After a crazy week featuring not one but three separate events crammed into the span of one week (plus this past week of travel and catching up) I’m finally back to having my head above water and thought I’d take another minute to share a few more thoughts with y’all.This time I’m here to talk about the Unity TGIF and Unity Skills Workshop events held in Vancouver this past weekend on Friday July 24th and Saturday July 25th.
The folks at OverInteractive Media in Vancouver are very hot on Unity and they’re starting to spin up Unity Users Groups, starting in Vancouver but hoping to roll them out all over Canada and beyond. In addition to that they’re working on a next generation publishing channel for Unity developers called dimeRocker that will focus on Unity content and help developers reach out to social networking sites from one centralized location. It all sounds extremely cool in the long run but it’s still in its early stages so there will be more details as time rolls on. For now though they wanted to kick start their local user group by having a Unity TGIF networking event and I was invited up to Vancouver to deliver the keynote presentation. Following that they booked a Unity Skills Workshop the following day which was to be a 4-hour hands-on training class focusing on new users stepping into the product. Both turned out to be incredibly awesome, read on for details about both events as well as some photos!
For the TGIF event on Friday night they rented out an insanely cool renovated Chinese theater in town (District 319), gathered around 150 people (the majority of whom don’t yet use Unity) and gave me the opportunity to introduce them to our product. The evening started with a social welcoming event that lasted about an hour, then there were a few brief introductory presentations by J. Jolly of OverInteractive Media as well as Jason Bailey of Super Rewards (both of whom are cool guys to say the least), following them I was given the stage for an hour. During that time I covered the basics of who we are, where we come from, why were here and how Unity can help them achieve their game development goals. The presentation went great, the questions came from all corners, some tough, some easy, but all showing an intense interest from the audience. After my presentation was done I couldn’t leave the stage area for a good 45 minutes as folks kept on coming up to me asking even more questions. Luckily Darrel Plant (long-time Director user, now a Unity developer) saved me by bringing me a cold drink from the bar to quench my thirst! The social after-party went on Until 10pm or so with me getting to spend a lot of time chatting with folks and I think it’s going to lead to quite a number of new users. A few folks reported to me that they bought Unity on the spot right after my presentation! Gold!
Unity Skills Workshop
For the Saturday Skills Workshop they booked us into the Centre for Digital Media, a cool digital media school in Vancouver. I was able to get in front of 35 people and gave a four hour class on Unity. It covered the basics but everyone there seemed to dig it and hopefully take away some, if not a lot of tidbits of information. In the room were total newbies, some Unity developers and even one guy from EA Vancouver! One of the guages of well it went is that we went over-time by about 30-45 minutes (so many questions!), folks ran off to buy the product right away as well as tweet/blog/post to Facebook about the event. I’m altogether quite happy to have spent my Saturday like that! Following the class I was treated to a great dinner that night with a few notable folks from the local games industry which not only provided me with some seriously good food (Chambar was incredible!) but also some time to wind down and chat with some local industry folks, making great connections both personal and professional. We sat at the table for nearly three hours covering about every topic you can imagine, but with a bunch of game geeks the topics kept coming back to games and ultimately, Unity. Again, gold!
I Owe Some Thanks!
I want to note that J. Jolly and Glen Lougheed from OverInteractive Media (and their whole gang of folks in Vancouver) get tons of appreciation out of me. The entire weekend was on their tab, they paid for the airfare, my hotel, all meals, kept me fed, busy, happy and productive. Of course that wouldn’t have happened without the help of many local sponsors so I’d like to call each of them out:
And last but definitely not least…
Seriously, without those folks these events may not have ever happened, and if so they wouldn’t have been nearly as cool. Thanks for such an incredible weekend!
Let’s get on with a few pictures!
Folks arrive at District 319 and check in for the TGIF event
Food was served…
As were drinks…
Eventually I was on stage…
With a good crowd in attendance…
Who flooded me with questions both during and after my presentation (what’s up McKane and Bill! :) )
The Centre for Digital Media where the workshop was held on Saturday
An in-class action shot showing a packed house!
If you want to see more photos then check out the photos posted on Flickr!