The first full day started on Sunday night with the serious games meeting. It over double in size from last year and had quite a few interesting new faces and ideas added. We talked about new training sim games for manufacturing, games for psycho therapy, and even the new and much needed serious games database.
After the meeting I headed over to the Moscone area to meet up with former classmate and laurate of libations Andy. We quickly caught up and started chatting with a few people at the W's lounge. Nothing too crazy and new, but it was great to see Andy.
Monday officially started the conference. I spent the day in a Scrum bootcamp led by Clinton Keith. It was quite worthwhile. I had a great table of collaborators and I learned that in scrum I really have to be better about separating the owner and scrum master roles. After the boot camp I went to one of the after parties and watched attendees play free arcade/carnival games until they were too tipsy to be funny.
Tuesday: I finally put some tunes back on my iphone after resetting it, so my day started off with hitting shuffle and listening to Money Talks on my way into the conference. I went to the audio boot camp again this year. As always it was a good overview of music and sfx in games along with a few uniquie tips and tricks sprinkled in. At the happyhour that afternoon I met an artist named Jimmy and we decided to cruz over to the IGDA party together. There I met with a few people and a tall Finn who would direct the rest of our night. We ended up at Gold Dust Saloon off of Powell with the Finn and some Koreans in a very multicultural slurring of game enthusiam. We ended the day in our hotel lobby with 2 additional Finns and 2 large pizzas which seemed to carry the same life giving powers as mana from heaven.
Wednesday: Hit shuffle and Finnegans Wake by the Dubliners starts playing......How did my iphone know? I got to the conference early for the morining event talk which ended up being a Pecha Kecha presentation of all of the rest of the talks of the conference, impressive, but also the longest Kecha I've seen.
After that I strolled over to the expo floor to see what was on display before heading to my first lecture for the day. Wargaming is adding a WII flight game to their arsenal. I've been away from World of Tanks for a while and that might actually bring me back. I hit up a few other booths and then decided to go back towards the lecture hall. On my way a random street urchin handed my a very familiar looking game. Turns out I had just run into a distance collaborator from my grad school that I had never met in person. Soon I was talking with Team Delirium and chatting about their project and other goings on at UAT. I ended up skipping the first lecture and hanging out with the team. :-P After finding a food truck giving away free alligator sausage po boys (delicious) I caught the lunchtime talk from DB Cooper about vocalizing screams for games. She nevers stops being awesome behind the mic. I then went back to the expo floor and checked out unity (no audio people there), nvidia, intel....blah blah etc. Finally I got to some of the smaller booths doing some of the more interesting innovating like Weekends new software kit that will let you develop in visiual studio (I believe, it was something in a C based language, but it doesn't say what on the card), but it will let you bounce your game to work on any platform without changing your source code. Awesome, and cheaper than Unity.... :-D There was also some cool portable music creation devices and software that turns your Kinect into a mo-cap rig.
Next up I decided to broaden my horizons by going to a blackberry game creation track.....I'm trying to learn more. Did I? Not really, but I did get a free blackberry tablet, so I certainly feel smarter. I spent the next hour catching up with past event friends in the halls of Moscone centre. Ben Crossbones was and is still fun to catch up with. The day ended with the sound design Demo Derby and some great shows of talent/potential. Lastly, the big party night....I hit up Yetti Zen so my wife could come along. We raged until midnight (can you rage that early?) and then called it a night, so I could come back with time to blog, right? That's why I wanted to come back to the hotel room, catch up on blogging, and late night Family Guy.
Well, that's the conference so far. Today is my last day here and I'll try to make the most of it ;-).