So EIEF is getting on for being quite a while ago now, so I'll give a brief synopsis of Day One today and go over Day Two tomorrow.
The best thing about the event this year was much closer inclusion of the public into the actual DevConference. Both were held in the same building and as such I think a lot more Developers went to see the various screenings and had a look round the Go Play Games exhibition. Complete with Booth Girls this year. :D
The food and coffee was on par with last year being excellent. The aftershow venue was much nicer although they were rather stingy about what they were offering for free compared with the previous year (although that may of been something to do with our shot-glass pyramid the previous year).
Anyway, Day One began with a Keynote speech from Adam Singer who discussed his views of the games industry. For those who don't know Adam Singer, he has been CEO of various large media companies and is current CEO of MCPS amongst other things. He isn't directly involved in games so his coments were interesting to hear. Basically his gist was that games have a way to go before they could be considered a medium but were working along the right lines.
The next session was the most relevant to me and was a panel discussion on Mobile Gaming. Essentially it boiled down to people discussing the problems currently being faced, which was slightly disappointing because it really rehashed the problems we all know are there. Interesting if you don't deal with them day-to-day. The contraversial point came from the guy at Vodaphone who managed in nearly the same breath to say games weren't that important (true, since their main revenue source is calls/data transfer) but that they wanted to be the sole retail provider of games on their network. To me that seems very short sighted and that they might consider it more worthwhile to team up with publishers or other distributors who can provide a more dedicated solution whilst Vodaphone still recoop on the data transfer over their network. Still Vodaphone Live is probably the best offering from any of the main networks in the UK. Other topics discussed were device fragmentation (Nokia promising to improve), issues with the difficulty in using handsets to actually get at games and also the unfriendly way in which they are currently sold.
Consoles and Broadcasters went head-to-head in the next session as the spreading influence and divergence of consoles into other media fields was explored. Representatives of Bravo, Channel 4, SCEE and Microsoft basically ended up having a big love-in. There was some friendly banter about XBox Live and then everyone basically agreed that broadcasters would still continue to create content for whatever the prevailing medium of transmission happened to be. Following on was a panel session entitled ROFLMAO, essentially focusing on online and social gaming. Featuring a panel including the people behind Second Life and various other online games it mainly focussed on the interesting things people were doing online other than shooting each other. Sort of interesting in a dry dull way.
The final two sessions followed a break for coffee and muffins. These featured a panel session on handheld gaming and its future, which was essentially a chance for a Gizmondo rep to get laughed at roundly by Nintendo and SCEE. After that there was the usual end of day lighthearted bit of industry comedy provided this year in the format of Have I Got News For You. Thankfully Dominick Diamond wasn't here this year. It was about as funny as could of been expected. (Not Very).
That ended the first days sessions. We then proceeded to get a little tipsy at the aftershow party, ready to get up with raging hangovers the next morning...