In addition to giving a keynote this summer, I will also be speaking at DevLINK 2012!
Speaking at DevLINK is always an honor. The first DevLINK was the first community conference I attended, and the following year it became the first conference I spoke at. John Kellar and crew have always been very helpful, and John personally inspired and helped me start CodeStock (Only ~50 tickets left, register soon!).
I will be giving 4 talks this year, mostly on game development. These first two are talks I’ve given before, and are always fun:
XNA 3d Primer
You may have heard of and even checked out Microsoft's XNA Framework, the managed game development framework built with .Net that let's you write games for a Window PC, Windows Phone 7, and the Xbox 360. Even for the experienced developer stepping into the world of 3D game development can be like Alice visiting Wonderland. It can be hard to ask questions when you don’t even understand the terms used! This session focuses on fundamental 3D game programming concepts assuming one is new to game programming and XNA, but has a good background of general programming.
XNA Invaders from Space!
What better way to learn how games are made for the PC and Xbox 360 than to watch one being created? That is exactly what you’ll see in this session! Michael C. Neel will guide you through writing a full game, explaining the XNA framework as we go. At the end we will have a working clone of the 1978 classic Space Invaders! The game will be written in C# using the XNA 4.0 Framework.
The second talk is in two parts. In the past I have tried to fit this talk into an hour and it has always been rushed. Having the extra hour will allow a better pace and more time for discussion, as well as expanding a few key areas with more details.
Two of my talks will be debuts. The first is an analysis of a game FuncWorks launched on the Xbox, IncaBlocks:
IncaBlocks Postmortem: Dissecting an XNA Game
In the fall of 2009 FuncWorks released IncaBlocks. It flopped (hard), so we did the only thing we could: we opensourced the code. This session will slice open the code of IncaBlocks and analyze a commercial game built with XNA. While the game may not be very fun, it is complete and stable. IncaBlocks is also an interesting subject, using 2D and 3D elements, Xbox Live Avatars, local multiplayer and an A.I. computer opponent.
I’ve talked a lot in one-on-one and on the GameMarx podcast about the lessons learned from IncaBlocks. With this talk I get to formalize these lessons and hopefully inspire a few people to check out the code.
Finally, my last talk will be Business Intelligence focused. Over the last year I’ve been playing with a system for modeling behaviors. Not surprisingly it can be hard to find information on details of building a system – those who develop such a system often sell or license it. With this session I will show applying my method to a database of customers and orders. I also hope to start more public discussion on implementation of these system so that they become accessible to everyone.
Finding your Customer DNA
The phrase "Customer DNA" is a bit of a Business Intelligence buzzword, but do not dismiss the concept. Knowing your customer DNA is a powerful edge in a world of increasingly demanding customers. In this session we will look at a method for profiling your customers using datasources you already have (if you have an orders table, you have a datasource for DNA). We will also discuss ways to analyze DNA data, and how to use this analysis. This session is very practical, with liberal code examples to go along with abstract concepts.