Quick, rhetorical show of hands: How many of you have heard of Digital Dragons? My assumption is that it's not many of you. That's because relative few consumers need to know about conventions like this. But, there's something happening here in Krakow, Poland that feels like it's set to be a pillar of Polish game development.
Last October, Destructoid visited the cities of Poznan and Warsaw to find a surprisingly impressive game development scene. Everyone knows about the giants like CD Projekt Red and Techland, but few realize how many ambitious people are trying to make a name for themselves and their indie games. It feels young in a sense, but we're already seeing some break through in a big way; Superhot cleaned up on a lot of end-of-year lists in 2016 and there's a good chance you didn't know the studio is Polish.
Like many of the people making games in Poland, Digital Dragons itself is still young. It's the fifth year of the convention, and the first in a new conference center. (Side note: The convention center has a stunningly nice concert hall.) Talking with people this week, they're thrilled with the change; this show has gotten too large for the old venue and the necessity for a bigger location can only be a good thing.
As for what it is, Digital Dragons feels like something that's a Polish GDC with more spirit (ignoring the fact that there already is a European GDC). It's half seminar, half celebration. There are talks all day long across six different rooms, and these seem like fantastic opportunities to learn. Some of the sessions are highly technical and granular in ways that I wouldn't be able to understand and you probably wouldn't want to read about. Others are business-oriented in ways that guide developers toward trends and models that they should pay attention to.