SACon was a melting-pot of interesting ideas, framed around the discussion of software architecture as a profession. O’Reilly’s conferences are always polished, well, run and all that good stuff (disclaimer: as might be obvious, O’Reilly is my publisher), but the attendees and speakers are what makes any conference shine. This conference definitely shone.
All the sessions that I attended were excellent, but the highlights of the conference for me were definitely the following talks:
The ‘hallway track’ was also exceptional, and we had some fantastic conversations with attendees on topics ranging from the rise of the Rust programming language to the use of ECS in non-video games to the merits of the Swift programming language to designing video game engines, and beyond.
Tim and I really enjoyed our book signing, and found ourselves face-to-face with one of the biggest queues we’ve ever had for a book signing, and had some excellent conversations with developers, architects, and team leads who were excited to learn Swift from our book, or share it with their teams back home.
Our ECS talk went well! We had a packed room (which was also one of the most palatial conference halls we’ve ever spoken in!) and got 5-star reviews with great feedback.
“If you want to build any kind of game for mobile platforms, you’ve got to take a look at Unity. This book is an excellent, thorough, and seriously fun guide to putting together gameplay in one of the best game engines out there for indie developers.”
“The best way to learn how to use a game engine is by getting your hands dirty and building your own projects. In this book, Paris and Jon guide you through the creation of two radically different games, giving you invaluable hands-on experience with a wide range of Unity’s features.”
– Alec Holowka, Lead Developer of “Night in the Woods” and “Aquaria” at
“This book changed my life. I now feel inner peace, and I’m pretty sure I can see through time.”
– Liam Esler, Game Developers’ Association of Australia
Unlike most of our other talks, we did something a little ridiculous with this one – we built an entire presentation system, from scratch, into Night in the Woods. We’re actually pretty proud of this, and so we put together a video showing how it was done. Check it out!
Over the last weekend I took place in GovHack 2016 at the Hobart site. This was the 4th time that I’ve participated in GovHack, and – as usual – it was an excellent event! I formed (what is now becoming the usual) team with Jon, Tim, Josh, Rex, Seb, Matthew, and Arabella, and we built a game out of the data-sets.
The game we built involves players taking control of news readers on flying news desks, grabbing images and matching them to headlines. It’s called Beat the Press and you can learn more about it on the project website, and through the video we made:
Thanks to my awesome team members for working so hard on art, music, data-wrangling, copy editing, video production, programming, design, and game design over the weekend! Thanks also to Craig Clark for hosting a fabulous event, as well as the other volunteers in Hobart, and everywhere else!
At the beginning of May, Jon and I visited Atlanta, Georgia, for IA Summit 2016. This is the second time we’ve attended at the IA Summit: last time was in 2012, in New Orleans. This year, we presented the latest iteration of our game design talk, “How Do I Game Design?”.
As promised during our talk, here’s links to a couple of the things we talked about:
I really enjoyed our second visit to the IA Summit, and definitely hope to come back next year! A particular highlight of the conference was the games night, which is quite unique to the IA Summit –– I love it! Highlights from the talks include:
Léonie Watson’s keynote about accessibility and inclusion, which featured a slide deck composed of movie quotes.
Lisa Welshman’s keynote on how design can impact real human beings.
Jesse James Garrett’s 7-in-1 closing keynote on… well, everything the IA industry needs to know?
Dan Ramadan’s talk on “Taxonomies, Tags, and Trajectories at the BBC”
Jorge Arango’s talk on “Placemaking Lessons from the Magic Kingdom”
Stephen Anderson’s talk on “How To Design A Concept Model”
… but everything I attended was amazing. There’s lots of great photos of the event, not taken by me, online here. Thanks to the organisers, volunteers, speakers, and attendees for putting on an amazing event!
IA Summit 2016 was one of the most diverse-feeling, inclusive conferences I’ve ever been to, and the community –– while, as game designers, we only really sit on the intersection of it and many other communities –– is incredibly welcoming and friendly.
Atlanta was also an amazingly friendly city, with a lot of interesting attracting (oh my, go and visit the Georgia Aquarium!) I’m looking forward to getting an opportunity to revisit it in the future! I’m also really looking forward to venturing to Vancouver, for IA Summit 2017.