InterFace Conference

A new game conference begins in Troy, Michigan.

Less than two weeks after eventually getting home from SIC 2007, I departed (in the same vehicle) for a new, single day, game conference that was only a couple hour drive from here. The InterFaces Conference, as it was called, was presented by the local International Academy of Design & Technology (IADT Detroit) at a local community center.

Instead of attending the conference itself, which was geared toward students looking for a career in the game industry, I chose just to help man the IGDA (International Game Developers Association) table for the afternoon shift. (Here is the photographic evidence.)

The conference drew an impressive number of attendees, reportedly over 200, for a first-time event. The secret, it turns out, is that attendance was required of all IADT students, so that was probably 90% of the crowd, with instructors, presenters, and exhibitors making up much of the rest. Nevertheless, there appeared to be a great deal of enthusiasm and I heard nothing negative at all.

After the conference, the IGDA chapter meeting took place at the IADT Detroit campus. Unfortunately, the directions (given by one who will not be named here) stretched the short half mile trip to about 8 miles. It could have been longer, but I got suspicious about the instructions as I was leaving Troy, the home city of both the departure and destination points. (Not one, but two incorrect turns took me in exactly the opposite direction of that intended.)

The meeting featured a presentation on professional Xbox Live development by Cris Boyer of Variant Interactive, a (or, rather, the) game publisher located in Michigan. It was certainly an enlightening talk, providing some general guidelines for approaching development for the Xbox 360 console, starting with the Xbox Developer Programs link. He also gave some very specific information, such as a direct contact name at Microsoft and the price of the dev kit for approved developers. Frankly, it was inspiring to know that this is realistically within the reach of an accomplished independent game company.

Unfortunately, upon returning to my vehicle, I discovered that the right front tire had gone completely flat and, adding insult to injury, the special lug wrench required to free the spare tire had been removed from the van. After considerable inconvenience (after 8pm on a weekend), I finally got onto a temporary spare that would get me back home, but not much further. I arrived back at the office early Sunday morning.

Two conferences, two breakdowns; I can hardly wait for the next one.

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