The first one, by Nanette Kaulig, dealt with the approach used by the animation team at Lionhead to create the animations of Black & White 2 and (maybe more interesting) Fable 2. She warned us that the talk was more or less the same she gave at the GDC earlier this year - so you might know a lot about the news. Still, it's quite amazing to see this dog comming to life. Because my opinion is that it's really unbelievable. That's pretty true that the uncanny valley can alter your emotional response to a virtual character but this is simply not applicable to this dog (which is really realistic, and just seems to be living in your PC). Part of this comes from their animation system - they use a huge amount of animations to create this feeling of life (I mean, a really huge number of animation, as they try to provide more than one animation for any kind of action - not to mention that they sometimes use procedural animations (or procedural modifications in non procedural animation) to bring the dog to life). That's pretty impressive.
Right after Frau Kaulig's talk, Matthew Jeffery of Electronic Arts gave us keys about the futut of games. To be honnest, I was not really able to understand what he wanted to say. But the fact is that loads of slides were really interresting - especially the demographic slides. Do you know that the average age of gamers in the US is... 39 yo? Yes, that's quite shoking [smile]. The gamers population is younger in Europe (average: 25 or 26 yo, I didn't remember). It's even younger in Asia.
And that was the very last talk of the fmx/07. Meaning that the EA party could begin - and it does. Slowly. The thing is that the speakers were eating in anotehr room while we were waiting for some good music to danse. So after 2h waiting for something to happen (meet people, get business cards, discuss, repeat since step 1 and rinse), we just decided to danse a bit. Then the speakers arrived "en masse". I took some time to meet some of them (and get even more business cards in the process), then I decided that the work was over, and I started to drink again (not that I'm alcoholic). That's the last thing I remember, mister Officer.
No, I'm kidding.
That was a pretty good party in the end. Loads of clever people to meet. Beautiful girls to danse with (crap... she was married). Good bier and good white wine to drink. Not too mush to eat, but that was ok.
So, that was a good party, and it marked the end of a good conference. I envoyed it a lot - and I'm already planning to cover next year's edition [smile].
BTW, the real coverage will begin shortly. I have tons of things to write down (I also have loads of stuff that I mustn't write down), so it's not going to go very fast. You can expect to get 4 more articles with that red fmx logo.