Microsoft’s “Gaming on the Surface” 2013

Yesterday I attended “Gaming On The Surface: NYC Fall 2013 Gaming Industry Overview”, a full-day Microsoft event featuring presentations, panels, and demos. Fun, informative, and full of free stuff, the event was clear evidence of a growing community of talented game developers in NYC. I’m excited to see how the game dev. scene evolves over the next few years!

Some takeaways from the experience:

  • Nika, an abstract strategy game for mobile and tablets, was created in HTML5 and deployed to multiple platforms using CocoonJS. Their story has pushed me to do some research, and I am now considering using CocoonJS myself to deploy Brain and Brawn.
  • I met a host of developers who were able to put their games on stores in just a few weeks. One developer took only 7 days. This was sort of a wake up call as to how efficient game development can be!
  • Unity’s new 2D tools are very intriguing. Unity evangelist Carl Callewaert gave a workshop in the morning where he put together a simple 2D platformer in under a half hour. Watching him work made me excited to learn Unity and prototype faster in its GUI-driven environment. It also made me think back to my childhood scribbling game designs in notebooks, and wishing for a tool like this!

As always, these events leave me inspired, refreshed, and motivated to put everything I have into my games. Look out for me at future NYC events; I will definitely be attending as many as I can.