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GDC Europe and the Desktop Summit

Published Sep 7 2011 via RSS
KDE/Amarok, KDE/Gluon

Lately, the Gluon team has been pulling a whole lot of work together, which is why you've not been hearing about us all that much unless you've sat in the channel with us. As you most likely know, the Google Summer of Code and Season of KDE tutoring programs ran over the summer, and Gluon of course took part in both. That is not what this blog entry is about, at least not directly - i simply mention it because as we are now at an end, we are getting closer to our next release, which will happen once the three projects are merged into master.

What this blog entry is about is what we've been up to over the last few weeks - specifically attending the enormously successful Desktop Summit in Berlin, and immediately following this GDC Europe.

Desktop Summit

While at the Desktop Summit, the Gluon team took part in various events, some of which got filmed. Unfortunately, as it turns out, the recording equipment seems to have more or less exploded, and while they're working on it and hope to still be able to gain at least some of the presentations, i thought it best to publish this none the less.

The first event we took part in was the lightning talks, where Felix Rohrbach spoke about his Season of KDE work implementing support for the Achievements module in the Open Collaboration Services draft.

The next event, unfortunately without video here, was our presentation. This had both Arjen and myself on stage, where we first talked about how this was our second aniversary in our current form, with the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit being the initial event which allowed us to eventually formulate our vision. After this, we showed off Gluon Creator, and what we can do with it. Finally, Shantanu showed up to show off his work on the distribution system - the part which allows you to push games directly from inside Gluon Creator and download them using any of the Gluon Player applications. From a personal viewpoint, let me just say - while the presentation fell apart due to broken network, it is still very impressive stuff!

Similarly without video, but very productive, we had our BoF, which unlike last year, where we spent the time brainstorming about the future direction of Gluon, we spent helping those present getting to grips with how to build games using Gluon. This event further showed that we need to get those screencasts done, showing how to use Gluon Creator to build games. If you want to help us with this endeavour, drop by the channel and we'll talk ;-) Scripts for the first few of them are already done, and they primarily need to be recorded.

Finally, of course, hacking went on. One of the things which we spent time on (Arjen specifically) was the particle system. So, when he had something to show off, we recorded this little video, where you unfortunately cannot see just how fast the whole thin is - but this is drawn eight times on top of itself, and there is no perceivable slowdown. Impressive stuff :-) And this, i'm told, is entirely unoptimized as it stands, so expect impressiveness when it's merged into master later ;-)

GDC Europe

At the Qt Contributor's Summit in Berlin, Sulamita Garcia from the Intel AppUp team came up to me and asked two questions: Were i available in mid August, and would i like to go on stage to talk about Gluon. I'm always happy to talk about Gluon to anybody who'd like to listen, and it just so happened i was available at that time. So, as it turns out, they would like to bring Gluon to GDC Europe for an AppUp event. Over the next few weeks (six weeks from the invitation was extended until GDC Europe was due to happen) we worked on putting together something to show off there.

As it turned out the AppUp Lab got cancelled, but this happened at such a late time that everything else was already ordered, so Arjen and i went merrily on our way to Cologne, checked into the hotel and eventually got our passes. We walked around on the floor, talking to as many people we could about Gluon and what we are trying to do for the Makers and Players of Games, and a lot of people were more than happy to hear what we had to say.

There was lots of interest in using our various libraries directly, and our distribution system hit home as well with many people. We also spoke with a supplier of payment solutions about what we might be able to do for our donation-based monetization concept, and got some very good insights on this.

Finally, of course, everybody likes a bit of swag, and Intel decided to sponsor us some really nifty t-shirts! With a graphic designed by Eigene "it-s" Trounev, Arjen, Bjoern, Monika and i looked dashing in our dark blue Gaming Freedom t-shirts. Here is Arjen looking confused on the final day of the event (sorry, didn't get to taking other shots, we were so much all over the place i totally missed taking pictures ;-) ):


Now, as the AppUp Lab event got cancelled, i now have the remaining t-shirts in two boxes here in my home. So, we came up with the idea that, other than making sure that the Gluon team gets some t-shirts to wear, we would give others the opportunity to get one as well. And as these ones are a bit special, we thought that it would make sense to make it a bit of a competition rather than simply handing them out: So, make a game with Gluon Creator and get it up on GamingFreedom.org (through http://test.gamingfreedom.org/ - or using Shaan7's GSoC work to do it directly from Gluon Creator), and get in touch with us about it, so make sure you're you, so you can get your t-shirt! Note, there are about 200 t-shirts in various sizes, so to make sure you get one, you will need to get there before everybody else - this is first come first serve after all... and who knows, there might be an achievement in this later on ;-)


The next steps on the path towards gaming freedom are many. Some of them are:

  • Merge the tutored projects in
  • Release a snapshot
  • Produce those screencasts to help people build games
  • Use those t-shirts constructively - want one? Make a game! :-D

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