James Williams

Google IO 2011 Highlights

Tags: Gaming Android

Earlier this week I attended the always awesome Google I/O. I/O, as always, exceeded my expectations. And I should know, I've been to all four of them. Others will undoubtedly focus on the freebies but this post on gonna focus on the content of the conference. Here's a short list of my favorite sessions(mostly HTML5 related):

Super Browser 2 Turbo HD Remix Somewhat a beginner's session, Seth Ladd takes you step by step in creating a shoot-em-up game. For people intimiated by HTML5, this is a nice place to start.

WebGL Techniques and Performance Gregg Tavares gave several methods to improve performance and frame rate including an optimization of a Microsoft demo that in Chrome rendered over 30,000 objects in a WebGL canvas. TL;DW version: Be DRY. Draw more items in less cycles.

Building Game Development Tools with App Engine, GWT, and WebGL Lilli Thompson went demonstrated how you could make game asset collaboration tools such as level editor, object and material viewers, etc using WebGL, GWT, and App Engine. AppEngine does introduce some considerations for source control, which Lilli acknowledged but much of the session had good take-aways even if you don't use GWT or AppEngine.

Ignite Sometimes the most memorable parts of a conference can be the times when you aren't talking tech. The format for Ignite are 5 minute sessions with auto-advance slides. The cool thing about it is that there are lots of topics that can safely fill a five minute slot but not a traditional 30 or 60 minute session. By the time I made it to the room, it was already closed so I had to catch the live stream. Two talks I was able to catch were my friend Pamela Fox's talk on shyness and Matt Cutts talk on his 30 day challenges. Pamela's talk was about techniques you could use to overcome shyness like for example:

  • Leading a club or group
  • Wearing interesting shirts or clothes, and,
  • Speaking at conferences

The cool part about it for me is that I had subconsciously been doing those types of things. I realized that I had wore my StartupBus shirt to be an icebreaker because at least one or two people would see it and say "StartupBus? What's that?" giving me a chance to talk about it before moving on to other topics.

I haven't quite figured out what type of 30 day challenge I want to do yet.I have to mention one cool piece of schwag I got for being an I/ON (have attended all Google I/Os): a huge Android plushie.


*Note: I didn't attend these next two sessions at I/O but I saw the content at other events and endorse them.*

Honeycomb Hightlights Chet Hasse and Romain Guy go through the new hotness in HoneyComb including RenderScript, the Fragments API, and other improvements/changes in the release. I saw this preso at We Have Tablets several weeks before.

The Secrets of Google Pac-Man I saw elements of this preso at a HTML5 gaming hackathon Google had a while back. One of the surprises for me was that the original PacMan doodle didn't use Canvas, it used CSS.