I'm not really a big fan of events like these usually, typically finding the information either a regurgitation of previously available knowledge that could easily be found, or that the information being presented just isn't that interesting. I am glad to report that, while I haven't been surprised by anything presented, the sessions usually aren't that boring. The presenters are not professional presenters, and so they get the joy of talking to a bunch of people who will either take their words and implement them, or who are going to write about them and their presentations... lucky them eh? But, as with all things, there are the usual underhanded programmer jokes and other such amusing things that pop up during the presentations, all of which cause the crowed to laugh...making it an overall enjoyable experience.
I met Oluseyi (and learned how to pronounce his name...) yesterday, along with Ian. I had a great deal of fun playing a trick on Oluseyi before I even met him, but I'll let him detail that, should he decide to do so. I also met Drew yesterday, which was a relatively short meeting, as we were all rushing about going to after events and deciding what the quickest and cheapest way to get smashed was. I am sorry to say, I didn't manage to get smashed. I did, however, attend a session from the SGS track about testing assumptions, whose write-up I should be able to get done tomorrow. As for today, I met superpig. He doesn't fly :(. I also met Michalson, Dave, Melissa, and Kevin... Melissa and Richard being the two more interesting conversationalists of the day/night.
Much to my horror, I ended up wasting the entire afternoon AGAIN talking with a GDNet staffer on the future direction and development of GameDev.Net. This is a good subject mind you, as I do have an interest in seeing this site grow and mature. But it's rather disturbing to look at your watch and realize that its 4:00PM and you've been there since 1:00PM talking about a single subject. We managed to discuss a broad range of topics, although no real decisions were made, just some goals to meet in order to better decide how to proceed forward. Thankfully Melissa arrived sometime before 4:00PM and interjected her particular brand of smarts, all of which made for an interesting roundtable discussion of everything from tentacles to how many of them I'm allowed to display on GameDev.Net at once.
I did manage to get some real work done though; I attended three sessions in the morning from the Microsoft Developer Day tutorial. All of them were quite enjoyable and the information should be beneficial (and I'll have those published tomorrow as well). They dealt with topics ranging from developing for windows vista, and best practices in relation to that, to XNA Game Studio Express on the PC and Xbox360, and finally Pix debugging on the PC and Xbox 360. There wasn't much that was new in the vista presentations for me, being primarily concerned with application development I've seen and dealt with the issues raised. As for the XNA GSE presentation, it was fun and definitely demonstrated what can be done with managed code that really pushes a machine to its limits. The PIX presentation was a fun presentation as well, as it presented a high level overview of using PIX frame capture to analyze performance information and debug performance issues on the xbox360 and PC. Both the XNA and the PIX presentations were heavily backed by demonstrations, which helped to enforce the points that were being made.