29 December 2010

GameLoop - A Boston unConference - by Scott Macmillan

      Posted 08/21/10 01:49:00 pm  

This coming weekend, Darius Kazemi and I are running Boston's GameLoop, our third-annual all-day game development unconference.  It's this Saturday August 28th in Cambridge, MA.  It’s a self-organizing game conference, and it goes something like this:

9am-10am: People show up and spend an hour getting to know each other’s shared interests10am-11am: We informally vote on proposed sessions and put those up on the big board11am: the conference begins!

There are rooms for people to meet in, and a big board with a schedule grid to coordinate it all. Last year’s GameLoop was a huge success: we had about 90 attendees from about 35 companies, including local companies like Irrational Games, Harmonix, and Rockstar New England as well as developers from places like Bethesda Softworks, EA Mythic, and Vicarious Visions.

The signal-to-noise ratio at a conference like GameLoop is pretty astounding. What we like best is that it’s simply developers talking about stuff they are interested in. It’s a refreshing change of pace if you’re starting to feel like the big conferences are the same people saying the same things every year. We’ve had sessions about procedural animation, ethics in rulesets, distributed version control, iPhone shaders, illusionary gameplay, prototyping, and many others. Some sessions are incredibly small and focused, just three really passionate people who don’t know each other discussing a topic they care about. Other sessions can be more like standard conference lectures or roundtables. You can see the whole 2009 schedule along with some audio and notes from the sessions.

Registration for the event is $40.  We provide breakfast, lunch, and a T-shirt.  After the conference groups of people head to dinner to hang out.

To register, go here: http://gameloop.eventbrite.com. We accept PayPal and major credit cards, as well as cash at the door (but you still need to register).

We hope you can make it!  We also hope you’ll pass the word on to other industry types that you know, maybe even send a note to your company’s internal boards or lists.

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