Gamedev.world will highlight game devs in 8 languages in a 24-hour streamed event


Gamedev.world will debut on December 9 and December 10 as a game developer conference translated live into eight languages across 24 hours of streaming.

The conference, the sequel to an event first held in 2019, features more than 30 speakers from all over the world, said Rami Ismail, former co-head of Vlambeer and a video game consultant, in an interview with GamesBeat.

It’s a pretty amazing virtual event, as it will debut with simultaneous translation eight eight languages, including Arabic, Brazilian-Portuguese, English, French, Hindi, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish. It will also be close-captioned.

The show includes speakers like Ismael Daouda Nouhoun from Lomé, Togo. He will speak about the importance of creating and using your own game engine. Daouda Nouhoun is the creator of a mobile game called Transform, and it’s very unlikely Western game developers know about him.

Nourhan ElSherief, a developer in Egypt and technical lead at Ironbelly Games, will give a talk about empowering local communities to help game developers. She has been in games for 10 years, working on multiplayer double-A games with the Unreal Engine.

And Rasheed Abueideh, designer of a game called Liyla and the Shadows of War, will talk about “Gaza and the Shadows of War.” The Liyla game was about the 2014 Gaza war and its impact on a girl in an effort to raise awareness about a humanitarian dilemma.

Some of the talks focus on indies or game development. Some focus on being an entrepreneur and raising money. Some are about the nature of human collaboration and communication.

“I think no matter where you are in the game industry, the talks will be of interest,” Ismail said.

Ismail said the event was a massive undertaking and it was inspired by the challenges developers from certain parts of the world had traveling to the United States for events such as the Game Developers Conference. But after pulling together an event with over 60 translators, everyone was exhausted and it never got off the ground again during COVID-19.

“It was a very different world when we did it the first time,” Ismail said. “The response we got was really positive and it was very global. That was the exciting thing to us. We had Portuguese developers becoming friends with Arab developers as they realized they had things to learn from each other. People who normally would have never met were hearing stories that they would never been able to listen to.”

Last time, the team shipped the same PC with the same setup to every speaker. This time, the team has focused on making sure everybody has good hardware and good-quality cameras.

Rami Ismail at the Reboot Develop Blue event in 2023.

Perhaps the saddest thing was that due to a technical error, none of the original content — all 24 hours of it — was preserved online. It was all lost, Ismail said.

“We decided if we did it again, we would do it better,” Ismail said. “The technology of the world wasn’t quite ready to do something in eight languages live at scale.”

While COVID forced many companies to move online and some of them needed translation services that could happen in real time and in a virtual way.

Ironically, now that the pandemic is largely behind us, the creators managed to pull it together. Ismail said that the event became possible again after the team located a translation company that could provide translators around the world for digital events. The team has nearly 100 translators working on the project. And this time there are around 11 backup systems running. The event is entirely free.

Myriame Lachapelle is producer of Gamedev.World.
Myriame Lachapelle is producer of Gamedev.world.

“When that came together, it went quickly,” Ismail said.

Xsolla, the digital payments company, decided to sponsor the event as the main partner. Then they started reaching out to get speakers.

“Mostly we’ve been waiting for the right partners to do the event,” Ismail said.

It’s still a good time to do a global online event because it’s still pretty hard and expensive for people to travel around the world, he said.

The event will start at 11 a.m. GMT time on December 9, or about 3 a.m. Pacific time. Ismail served as executive director on the project, and Myriame Lachapelle, a game producer and project manager, served as producer for Gamedev.world.

Ismail said he isn’t bothered by the fact there are so many games being made in the world. It’s not a problem of having too many developers. It’s more a problem of having the right games and a diversity of games.

Ismail thinks it’s important to make games from different perspectives. That is especially true of games that depict war or politics, as there are many different points of view, depending on where you live. He noted one developer was able to create a mechanic around a rolling carpet, and it’s no surprise that developer is from Iran.

“For me, quantity of games has never really been the thing I’m too concerned about,” he said. “The industry is always a competitive industry. And it has been that way for as long as I can imagine. And the amount of games is not really the thing I worry about because, ultimately, the way this shakes out is there are going to be some games that people will want to play. And sometimes that’s predictable.”

He said the question is really more one of cultural perspective.

“Which cultures get to speak the language of games?” he said. “And if those games get made, will they find their own way to being successful? I see the fragmenting of the market into more localized areas. There are games that are successful in just one country. I think we’ll see more games that are from everywhere. And they won’t be all the same games as triple-A mainstream games.”

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