Online Views on Shared Gems 2012

It’s been almost a week now from the Shared Gems 2012 Game Seminar. The seminar was a great experience and I want to write down some thoughts while I still remember what happened there.

I was part of the production team and my main responsibility was the video conference environment for the distant participators.

The video setup was quite light: A basic Windows lap top with Logitech c910 webcam plus Adobe Connect Pro.

At first we had ideas about connecting the speakers computer into the system for the presentation slides but when all speakers used different computers it didn’t seem to make sense. Also we were going to get the sound in through the sound table but in the end we just used the image and sound of the webcam. The quality could have been better but I think that the essential stuff came across. We had around 6-16 participants during the day, so you could say that we got about 10% more guests to the seminar through Connect Pro.

The other thing we did to connect the seminar and the virtual audience was a Twitter feed displaying the #SharedGems tweets. We set up one widescreen display on our info desk and used to show what was going on in Twitter. This was a very easy but impressive way to turn attention our back channel.

All tweets an some comments are archived in this Shared Gems 2012 Storify story.

As I was poking around with Connect Pro I didn’t get so much out of the seminar itself. Anyway, Some points about the Keynote Speakers:

  • Samuli Snellman gave a very instructive speach about his career and the tools that are used in social and mobile games graphic production.
  • Petri Purho had solid and strong opinions about game design and his enthusiastic performance with live coding and crazy demonstrations was excellent.
  • Giuliano Cremaschi was funny but informative when he pointed out his views about setting up a Gaming Startup. This was exactly in line with the Vyyhti philosophy about entrepreneurship!
  • Ari Pulkkinen shared his insights about sound design in games. I remember especially one quote ”I’m the emotion guy”, which I think sums the sound designer’s responsibilities.
  • Annakaisa Kultima did a great wrap up from researchers point of view.

The 48HRS Game Jam pre event was amazing effort by two game developer teams. The jam resulted two interesting game prototypes and the audience also liked them.

So not too many bad things to say about the event. The air conditioner wasn’t on so it was very hot at times. But I guess that people who love games are used to push their limits a bit further so it wasn’t too bad :)

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