GameDaily Connect Asia 2019: Devolver's Simon Chang shares insights with indies

At GameDaily Connect Asia next month in Shenzen, up-and-coming developers can look forward to advice from one of the industry's top indie labels.

Simon Chang, Vice President of Asia Pacific at Devolver Digital, has an extensive history in games that stretches back over twenty five years. He was working on MMORPGs in China back in the early 2000s. He’s a professor that instructs and researches mobile game and interactive design for master students. He’s the founder of a mobile game incubator. He works with Devolver Digital to help bring sharp new indie games to the Chinese market. And he’s doing those last three things all at the same time.

Chang is clearly passionate about games and helping developers find success. Through his various works and studies, he has an extensive knowledge of the game industries in Taiwan and Mainland China, and is looking to provide some insight into what he feels works and what doesn’t in games, as well as the prospects of indie games in general. And you’ll be able to hear it all at his talk at GameDaily Connect Asia in Shenzen from November 10-12.

Chang has worked in games in a variety of capacities. He started his career in Taipei as a studio head, shipping games in the Chinese market. During these years, he shipped Shadowbane Online, a popular MMO from 2002-2003, and would work for several other game companies, developing online titles and experiences.

Simon Chang, Devolver Digital
Simon Chang, Devolver Digital

Chang’s work in game development would give him a great deal of experience to share, which he put to work in teaching as a professor at several universities. From 2007 to the present, he is an Associate Professor at the Peking University School of Software & Microelectronics, instructing (and researching) mobile internet, mobile games, and interactive design. He also worked as a Part-Time Associate Professor at Beijing University of Technology, lecturing about computer game history, online game production, and game development related “know-how.”

When not sharing what he knows about games to the future developers who would enrich the games industry, he was working to create a mobile game incubator. He is the Founder/CEO of Crenovator Lab Corp, an incubator that seeks to help China’s best and brightest game development students. Since 2012, they have sought to “provide young talents free but intense training courses, idea competition, project incubation, and start-up services,” (says the entry in Chang’s LinkedIn profile). “To help young talents roll out their Apps more quickly, we developed our own cloud platform - Mobile App Cloud Engine, to save over 50% of their time and energies on development.”

Through his incubator program, Chang has sought to help developers get their games off the ground, put his experience to work helping them get through development, and get them into a position where they can ship their games.

Chang continues to help developers through his work with publisher Devolver Digital. The publisher has a large catalogue of hits, with Hotline Miami, My Friend Pedro, Reigns, Downwell, and more releasing with help from the publisher. In their own words, they are a company that “works with independent developers from all over the world to produce and promote some of the most original, eccentric, and beloved games of the past decade.” Chang is helping Devolver branch out into China and Asia Pacific, using his knowledge of the industry in the area to help the company tap into new talent and new experiences.

Chang has worked for years to share his experience with other developers and help them grow, and has spent just as long watching what works and what hasn’t. Every move in his career has been spent in sharing his knowledge with others so that they can succeed, and so he can help the great developers of tomorrow on their journey. His talk in November will share some of this learning he’s spent the past few decades honing and sharing, offering many helpful ideas on what you can do to help your game succeed.

Interested in attending GameDaily Connect Asia 2019? You can register right here, and don’t wait too long, as discounts on tickets are available only up until November 1.

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Joel Couture is a freelance writer for Gamasutra, CGM, Siliconera, and Warp Door, and constantly writes about indie games at IndieGamesPlus. He has written books on UnderTale, P.T., and Friday the 13th, and can be found endlessly rambling about games on Twitter at @Joel_Couture.

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