The 2016 Intel Buzz Workshop series is in full swing. The London event was just wrapped earlier in June, and on the immediate horizon is the Seattle version. On the table is a daylong event filled to overflowing with esports, virtual reality, crowdfunding, platforms, and even machine learning. In other words, the event addresses some of the topics that game developers and gamers in 2016 have come to expect from a game development event. Here are a few of the features worth keeping in mind when navigating the Intel Buzz Workshop Seattle 2016.
Unique Content: Virtual reality, development platform and eSports talks and panels are always current and relevant in the PC game development space. They’re in this workshop, too. However, there are a few talks that are less common but bring a more unique angle that programmers and developers may take a shine to.
George Dolbier, CTO at IBM North American Interactive Media, is conducting a talk on machine learning. What’s machine learning? Hit up a Google News search and see how much of this branch of artificial intelligence is, or will be, touching daily life. Machine learning also will become more of a big deal in game development. Whether adding conversational interfaces, providing better player behavior modeling, or improving game design, machine language platforms will be another means to make games more fun, engaging and natural to play, to loosely quote the talk description. Expect this session to include examples of how machine learning will play (and already is playing) a part in game development.
While a game optimization talk might not be your cup of tea (unless you’re an engineer interested in performance, of course), Intel’s Seth Schneider is going to do a live demo on an indie game, with Intel’s Graphics Performance Analyzers tools to demonstrate how they can optimize a game on the fly. Rule of thumb: Talks can sometimes be dry, but a live demo designed to prove how your game performance can be improved, is almost always more interesting, since it’s theory and concepts in action, with visible results.
Casual Connect Indie Prize 2016 Partnership: Just announced with the Casual Connect USA team, the winner of the indie developer showcase, as judged by the expert panel, will also win a guaranteed slot at Casual Connect USA’s Indie Prize showcase and contest. Indie Prize participation includes a full conference pass to Casual Connect USA 2016 and accommodation at the conference hotel. On top of the hardware and promotion prizes, there’s a lot of potential winning.
Amenities: Let’s be honest: A lot of people like to be rewarded for their time and attention at events with a little love from the organizers and sponsors. Apparently, Intel knows this from past events. Expect Intel to be on its game (yes, pun absolutely intended) for the Seattle event as well. Confirmed good stuff for attendees is breakfast, lunch, breaks and a complete-with-adult-beverages reception later on. New bright and shinies (prizes) will be awarded for the winners in the indie game development showcase and judging. Also confirmed: All event attendees will be given a second-generation Tile, or GenTile2, after filling out an event survey at the end of the day.
Hat Tip to a Good Cause: While there is a minimal fee to attend Intel’s Buzz Workshop, it’s donated entirely to the Child’s Play charity. So, there is the side benefit of warm and fuzzy feelings in donating to a well-known charity for kids. Still, if $10 or $20, if registering late, might be a source of chin-stroking uncertainty, there are plenty of codes for half-off registration, including one for Events for Gamers readers (use EFE50 at the Eventbrite registration).
The Intel Buzz Workshop Seattle 2016 takes place 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 22, 2016, at the Impact Hub in downtown Seattle.
Editor’s Note: Events for Gamers is a partner with Intel Buzz Workshop Seattle 2016.