Well, obviously no live blogging… sorry about that, but the Conference Center is apparently charging rates that make extortion look like charity to simply activate wi-fi, so I don’t blame the organizers for not springing for it.

Lots of great stuff.  I didn’t catch a lot of the keynote, but the parts I did catch were inspirational enough for me. 

I have to give Torque and Multiverse much closer looks… they are obviously serious about engaging the indie marketplace, and they were both represented, and quite ably, at the conference.

It was also great to meet some of these people I’ve read about and run across in my wandering across the web, of course.  Brent from VirginWorlds recognized me (we still have to hook up, hopefully tonight or tomorrow). 

Mr. Green aka Psychochild was nice enough to make a complimentary comment about my blog here (I was working the speaker registration table, hard to miss me there)… unfortunately my lack of social graces left me unable to come up with any coherent response (hopefully I didn’t make a complete fool of myself)… in case he ever reads this, “Thank You, I read yours all the time and find it very inspiring” was what I think I wanted to say…

My brother made it to the conference today as well, which was a huge bonus.   I don’t get to spend a lot of time with him usually… and to be able to share this type of thing with him, with both of us having loved games since I was an 11 year old rugrat dragging my 7 year old brother over to a friend’s so his kick-ass magic user could keep the group alive… icing on the cake.

The classes and roundtables… I am still just trying to digest it all.  I would have failed miserably at liveblogging it anyway, because I was far too involved in the topics themselves.  I hope to high heaven the videotapes come out solid… I regreted every session I had to miss, and loved every session I was able to attend.  If only I could be two places at once….

Briefly:

Celia Pearce, Non-Standard MMOs with standard MMO tools

Her students are working on a Mermaid-themed game, loosely based on Uru-style play, that looks very intriguing.  I have to find a link which will allow me to keep track of where that goes…

Brian Green, Taking your MMO International

Good overview of the challenges faced, and potential offered, by expanding to a more international market.  Some of the info dropped during the Q&A was cool… I need to find this India-based art creation service that was mentioned.  When he puts his slides online, I’ll link to them…

Kelly Rued, Sex in MMOs roundtable

Lots of back and forth, very well attended.  We probably spent too much time talking about the pitfalls, and not enough talking about perspectives and potentials, but it was still good to hear various views and viewpoints.  It’s not about the physical act, it’s about all the emotion related to it, but that potentially leads you back to the physical act…

Classes and Skills (I’ll get the name, missed it in my notes)

About what you’d expect from Indie devs… acknowledgement that classes are currently king, most of us pining for something new, throwing out nascent ideas about possible new concepts/ideas, but with not enough time and too many viewpoints to explore any one idea to the depth necessary to fully understand it.  You could probably run a roundtable for the entire 2 days of the conference and still have essentially the same result.  Exhilarating and frustrating all at once….

Just wanted to get some first impressions out, I’ll post more detail later/tomorrow… the work-a-day world just demanded some attention for a bit, and later I’m going to fight down my crowd-phobia and go to the party tonight… I have to try to do some mixing with people.  There has to be a way to organize something that can move some of us forward toward testing some of these ideas…

Update: Best laid plans, and all that.  No party tonight, have to run to the office.  I’ll have to try to shoehorn something in somehow tomorrow.  Oh well, no stress-induced headache tomorrow, at least.