A Two Thousand And Fourteen Update

11482301066_d2542609ab_mSince most of the posts on this blog of late are about my side projects like Storybundle, perhaps it’s time to round up the totality of what I’m working on here in mid-2014. And it goes a little something like this:

– I first attended GDC in the late ’90s when I lived in the UK, and I started working on it about 10 years ago, initially on the Independent Games Festival side of things. But my work helping to oversee the Game Developers Conference shows with Meggan Scavio (GDC GM!) continues on strong – especially since the mothership (>25 year old!) GDC in San Francisco has grown so much.

This year’s GDC San Francisco show was in March, and as always, it’s about the experience of being there and meeting friends old and new – in and outside GDC itself – that really matters. But I’m especially happy about the number of free GDC 2014 videos documenting the lectures (sort by vid only using the left sidebar!) There’s so many standout talks this year – from Alex Bruce’s heartfelt history of Antichamber through a postmortem of Robotron 2084 from Eugene Jarvis, how to survive Internet negativity by Nika Harper, and so many more.

Of course, we’ll keep rolling with high-quality lectures and community networking opportunities to the GDCs we have for the rest of this year, from GDC Europe in Germany (August), though GDC China (Shanghai, October) and GDC Next in Los Angeles (November, and I dig the refined positioning of that show). And we’re already thinking about GDC SF 2015!

– A word also for Gamasutra, since I continue to hang out in its editor Campfire virtual chat every day and lob story ideas to the editors, which makes me super happy. I recently celebrated 16 years of contributing to the site (yes, my first ever article included Star Wars: Masters Of Teras Kasi, which I think we’re all delighted is non-canon!), and I hope to be involved in its community for a long time to come.

– Beyond these ‘passion play’ bits of my dayjob, I have a lot of fondness – albeit significantly less hair, if that’s even possible – for my association with information security events powerhouse Black Hat. The team is just about to announce the first Briefings talks for Black Hat USA in Las Vegas this August, and they look pretty spectacular. And the first Black Hat Asia for a few years – in Singapore in March – went off swimmingly (literally – dat infinity pool!) Then we’ve got BH Europe, BH Summit Brazil, and a new trainings even in Washington DC to round off the year, phew!

– Also jamming on a few new events with the company I work for (UBM Tech), most notably Designers Of Things this September in San Francisco – a new event all about wearable computing (hardware and software!) and 3D printing, with a touch of Internet Of Things thrown in there at the same time. (Shout-outs to Jen Steele for starting up the concept and Katie Stern for running with it!)The keynote is already set – it’s Gadi Amit, whose firm has designed products including FitBit, the Lytro Camera and Google’s new modular and 3D printed Ara phone  – massively looking forward to it.

– Outside of work, if you read this blog, you’ll know about the side projects I’m totally digging right now (particularly StoryBundle with Jason Chen, where we just sold >5,000 copies of the third video game-themed book bundle, and I’m prepping #4 in the series, plus working on nurturing a couple of other book bundle ideas!) And still working with the folks at MobyGames after I helped save the site at the end of last year – things stabilizing after the transition, data/interface all reverted and ‘safe’, but lots more to do.

And there’s plenty more – having fun with the East Bay indie/alt.game developers meetups that Brandon Sheffield and I organize, board game afternoons, looking forward to visiting some events that I _don’t_ run, too (my first time back to Tokyo Game Show, where I help judge Sense Of Wonder Night, in 3 or 4 years!) Oh, and I made some YouTube playthrough videos of Trials Fusion as an experiment the other week – entering the visual age of the Internet! And, y’know – just trying to have a good, productive, fulfilling life.

[Pic from one of the oddest/nicest hotels i’ve stayed in – in Brighton over the Xmas holidays!]

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