FuturePlay 2006

This game conference takes place next week in nearby London (Ontario, not England).

One week from today will mark the start of FuturePlay 2006. This FuturePlay conference takes place in London, Ontario, Canada from Tuesday, October 10 through Thursday, October 12. Unlike last year, when it was held here in East Lansing, the conference this time is being held mid-week, albeit for the same length of time (two and a half days).

There are three official themes of this conference (according the website):

  • future game development – addresses academic research and emerging industry trends in the area of game technology and game design
  • future game impacts and applications – includes academic research and emerging industry trends focused on designing games for learning, for gender, for serious purposes, and to impact society
  • future game talent – is designed to provide a number of industry and academic perspectives on the knowledge, skills, and attitude it takes to excel in the games industry

To get a feel for the content of the conference, one can read my (5) blog postings from last October: FuturePlay 2005, Day One, Day Two, Day Three, and Conclusion.

Honestly, I was not actually planning to attend the conference this year, despite it being fairly close. It is only a 3 hour drive from here, but with an international border crossing, that could potentially double the travel time. However, I was asked to participate on a FuturePlay panel about business issues involved in running a game development company, so I will be making the trek into Canada. Fortunately, our panel is not until Wednesday afternoon, so any delays in Sarnia should not be a factor. (Any delays are usually coming back, anyway.)

The panel is Video Game Development Business Essentials and is described as follows:

“Do you have that entrepreneurial spirit? Do you have a great game idea that you would like to develop and bring to market but don’t know how to get started? The importance of a well organized business cannot be overemphasized as a key to success in today’s video game industry. As such, this panel of veteran video game development entrepreneurs will discuss many of the issues in starting and running a game development business including among other topics: ways to organize the company, how to develop a successful management structure, seeking government and private funding, how to hire the right talent to make your game, and how to market your game so the world knows about it. Attendees to this discussion will walk away with a greater understanding of the importance of a proper business structure to the success of their individual projects.”

My fellow panelists will be Dr. Ricardo Rademacher, founder of Futur-E-Scape and moderator for the panel, Gjon Camaj, Vice President of Image Space, developers of F1 Challenge ’99-’02, and Matt Toschlog, President of Reactor Zero and programmer of Descent. I will be representing the micro-ISV perspective on game development. I look forward to meeting Gjon (pronounced “John”) and seeing Ricardo and Matt again. It looks like it will be a great panel.

There are several other presentations, as well as the keynotes, that I look forward to hearing, and I will try to document the conference on this blog (daily, even, assuming the hotel has an internet connection and the parties end early). Anybody within the sound of my blog and not too far from London should consider attending.

If you do attend FuturePlay 2006, please introduce yourself.

By the way, Thanksgiving is next Monday, the day before the conference, in Canada. Appropriately, the spellchecker is trying to replace all instances of “FuturePlay” with “Butterball”.

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