I went to the BostonFIG Talks the other day… er… the other month. (That is pretty much how my life is going right now.) It was great to see the games being developed in Boston, and it was just a really thoughtfully planned day. First, the keynote ended with an activity of taking names and looking for those people at the conference. This was nice because even though I never found my second person, every time I chatted with someone during the day, we’d compare names and ask if the other person knew them. So that was an automatic icebreaker, as designed.
Also, they had food. Usually conferences have coffee and danishes in the press room, and while I’m not exactly complaining about the free food for writers, I am now too old to manage on caffeine and sugar, so I usually find myself in an awesome city, and looking for an Au Bon Pain or whatever so I can overpay for quick sandwich. Getting older is the worst. Moving on.
All the talks I heard were interesting skillshares — actually, that’s another way this was a really thoughtfully organized conference. I don’t really have experience with AAA work, so talks about large-scale, high-budget development isn’t too applicable to me. But I’ve worked on several games, so I’m not too interested in introductory lectures.
Probably the most fun talk was on avatars and character customization. This one was given by a student, Francesca Carletto-Leon, and all her friends came to point out which of her avatar examples were themselves or their other friends. It was great in the sense that it shows a thriving indie dev community in my new city. But it was also alienating because it shows a thriving community of people who all know each other… and not me.
She did reference some of Carly’s research, which is always great to see.
I did not yell out “Look, you guys! My friend is in this presentation too!” but I strongly considered it.