Flammable Penguins

Claire Blackshaw's Forest of Fun

Games Horizon Thoughts Day 2

Conference Professional
Games Horizon Thoughts Day 2

Monetising Innovation

Peter Molyneux - Creative Director

Really enjoyed this talk, a real breath of fresh air. The press coverage of this has mostly been terrible focusing on sound bytes and out of context bits of information, ah well.

I really liked Peter drawing the similarities to the 80s, remember 1983 crash is a big reason we have gated submission.

I really enjoyed him talking about silly mistakes he made in his development career. Like doing Populous 2 in assembler to impress some other industry people. I've made similar mistakes and glad to see there is hope for me yet.

He talked about the sense of wonder that great experiences can provide, he also focused on the quality and innovation aspect. It's worth mentioning every successful title he has done has had friction from the publisher.

I was highly amused at how his sexual commentary and "cupping" technique made the audience nervous and uncomfortable. I really really like that Lionhead is willing to take on these topics, if we can have mini-guns we should have sex. Cause you may never fire a mini-gun but your almost certainly going to have sex.

He also talked about the more diverse audience and needing to serve that. When I asked him about that he responded that you need to make your studio more diverse, listing an impressive number of women in important positions in Lionhead. It really impressed me, no hedging or dodging, he plainly stated you needed a more diverse team to produce diverse products.

It great to see quality and innovation to be held up in their proper place.

Changing Games

Joseph Olin - President, Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences

Another REALLY great talk. Again focusing on quality and the fight for eyeballs.

He spoke about the positive state of games, the shift to digital and the lack of proper tracking.

A comment I think he made, may have been another speaker, was once you see the gold rush it's over. Which is so true. I'm really getting sick of all these business people trying to jump on bandwagons after they have left.

Marketing campaigns that punch above their weight and why

Tom Rothenberg – Managing Partner, McCann Erickson

An amazing talk, with a broad application. Talking about the 4th age of advertising being Dialogue. My favourite quote came from this talk, Digital Marketing is like sex everyone is talking about it, some people are doing it. Most do it badly*. That may be slightly misquoted but the strokes are there

The insight into the Halo 3 campaign and Pepsi sports programs were amazing. Turning your brand or product into an "IDEA". Really interesting approach.

Edit: A detailed write-up is now on Games Brief

Interactive Drumming

Mark Schulman

A fun talk from a famous drummer. Great for the spirits, nothing new. Ended in a fun way and there were tic tacs.

Six New Tricks to Teach Old Dogs

Darren Jobling - COO, Eutechnyx

Hmmm.... not a great talk.

The one good quote which I think is so true, "You can't change a negative person but by hell they can change you."

I've always believed in giving your all to your craft. Don't be half there, if your unhappy then change damn it.

The Future: We're All (Still) Monkies

Scott Foe – Consultant

Really enjoyable talk which can be boiled down to it's title.

Sex is a big thing, why are we ignoring it? He pointed to dating games, where are they? I have to say that I think that Kinetics is a big option here, starting with avatars with the option of moving to camera. Bearing in mind that you can't lie about height and weight to the camera (for avatar data). Still the game space can be hostile to women, there is a reason my voice chat is off except with friends. Tele-dildonics or remote stimulation is an interesting field. Which is better a high score or an orgasm?

Also talking about the value of experience and focused practice, feeling like I'm misquoting there. Basically experience comes from hard focused training. Think how athletes train, he used some basketball examples. Many starting earlier. Experience matters!!!

He touched the importance of good education, some discussion about the great innovative from skill-set in the QA session. Also some back and forth about whether a degree is needed. Everyone who I respected was saying no, Mark Reign for instance said their head graphics programmer had no degree. Though it was acknowledge that good guidance can accelerate experience.

Some younger members of the audience squirmed a bit, but having worked with giants like Bruce there are no doubts in my mind. Also remember age does not equal experience, its the amount of focused training.

All in all a great conference which I was glad to attend. Loads bubbling away in my head and I look forward to exploring some of it at a later date.