My GameDay 2011 Conference Remarks
That was really interesting weekend. GameDay 2011 conference was the best game development event I’ve been so far (honestly I was only at couple of them in Poland).
More detailed information about the conference you can find on the official web site, but I wanted to write couple of words about my feelings considering each lecture. The event took two days full of interesting speeches and workshops in the evening.
First lecture was presented by Jarosław “Forrestal” Kulik from The Farm 51 and was about Unreal Development Kit. I’ve already seen similar presentation by him at one of the meetings of SKN Shader group, but this one was a little bit different and also interesting. Forrestal was nervous speaking to such big audience.
“Bamboo Dock” was a product presented by Konstantin Yonov from Wacom company. It’s something like environment for flash applications mainly focused on their digital pen. I didn’t like it, so if you want more information, you have to find it on your own.
Jakub Grudziński from Artifex Mundi was explaining casual game type: HOPA (Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure). I thought before he started, that it will be boring, but this guy has really good presentation skills and was able in a nice was describe what casula game and HOPA mean. For sure I will download one of their games and try it.
Nicolas Games prepared three presentations. First one was made by Katarzyna Wadas. She was talking about creating and animating game characters, motion capture and all things connected with this part of game development. She also was leading evening’s workshops about character animation. Topic was advanced and I had to focus to understand it, but now I know that animating characters is a hard work that needs a knowledge from different areas like kinetics and biomechanics.
Piotr Babieno from iFun4all was talking about their worst game ever “Paper Wars: Cannon Fodder”. How much impact had their marketing in final success of the game, which in the beginning was only a programmers’ joke. Very good tips about PR and how to make your game interesting for media.
After that, Maciej Byczyński (the father of Game Day conference) lead the discussion about game development, market and games in general in Poland. It was very interesting conversation between almost all representatives of the companies taking part in Game Day 2011 and conference’s participants. We could hear what is going on in Poland’s game development area from different points of view: professional game developers, producers, amateur developers and others.
I didn’t thought that game balancing is so hard and time consuming. It came to me after listening to Tomasz Kozera from Reality Pump. Conclusion: you have to test, test and … test. His voice made me really sleepy. Interesting topic, but he needs to learn how to present it for the audience in a nice way.
Stanisław Just from the same company waked me up. His presentation about game development in practice was good. It opened my eyes how hard can be development of even really simple and small game. He was describing this process on the example of Two Worlds II: Castle Defense game.
Reality Pump send another two persons, Hubert Kubit and Paweł Sasko. In my opinion it was the best presentation at the conference by means of the way of presenting and explaining the topic to the others. These guys (game screenplay writers) showed how screenplay is created and changing during whole process of game development. They had really good interaction with the audience during creating basic screenplay.
The next day started with technical issues. Guys from Drago Entertainment prepared really detailed (sometimes too much detailed) presentations about landscape and weather conditions generation. Unfortunately, they wanted to show demo of their engine on their own laptop but it was not possible to connect it to the projector. After presentation almost all people gathered around their laptop and were trying to see something. Most of them without luck. But besides that, they made a really great job with creating their own game engine and I’m waiting see it in some of their future production.
Rafał Czupryński from Microsoft should give a speech about 3D animation and bones in XNA, but he didn’t make it. I don’t know why, maybe he was scared after animation lectures made by guys from Nicolas Games. This time was taken by Mepi portal. They are selling tutorials and curses for platforms like Unity 3D or Maya. Whole offer you can find on their web page. I don’t know if they are worth it.
Krzysztof Gonciarz was talking about PR and how to make good marketing about your product. The guy was a little bit crazy, but maybe the people like him have more chances to make career in media. Contact him if you want tips how to efficiently inform polish media with your product.
Normal maps is not a recent topic. I already made implementation of bump mapping and parallax mapping couple of years ago during studies so presentation made by Adam Bryła from Nicolas Games was a bit boring for me, but maybe some beginner developers found this presentation interesting.
Ether Fields was the biggest surprise for me. It is a mmorpg game currently in development stage made by group of people during their spare time. What is interesting is that the whole game engine and editor is being developed by single person: Kamil “Saga” Nowakowski. Respect! This presentation was the most advanced one. I thing that they saw previous day’s presentation by two guys from Reality Pump and didn’t want to be worse. During night they prepared their presentation inside their Barok game engine. It was really amazing. At the top technical level. I encourage everyone to see they project page and possibilities of their game engine. I saw it on my own eyes during evening’s workshops where they were showing also game editor.
Game design is not only the idea, but the whole process. This process was described by Kamil Bilczyński from The Farm 51. After this, his college from the same company – Wojciech Pazdur was talking about game mechanics and its influence on the gameplay. Really nice presentation with life examples on their products.
The last lecture was about iPhone game development process presented by Artur Ganszyniec. He showed how iPhone game “Moonsters” was created from the idea, through available resources to the success at the AppStore. He told that starting with iPhone games development is easy but the competition is hight and you have to have very good quality game and a good producer behind your back. It’s true, so I’m starting to work even harder and to show you that it can be done by one man.