Alex Dalton (Game Producer ’19) had the opportunity to attend MEGA as part of his internship. Alex tells us all about the event.
When you first look at Montreal, you would probably see the vibrant history of the city. If you look carefully you would be able to see the thriving technology scene. From Place des Arts to Centre Phi, tech is everywhere. The game industry is thriving in Montreal. A number of students, myself included, have managed to land internships within the game industry. When I was seventeen, I wanted to be where I am right now. I work as a production intern for an indie studio in Montreal. The internship has been great and towards the end of the internship, I was given the opportunity to go to MEGA. MEGA or Montreal Electronic Game Arcade was an event similar to the concept of Penny Arcade Expo. MEGA was meant for developers to show off their projects and receive feedback. I had a good time.
When you first walk into the convention hall you might actually miss the event. MEGA took place in Marche Bonsecours in historical Montreal. The old brick building had been renovated recently to accommodate a large convention floor on the third floor. I had to wait when I arrived. Apparently, they only gave Richard, my mentor, two passes. I had to wait for him to show up with my pass and then I could enter the event. The best way I could describe the walk-in is sensory overload. The narrow walkway between booths was filled with people. I had to almost should check my way into my booth. I got to my booth and I was greeted with a similar task. I work previously in retail so I was accustomed to approaching people with a product. My job was to ask everyone that came within ten feet of the booth if they would like to play our game. While I was at the booth, the stage became alive with creative spotlights on not only games but music and problems within the game industry. I got the chance to talk to a few Champlain College alumni. One of them was Jack Storm. I got the chance to ask for some advice on production two and just talk about production in general.
I got to do the same job for two days straight with some success. I got a few people to download our game. I enjoyed my time at the booth, I got to know our artist Michael pretty well. Mega was an experience, unlike anything I have had previously been accustomed to. From booth to booth you could see not only the variation in games but a variation in studio size. An example is right next to us. We shared a table with a very young indie developer who was showing off their first game. He was often excited to hear feedback and got a lot of praise for his game. Directly to the left of our booth was the Eidos booth showing off Tomb Raider. There was so much going on that I got a little overwhelmed at first. This feeling field with a few hours.
If anyone gets the opportunity to go to MEGA or any other kind of convention, go. Being able to network with people at a convention is so helpful to your career. A lot of the time, one person at the booth is a recruiter. Just by going up to a booth and starting the conversation will more often than not leave a positive impression. One other piece of advice is to have business cards made, I wish I did.