- XOXO attendees we met are just super nice people, all around. Even the vendors commented on how this is their favorite event to work because people are so friendly (and apparently give the best tips).
- Presenters and people giving demos at Tabletop and Arcade were all very approachable.
- I missed the Video presentations entirely, so I won’t mention them here.
Drove up from San Francisco
Camped at Mt Shasta. Ate at Black Bear Diner.
Overheard two old guys at a rest stop chatting about how they dealt with last year’s Camp Fire. One guy lost his house, but kept talking about other people he was more worried about besides himself.
Throughout the drive this past week I saw a surprising (for me anyways) number of Amazon trucks on the road. It is a logistics company with a fancy web frontend.
Camped at Crater Lake, and hiked up to an observation point for sunset.
Then down to the lake itself Wednesday morning, though I did not get in the water. Next time!
Camped at Clear Water Falls. Got spooked by thunder early the next morning and packed up in a rush.
Visited Umpquah Hot Springs on the way out of the national forest. It’s nice. Very hippy-friendly.
Checked into the Jupiter hotel when we got to Portland. Last year we stayed at Jupiter Next, which is a lot nicer. I don’t recommend Jupter’s original rooms surrounding the Douglas Fir lounge. Speaking of, we got to see a band [name…?] play a show downstairs. It was my first time actually seeing a band play there and I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been to the Doug Fir.
Said hi to Tiffany and Mike, and Gordon who were all at the school for early registration.
Played some kind of (physical) joust game with music that sped up and down in tandem with the sensitivity of the LED-ball controllers that players had to walk around with.
Social: meetups for slack channels.
#tim-tam-slam-jam: just people using tim tams as straws to drink their beverage of choice.
#music-making: Saw some people jam out to “Don’t You Want Me Baby” but the only lyrics they used were “You were working as a waitress at a cocktail bar” - over and over. Met a guy named Fredrick from Chicago who plays bass in I Kong Kult - one of his bandmates plays with some folks from Tortoise. That’s exactly what I imagine the Chicago music scene to be like :)
I went to #game-making briefly but it was not my scene.
Completely missed Appy Hour by Glitch, which I kinda regret.
I checked out the Panic Playdate Party. The device itself is pretty much what they advertise. The crank handle is an interesting choice for a game controller. The one game I played had a robot running to try to make it to meet his date on time, but he’s always late no matter what. Rolling back and forth moves forward and backwards in time. That was the only way to control the game in the levels I played.
ADX Open House was pretty mellow. The space itself is like a maker space, with various stations and areas for different uses. There were some giant wooden spheres made of wood scraps left by makers.
At some point during the day we ran into Nikita Mikros by the coffee/drinks area. We told him we’re big fans of Killer Queen and chatted for a while about game development, programming languages etc. I think he said the Switch edition of Killer Queen Black is written at least partially in C# (probably using Unity), but the build system he uses is written in [drum roll…] Go! I told him about Chromium’s build system, which is also written in Go, and brought up periph.io since it seemed relevant to developing for cabinets and other weird hardware. He was super friendly and really excited to talk shop and design philosophy.
Saw Tess and Tyler getting food and said hi. We bumped into them a few more times over the weekend.
- We played Wingspan to completion for the first time with another attendee (paused in the middle of the game to watch the talk by Hundred Rabbits, about their globe-sailing, code-slinging lifestyle).
- I got a run-through of how to play ROOT from a guy who had it out on his table. He turned out to be the artist who illustrated everything in the game, so I bought a copy from him right there.
- I playtested a prototype game from Twogether Studios called Adventure Time, which from what I understand is a game adaptation of a podcast. I am not familiar with the studio, its creators, the podcast, or any of the inside jokes and references. However, the game was still very fun and I look forward to playing the final version when it comes out.
- The creator of Reigns (highly-rated video game available on iOS, Android and Steam) was there with a tabletop version of his popular mobile game of the same name, which I played and tied for third place.
- Tilt5 was in the tabletop area, demoing both their old AR glasses and the new models so you could see the progress they’ve made. It’s very impressive tech!
At the picnic tables at various points in the day between talks.
Met Brian Fioca and the guy whose name I forget sitting on my side of the table turned out to be a long-time user and huge fan of RescueTime. Naturally we discussed productivity hacks, and the How to Do Nothing talk from earlier in the day.
Later we chatted with Wil Shipley (I forget if we sat down at his table or if he joined ours) about how WWDC has changed over the years, life in San Francisco, and life in general.
Drove back to San Francisco. Ate at Black Bear again on the way through Mt. Shasta.