It’s that time of the year when all the games industry converges on San Francisco. Even though this is my 12th GDC (in a row, no less), and the conference has grown and matured a lot, it still feels as exciting as the first one.
This year will GDC will host the first ever iPhone Summit on Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s great to see the iPhone getting that much recognition as a gaming platform. Definitely way more than last year’s presence at the conference. Both days are going to be packed with awesome sessions, and I will be giving a presentation on mixing OpenGL and UIKit on Tuesday at 11:15am. I’ll definitely be around throughout all the summit (except when I sneak out for a few minutes over to the Indie Summit which unfortunately happens at the same time).
The rest of the conference looks amazing as usual. There are always way more talks that I want to see than I can actually attend. In particular, I’m really looking forward to a lot of the design talks because they’re very inspiring and directly applicable to any kind of game development. Also, rumor has it I might be making a quick guest appearance in a certain session on Saturday.
Finally, if you’re an iPhone developer, make sure to come to the IDU party on Wednesday evening, and meet us for drinks on Thursday evening after the IGF ceremony.
I’ll be running around with a busy schedule, but you can always follow my Twitter updates to know where I’m at every moment. I look forward to seeing everybody again this year!
A week ago, I sent out a quick tweet asking if anyone would be interested in doing an iPhone Game Jam at the 360iDev conference. The response was immediate and hugely positive, so, with the help of the organizers of 360iDev, we put together an informal iPhone Game Jam.
The idea was to get together Tuesday evening, starting at around 7PM, and to code all night and have an iPhone game (or at least a prototype) done by morning. About 25 showed up, working on about a dozen projects. Participants were welcome to group into teams or work solo. There were no restrictions as far as themes or technology. The only rules were that you had to finish something by morning (no leaving something that was 5% of a game) and you had to start the game from scratch (no finishing a game you had started a while ago).
Here are the slides and the source code for my talk this afternoon at 360iDev in Denver. Thanks to everyone who came to the talk. I was surprised to see so much interest on this topic, so that was great.
The iPhone has a very powerful engine under that shiny hood when it comes to floating-point computations. This is something that surprises a lot of programmers because by default, things can slow down a lot whenever any floating point numbers are involved. This session will explain the secrets to unlocking maximum performance for floating point calculations, from the mysteries of Thumb mode, to harnessing the full power of the forgotten vector floating point unit. Stay away from this session if he thought of reading or even (gasp!) writing assembly code scares you.
I just put up the slides for my talk this morning at GDC Austin: Squeezing Every Drop Of Performance Out Of The iPhone.
Thanks for everyone who attended the session and for the great feedback so far. If you’re going to be in China next month, I’ll be giving a very similar talk at GDC China.
This session will describe the iPhone performance optimization lessons learned through many hours of tuning. We’ll start with an overview of the performance analysis tools available on the iPhone SDK to help you narrow down your performance bottlenecks. Then we’ll cover the best way to set up your render loops, rendering best practices, how to deal with the limited memory, or even how to drop down to assembly to use the forgotten vector floating point unit.
Presentation slides (pdf format)
For those of you still on the fence about attending my iPhone OpenGL class in Denver, you should sign up before this Sunday if you want to get the super-combo deal. Right now you get a total combined discount of over $300 if you sign up both for the OpenGL class and the 360iDev conference. If you’re only interested in the OpenGL class, the early-bird registration ends next Friday, September 4th.
Obviously I’m biased when I say the class is going to be awesome (which it is), but I can also say with total honesty that 360iDev is an incredible conference. It’s very different from WWDC, but that’s what makes it so great: It has top-quality content and speakers, but it’s small and intimate, so you get to meet and hang out with all the other speakers and participants. It was at the first 360iDev conference back in March that I met Keith and Owen (among many other cool developers) in person for the first time and that’s how App Treasures was born.
So if you’re on the fence, I hope you give it a try. See you in Denver!