360iDev Impressions - Day 1

November 11, 2010    

Monday morning, David Whatley did a great keynote that was based on this video. He talked about what happened at his company when he instituted a Results Only Work Environment. It was very interesting, and ended with this. Which is the coolest way to end a keynote, ever.

I started with Tom Frauenhofer’s Cocos2D class, which is probably the class in which I learned the most the whole conference, but that’s largely because I had never touched cocos2d before, so I had a lot to learn. Tom was very organized, and taught us enough that I managed to actually write a game prototype 36 hours later.

Next up was Steven Hugg (of HeyTell fame) talking about viral apps. He broke the different factors in viral apps down into an analog of the Drake Equation, and talked to us about each factor and how to try to affect it in our apps. Very well done, very educational.

Michael Simmons talked to all of us at lunch about his considerable experience with marketing and pricing apps, and was very enjoytble and well received.

Then I went to Joe Keeley’s talk on Quartz 2D and met the QuartzMonster. I’d used the quartz framework on a couple of apps I’d done before and gotten it work via trial and error, so it was very nice to get a better understanding of what I had been doing.

Last class of Monday, I went to a talk by Noel Llopis of Flower Garden fame.
It was a fascinating look at in-app purchases from his game and others, along with some summaries of talks from other (non-iPhone) game designers, and has the capability to dramatically increase the profitability of the whole iPhone app ecosystem, once we understand the implications. It totally changed the way I look at app profitability (although now I have to figure out what to do about it).

And the evening group session was the Legendary Mike Lee. It was a great, motivating kick in the ass that I needed (and I don’t think I was the only one who felt that way).

Monday closed with a very enjoyable after-party. It was a great first (real) day.