FITC, day one

Tom Higgins (Unity)

Kicked off today with Tom Higgins’ Unity 3D presentation. Bit more on the marketing side than I had hoped. Would have liked to see more of the application. Good news, albeit a bit old if you followed the Flash Gaming Summit news from about a week ago is the SWF exporter from Unity. Tom could not say much about it because Flash Player’s molehill is still subject to change. Unity however is aiming for day zero support and the exporter will probably not support as much features as Unity’s own web player. Not that I use Unity but the following items were new to me: The remote ‘player’ for mobile devices will be available on all licences, also the free licence. The remote allows you to test on on a device while working in Unity on your dev machine. There is an in-app store (with free content too) for 3d models and scripts (maybe even I can get some stuff done now). To me there also was a mystery solved: Unity exports an XCode project if you wanna publish for iOS. Probably therefore wasn’t banned like Flash was for a while.

Stacy Mulcahy (bitchwhocodes)

Stacy talked about the design and User Experience (UX) considerations when developing for devices. Next to the obvious of for example screen real estate there were lovely insights to be gained. Fitts’ law passed with the side note that there’s no containing borders on a device (the finger her being the pointer is not restricted to the screen as a mouse is), Stcott McCloud passed with his TED talk about comics, vision and representation of images and stories on new media. Simple tips like larger hit area’s compared to visible size, ‘activity touch zones of a device (near where your hands are when you hold it) but also Skeuomorphic design (which appears to work pretty well), the Uncanny valley applied to UX and we got advised to read the Apple Human Interface Guidelines even if it was just for the good read it is. Like many presentations there wasn’t time enough…

Grant Skinner

He was up next with ADHD FTW, LOL! and got the silent treatment from the audience. Grant: in the Netherlands that means about the same as cheers in the US; awestruck ;) . His presentation was partly flexing AS3 muscle (in a positive sense) like the Hulk could tear his shirt back in the days but good lessons were to be learned too. Take time to experiment, partly by leaving the opportunity open at all times (buy RAM, leave applications open), but also by giving yourself micro rewards (if I finish this in time I get to experiment. This needs small sprints, not week long marathons). Still it may seem like wanting to escape the daily grind, but experiment serves more purposes than escapism: It let’s you work on stuff which you probably are more passionate about than an assignment for a client. Showing off the experiments may however get you the next (assignment that is). Experiments shown were among others: Slot cars with AIR gas pedal, Androideroids, Record player (which fails to load the experiment today?), experiments with light and spheres, far more evolved than these. Furthermore there was a nice lineup of tools created by GS, his company and friends. EaslJS, ZoĆ« Sprite sheet exporter and some impressive exporter from Flash to JavaScript. Inspiring.

Chris Black

Chris Black I did not know, not that I visit these events often but I stalk a lot on whatever webcast there is. A good listen nonetheless (as if me not knowing him would mean the opposite) in the nice setting of the Influxis Voodoo lounge with live broadcast and possibility to ask questions through their chat. You can see Chris’ slides on slideshare. He gave his insights on making money with mobile apps using wit and tools like ad words etc. Funny thing was that target demographics data was collected by experiment, not desk research as often taught where I teach.


Quickly ran to the Adobe keynote. Some previews of the next Flash Professional, Flash Builder and Flex. More and more in the direction of mobile development. Testing on devices while retaining full debug possibilities, Flash builder has more features like quick assist which I think FDT already has, Flex has a lot of components updated for use on mobile devices, Molehill was presented (again) as was Mandreel‘s impressive story of a port of a Wii game to the Flash player.

Rob Bateman

He was one before last. The cocreator of Away3D talked about some topics Molehill and Away3D 4.0 make possible: Lighting, textures, millions of polygons and some dynamics. Illustrated by demos and videos. guess you had to be there. OK, here’s some stuff he showed: Richard Feynman about light, simulation in 3D worlds (funny, real or not), crappy human perception shameless abused by computer simulations and the JiglibFlash physics engine that can be combined with Away3D and the Molehill API. Some techniques were illustrated using videos created by The Guerrilla CG Project.

Tom Krcha

Tom Krcha, Adobe platform evangelist talked in the packed voodoo lounge about peer to peer applications ranging from video on demand, file sharing to several game applications. P2p was something I completely missed until now. Something to think about for sure.

Oh my, now I need a beer in the hotel bar. Maybe something stronger with the classic napkin under it :)

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