I ended up waking up a bit later than I’d hoped today, and barely made it over to the convention center in time to get some coffee and a muffin before my tutorial started (Player-Centric Game Design Workshop, which is being presented by Ernest Adams). It was a really excellent all day tutorial where the first hour or two was a lecture on good design practices, and then we broke into groups of 5 and designed games for the rest of the day, before presenting them at the end of the workshop to the rest of the group. My group made “Sim Elves in Space”, which was based around the idea of wanting to build and manage a space station. Each part of the 5 person group had a role in the design: lead designer (manager), game designer, art director, ui designer, and level designer. I was the game designer, so my job was figuring out the game mechanics and internal economy of the game — I think I did alright, considering it was my first time working with a group in this fashion (this is the curse of going to a school like Vermont College… you get used to doing things on your own, with little to no collaboration). I had a pleasant chat with Ernest Adams during one of the breaks, and he seemed receptive to my theories on focusing on more theatric tools and elements over cinematic elements in games, to creatie a more compelling story. He’s got a lecture on Friday that I’d love to attend on the subject, but it’s opposite a lecture on bootstrapping a small development studio, and unfortunately that needs to take precedence.
After the workshop, I went back to the hotel and had a platter of vegetarian sushi, some edamame, and some miso soup… and then promptly got invited to dinner with my friend Robert, and some of his friends that were in town for the conference (they all went to Digipen together… half the table was from Valve). That was good fun, and ended up with everyone going back to one of the hotel rooms for some Karaoke Revolution (I managed to get out before they were subjected to my singing).
Overall, another tiring but good day.