Having been an Intel® Black Belt for many years and more recently an Intel® Innovator it is often my happy duty to spread the word about technology a few times a year, typically in the format of attending and speaking at large conventions such as GDC, IDF and the occasional specialist event. One such event had eluded me for many moons called Develop:Brighton which gathers some very talented folk from around the UK, Europe and beyond to gather for a few days to discuss interesting topics and hand out a few industry awards and accolades.
When the call went out for speakers, it happened that I was doing a lot of research around the subject of User Generated Content (and in the extreme case; User Generated Games) and about the next generation of technology that would assist in this such as the Intel® RealSense™ camera which can instantly scan a human head and transport it into a game. I collected my ideas into a brief overview of the presentation I could make and submitted my suggestion, to be informed a few weeks later that my presentation was accepted and I should get ready to attend Brighton in July.
My talk, entitled “User Generated Content - The Next Generation” walked the audience through the history of UGC and my own journey through this great time for computers, finishing with a glimpse into one possible future where game development ceases to be the preserve of a few skilled developers and could be usurped by the very users that play them, with the assistance of new hardware devices that are coming online in the next few years.
The 45 minute monologue went well, with around 125 attendees filling what was quite a large room, nodding at the right parts and throwing back some insightful questions at the end. I was comforted by my initial pole which determined that over 30% of the listeners knew what a VIC-20 was and I was therefore amongst friends. This comradery extended to the various drinking opportunities throughout the event and it was not difficult to find old skool coders and musicians, and even one or two that remembered DarkBASIC, my very first attempt at coding a programming language, which was very nice for my ego.
I did manage to get a few giggles when I put my own head onto a female body, and I made a mental note to try that again the next time I appeared on stage.
My next duty was to attend the Develop:Brighton Awards which had GameGuru nominated in the ‘games engine’ category. Naturally being up against the might of Unity 5 and UE4 there was not much chance of our three man team winning the thing but it was still great to have our product mentioned and I made sure to whoop when it was announced (albeit a remarkably singular whoop). The night ended with a special accolade presented to the Stamper brothers for their contribution to computer games as a whole, followed by much applause and whoops.
In truth this sort of adventure is very much a busman's holiday for me as I get to learn what’s new in the games industry, chat with like-minded and clever people over a cheeky pint of Guinness and do a little traveling which contrasts nicely with being stuck in front of a PC 12 hours a day for most of the year. Hopefully I’ve introduced Intel® RealSense™ to a few more influential developers, spread the word about the coolness of GameGuru and fed my soul with the kind of experiences that will make me a better developer.
When I started writing text adventures on my VIC-20 many many moons ago, I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams where it would one day lead (recovering from perhaps the best stone baked pizza I have ever eaten on the fifth floor of the Hilton hotel in Brighton and typing on the biggest laptop you have ever seen), and for anyone reading this I can confirm the rewards far outweigh the effort required to get here, and my advice is to start the journey right now and get ready for the ride of your life.
The Game Creators