September 10, 2006: Austin Game Conference Report
The bullet points:
- The presentations, on average, had less substance than last year. There seemed to be more sponsored promotion and less actual, useful thought. A wonderful exception was Sam Lewis' excellent talk on MMO economics; there is no link to that right now because his system in Seoul is down, but I'll try to remember to post one eventually.
- Even the rant session was less interesting than last year. People, we have all noticed that the money-guys aren't greenlighting anything that's not a copy of Worlds of Warcraft. Isn't it time to quit angsting about how nobody wants to front ten million dollars for your creativity, and apply that creativity to the problem of making a novel idea look like a good business proposition?
- The exhibit area, on the other hand, has continued to grow and become more engaging, even if every third booth seems to be a corporate recruiter.
- The conference party was a complete waste of time for me, since I went there to meet people and talk. Of course, people who wanted to shout at each other over loud rappish music, or watch the booth babes gyrate, were having a great time. One thing that game conferences seem to lack, in general, is the reasonably sedate mixer where you can actually stand far enough away from other people to read their badges.
- I thought Vernor Vinge's talk on the last day was interesting . . . and, what do you know, someone has posted a transcript.
-- Steve Jackson
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