Recap: DemoCampEdmonton9

I feel like a broken record, but I really think tonight was our largest crowd ever for DemoCamp! It’s just amazing to see so many people who care about the technology industry and local entrepreneurs come out to show their support, learn something, and connect with one another. Kudos to everyone who continues to help make DemoCamp the fantastic event it has become by showing up and spreading the word! Special shout out tonight to NAIT’s Digital and Interactive Media Design (DIMD) group – I understand there were a couple dozen students in attendance!

As usual, we had six demos:

  • Victor Rubba from CrazedCoders got things started by demoing a side project – an iPhone game called Pik’s Revenge. It’ll appear in the App Store soon for $1.99, and is the first in a series of roughly four chapters. It includes 4 movies, 8 comics, and 2-5 hours of gameplay. I loved Victor’s demo because there was no talking for the first half, just gameplay being demoed.
  • Next up was Reg Cheramy and Scott Montgomerie who demoed their new Facebook app called Book That Bet. Built simply to “scratch an itch”, the app lets you track wagers with your friends, making use of the social graph on Facebook. It’s written in Ruby on Rails and is intentionally simple to start. Reg and Scott had a good demo, but actually received more love for their other app, OneClap.
  • Third tonight was Logan Foster who demoed a Kongregate game called Team Battle. It’s a Flash-based, real-time fighting game with some interesting graphics creation (3D models to 2D sprites). The intent is not to create a World of Warcraft competitor, but rather a game to play in your spare time.
  • Next up was Andrew Czarnietzki from 3D Interactive Inc. or 3DI. He demoed a really interesting simulation built for Caterpillar. Powered by the Unreal engine, Andrew described the simulator as a “serious game” – basically they bring game technology to the business world. The level of detail in the simulator was just incredible. Andrew did a good job of balancing the demo part with the talking part.
  • Fifth tonight was Colin Bramm who demoed SelfChecker, an online quiz authoring tool. The idea is to make it easy for teachers to create questions that can be shared with students via a simple link. Students take the test and see feedback immediately.
  • Last but not least was Ken Bautista who demoed his 2009 Venture Prize award winning solution called CIE: See Your Own Proof. An online community for kids, CIE hosts missions and other activities, and includes a whole social networking element as well. Interestingly, CIE combines the online and offline world with “field missions” in which kids visit real museums to learn and explore. The beta starts next week!

Most of the demos tonight were for projects that have been in the works for quite some time. I think it’s safe to say that the game demos did not go as well as expected. It turns out that demoing a game is harder than it sounds, particularly because you only get ten minutes! I think it was Graham who said something like “if you can’t play the game, then it had better be entertaining to watch with explosions or something!” I think I agree – the game demos just weren’t as exciting as everyone hoped. The fact that we had multiple game demos probably didn’t help.

DemoCampEdmonton9DemoCampEdmonton9
Photos taken as folks were still coming in. It filled up even more!

I think Ken’s demo was definitely a favorite, as people seemed really excited about CIE. The demo of the night has to go to Andrew though, for offering us a peek at some really awesome technology and for keeping the demo entertaining, informative, and on time.

There were a few announcements made this evening:

Thanks to everyone who came out tonight. Thanks also to Eric and the Free-Wifi project for getting everyone connected.

See you at DemoCampEdmonton10!

  • Great demos last night, thanks for the wrap-up, Mack.

  • I think overall it went pretty good all of the demos were really great and presented some of the variety that is going on here in the city.

    Even though a person could look at it and break it down as a “Games” and “Web” demos I think a person really needs to look past it to see how many different disciplines were hit in the demos last night from pc, to web, mobile development, elearning, video production and marketing.

    What’s even more interesting when you look at it as a whole is really how everything that was demoed was only had one or two degree of seperation from one another. I know that most people seemed to get this but I saw a few comments on twitter from people who just didnt grasp how similar the technologies and development techniques are with everything that was demoed and how really each demo had something in that you could take from and apply to the work that they do.

    With regards to the 10 minutes being too short for game demos. I don’t necessarily agree. I think overall the time length was good enough to give a good summary of the work that was done without going overboard. I guess going ahead with democamp game presentation is really what do people want to see? Do they just want the magic trick, or would they like to see the trick and then an explaination of how it was done so that they can apply it to what they know and appreciate it even more?

    Either way, definately looking forward to the next democamp and of course keep your eyes open for gamescamp if this is something that is of interest to anyone reading this.

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