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Hi ho, Hi ho, it's back to work I go...

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Gaiiden

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Tuesday, Feb 13

Marathon IGF Interview Posting


Yes, you only see a single IGF interview newly featured on the main page, but the truth is I've actually gone and posted them all up on the resources section. Every day from now until the end of the month (and when a review or other featured article is being posted) I'll be featuring a new article on the main page. But now you're in the know, so head on over and indulge yourself. There are still more to come!

GDC Preview


Besides the usual shenanigans and conference/expo coverage, here's a look at what I'll be covering this year at GDC and why. Sessions that are underlined are ones that I'll be definetly posting about the same day, not the next

Monday


This'll be an easy day, and I'll be spending most of my time walking around the conference center in the morning and getting my bearings, taking lots of general conference photos as well, mainly of the convention center and any people I run into.

IGDA Chapter Workshop

If any of you are fellow chapter coordinators out there, or if anyone's interested in starting their own chapter, I'll be taking away some notes and ideas from this workshop that gathers coordinators from around the world to discuss how they manage their chapters.

Tuesday


Today I'm going to be taking in a tutorial.

Dealmaking for Developers 2007: Challenges for Growing an Independent Studio

The intended audience blurb for this full-day tutorial says it all: "This program is for anyone who has an interest or a dream of starting a development studio and wants to understand the business climate and contracting related issues that go with the opportunity." Well, if you're after the same goal as me, you'll get some good info when I report on this puppy.

IGDA Members Party

w00t - the party coverage begins here. The IGDA throws this for E3 but, now that that's defunct it's about time they started one up for GDC. Expect lots of pics of drunken developers doing crazy stuff. Cause... you know... we're crazy.

Wednesday


Now the fun really begins, as the conference kicks into high gear with sessions, the Expo (now in two halls - augh!) and the GDCAs.

Burning Mad: Game Publishers Rant

This is the reverse of the Game Developers Rant from 2006 and 2005. now instead of developers bitching about lame game awards, lack of innovation, sexism in marketing it's the publisher's turn to take the floor and speak out. based on the last two years of rants and raves I know this is going to be interesting, enlightening and hilarious. Hopefully they have a big enough room this year...

If You're Scared That Others Will Find Out You Don't Know How To Be a Manager

This looks interesting, as it is a session on how best to manage people. I'm not sure whether the takeaway will actually be all that good, but I figure it's worth a shot, and there was nothing better for me in this time slot anyways.

Xbox LIVE Arcade Game Development: How to Develop and Pitch a Successful Xbox LIVE Arcade Game Submission

LIVE Arcade is blowing up quick as one of the next big indie launchpads. I'm definetly interested in this platform myself personally as well. The session topic pretty much says it all. If you're into 360 casual development, or even thinking about it, you'd better not miss this report

Booth Crawl

I missed this last year, hopefully I won't miss it this year. Always fun to walk around, get free drink and munchies, and mingle.

Game Developers Choice Awards/IGF Awards

The Big Night. Hopefully we aren't stuck in a freaking ballroom this year with simulcasts to other convention areas. That was just embarrassing. A venue! We need a venue!. Anyways, like always I'll be there doing my usual coverage and trying to get it posted before passing out that same night. I usually succeed - for the most part

Thursday


Another session-packed day

Controlling an Entire Theatre of War: The Development of Supreme Commander

I've played Supreme Commander and it is indeed an awesome game. Just based on the sheer scope of the gameplay, I can only imagine what valuable nuggets I'll be able to extract from this session. I shiver in anticipation.

XNA Game Studio Express

This is a sponsored session where MS walks you through XNA Express. I've been wanting to delve into it but haven't had any spare time to do so - well here's as good an excuse as any! Plus then you all get to benefit from it as well when I report on it...

After the Party: Introversion Software One Year on from IGF 2006

I've always wanted to do follow-up articles on some of the IGF finalists I've interviewed a year or two ago - see where they are now, what the IGF really did for them, etc. So this is as good an alternative as any, as well as providing insight to the growth of an indie studio

Developer/Publisher Wars

In this case I'll let the session description speak for itself:

"This panel of industry veterans provides guidance into anticipating, avoiding, preparing for, resolving and litigating the many types of clashes between developers and publishers, including the following: The never-signed long form; milestone approvals; ownership of tools, technology, game play patents and content IP; sequels; mediation, arbitration and courts; suggestions for resolving seemingly intractable disputes; bankruptcy; accounting statements; audits; collecting royalties."

That's a lot of stuff there, and all very good things to know.

Early Stage Funding for Independent Development Studios and Gaming Start-ups

Again, this is simply a focus of mine, the takeaway of which I'll be sharing with all of you.

Suite Night

And the partying continues. Hopefully the W will be a bit more roomy than the Fairmont last year. I couldn't move - and I'm skinny!!

Friday


May be the last day, but that doesn't mean any less sessions

The Videogame Piracy Problem: Fifteen Men on a Dead Man's Chest

This should be interesting. We all now piracy is a problem, but can it ever be stopped? Blu-ray and HD-DVD encryption has just recently been blown wide open, so until we have quantum computers is there really any hope?

How To Help Your Players Stop Saving All The Time

This is only a 20-minute lecture, but it ties in with an article I wrote a few years ago (part 1 | part 2), so I'm interested.

Game Sketching

I've never heard of this technique, so I'm interested to find out more. Plus it's another 20-min lecture so why not?

Your Own Game Studio in Six Months: Bootstrapping Core Through Casual

Not only is this once again within my personal field of interest, but the speaker (Charlie Cleveland) is a developer friend of mine and I'm definetly interested to hear how he's been doing with Unknown Worlds Entertainment

Best Practices to Help You Take Control of Your Game Development

This could end up being a bit over my head, but it's always good to expand your horizons, and in this talk an IBM Fellow will cover the following:

"Across a number of dimensions the game community is experiencing issues that other software-intensive domains have passed through, so there is value in drawing from the best practices in defense, embedded, and enterprise systems. For instance, the best way to manage complexity is to not write any software at all (thus forming the economic basis for the reuse of code and subsystems); or to move to higher levels of abstraction (thus leading to design patterns, architectural patterns, modeling, and domain-specific languages). These and other best practices from industry will be examined and shown how they may apply to the problems of game development."

Woah. Sounds heady. Sweet.

The Programmers Challenge

When I saw this in the listings I was like "woaahhh!! no way! AWESOME!!". This event hasn't been around since 2002!! And it was hilarious the last time they had it. I definetly can't wait to attend this. I was going to try once again to make the video game concert but once I saw this was back it was a no-brainer choice. I hope its worth it!

No Joy for GG from GG


Heh, funny headline. So I heard back from GarageGames about Galaxy Conquest. They said it was a fun and well-polished game but not in line with what they are looking to market. It was too casual. Which is good, in a way because I've always wanted this to be a casual game. So I'm not totally dissapointed. I'm going to see what they have to say about Blitz Blox and if that's not what they like either I'm pretty sure Drop Zone is more to their style of game. That's definetly not casual.

And finally, some random stuff


So I beat Guitar Hero last weekend, and on Friday I bought Guitar Hero II and by last nite I had made it to the last 4 songs on Expert mode with Easy, Medium and Hard all beat. Rock on! I'll nail them this week I swear it!!

It's all white outside, and it's freezing rain, not snow. Ugh I feel SICK! Driving home earlier tonight I was playing around a bit, kicking my rear out driving through my neighborhood, testing out the road. It was slick but I would always grip once I let off the throttle. Of course as soon as I turn down my street I do a 180 spin and slide a ways down the road backwards before coming to a stop. Luckily no damage. I didn't think of that fact that my street, being recently paved, is smooth as a baby's bottom, while the rest of my development has very very rough pavement. So the ice on my street was a smooth sheet compared to the other roads, which were still gritty and tractionable. I mean for a few seconds I didn't think I'd be able to move off my street it was so slippery. Well, lesson learned. Bah.

Stupid ice.
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That's a good line of up of things to see. I'm interested in the indie business topics too, so I'd be interested in your impression of them. I'm also interested in the whole save game design issue as well, so you seem to be heading to a lot of things that catch my interest.

Interested to see your experience at this year's conference!

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