Saturday 23 November 2013

Disregard rulebook! Make videogames!

Last week I was invited to be a headline speaker at the first meeting of Manchester Tech Nights - I'd initially offered to do a lightning talk and ended up doing a solo headline slot. Argh. 

It was a little nerve-wracking - this was easily my biggest public speaking event so far, to a sold-out room: it was standing room only at the back (I missed the free pizza due to being at the wrong end of the room after I finished my talk, pfft!). To make matters scarier, the other headline speaker had to pull out at the last minute, which wobbled me a little. All in all though, I was really happy with how it went, and I'd definitely do it again - in fact, I am doing at Birmingham University in January. Neat.

Anyway, the talk itself was called Disregard Rulebook! Make Videogames!, and was a bit of a love-letter to using programming as a tool for rapid creative experimentation and prototyping. The first part was a ramble about my attitude to coding, with a few projects to back it up (namely the Tate Gallery project from a few years back, and the more recent HOME project). I then went on to talk about the gamejam and show off some of the ludicrously fantastic games that our jammers have put out over the last year and a bit. Apologies to any neckbeard enterprise coders that I offended along the way!

The talk was supposed to be something like 15-20 minutes, and when I test-drove a version of it at Salford Uni a few days before it was the right length... On the night I ended up speaking for 45 mins (sorry, organisers) mainly as a result of adding a few bits and also really making a conscious effort to slow my pace down to actual talking speed.

Massive thanks to the Manchester Tech Nights guys and TechHub for putting on a great night, it was an honour to be part of the first meeting and I'm really looking forward to seeing where it goes from here.

Oh, and for the people asking for the slides (no idea why, it's all pictures...), they can be found here.

Photo credits: @rachael_burns and @zoeisthinking 

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