Speaking at first Ignite Wellington

Wellington is having its first Ignite event next week, March 2nd. http://www.ignitewellington.co.nz/ The Ignite folks have asked if I’d speak so I’m going to try and say something useful about designing for playful interaction in 5 minutes. Coming off the Webstock high (some notes on that to come) I have a few ideas about what to say.

Quick Update, CHCH, AKL, LSGM

  • Went to Christchurch, it’s flat. Heard some good dubstep and DnB, took photos of the Garden City Big Band and plenty more of the city itself, made the mistake of going up the gondola while it was covered with cloud.
  • Went to Auckland, attended Semi-Permanent 08 and spoke at the Media Design School. More excellent dubstep (Loefah!) and awesome people. Also, Stefan Sagmeister’s Things I have Learned in my Life So Far is a great project/list.
  • Participated in the Lost Sport finals with Team Wellington. We won gold in the 7 circuit labyrinth!
Photos of the above to come as I process them. Currently deep into a project pitch with a tight timeline and the potential to fulfill a longstanding design desire.

Team Wellington – Multiverse Olympics 24 Aug 2008 from Jo Eaton on Vimeo.

48 Hours 2008, PKN Wellington, X|Media|Lab

Speak to Me Time flies, so the saying goes, and I haven’t felt it this much in recent memory. Fun, joy, excitement sums it all up. As a result the fourth dimension darts forward resulting in a pleasant sense of vertigo. 8 weeks since I arrived, conversations where I was measuring time in country in days are still fresh and vivid. Where has it gone?

For starters into the depths of Sidhe Interactive. They’ve done a fantastic job ofRehearse making me feel at home. As has Wellington on the whole. Excellent people and a friendly party culture that reminds me of Montreal in all the right ways. New coworkers universally kick ass and one group of them are participating in 48Hours, a competition to write, direct, shoot, edit, and finish a movie in 2 days of straight madness. A few of my photos fell into the Coder Art presentation during a Friday show and tell and they asked me to document their 48Hours. Sounded like a chance to shoot a bunch and give the new lens a workout so I agreed. Then they told me to be at the office at 8am on Saturday morning. Ouch.

Still, it was great to watch everybody work, Corie Geerders directed and kept the whole ball rolling and the crew rocked the whole thing to get it done before the deadline. Game artists are used to working with fairly tight deadlines, but even this was hardcore. I wonder if Team Puppy Guts has more FX shots than any other production? When the video hits the web I’ll post a link, but the movie, F*Dance, deals with finger dancing. All of their hard work paid off as Puppy Guts are in the Wellington Finals, if they win there it’s on to the nationals!

  • Shots taken: ~1500 (approx 20 hours worth of following crew around)
  • Shots processed: ~120
  • Posted to Flickr: 39 (although Corie has put 64 of them up on his Flickr)

IMG_8375 Work resumed post 48Hours and ticked along quickly until Wednesday night when it was time for Pecha Kucha Wellington vol 02. A solid PKN (anybody heard how the first Vancouver one went?) with some really fun presentations. Of note was Kris Sowersby of KLIM Type Foundry who did a wonderful 20×20 on what a Typographer actually does. Inspired me to take a swing at the same thing on Game Design, since nobody has a clue what we do outside of the industry and it will be a good challenge to make a compelling 20×20 out of it. Kris and some cohorts came up with a font that would save 10 to 15 percent of the space in a phonebook. Might not seem huge but have a look at the white pages or yellow pages and think about how manyIMG_8419 pages that would save. Massive. Of course the phone book company turned it down. Sigh.

Also that evening I met the talented and wonderful VJ Zoo, Kat Black and Jasper Cook. This was to be the first of several encounters over the coming week and the beginning of a wonderful friendship. Pitsch Leiser and the PKN Wellington crew did a great job and I’m looking forward to vol 03. (Which will be in Wellington itself rather than Lower Hutt 🙂 )

One thing rolled directly into another and I found myself attending X|Media|Lab Wellington as part of the Sidhe posse. X|Media|Lab is basically a traveling think tank. WelcomingThey land in a city with a theme for the conference (Wellington’s was Commercialising Ideas) and a group of local and international mentors who have had success in their respective fields. The first day is a set of lecture presentations, capped at 20 minutes each, from a few of the mentors but the real fun is the Saturday and Sunday. Working on the premise that all of the real work at a conference happens during the coffee breaks XML is just one long series of coffee breaks. There’s a minor scramble to sign up for an hour of a mentor’s time (10 one hour blocks over a day and a half) and then all of the teams start meeting with the sages.

The conversations that happened over the course of that weekend ranged from business to creativity and rarely fell short of thought provoking. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that the Sidhe crew had our minds expanded a little. You can see the list of speakers at the XML website, and all of them brought great value to the discussions. I could write pages about each one, but this is already getting longer (and later) than I’d like so I’ll leave it at: Tom Duterme from Google can freaking dance! Kat and Jasper got a last minute gig to VJ for DJ Krush on the Saturday night at Sandwiches, and did a great job as well as sneaking Tom and a few others in the door. I saw Krush checking out the visuals behind him more than once.Whiteboard Scrum

Bottom line, if an X|Media|Lab is happening and has something to do with your field, get there. Doesn’t matter where it’s happening (Wellington had visitors from Australia and Germany) throw in an application for your project to go through the XML wringer, it’s well worth it and quite frankly not expensive.

Right, time to edit this and get to my bed. Another week of high speed good times awaits tomorrow!