Chat about the AGDC here

Just a sticky thread for those who have been to the AGDC to chat and tell us all about it!!

souri's picture

Oh, and I'm curious as to what Auran's announcement is as well, so if any of you find out, post it in here too please. [8D]

Jacana's picture

Hey :)

Day one has finished and what a blast! Managed to meet up with some of the Sumea people today!
So far we all look to be having a great time. The talks have been wonderful.
Ray Muzyka had a great presentation for NWN as well as Adam Lancman with "Lessons I have Learnt"

The party went well - too bad the weather did not decide to follow.

-Jacana

"I used to think that the day would never come
I'd see delight in the shade of the morning sun
My morning sun is the drug that brings me near
To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear"

Jacana's picture

Today was a blast :) Too bad most people were hungover from last night and missed the first talk of the morning. Battlefield 1942. Today seemed to spread people out a bit more then yesterday (interest areas).

We caught up with Blitz today - and I didn't get a picture! Sorry Blitz!

Today was a great learning day for me. Talking with people and asking questions about what they look for in hiring people, about how to approach people, and other little tidbits.

"I used to think that the day would never come
I'd see delight in the shade of the morning sun
My morning sun is the drug that brings me near
To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear"

Blitz's picture

Today (the only day i can afford) was great. Starting with the talk about how refraction games and then DICE have evolved, and some of the issues getting a publisher, meeting milestones, etc. was great. There was some very fun movies in there that had most of the audience laughing heartily.

Afterwards i went to the "How to get into the game industry" talk, which ended up being pretty much a promotional for the AIE's Cert4 3D/animation course. Talked about the assignments completed throughout the year, goals of the course etc. Not so interesting for me from a programming POV :)

After that i meant to go to the MMOG design talk, but got my numbers mixed up and wandered into the Flexible Game Engine talk instead, which was quite packed. It was a really good overview of whys, and a few hows, you should implement an engine that will be easily exchangeable between various platforms (he mainly compared consoles). Also talked about certain differences/constraints between consoles that have affected their development.

Lunch time, wandered round the expo, checked out some of the unsigned games although didn't really get a chance to play them. Wandered over to the auran booth to find out what their "big announcement" was. Check http://www.nextyearsgame.com for the answer. Played some xbox, then back to the talks.

Tales from the frontline was changed to Designing for a License at the last minute, quite interesting, advantages and disadvantages of designing for a license. Oh, and we got minties!

Lastly i went to the making of hail. Reasonable presentation on what went into the game, although it was a bit unorganised :) (Due to spending time on Hail instead of the presentation). Well done to the guys and girls who worked on that.

The arvo keynote was interestingly a rallying cry to the world of game development. It's hard to expand on that, but basically the talk was about differences between games and other entertainment media, why games aren't as popular etc.

All in all a great day. Hope to be there again next year!
CYer, Blitz

Jacana's picture

I did not keep a list so I am going off memory!

Career Achievement Award -
Adam Lancman

Award for Outstanding Innovation -
Micro Forte Big World Technology

Award for Best New Start-Up -
Evolution Games (released Rocket Power: Beach Bandits for the Gamecube - Sept 02)

Award for Outstanding Industry Contribution -
Camille Wall

Award for Best Game of 2002 -
Grand Prix Challenge (Infogrames Melbourne House)

Award for Best Game for PC -
Freedom Force (Irrational Games)

Award for Best Game for Next Generation Consoles -
Grand Prix Challenge (Infogrames Melbourne House)

Award for Best Game for Game Boy Advance -
Duke Nukem Advance (Torus)

Award for Best Character Design -
Ty the Tasmanian Tiger (Krome Studios)

Award for Best Game Audio -
Grand Prix Challenge (Infogrames Melbourne House)

Award for Best Game Design -
Freedom Force (Irrational Games)

Award for Best Level Design -
Hotwheels Bash Arena (Micro Forte)

Award for Best Unsigned Game -
Wicked Witch (did not get game title)

"I used to think that the day would never come
I'd see delight in the shade of the morning sun
My morning sun is the drug that brings me near
To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear"

Daemin's picture

Erg, its too early in the morning to talk about how good the conference was, I am just back in Adelaide now and trying to recover after 5 days of very little sleep.

Jacana should be able to post some interesting pictures of the people that we met, and when I get the roll of film finished I will travel up to a friends place and get them scanned in as well.

Meanwhile I'll just sit here idly thinking about stuff, trying to remmeber more stuff, and thinking about what kind of articles I should write. I've already written up a summary on paper of the stuff that I did during the three days, but I don't know if that interesting enough to put up here. What do you think Souri and Jacana (Or should I call you Cheryl ?)

Jacana's picture

Actually a fair amount of my pics came out blurry :(
I was told that I should not need the flash inside the lighted areas but really needed it.

Most of the keynote speaches were over exposed and blurry :( As well as a few "fun" pictures.

One of the two pics I took of the group with Lars and Ray came out while the pics of me with them did not.

We need to work out how to consolidate all the pictures :)

"I used to think that the day would never come
I'd see delight in the shade of the morning sun
My morning sun is the drug that brings me near
To the childhood I lost, replaced by fear"

Daemin's picture

Heh, let's hope we can use enough of the Photoshop "Sharpen" filter to fix those pictures. And I hope mine did not turn out blurry either.

Hrm, need sleep...

Also just like to mention the people that I saw there on at least one day from the site at least:

Me(Daemin)
Jacana
Blitz
BradB (Tycom)
AndrewM (Tycom)
David Coen

Also a bunch of guys from Melbourne Uni, and also a bunch of Guiys from the AIE.

BTW Congrats Jacana and (possibly) Blitz on getting into 2nd year of the AIE course next year :-), there's better be some damn cool games created.

Jacana's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Daemin

Heh, let's hope we can use enough of the Photoshop "Sharpen" filter to fix those pictures. And I hope mine did not turn out blurry either.

BTW Congrats Jacana and (possibly) Blitz on getting into 2nd year of the AIE course next year :-), there's better be some damn cool games created.


I will get the photos up soon. I have been a total bum today! Sleep is good :)

I was actually accepted into 1st year of the course (not 2nd). I have only programming with C++ for about two weeks now, so there is still a lot left to learn.

*update* Here are some photos:
http://au.photos.yahoo.com/jacana_s

Those were the best looking ones of the lot :) Most were blurry!!

"Yes I Code"

Daemin's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Jacana
"Yes I Code"

That's a classic :-)

Yeah, I've just woken up again for the second time today (not counting the numerous times on the train).

quote:


Originally posted by Jacana
I was actually accepted into 1st year of the course (not 2nd). I have only programming with C++ for about two weeks now, so there is still a lot left to learn.

Ahh, well then, we may see each other again in another year's time if I end up going to the AIE. Still, you got in, and that's what counts in a way.

souri's picture

Actually, Jacana, were you the female programmer who requested a journal a while ago?.. I've had a couple of requests for a Programmer section (like the modeller, 2d artist, mapper sections), so I might put one up if there is a demand for it.

Jacana's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Souri

Actually, Jacana, were you the female programmer who requested a journal a while ago?.. I've had a couple of requests for a Programmer section (like the modeller, 2d artist, mapper sections), so I might put one up if there is a demand for it.

Yup :) That was me. I totally forgot about that.... :) I think it was more that I thought maybe there was super special "hidden" areas of the site that I needed to login to view...

A side note - The shirt I picked up on Sunday was just fine :) (you'll know what I mean)

"Yes I Code"
As found on AGDC name tag 2002

Daemin's picture

Hrm, yeah, I would also like to see a programmer section to be added to the existing Art-Heavy secitons. I'm sure some of us can contribute articles and such to it.

(Jacana - hehe now you can just walk into their offices and into the lead programmers room and ask for a job :-)

Blitz's picture

I wouldn't mind seeing a section where programmers could post .plan files and stuff like that...
CYer, Blitz

souri's picture

Ok, I'll put up a programmers section in a couple of days.. I hope some of you guys will help out with the links and programmer related news there sometimes.. [:)]
Curious - what were Ratbag up to? Did anyone get to see anything of Ikon or Ratbags other secret titles? (they're very quiet!).. thanks for the AGDC awards results Jacana.. I've chucked them up on the Sumea Developer Awards page... if anyone knows what the Wicked Witch game was, let me know!... and hey, didn't Grand Prix Challenge really clean up there [:)]...

I found this comment at Slashdot from the AGDC topic.. http://slashdot.org/articles/02/12/09/0126222.shtml?tid=127 .. pretty interesting.. [:)]

quote:

The most striking fact from the conference was examining the behaviour of different programming houses. Infogrammes (Melbourne House) were so big, that they didn't care about anyone else, so they always clustered together. It took a bit of effort to isolate a few of their developers to have a serious 1-1 talk. Ratbag developers seemed like the most compotent of the lot - they know their stuff, and are hungry for success. Watch out for these guys. MicroForte were the loudest at the party, they know how to have a good time. I felt sorry for one of the houses (who I will not name), they were like 'we will code games for food, give us a project, any project'.
Jacana's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Souri

Ok, I'll put up a programmers section in a couple of days.. I hope some of you guys will help out with the links and programmer related news there sometimes.. [:)]

I have a fair few links :) Would be happy to supply you with a very long list.

quote:


Curious - what were Ratbag up to? Did anyone get to see anything of Ikon or Ratbags other secret titles? (they're very quiet!)..

I did not talk to too many local devs (see response later) but I know Dave talked with Ratbag and sat with them for the Alien Infestation dinner.

quote:


thanks for the AGDC awards results Jacana.. I've chucked them up on the Sumea Developer Awards page... if anyone knows what the Wicked Witch game was, let me know!... and hey, didn't Grand Prix Challenge really clean up there [:)]...

No problem :) I hope I got them all correct *grin* Infogrames did very well this year. There was a short demo of the game in one of the talks and it looked good. They have a title to be proud of.

quote:


I found this comment at Slashdot from the AGDC topic.. http://slashdot.org/articles/02/12/09/0126222.shtml?tid=127 .. pretty interesting.. [:)]

Interesting you should notice that Souri. I made a similar comment in an email to you.
I honestly found most of the international speakers easier to talk to the those already involved in the Australian community. I found a fair few studios were keeping into groups of their own house - and that?s a bit intimidating to break into a group of six or so people.

When you keep to your own you miss a lot. There was a wealth of knowledge there over the weekend and I tried to take in as much of it as I could. Not just from the talks but from the people. I really apprecaited that after the last talk of the conference Derek from Mirco Forte (Xbox project) talked with a few of us for good hour. He missed the closing keynote as did we. But in that hour there was a lot of knowledge to be had.

Also when you keep to your own you can miss out on a lot of experiences. I ended up in a talk sitting next to Lars Gustavsson. I had talked to him earlier that day about a few topics and I guess that made me a familiar face in the crowd. So when he walked into the room he then saw a familiar face. While that may not be a big thing to others as a student I apprecaited that. I took that as a sign that I had not made a total fool out of myself :)

With the experience I had this year I would be more inclined to talk with international dev's and give them my work. The down side of this would mean that local talent would then be going overseas to work.

"Yes I Code"
As found on AGDC name tag 2002

Daemin's picture

Erm, well from what I know only a small contingent from Ratbag were at the conference, and that was due to the other team (s?) having a milestone that they had to get done. Ikon as so far as I know is a game where you drive around and shoot things, sor of in that Genre, but they have not released anything yet. (Maybe they don't want to pull something like Duke Nukem Forever has done). Also the Ratbag guys were the most drunk on the friday night party I'd say, they partied a lot, I heard that they were at the Barcode club till 2am on saturday night after the dinner. ;-)

As for the Indie Game that won it was "Melodie Mars", a music shooter I believe it was described. So you could score points by shooting, and also by doing something with music (although I didn't have my headphones on etc), you could also walk on any surface and fly etc so it was quite innovative. There were some other interesting games there, I think Pax Galactica has some merit, and could be a great game but it still needs some work on it to get the interface and the "World" integrated into one application. Pyzzle was a myst clone using python as the programming language, which I think is a good idea instead of just using C/C++ constantly, since it didn't need super fast anything it was a good use of available resources by that team.

With the programming site I'm sure we can provide enough links for you, I would also like ot request a plan file thingo too.

Zaph's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Jacana

I honestly found most of the international speakers easier to talk to the those already involved in the Australian community. I found a fair few studios were keeping into groups of their own house - and that?s a bit intimidating to break into a group of six or so people.

I agree, but I think it can be addressed to some degree. At the GDC in the USA they usually have very large round tables around the conference (for sitting at between sessions and while eating lunch). These seat 12 people (approx) which means that you end up with a mix of people from multiple studios (and students, etc)
Perhaps the organisers need to do more to encourage mingling - some three-legged races [:D] or maybe the cocktail party should encourage more mixing?

I had the chance to speak to some great people at the conference from all over the place (Sony/Xbox/AIE/Students/etc) but I could see the problems with the larger studios grouping together (technically it was probably friends grouping together, but its the same thing). IMH suffered from the problem that it accounted for more than 10% of the crowd (probably closer to 20% if you include all the people who had worked there at some time in the past!)

I'm really impressed that they keep getting big names to come in from overseas, I had a chance to talk to Ray Muyzka which was very cool, and I loved the guy from Sweden (or somewhere like that) who talked about the game experiment crossed with reality that he ran at his Uni.
Unfortunately I missed the BF1942 talk - as did many others... holding a cool keynote at 9am isn't going to work [|)]

Zaph

Jacana's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Zaph
I'm really impressed that they keep getting big names to come in from overseas, I had a chance to talk to Ray Muyzka which was very cool, and I loved the guy from Sweden (or somewhere like that) who talked about the game experiment crossed with reality that he ran at his Uni.
Unfortunately I missed the BF1942 talk - as did many others... holding a cool keynote at 9am isn't going to work [|)]

LOL! Most people were nursing hangovers at 9am.

The guy your talking about was Steffen from Playbe - German company. I had a talk with him during one of the breaks. I was very interested in that talk but it was too full to get in. He did mention that most of the information he gave on the speach can be found on their website.

I might be worth a suggestion to Pon about trying to mix up the attendes a bit more.

I am very interested in IMH as I am in the Melbourne area. There was a great talk about creating licenced content from one of the guys there.

"Yes I Code"
As found on AGDC name tag 2002

Zaph's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Jacana

The guy your talking about was Steffen from Playbe - German company. I had a talk with him during one of the breaks. I was very interested in that talk but it was too full to get in. He did mention that most of the information he gave on the speach can be found on their website.

Ahh, my notebook! (paper that is):
MadCountdown: http://www.madcountdown.com

and the Aussie link he mentioned:
ARQuake: http://wearables.unisa.edu.au/arquake/

quote:


I am very interested in IMH as I am in the Melbourne area. There was a great talk about creating licenced content from one of the guys there.

That was Mark Morrison - an excellent public speaker (and he had free minties!). I felt sorry for the guy in the audience who had actually shipped a Barbie(tm) game [:p]

Jacana's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Zaph
That was Mark Morrison - an excellent public speaker (and he had free minties!). I felt sorry for the guy in the audience who had actually shipped a Barbie(tm) game [:p]

Thanks for the links! :)

Free minties is always a bonus! The guy who shipped the Barbie game works from Krome. I am sure he was very happy about that talk.

*edit*
Just had a look at your site. I went to the pictures page - are you the guy from IMH that had the big dreads?

"Yes I Code"
As found on AGDC name tag 2002

souri's picture

You know, Lars Gustavsson (Battlefild 1942) from DICE (which stands for Digital Illusions DC) ..

Some of us may remember Digital Illusions for their *INCREDIBLE* Pinball games on the Amiga.. Pinball Illusions, and my all time favourite, Pinball Fantasies!!! Lars wasn't on the team, (his AGDC details say he joined Refraction Games back in 1999 which later merged into Digital Illusions), but those games were *unreal*.. full screen, fast/smooth scrolling graphics on a crusty 7mhz Amiga 500.

Just a little trivia, I think Digital Illusions were started by a bunch of The Silents demo group people.. demo groups were like what mod groups of today, except the programmers did all of the code, and the 'product' was something akin to a video clip - with music, special effects, and art.

Anyway, Jacana if you're interviewing Lars later on, I have a few questions for him [;)]

Zaph's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Jacana
Just had a look at your site. I went to the pictures page - are you the guy from IMH that had the big dreads?

No [:D] I can see the connection there though (I shaved the beard many years ago...) I do have long hair, but not in dreads, and Alex (the Dreads guy) is about a foot taller than me (well, it feels that way!)

Blitz's picture

actually, lars showed off some very, very cool video's during his sat morning keynote, which included one that was like a video biography of refraction/DICE. I wonder if those vids are available on the net somewhere, they're definately worth watching :)
One thing i WOULD like to see at next years AGDC is more Game Dev's showing off the games they've released. Auran was the only Dev with a booth, and i'm guessing they had the booth mainly to show off Jet and nextyearsgame thing, rather than their actual games.
CYer, Blitz

davidcoen's picture

some random quotes not in full context

John Passfield (krome) denied that they will be making a game called 'chooka the occa chook'

Graham Edelsten (CEO Auran) regets not getting to make darkreign2

Raymond Muzyka (bioware) is enjoying australia and does read www.megatokyo.com

John De Margheriti (Microforte) is very happy with 'bigworld' tech, and listed some interesting korean online games ;_;

and 'melodie mars' won the unsigned games (Wicked witch software). a music based FPS which also had surface dependant gravity (fly close enough to a wall and you would turn around to stand on it, makes for interesting levels)

_what, i should not have sugested the 'barbie game' in Mark Morrison talk? >:)

Daemin's picture

I think I read it off a the Gamespy site, but Ray Muzyka is actually doing a driving holiday in Australia, and probably around South Australia by now.

Anyway, good quotes IMO :-)

Jacana's picture

One lesson I learned over the weekend:
Have business cards! Even as a student.

You can get 100 of them made up very cheap - besides being a student I am not sure people expect amazing cards.

"Yes I Code"
As found on AGDC name tag 2002

Daemin's picture

Yeah, that would be one of the things i'd prepare for next years conference - if I don't already have a job - the other thing would be to try and buy and bring the cd's of games that the international and national people have made for them to autograph them. (Like someone did this year :-)

souri's picture

Auran was the only Australian developer showing off their game ?? Are you serious? There were so many Australian games released last year, I would have thought they'd all have a few computers/consoles in each of their booths running their games.. I know I would have loved to actually check out Ty, and Grand Prix Challenge and other titles myself..

Daemin's picture

Well technically Auran weren't there to primarily show off their game, they got the booth to announce the "Next Years Game" competition thing. The independent games booth actually took up #6 and #7 which made it the largest booth there, and yeah. They had a few games showing off in the "viewing area" of the lanfest, which were the xbox titles.

Personally I don't think its worth it showing off a game at the expo, since there are demo's that you can make, and its rather expensive and there aren't that many publishers around either. We'll see how it goes next year.