Digital Dragons organized by Krakow Technology Park is a leading game industry event that last year gathered 2,000 people from all over the world in Kraków, Poland using its Central Europe position to connect the West and the East.
This year will see the ninth edition of the event, and the first to take place solely online. You can register right here.
Although this year's situation is very different due to COVID-19, Digital Dragons wants to deliver the same experience online. The event is known for providing developers -- not just from Poland, but around the world -- with educational talks and a place for industry professionals to meet.
The event's established formula has been adjusted for online and is now spread across four days instead of two, running from September 15 to 18. Here's what you can expect from the first online-only Digital Dragons.
A great programme in more time zones
To accommodate a wide audience all around the world, all six tracks are going to take place in two sessions to cover different time zones. The first will be held from 10am to 1pm CEST and then from 4pm to 7pm CEST.
This year's event is an opportunity to experience Digital Dragons, even if you're on another side of the globe
The six tracks this year include Art in Games, Mobile, Game Design, Technology, Production, and Business and Marketing. After the talks, each track will end with a panel of previous speakers and industry experts to debate about a topic of the track.
One highlight is expected to be the panel session 'Securing investment during a world in lockdown' on September 16. Hosted by Sega's Bobby Wertheim and featuring Modern Wolf's Fernando Rizo, Irregular Corporation's Mitsuo Hirakawa and Studio Capital Management's Ryan Donaldson, this will be an interesting discussion considering the changes in the world during 2020.
Notable speakers of Digital Dragons 2020 include Remedy Entertainment representatives Stuart Macdonald and Juha Vainio, Darkest Dungeons creator Chris Bourassa, Borderlands 2 designer producer Randy Varnell, and EA DICE's head of design Fawzi Mesmar.
Audiophiles will appreciate a great line-up of composers, including Garry Schyman -- known for his award-winning scores for Bioshock -- and Austin Wintory, responsible for the soundtracks behind Journey and The Banner Saga trilogy.
As always at Digital Dragons, local developer 11 Bits Studios delegates will have an in-depth lecture. This year, it will be a biz dev post mortem conducted by the studio's Piotr Bajraszewski with insight into what the company had done right and wrong over the years.
Networking and tools for online meetings
Business opportunities are a big part of Digital Dragons. By connecting publishers and developers -- whether indie or AAA -- the conference is a middle ground for all games professionals to meet.
Even online, the event is a great opportunity to network by using the tools provided. With the meeting app and personalised agenda, attendees can conduct interviews, host meetings and attend talks. Whether it's one-on-one or visiting the virtual booth, there are plenty of ways to get in contact and gather new acquaintances.
Digital Dragons Awards
As always, Digital Dragons wants to crown the achievements of the industry from the past year. The nominations for this year's Digital Dragons Awards were announced at the beginning of August, and a virtual gala will be held during the conference to reveal the winners.
This year's categories include Best Polish Game, Best Polish Game Art, Best Polish Game Design, Best Polish Game Original Soundtrack, Best Polish Mobile Game, Best Foreign Game and Special Recognition Award.
Virtual showcase on Steam and GOG
Continuing the format of May's Indie Celebration, this year's Indie Showcase will be held on Steam and GOG.COM with streams in multiple languages. Digital Dragons, together with Walkabout Games, Valve and GOG.COM, want to exhibit the best indie games to the widest possible audience.
All qualified games on Steam will have a playable demo available to all platform users and GOG.COM will select 15 games to be a part of their platform. In total, the showcase will have 60 games by independent creators from all around the world.
Enjoy it from the comfort of your home (or work)
Although Kraków is a beautiful city, and we encourage you to visit -- perhaps during the next Digital Dragons -- this year's event is an opportunity to experience Digital Dragons, even if you're on another side of the globe. No flights, no boundaries. The accessibility is limitless as all you need is an internet connection and a ticket.
If you ever wondered what Digital Dragons is about but circumstances didn't allow you to attend, this is your chance. Register now.