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The One Man MMO Project
The story of a lone developer's quest to build an online world :: MMO programming, design, and industry commentary
Canadian Games Conference 2011
By Robert Basler on 2011-05-24 01:29:58
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com

Last week I attended the first Canadian Games Conference. Having attended GDC Canada the last two years, I was a little unsure what exactly to expect, but to my surprise, the conference was very good, although a little small. So if you didn't attend this year, you should reconsider for next year.

The selection of presentations did not initially seem to be as good as GDC, however the scheduling was better so the best presentations didn't conflict. They also made much better use of the second day, not starting late and ending early like GDC, but instead offering a full schedule of sessions (two more than GDC) to attend.

The quality of the presentations ended up being better than I expected. The session on the Unreal Samaritan demo was particulary interesting for its discussion of lighting techniques. I had a total headsmack moment in the session on multiplayer in Dead Rising - that little gem will save me some time. The session on funding games gave me some handy names I might use in the future and discussed a few funding sources I wasn't familiar with. And I'll be using Facebook and Twitter to promote my game now that I've learned the value of simple social network marketing techniques. The business and marketing talks were all good for me, but I'd like to see some more challenging technical presentations next year.

All the sessions were videotaped, so hopefully the presentations will be available at the website some time in the near future. A couple of the speakers indicated that the session slides would be made available.

The Pecha Kucha closing session (20 slides, 20 seconds per slide) was very entertaining - particularly the talk by Steve Bocska. It was a great way to top off the two days.

My only real criticisms of the conference were with Reboot Communications website for the conference and the messenging of exactly when and where the conference was. First, the math on the discount code was wrong, overcharging about $40 - although they did fix that promptly. The conference agenda featured popup descriptions which made it unprintable which was pretty annoying. Then I received an email with when and where to go for registration just two days before the conference - information not on the website. It also would have been nice if they had spelled out a little better where the conference was, given that the location changed from last year. I found it, but I didn't see any signs anywhere indicating where the conference was once I got to the conference centre.

The networking opportunities let me meet some programmers, a couple of artists and a composer, and I was able to catch up with a lot of old colleagues.

Here's hoping they put on a bigger and better show next year, the first year was a very pleasant success.

By yggy on 2011-05-24 11:29:12
Homepage: email:yggy at zeroandone dot ca
I enjoyed Dee Jay's talk too, and had a couple ideas. What was your particular headsmacker?

I didn't go to the social marketing talk -- do you think it actually works? Having set up both a twitter feed and a facebook app page for my consulting company, it's become very apparent to me how hard and non-automatic it is to get PR. In my case I don't need it, so it's easy to avoid sinking effort into it ... but did you learn any good tricks last week?
By Robert Basler on 2011-05-24 17:51:20
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com
Most of my classes support serialization, they also need to be formattable so they can be pretty printed in logs. It would be REALLY easy for me to use the serialization to also do the pretty printing which is something I noticed he was doing.

The social marketing talk primarily covered using Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. For B2B which you might be more interested in, LinkedIn is most effective - although you need to have personal relationships with those links for it to be effective.

For B2C (which I am interested in) Facebook and Twitter are the big ones. Previously I really couldn't see the point of either. To be successful here, messages need to be "consistent, relevant and personal" and there needs to be a focus on quality in what is being sent out. Nobody wants you spamming them with tons of crap. It helps to have a "call to action" in messages as well as links to relevant information. He recommended messages be made early in the morning or after work to be most timely since in theory people shouldn't be using social media at work.

He recommended using Hootsuite, Seesmie, tweetdeck and cotweet for managing your Twitter account. I haven't checked those out yet.

My opinion is that Twitter and Facebook can be an inexpensive part of a larger PR campaign (just like the RSS feed here.) As your experience shows, I don't think they would have much effect on their own.
By Robert Basler on 2011-05-24 17:59:37
Homepage: email:one at onemanmmo dot com
They've posted the talk on YouTube.
By yggy on 2011-05-25 11:05:06
Homepage: email:yggy at zeroandone dot ca
Cool, thanks, I'll check it out.

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