Tuesday was pretty great – I had the opportunity to go to a game development studio (something I am glad I did do!) and saw some stuff later in the day (Click more for report with pictures)
In the morning (after sorting some banking stuff and grabbing an umbrella) the scholarship recipients all went to visit Three Ring Design, and bask in the glory of their absolutely awesomely designed office.
Daniel James was our host, and explained about the company, various things about the work ethic (no overtime, lots of holidays, not many milestone dates, but continuous work), and the history of them. Currently they’re working on a new social based game world, it reminded me of Facebook with the addition of avatars, rooms, and games (well, now Facebook has games, but whatever).
The studio’s art director and CTO/other owner also took the stand, each detailing the way programmers/artists work, tools used, and other things about their jobs and work.
After this in the afternoon we made it to Moscone (that’s supposedly pronounced “Mos-cone-e”) North building, to meet mentors. I have no idea what my mentor was doing but I am going to see him today (Wednesday) so I jumped ship after some discussions and went to the end of the Indie Game Summit.
There, it was pretty interesting seeing the talks – the first being Torpex’s Schizoid with Bill Dugan, who are an indie group who made the game (which is in the final stages of approval) purely using XNA to get it on Xbox Live on the Xbox 360. He put forward pro’s/con’s, and made the case for it being a prototyping tool and that on a shoestring budget you can do it.
Second was Innovating in the Casual Market with Arthur Humphrey, who demonstrated that with early development on games he didn’t particularily enjoy making himself, he could get to do his own games (which were still appealing), but he went through the difficulties and problems of getting it on portals, and how to get through it.
Last I saw the The State Of Indie Games which had a 5 person panel, and discussed mainly the future of Indie games, as well as their definition of indie (“The hat!”, or rather creativity I think – ie; it’s hard to define an indie company!) and other interesting things (comparison with music, and some questions).
Finally, after meeting with Jon Hayward to eat (and picking up a USA phone to use), it was the IGDA party. I met up with Robin from the AIGameDev.com forums, which was great. Not much mingling but I value the conversations perhaps more then throwing myself at everyone.