Monthly Archives: May 2012
Phil and I headed downtown yesterday, to the Ottawa Convention Centre to take in the panels and speakers at the Ottawa Game Conference, the first of its kind in the Nation’s Capital.
It was a one-day event this year, but there was more than enough content to pack into two days. Event organizers say next year they plan to go to two days. It’s a good idea. I would have loved to attend every panel, but sadly, there isn’t enough time in the day.
They split us into two tracks. Phil headed down the content side, where he learned about things like making MMOs more story-like and focusing on social game design. I headed down the business side, where we discussed whether console gaming is dying, how mobile gaming will evolve and the different kinds of ways new developers can get a head start with their new game or new company.
We topped off our time at the conference with a talk on Gamification, and the idea that gaming has changed the way people think and interact with the world, to the point where the world will have to adapt itself to that notion.
Phil and I will have the low down on the show this Saturday on our show, but I want to make a comment before that happens.
I’m excited for the future.
The conference was primarily intended for game developers and students. There were students from colleges and universities all over eastern Canada. I saw lots of Algonquin students and lots of Carleton students, as well as a few from McGill and Queens.
I was there in an observational role, but the students and designers all seemed really excited to be gathering and networking and sharing ideas about an industry they love.
One of the key-note speakers, Jason Della Rocca, mentioned that indie studios need to stop being scared people will steal their ideas and share them. Get feedback right away. I can’t say for sure, but I bet the lunch tables were buzzing with ideas about the next big thing. Someone in that building will be involved, I’m sure.
You will hear from some of those speakers and developers this Saturday, but until then, stay tuned, stay connected and keep gaming.
It is a fact of life that advertisements are everywhere. Everyone is trying to make a quick buck, and with billions of users online every day, there’s a whole market of potential customers just waiting to fall into your lap. All you need is a hook.
And that’s really the tricky part, isn’t it? By virtue of the fact that advertising is everywhere, bombarding us from cradle to grave, a lot of people have become pretty good at tuning it out. This is bad news for advertisers and their clients! They WANT you to see or hear their latest ad. They want you to be affected by it and, ultimately, buy whatever it is they’re selling.
But what about those ads where you only have to stop and think… HUH?
I mentioned on our last show that I tend to most often notice the Facebook ads that don’t seem to be directed at me. We were discussing GM’s recent decision to pull ads from Facebook ahead of its big IPO, and whether or not Facebook ads are effective. The ads I tend to notice seem to be for those scammy “Find out how you can get thousands of dollars in grants for free!” websites. I’m honestly surprised I’m not being asked to throw bananas at monkeys to win a free iPad (PROTIP: you will never win a free iPad).
But I sometimes wonder what gives. Why doesn’t Facebook want to show me real ads I might actually care about. I don’t want to go on the adventure of a lifetime to some remote location with 20 other college kids. I’m not even in college anymore. I don’t want to go to Boston or learn carpentry. I notice these ads mostly because I think “why am I seeing this? Why, Facebook, do you think I need to learn where to meet singles, when you can clearly see I’m married?”
Then I came across this gem:
I blocked out the name because, frankly, I don’t think the site’s legit and I don’t want to infect anyone, but what the heck is this? It’s Prime Minister Harper, painted up like Obama, and it’s next to some ad for credit card debt reduction services. What does the Prime Minister have to do with my credit card? What if I don’t have anywhere near the level of debt required to qualify for this program? My card’s limit doesn’t even GO that high! I feel a little left out here, Facebook! You’re throwing me ads I can’t even take advantage of!
But it got my attention, so maybe it worked. Have you ever seen stupid or nonsensical ads on Facebook?
After our last show, longtime listener Chris emailed in to tell us why he parted ways with his Android tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, in relation to our discussion on app buying.
He mentioned two reasons:
1) a lack of prepaid Android cards like the iTunes card, meaning you have to give several different companies your credit card number.
2) Many Android apps wouldn’t work on the tablet. (He ended up switching to Apple)
I think Google may be slow to act on a prepaid Android card since they don’t have paid apps themselves…still, the success of the Android ecosystem is partly their responsibility, and it’s certainly in their best interest.
What are your thoughts? Has the fragmentation on Android and the security issues with purchasing apps discouraged you from downloading certain programs? Or forced you to go to a different platform?