The department of Game Design at Uppsala University, campus Gotland
This is the highly informal blog of the GAME-department. We use it mostly to document the things we do outside of running one of the worlds strongest game educations. For information about our education, programs and courses, check the official site at Uppsala University.
The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is the largest annual gathering of professional video game developers, focusing on learning, inspiration, and networking. The event comprises an expo, networking events and a variety of tutorials, lectures, and roundtables by industry professionals on game-related topics covering programming, design, audio, production, business and management, and visual arts.
It might be summer and all the students are long gone; perhaps at the beach barbecuing and enjoying the so famously supreme weather of this island. But we the staff – ever the diligent and hard working people that we are – obviously stay on board to deal with the summer courses and preparing the autumn semester.
Pd is free, platform independent and fundamentally different from anything we’ve ever worked with before; and that includes Blender Gamekit (graphical programing ni Python) and Kismet (graphical UnrealScript). It’s a real-time language, which means that your program is running while you’re building it! And the syntax – the graphical representation of the language – is also your GUI.
Objects like “number”, “dsp”, “slider”, “colorspace”, “toggle” and “checkbox” are both instances used in the logic, and actual GUI-components that you can manipulate! The editor therefore has two modes: one for programming and one where you manipulate your program’s settings and inputs. But everything is running all the time, so the modes are mostly a convenience.
Platform independence was not a joke either; we were five Apple machines, two Ubuntu installs and a mix of Windows XP, Vista and 7 attending the workshop. It took 10 minutes for us all to install and have hardware accelerated rendering (OpenGL), high-precision audio and low-level access to webcams, microphones, network and practically any kind of input you could imagine.
Pd is an incredibly powerful tool, for the right set of problems. Though I’m not an artist like thesepeople it has been extremely interesting and great fun to learn, and the experience left me marginally less envious of my summer-celebrating students. 😀
Gotland Game Awards is our proud annual highlight – a drum roll and high-hat emphasizing all the hard work of the year gone by. But the astounding energy and inspiration of GGA 2009 made it much more than a mere accentuation!
It was a tremendous climax – cymbals and horns, percussion, a god light and a choir of angels! A zenith, for all our students and staff to end this year by.
We’re still recovering from GAME’s largest event to date, the official web is soon to be properly updated, but for now – please enjoy some pics . 🙂