AGDC – My Take

Sorry I took a couple of days before posting it, but I’ve felt like complete shit for two days now. Someone must have been passing some “bug” around at the conference.

The conference was fun, and a little informative. I ran into a few old co-workers and friends which always makes it a bit more fun then if you attend by yourself. It was great seeing Kevin Rivas”Squirm”, Chris Sherland “Mo”, and Marty Poulin “Vandal” again. If you guys read this; much love for ya. Also partied with Alan Dunkin “Monty” on Thursday night at the kick-off party. It was good to see him again as well. On our way out of town on Friday, he took us to a pretty good BBQ place where everyone gorged themselves. I think it was called Rudy’s.
I had a blast rooming with Bloo and Gophur, and just like I suspected, I didn’t snore. That one was for Rafter.
Snellman is still my number one Viking brother…that guy can fucking drink, but he sucks at throwing cards…embarrassing.
Much thanks to Bloo for driving the distance, and taxiing us around.

Back to the conference…

A couple of the lectures I went to were good, a couple not so good, and one just bad. Dana and Steve said they were going to post their notes so I won’t get in dept on the finer points, but I will say that the two art related ones didn’t hold much interest for me. The Autodesk lecture was a bit remedial and didn’t really show anything new with Max 2008 (their new version). I got more info by cornering the guy on the Expo floor (at the Autodesk booth) and questioning him about it’s new features. I’m actually excited about some of them as they appear to have the ability to improve productivity for what I do with it.
I got the chance to try out the Cintiq tablet from Wacom…man I want one of those bad.
I accomplished my goal of meeting up with the folks at Emergent and Big World, and also checked out the Unity 3D and Trinigy offerings as well. Very informative. Lot’s of interesting technologies out there, and some good tools that Playnet could use as well.

One thing that did stick out for me is the recent boom in casual gaming, and casual games. It seems a lot of folks are getting on that bandwagon, but I wonder what their motivation for it is. I mean, are they interested because these are fun paradigms to explore, or because of the speculation that it will make them a shitload of cash? Honestly, I suspect the latter. No doubt, there are probably some lessons to be learned from the casual gaming market, but unlike some of my colleagues, I can’t say for sure whether or not they are all applicable to game offerings that I enjoy working on. Line Rider or Habba Hotel has a ton of interest, but those are not the games I want to make or work on. I got into the game industry to make games that not only others like to play, but that I would want to play as well. My goal was not to get rich and famous from the experience (although making money is always nice). Some of these guys talk as if anyone can pump one of these phenomena out, but the truth is, thats not realistic just like not anyone can make a Gears of War or a World of Warcraft. A casual game moniker does nor guarantee success.
Personally, I think one of the things holding good designs, and good developers back is the perceived, pressing need to make a ton of cash. Everyone wants to be the next WoW, or sell a million units, and I am talking from the publisher’s stand point. As an industry, we need to get over it. Make games because you have fun doing it, not because you hope it will turn out to be your golden parachute, or to pick up the hot chicks. 🙂

The next couple of years is going to be very interesting.

I think I ate too much while I was there, and definitely drank too much. We started out the excursion on Tuesday night at Stubb’s BBQ, over near 6th street. Wednesday night we went to a AGDC party at a place call the Beauty Bar…what a hole. Lot’s of people there though and it was a good time. I have to give a shout out to Grace from NetDevil who edumacated me on the finer points of giving and excepting business cards with far Eastern folks. Thursday we hit the kick-off party at Maggie Mae’s. That place was a blast. We ran into a WWIIOL player, turned game dev now at Gearbox… heya Catfish!

All in all, it was worth the time to go. Next year though, I think I am going to make sure I get a hotel room across from the convention center…much more convenient that way.

6 Responses to “AGDC – My Take” »»

  1. Comment by mwhitman | 09/10/07 at 4:04 pm

    Nice informative write up.

    Sounds like it was worth the trips.

    And alwyas good to meet up with old friends too.

    P.S. your picture link isn’t working (presume we are missing the usual type of picture? if so fix it ASAP! 🙂 )

  2. Comment by mwhitman | 09/10/07 at 4:05 pm

    ROFL must have fixed it as I was posting! 🙂

  3. Comment by Toto | 09/10/07 at 9:29 pm

    The picture good, yes?

  4. Comment by Bryan N. | 09/10/07 at 11:56 pm

    I think you’re the first person I know that had something nice to say about the new MAX. Everything else I’ve read was, “Are you ****ing kidding me? This is what you call a version release?” ‘

    btw… I did bite the bullet on z3. Haven’t had time to mess with it yet but I will soon!

  5. Comment by Toto | 09/11/07 at 7:30 am

    Very cool. Let me know how you like it. I am interested in seeing what Modo 3 offers. They claim to be incorporating a sub-d surface modeler (or the ability) in that version.

    As far as a version release for MAX…well I don’t know if the new features warrant a new version, but the few new things I saw were pretty nifty.

  6. Comment by Bryan N. | 09/11/07 at 9:16 am

    Modo 3 does look cool, but I plan on giving SILO 2 a good trial here soon. Some of their modeling tools are pretty slick and the price can’t be beat.

    I’d love a copy of Modo if I could afford it, but it’s a bit rich for my blood atm. They’re doing great things over there though. Certainly keeping an eye on them.

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