FOTB In Review – Day 1

Just pulled into Brighton yesterday afternoon. Rushed down to the dome for early registration and was a bit disappointed to discover there was no special free gift for early registrants as had been going around the twitterverse. The regular swag bag was top quality though. The bag itself is pretty great and actually usable. And for filling out a raffle ticket, there was also a pretty nifty/nerdy Flash Platform Rubik’s cube to be had. But, of course, it’s the presentations that are the important thing.

First up (after a crazy mariachi segue) was the Adobe Keynote presented by Richard Galvan and Mark Anders. There we found out that AIR 2.0 is soon on the way and got a few sneak prevues of the next Flash IDE. Some of the biggest changes coming up are with textfields, where it looks like most of the new Text Framework options are going to be incorporated into the TextField property panel. Other major changes are with the IDE code editor. Code hinting for custom classes support, a nice snippets panel, and super tight integration with the Flash IDE and Flash Builder are all in the works. Of course if you’ve been using something like FDT or FlashDevelop for your code editing, all these updates are rather ho hum. Still, it’s nice to see Adobe listens to the community.

Next up for me was Keith Peters’ presentation on casual game architecture. Nothing earth shattering here, but it was nice to see Keith Peters speak and there were some interesting questions raised, such as, should Model and View be integrated in Flash architecture. A bit controversial, but it does make sense when you think about Sprites and MovieClips. You set an x or y property and it automatically updates itself – why keep that data separate? He also gave a sneak peak at a new  Flash game toolkit he’s working on named Asobu. Looking forward to checking it out once available.

Then came Carlos Ulloa, creator of Papervision3D to show some recent work of HelloEnjoy. The talk was a bit dry, but the work was freaking fantastic and, while he didn’t go into any great technical detail, he did drop a few hints for working with PV3D when it comes to shading and volumetric light.

After a long lunch and a missed session, came Joshua Hirsch of Big Spaceship to give a little insider look at that great agency. Best piece of advice: Don’t hire assholes. Technical difficulties aside (no videos would play), there was some interesting insight and nice little Q/A session. (also happened to see Andre Michelle sitting right in front of me and my wife – kind of fun).

Finally came an interesting session from Hillman Curtis. This was the first I’d seen HC speak, and while it had pretty much nothing to do with Flash, he’s followed an interesting career path and it was nice to see what he’s been up to lately (video portraiture and a documentary of David Byrne). Best point to remember: a quote from Albert Einstein, “The universe is a benevolent place.”

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