Thursday, November 30, 2006

A ruler with which to measure a game's Wii

Alas, even I can't resist the Wii jokes.

Corvus over at Man Bytes Blog has an interesting take on the Wii titles, discussing two approaches to designing games to use the gizmo controller.

At one extreme, "what player gesture can we map to a game's actions"

At the other extreme "what game can we design around a given gesture/action we're trying to inspire".

He puts a bunch of the launch titles on a scale between these two extremes (bracketed terminology mine):

Traditional [Suxors]
Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
Madden ‘07
Red Steel
Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Wii sports
Rayman Raving Rabbids
Innovative [Rocks]

The Watch to Watch

When I bought my Tissot T-Touch a couple years back, I thought my inner chrono-geek was sated for a long while.

Various watches have tempted the geek, but I've resisted.

Then I saw this.

O.M.G. Belt-drive watch. Chrono-1337.

It is cool because It was done, ours is not to question why.

BTW, note that Tag Heuer also has a 'flippable' watch with analog on one side, digital on the other. The name? The Monaco 69. Way to go for the risquee branding!

(thanks to BoingBoing for the link).

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Best Xbox Achievement Since 'Pacifist'

Perhaps better.

The GeoWars 'pacifist' achievement (survive 120 seconds without shooting anything) was pretty high on the 'water cooler conversation' scale.

Last week's XLA release, Small Arms, has an achievement called 'six degees of small arms'. You can only earn it by playing multiplayer online with someone that already has it.

So who has it initially? Only the members of the Small Arms development team!

(I sure I hope someone is tracking/graphing the proliferation of that achievement. Coolness!)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Willi Waller

Oh, how this made me laugh. I'd wager to say that even non-quebecois-speakers will find it funny.

Microtransactions & copyright

In followup from my earlier post on Copybot & copyright issues, here's some more stuff to consider.

First, off, Raph (where does he find the time?) once again has posted a thoughtful and lengthy set of thoughts on microtransations and copyright issues.

Raph points out that virtual world "objects" aren't objects at all, but only specific database entries, and that what you are getting when you transact is just the change of one or more fields in a database (corresponding to, say, gold pieces) in exchange for the changing of one or more other fields (say, incrementing 'num items' by one, and adding a pointer to 'Sword of +1 Pownage' to your array of inventory items).

I like his explanation, and it jives well with mine, which I posted here, which is that what you are buying is a sort of promisory note. A promise of a service to be delivered. i.e. "You give us your credit card number and authorize us to charge you $2, and we promise to change the fields in our database in an agreed upon way".

Raph goes on to talk about some of the more interesting issues that come into play when the bits are arranged in a specific fashion that may make them a work that is covered under the definition of copyright.

An analogy he draws is in that of books, where the book is a 'container' that you purchase, and the arrangements of words inside it is the copyright-covered item of value that you have acquired the right to read, but not copy, make an audio-recording version of for resale, etc.

These definitions work quite well. In the case of an MMO, you have an arrangement of bits that may be covered by copyright, sitting within a container that you do not own, but have paid for a promise of service. The service is letting you access those bits and do certain things with them.

In the case of second life, the person arranging the bits into a copyrighted work may or may not be the same person that owns the container (server storage). And that a local copy of the bits is made to your hard drive is immaterial. In that sense it's no different than copying a text version of Stephen King's latest book off the publisher's computer. That may or may not violate an agreement by which you got onto the publisher's computer, and regardless, it's still his copyrighted work.

Anyhow, Raph's post, while long, is worth reading. Nice to see a thorough analytical treatment of the subject, rather than the usual ranting.

Gears of War redux

Finished Gears of War this weekend. Some more thoughts following up on my previous commentary:

First off, I stand by my comment that it's a REALLY fun game. Probably the best fun I've had with an FPS game since Half Life 2. Better than HL2? Hmm... close, but for me, no. Probably a matter of taste.

HL2 had more story and more variety. Each chapter had a distinctly different feel. There was some of that in Gears, but less so. And there was very little story to it.

The Final boss was pretty lightweight once I figured out the technique to beat him. Mind you, I played through on casual. I've started playing through on hardcore now, which isn't hard now that I know how to play the game, but I'm not sure I want to play the thing the whole way through again. Hmm... chasing acheivements though... we'll see.

While the final boss was a bit of a let down, there were several episodes of the game that were first rate. The fight at the gas station, the "Alamo" battle, and some others were really fun. The bit driving in the car with the spotlight felt a bit contrived and very 'mechanical' (the suspension of disbeleif was broken completely for me), maybe it's a bit better in co-op where you wouldn't have to swap?

Anyhow, it's definitely worth the spend. Good fun.

Also played through most of Cloning Clyde on XLA. Bit late in getting to this one. It's a fun little platform/puzzler.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


Congrats to Robin, who's game got announced this week. A Japanese Wii-targeted Sims title. Not bad for a first job out of school :-)

Doesn't the game look cute enough to make you ill! Enough already, bring on the schwag! (And who do you think the above character was modelled after anyway?... :-)

Wii me

On Wed on my way out of the office I passed by someone's office and they had a Wii in there. I finally got a chance to sit down and play with it. I played around with the UI a bit, created a "Mii", and they played Wii sports to calculate my "fitness age" (it's like brain-age, but with sports, get it?)

Here's my quick 2c worth:

1) It's fun. You'll have fun. With friends over on a friday night you'll have fun. Kids will have a blast.

2) If my 'fitness age' were my real age, I'd not only not be writing this, I'd be dead. I was hands-down the worst of the group of people at the office. Now, mind you, I did not rtfm, so my first few rounds were getting used to the controls. Next time I'll do better.

3) The "lobby" for multiple 'Mii's on one system is well done. This really seems like the console was design with "multiplayer" in mind, where multiplayer means same-box, same room.

4) The controller works better than I thought, but I'm curious whether there's any calibration involved, and what that does to it. In particular, I'm wondering about screen sizes *significantly* different than the remote receiver widget. E.g. My console setup is a 7' screen with a projector. Is that going to be an issue?

As for whether I'll buy one... well... I haven't seen the killer app for me yet.

DMCA arcade and console game exception

BoingBoing posted this about six new exemptions to the digital millennium copyright act. In particular, note this one (the paragraph below is the EFF's summary):

2. Computer programs and video games distributed in formats that have become obsolete and that require the original media or hardware as a condition of access, when circumvention is accomplished for the purpose of preservation or archival reproduction of published digital works by a library or archive. A format shall be considered obsolete if the machine or system necessary to render perceptible a work stored in that format is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.


I wonder what that implies for arcade or console titles that are for obsolete HW, but for which emulated or re-written versions are still in distribution?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Gino Blog!

Gino Yu is blogging. Subscribed!

Gino's one of those super-connected industry dynamos who's a pleasure to be around except for the fact that he makes you feel like you aren't moving fast enough :-). He kind of has one foot in the game industry, one in academia, one in the venture capital space, one in North America and one in Asia. If I can count, that makes five feet, so he'd have to be fast moving, wouldn't he?

I had the pleasure of spending some time with him when speaking at a conference he organized in Hong Kong a few years back, and also at Australian GDC where we both were on a boon.. umm... trip that the conference organizer, John De Margheriti organized for the international speakers down for the trip, where we went diving/snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef for a few days. Ahh... the days before the bubble burst...

Anyhow, he's definitely someone to keep an eye on. Always up to interesting things.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Cool Tunes!

Intellite Cody pointed out that the Arcadia (post MIGS gamer event I couldn't make it to in Montreal) website is a Flash bonanza (usually a bad thing) that has an *awesome* soundtrack. I've got it playing in the background instead of my Zune player.


Il y a du Freezepop l'a dans!


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Net Neutrality, Copyright, and brave new (online) worlds

Two really good reads:

- Over at RampRate, they've posted a good paper entited "Every Time You Vote Against Net Neutrality, Your ISP Kills a Night Elf - Why online gaming will be the biggest casualty if ISPs prioritize packets". The title pretty much says it all, as does this line from the conclusion: "Out of all the victioms of the loss of net neutrality, online gaming is likely to be the most fragile and irreplaceable".

- Raph Koster opines brilliantly on the CopyBot meme. CopyBot, if you haven't heard is an open source app for Second Life which creates copies of in-game objects. Since Second Lifers can create AND SELL in-game objects, this open source app has some ramifications upon the in-game economy, to say the least. Raph's commentary is the most thorough and objective I've read so far (though there's too much posting on this subject to have read but a fraction). In it he points out that this is essentially another example of how ALL content is being commoditized and the money of the future is in services. I agree! It also deserves reading if only for the fact that he uses the line "hoist by their own petard", which in my book is deserving of a blogging-pulitzer! :-)

One more thing on CopyBot. Raph's post goes into some detail about client vs server, data streams vs tokenized streams, etc. Bottom line being that the more you stream/store on the client, the more you open up to copy, or 'theft' if you prefer. It'll be interesting whether the solution for copybot (and what's likely to be hundreds of derivatives) is (a) move more upstream to server side - unlikely as current bandwidth requires the 'local cache', (b) commoditization of content and a 'potato famine/gold rush combo' of a move to services - doubtful as the ingame economy may likely collapse before they could evolve the services model, or (c) evolution of some in-game DRM for content combined with an arms race of client-'malicious'-code-detection against the evolving copybot variants.

(c) seems the most likely, and also seems a losing battle. Will be very interesting to keep an eye on this one.  

Presentation Postscript

OK, last presentation-related post for a bit. I promise.

Several people pointed out to me that what I referred to as 'minimalist style' (in my MIGS talk prep post) that Dick Hardt used, is often referred to as 'Lessig Method' , named for Stanford law prof Lawrence Lessig. Lessig's Free Culture talk from a few years back is a must see. So see it here. The Lessig method is more 'minimalist text-only', and there's a parallel path of 'minimalist image-only'. People like Clint Hocking and Seth Godin use an effective mix of both and it's certainly what I was going for. More on Seth's approach here.

As you'll see from the links above, Steve Lacey was kind enough to point out the awesome site that is Presentation Zen. Subscribed!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Data Meister

OK, long story short; I got a Zune, I crammed it with all my music, some video, some pix. Among the video I crammed on there were a whole whack of the TED talks you can download here.

In case you hadn't noticed, I've been on a bit of a 'presentations kick' lately.

Anyhow, I'll post some thoughts on the Zune in the next day or two. In the meantime, this can't wait.

You ABSOLUTELY MUST go watch Hans Rosling's TED lecture from Feb of this year. You can watch online here or download here. I recommend downloading. You are going to want to watch this again. The best data visualization I've seen, hands down. This guy would school Tufte!

Add to that the powerful message the data delivers (you'll have to go see...) and you'll see why data visualization is such a powerful tool.

PS3 ships - Let the eating of crow commence!

OK, so Mark was the first, but not the last, to point out to me that PS3 finally shipped, and did so 50 days before the end of calendar year, thus rendering #1 of my 2006 predictions to be incorrect. In doing so, they've cost me two wagers I took on the subject. Ah, the perils of being opinionated and pigheaded.

On the PS3 launch, amid the stories of drive-by bb-gun shootings, robberies, retail line fisticuffs and shenanigans, there's also been a ton of news about the negative side of the Japanese launch. Lines in Japan have long come to represent a sign of commercial success (similar to big-line-for-tickle-me-elmo over here, but to a whole new level). To that end, it seems to have bred two things: Vendors (Sony in this case) trying to ratchet up the frenzy, and nefarious elements looking to exploit it. Below is what I've heard from some friends in Japan and on the web, so take with grain of salt, throw pinch of salt over left shoulder, do other things with salt, etc.

- Sony, rather than doing a lottery system for their 80 units, chose to encourage lines and only supplied retailers who agreed to force consumers to wait in line.

- Lines at the main retailers in places like Akihabara were made up of a majority of Chinese immigrants and homeless people. Rumor has it that these migrant workers and homeless were paid ~$100 to wait in line on behalf of Yakuza mobsters aiming to later scalp the systems.

- Most of this first wave of customers bought PS3's and no software. If true, relective of the point above, and of data I saw somewhere of an initial attach rate of 0.98.

- The interview with the first customer didn't go well as he didn't speak Japanese.

Various posts on the issue: 1, 2, 3,

Crazy if it's true.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Gears of War commentary

Just a quick commentary on Gears of War. I got back from MIGS'06 to find a copy waiting for me (we get complimentary copies of all MGS published titles - eat yer heart out!), so I've spent a little time playing the past two nights.

Despite all the hype, I really was expecting a tried-n-true formula shooter with shiny graphics. I really was ready to not like this game. Boy was I wrong! I really am enjoying it.

- Yes, it's very bump-mappy/shiny/shadery. (not a plus or a minus, just expected)
- There's some kind of post-processing filter/shader that they are doing on the screen that has some weird artifacts when you turn up the brightness, as I have to do on my ancient projector.
- The combo of heavy use of duck-and-cover and team-based-tactical gameplay is, to my knowledge, really innovative. I haven't played every shooter out there, but this feels WAY different (and better), than the squad portions of Half Life 2 and Medal of Honor. I really feel like I'm part of the squad, that my teammates need my help, that I need to work with them.
- I still hate game controllers for shooters. I may go back and play this game again on PC just so I can have my mouse.
- Best use of rumble EVAR! When you get hold of one of the enemy turrets and wind it up to speed, it feels like total Rambo-meets-Predator mayhem. I dunno what it's going to do to battery life on the wireless controller but who cares. It's also effectivly used for ground shaking due to ominous underground creatures coming up.
- The close-combat control feels messy and imprecise, but maybe that's intentional? Maybe you should feel panicked and sloppy and desperate when an alien is taking swipes at your head.

Anyhow. If you have a 360 and like mayhem, go buy! In the meantime, I have to go look up how to beat this Beserker thing because it's totally kicking my butt!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

MIGS dinner and the presentation pow-wow

In my last post, I went on about the prep for my MIGs presentation and the prep that went into it. I worked on it up until 3pm the day before, and then took a break to attend a couple presentations, and then go to dinner.

As I mentioned here, the presentations were both great. But one thing that struck me (esp with Hecker/Gingold's) was that they too had moved to this super-minimalist-ppt presentation style.

At the end of the day, I bumped into Jane, who was on her way out to dinner with Chris Hecker, and they invited me along. By the time tradeshow-dinner-katamari rolled through the post-show cocktail reception and arrived at the restaurant in vieux montreal, it was Jane, Chris, Clint (who's presentation I mentioned in the last post), Jade Raymond and a friend of hers (forgot name. Bad Kim!).

At one point, Chris, Clint and I got onto a deep geek-rant about powerpoint, presentation style, prep methods and such.

- Chris made the point that "everyone is moving to the 'Will Wright method'". Which was the name he gave to the minimalist, image-heavy style.
- Clint pointed out that others had popularized before Will (though now I forget who he referenced).
- I was surprised at how close the prep method I came up with (see last post) mapped to the method that Clint used. Chris' was different given that it was a two-person talk.
- Chris pointed out that doing a two-person talk - effectively - is even more difficult. You'd think it's half the work, but the choreography is harder, plus it's hard to agree on what you want to say. If you aren't passionate about what you are saying, your talk will be crap, and it's hard to reach a point of agreement that isn't a compromise of the original idea. This is worth pondering some.
- We talked about the value of 'circling back' to the same point/slide (see the identity 2.0 talk), as an effective technique, and I pointed out that good standup comedy routines often do this.
- We talked about confusion as a presenter when you 'circle back' to a recurring slide, and then maybe forget where you are (which instance of that slide). I proposed that the 'presenter mode' in Powerpoint, which Clint didn't know about, could solve this problem.
- Chris pointed out that this mode in PPT, while a good idea, was in impementation, "ass", but then, he says that about a lot of software.

There was also some talk about the source material for presentations, for ideas. (I won't give away Clint's inspiration and materials for his GDC'07 talk, but it sounds awesome. I'll definitely attend). I guess it's true for many things in life, but it's interesting how the smallest things (single images, hallway conversations, etc, can plant the seed of these ideas that grow into a whole talk.

Anyhow, that's all that was related to presentations adn presenting. There was also lots of talk about how Chris has never shipped a game (pre-emptive strikes on his part, mostly), of life in Montreal, and about how A2M has a very, very bad name as it will shock customers. :-)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Presentation Prestidigitation

As mentinoned in my previous post, I gave a presentation at MIGS06. I'll eventually post it (along with transcript) but I wanted to do a little mini-post-mortem on what I was trying to do with it and how well it worked.

I've given hundreds of presentations over my career in groups ranging from five to five hundred. Truth is, I've never been terribly pleased at the results of any of them. Some were atrocious, some were well received. At best, I'd say I've given a "b minus" level presentation. Something like the QoL talk I did at GDC 2005 was maybe an example of this. However, I've never given a *really* top notch talk.

Now, let's get this straight, I'm not saying I did this time either.

What I did know was that something had to change, and over the past year, it's been a background goal of mine to improve.

So, I'd had a 'dump and chase' idea (a hockey analogy: Lacking a plan/play, dump the puck over the blue line, chase it in after it, worry about a plan then) about a talk around Digital Distribution and I proposed it for the Montreal Summit. It got accepted and so the forcing function was there to work on the talk and use it to try and reach a new level of presentation skill.

I had 3 goals for the presentation:
- Compelling presentation style. People should be intrigued - rivetted, even - start to finish.
- No words. I am presenting, not powerpoint. Picture is worth a thousand words. (More on this later).
- Deliver one or more valuable calls-to-action that, while beneficial to my business and my employer, are honest and interesting to the listener, and don't come off as 'the microsoft pitch'.

I spent a long time bookmarking and filing things that might be relevant to the presentation when it came time to assemble it. Hundreds of clippings both digital and analog were stored away over the course of six to eight months. However, for the presentation style and form itself, I specifically drew inspiration from five places:

  1. Clint Hocking's 'Next: The Designer's Generation' talk from MIGS05. I blogged about it here. It moved me. It made fantastic use of imagery to both support and/or contrast the speaker's words. It had humor. It told stories. It delivered a powerful message. It in many ways was the amalgamation of 2 through 5 below. It was performance art.
  2. Dick Hardt's Identity 2.0 Presentation. Superbly scripted; rapid-fire presentation slides with single images or single words on each. Even background color is powerfully used. A barn-burner.
  3. Seth Godin's "All Marketers are Liars" talk at Google. Seth tells stories. Very human, very 'everyday' stories that audiences can connect with.
  4. Guy Kawasaki's Art of the Start talk from TiECon 2006. This is a good talk any time, but for this one in particular, Guy was on fire. In particular, I liked the use of humor, of analogy, and his handling of the 'handlers'.
  5. James Burke's ACM Siggraph 97 Presentation: Fantastic use of analogy and learning from history. There are some particular examples in digital distribution where I wanted to use this. Also like his occasional use of humor.

Having looked at #1 (and another of Clint's presentations) and #2, as well as a number of others following the same style, it was obvious they'd been highly scripted. So that was where I started. I looked at a number of presentations along those lines to guess how long a presentation of that length had to be. Some had online versions on which I could do word and slide counts. Answer: 100 words/minute for someone of my speaking cadence. This would result in a 6000 word presentation that I would dry run in one hour and deliver live in 45-50 minutes (live always goes faster). This turned out to be a surprisingly accurate estimate.

On the slide front, the one-picture-per slide seem to average 1 slide per minute. This generally worked out to 3 or 4 slides the presenter would fire through rapidly, say 10 seconds each, and then a slide the presenter might spend four minutes on, like a diagram or something else that illustrated a process or concept, whereas the rapidfire images were just supportive imagery. The extreme of this would be #2 from above, which averaged 40 slides PER MINUTE. I counted. That's over 500 slides in his pitch of 15 minutes or so.

So, using these guidelines, I laid out what I wanted to say in bullet form. From there, I thought aobut some interesting analogies and anecdotes I could use to tell stories around this. Then I scripted it out. I turned it into roughly a 5000 word script. I did this over the course of weeks, but with bits and pieces done out of order. I had certain stories or sections that I tried dry-running on their own to see if they felt right. Eventually though (very last minute - more on this later), I had a whole script.

From there I dry ran it - without slides - a handful of times. I changed order around, threw out some pieces, added others. Once I had something I was happy with, I assembled slides as supportive material. I'd been working on bits and pieces already done, but the point here is the first time a start-to-finish Powerpoint deck was done was AFTER I'd dry run the presentation and was roughly pleased with it.

While I cant post it yet, this reduced images should at least give you a feel for the image-heavy, minimalist feel of the deck:

Now, once I did that, I dry-ran it again. And realized I still wasn't pleased with some portions of it. Now this was 1am the night before the presentation (10 hours to go), so I had a choice. Muck with it in the morning, or do it right. I chose the latter and pulled an all-nighter, rearranging things and dry running it another 4 times or so before the presentation (at a full hour per dry run, it adds up).

The next day I delivered the presentation and it went off pretty well. I'd give myself a B+, maybe A-, but not better than that. That's not bad considering I was moving to a new format & style that I was very uncomfortable with.

So what happened?

On the plus side, the format worked, and more importantly, was a forcing function for me to have an extremely well rehearsed presentation. No hiding behind bullet points. The analogies and illustrative imagery made for an entertaining presentation and I could tell people were engaged. I had lots of positive feedback after the talk.

On the minus side, I left far too much till the last minute. Aside from the sure-to-get-my-wrist-slapped-move of not being able to run in by our PR folks for approval, it let to me pulling the all-nighter, which meant I wasn't as sharp a presenter as I could have been - espresso treatment aside. Also, I had it pointed out to me that I'd have done well to follow the "tell them what you are going to tell them" rule at the start of the presentation, especially when you are going to go off on 'anecdotal tangents'. Finally, while some things might serve well as analogies, as someone from MS I need to keep in mind that these can be pulled out to serve as headlines where they can be construed differently (google 'pallister' and 'fruit flies' to see what I'm talking about).

Overall, I'm still pleased. I'll definitely continue with the new approach, especially given teh dinner discussion I had with some collegues... which will be the subject of my next post.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

MIGS06 Wrap-up

Sorry for the blogosilence. Last week was a whirlwind of action between attending the Montreal International Games Summit, getting in visits to friends and family, and trying to keep up with goings on at the office. Didn't leave a lot of time for posting.

I gave a presentation at the summit which I'll do a lengthier post about when time allows.

Summarizing the summit itself, there are a few things worth noting.

First off, the conference is rapidly growing, as it appears the montreal gaming industry is, and this year it definitely reached a critical mass, popping its head above the radar of the mainstream press (at least in Canada).

I don't know what attendance was recorded, but it was definitely larger than last year. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say 800 or so attendees.

The scene in monteal is buzzing. EA has 150 to 200 people there, Ubisoft has well over a thousand with plans to grow to over 2000 in the near future. Artificial Mind and Movement (often referred to by the sure-to-get-more-googlejuice-for-all-the-wrong-reasons acronym of A2M) has over 300 people. Over three hundred! Where did that come from?!

Add to that Softimage, Quazal, and a host of other middleware and service companies (not to mention my alma mater Matrox Graphics, who is Montreal-based and was exhibiting at MIGS :-).

Anyhow, games is growing in montreal and people are taking note. Lots of government folks floating around, lots of tax breaks for those looking to grow businesses or facilities there.

The exhibition hall was small, but had a few booths of significance. The Nintendo booth was the hit of the show, with a large queue lining up to play Zelda and tennis, as well s the offroad racing game.

Between meetings, press interviews, my session and the prep for it (more on this later), I only had a chance to attend a few sessions, only two of which were of note:

Reid Schneider and Vanderlei Caballero's talk entitled "Building New IP and Innovation in Games, How to Break Out of the Box" was the first, and Chris Hecker and Chaim Gingold's "Advanced Prototyping" keynote .

You can find blogged summaries here: Schneider/Caballero: link. Hecker/Gingold: link, link.

In many ways, they were the same talk. The Hecker/Gingold talk was about the method of prototyping they use at Maxis on Spore, and how they wrapped some thinking and methodology around how and why to prototype ideas in an interactive medium. Basically, prototyping is how you implement the scientific method in game development. Hypothesis, experiment, results. Rinse, repeat.

The Schneider/Caballero talk was around how they used prototyping to innovate in a bunch of areas in the development of Army of Two. Or more to the point, how they used prototypes to sell people (including themselves) on a bunch of really crazy out-of-the-box ideas around co-op gameplay that otherwise NEVER would have been ok'd.

Two things to note:

(1) I wish I'd seen the Hecker talk first (it was actually more or less a repeat of a GDC 2006 talk), as it was more the 'theory' talk, and the other was the 'theory applied' talk.
(2) Army of Two *really* looks awesome. Some very cool, innovative stuff here.

That's it for now. MOre on the summit and on my talk there in a later post. I have some day-job stuff I have to get to first!

Sunday, November 5, 2006

We're gettin' short changed!

Originally uploaded by Kim Pallister.
Someone at the office brought in a bunch of Japanese candy to put in their "it's halloween, come by my office and slip off your low carb diet" bowl.

Banana Kit Kat?!? Green Tea Kit Kat?!?!!

Why don't we get any of these cool flavors here. I want!

Green tea is awesome, btw. I've cleared him out. Time to get back on the wagon.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Best blog post EVAR!

OK, this is the best blog post ever. EVAR!!! That includes future posts too. We're done.

Now, people with time on your hands that want to prove me wrong and make my day. Go start a company that makes blogging software to auto-generate blog posts like the one I just linked to, using your flickr photos, and THAT is going to shake things up a little. Go. Do it. I'm waaiiittting....

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Don't Mock the Monger

I had lunch a while back with Eric Mattson. Eric writes the very cool Marketing Monger blog. He was based over in Europe for some time, but recently moved back to Seattle. We'd exchanged some email and agreed to meet for lunch.

Along with the blog, Eric also has a podcast called... wait for it... the Marketing Monger Podcast. A while back, he set what I thought seemed an overly agressive goal: Do do a thousand podcasts, all of htem interviews with marketing folks around the industry.

A thousand.

Seemed nuts to me. They take time to put together, and you need to find the people to have the conversations which requires a bunch of legwork, etc.

Anyhow, he recently hit his milestone of 100 podcasts. 10% of goal. And the caliber of people he's landing interviews with is pretty impressive. CEO's of web startups, senior leaders at fortune 500 companies, and everything in between. Pretty impressive.