessions. One session featured the largest developer platform and community in Indonesia, Dicoding. The other session featured Indonesia Game Association (Asosiasi Game Indonesia or AGI) which specifically discussed the current game industry landscape.
I joined the game industry discussion that was held in two different formats. First was an ordinary seminar from AGI that explained a lot about the industry. After that, the room was divided into three roundtables to discuss three different topics in the industry: Mobile Game, Consumer Game, and Business Development.
In each roundtable, there were at least three senior developers who led the discussion. The discussion started with identifying each of the developer’s problem. We, then, continued to find the right solution, and how AGI and BEKRAF could support it.
Here are some of the main challenges faced by Indonesian game developers that came out from the discussion:
It turns out that most developers don’t know exactly about strategic planning before they decide to make a game. They agree that they need at least one Product Manager who should make a strategic plan and make sure the development progress on track. Or at least, possess knowledge on how to do it.
Another problem is, some studio said it’s not an easy job to find a Product Manager. “A good Product Manager usually comes from senior developers who have many experiences on making games,” said Cipto Adiguno from AGI.
The second biggest problem is about business strategy. Most of the developers still don’t know about how to make their company sustain and profitable. Some of them only know how to make games and do not have much knowledge on how to market it.
Talent Recruitment & Level Up
Finding the right talents is also one of the major problems of the studio. Some studios find it’s very difficult to find talents that are mature enough to enter the industry. Most of the studios also said that it’s harder to find a game programmer than a game artist.
And for the existing talents, they don’t know where they can go to level up their skill.
Collaboration & Information
The participants feel that there is no access to the latest data about the industry’s landscape. They don’t get any updates on the latest technology of game development and the upcoming event that they can participate. So, they think they need a one-stop platform to get that kind of information.
Structural & Legal
Although it’s not related directly to the development process, it’s important to have structural & legal knowledge. Even more so if a studio wants to collaborate with other company, or maybe with the government.
But there are many studios that don’t have that knowledge. They don’t know much about legal process in the game development business, and still, there is no proper method to learn about it.
And last but not least, some developers think that they need some funding, but have so little access to it in Indonesia.
Some ideas to overcome that
The discussion didn’t only discuss problems. The participants also gave some idea on how to overcome this challenge in the future. Some of the initiatives will be implemented by AGI and BEKRAF in the near future.
Here are some of them
AGI said that they will hold a developer event for a mid-level developer to level up their skill. The event format will be like that of US’ Game Developer Conference and focus on three different topics: product management, business coaching, and hard skill workshop/masterclass.
Another idea is to establish a one-stop platform to get knowledge about the game industry. Hopefully, this platform can provide the developer with any information about event schedules, competitions or supports from AGI and BEKRAF, or a contact list to the AGI’s international network.
This platform can also be used for self-learning. Developers can get an online course on some product development or business strategy and also access to AGI’s industry database.
Last but not least is an active community to support each other. That can be done by doing some initiatives, such as creating a dedicated channel for developers for sharing and inviting some experts to give support to them.
Hopefully, these three initiatives can be done in the near future and help developers a lot.
Edited by Devi