Tag Archives: technology

At the NASSCOM Game Developers Conference

ngdc stage

Another year of the NASSCOM Game Developer’s Conference, India has ended. Another year with a better turnout than the last! What a way to celebrate the gaming community of India.

The NASSCOM Game Developer’s Conference (NGDC as we call it) took place on the 15th and 16th of November 2013 at the JW Marriott at Pune. Located right in the hub of the Pune university area, the location is better connected than the earlier one in Pune city and probably encouraged more to attend the event.

The conference had 3 simultaneous tracks focused on Indies, Business and Technology. There were also workshops on Unity development, Game Design, Mentorship by industry experts, BYOG (Build Your Own Game) and Nasscom Gaming Awards.

I went to the event not just as a delegate but also as a speaker. As delegate I attended a lot of the indie talks. My favorite was the talk by one of the founders of Simogo. With just two people in their company, they have done some amazing games. Their postmortems were precise to each game but it was great to see their unique game mechanics.

A workshop for Unity got me introduced to working with 2D on the new Unity 4.3 platform.

Another good talk was by Martine Spaans from Gramble.com on Best Practices for Publishing Mobile Games in the Western Market. While some of the points were known from the best practices materials available online, the presentation was good with points from personal experience.

Interesting it was to attend the Crowdfunding and Kickstarter session by Pyrodactyl Games because they are a success story on Kickstarter from India for their game Unrest.

I spoke about Adobe AIR games on Multiple platforms. The presentation was basics of Adobe AIR but there was so much to share when talking it – Tools, Scout, Stage 3D, Starling, Native Extensions, Feathers UI, Away3D and it just goes on. I hope the audience (a lot of them non AIR developers) could understand it well.

The best the conference had to offer was meeting old friends, colleagues, twitter friends and networking with new people. Waiting for the event to repeat the success next year!

Mariam

Apps Vs Apps – Nokia Connects yet again!

When Nokia must have decided to recreate the successful Nokia AppTasting magic in Mumbai, they must not have anticipated the tremendous response they got from bloggers all over the city. A roomfull of 250 bloggers managed to get #NokiaAppTasting trending in a country which has 15 million Twitter users.

It sure shows that an “Indi-Blogger” power is strong enough to stir buzz when they get together. Sponsored by Nokia India, organised by the awesome Indiblogger team (completing 5 years) and hosted by the charming Vikas Khanna and the witty Rajiv Makhni, the event was great.

Going to a Nokia event always brings back great memories of the Nokia Developer events I’ve attended in the past. Although this one was not for developers, the passion of all the bloggers, tech and non-tech, was amazing. The Nokia AppTasting event was different and unique in it’s own way.

A lot of people I interacted with were not sure what to expect from the event.

“Technology and Food, Mobile Apps and Food App-etizers, Rajiv Makhni and Vikas Khanna, Tech Guru and Celebrity Chef?”

It was not long before the questions were answered. First by cheering with clenched fists in the air and then celebrating the evening by hugging another blogger sitting besides us. India’s tech guru Rajiv Makhni ensured the love continued by asking us bloggers to stare into our phones and then kiss it. I think it was a good way to break the ice and get started with the event.

As the evening unfolded, we were introduced to many useful apps on the Nokia Lumia and Nokia PureView phones.

The Nokia City Lens app showed a great use of compass caliberation and augemented reality. Depending on the direction the phone is held, the app locates the point of interest and visually shows them on the mobile screen. And because it uses GPS data, network connection is not always needed.

Nokia City Lens

Another app was the Mobile Sommelier by VinoMatch. The app has a complete menu of wine pairing features that helps improve the taste of a meal. Every menu selection is accompanied by a photograph of a generic wine group. This also seemed like a useful app when eating out or when having guests at home.

VinoMatch


Foodspotting was demoed on a Windows Phone. Foodspotting for those who haven’t used it is a food photo sharing app that has a community built around the sharing of food dishes. Vikas Khanna shared thoughts on how many chefs don’t approve their guests taking pictures of their dishes and then sharing them on social networking sites. But for him such apps are a good way to get critiqued.

I personally use FoodSpotting and find it very useful when I eat at a new place. Especially the reviews and rating others give to the food minimizes the trouble I face in deciding what to choose from a menu.

The app showcase was interspersed with some fun interactive sessions, witty comments, funny anectodes and informative quotes from the hosts.

I came back home wiser! I now know that Onion Halwa (a dense sweet desert made from onions) is a heritage of the Chadela Dynasty in Khajurao and there is a city called “Halwa City” in Tamil Nadu.

Nokia definitely scores with the Nokia PureView photography technology which is a strong reason why I will buy the phone.

Some pics from the event –

Nokia Apps take Centerstage
Moviemaking is no longer a painstaking business - Nokia Movie Maker App
An Adobe Photoshop like app for merging the best of multiple pictures into one
The Indibloggers that got Twitter trending

Indiblogger is a platform that brings together bloggers from all over India to share and communicate their thoughts. There are no specific categories that require bloggers to join the group. All that is needed is a passion for writing.

Mariam

Technology, Content, Products

For the past 2 days I’d been taking time off from my everyday work schedule and spending it at non tech events organised by Indiblogger –  a community of Indian Bloggers. The first was the launch of a new show on an Indian television channel called MasterChef India 2, and the second a new product introduction event by Dove India.

While both of these were non-tech events, I realized what an important role technology and social media plays in reaching out to an audience to help promote a product or television content.

Almost every blogger at the event was well connected with their latest device tweeting every moment of their experience through Twitter. There was even a moment where the hash tag #MasterChefIndia2 was trending in India due to the reach of the community present at the event.

Digital and phone cameras were working with draining batteries capturing every frame of the events so that bloggers could share them through Flickr or Facebook Albums. Everybody at the event was passionate about writing, blogging and owned personal blogs. Everyone connected, exchanged cards, twitter handles and blog addresses!

So while it was easy for me to believe that I was away from technology over the weekend, I was actually amongst real techies!

So cheers to the tech world we live in!

Mariam

Mobile February at the MWC

Two weeks down since the Mobile World Congress ended for this year, but I did not get a chance to write about my experiences there. The reason was me taking some time off from work to move a little around Spain and pursuing another one of my passions i.e. world travel! I’ll write about my amazing experiences as a traveler in this beautiful country another time, but for now I’d like to talk about the one week at MWC and what it meant for me as a mobile developer.

The Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, Spain is one of the biggest events in the mobile world. Anyone related to the field of wireless, be it mobile developers, technology leaders, OEMS, carriers, aggregators, mobile tools providers etc, all descend on to this little world in Fira Barcelona to discuss the next BIG thing in Wireless.

Mobile World Congress
Mobile World Congress 2009

I had the opportunity to be there this year, and it was memorable for several reasons. I got to meet and talk to some really bright people in the field of mobiles, met some old colleagues, discussed some business opportunities, witnessed the launch of many new platforms and devices, did a presentation at the Symbian Foundation booth, participated in discussions on the last day of the event with WIP JAM, and finally attended the Lite Days event organized by the Spanish Mobile Adobe User Group.

IGameStudios Gear Wager showcased during the IMGAwards
IGameStudio's Gear Wager showcased during the IMGAwards
LiteDays by MaD UG
GetJar presentation at LiteDays organized by Spanish MaD UG

As a developer, my major concern was to look out for technologies during the event that offered great tools & support, at the same time would help me reach out to as many consumers as possible. Well, there was no magical booth that scored on all the three points but I came across some good platforms which I may look into in the coming weeks..with most of them being widget based.

  • Opera Widget SDK definitely showed some great potential. I saw some great working examples on handsets including a Flash Lite example. The Opera Mobile 9.5 has support for Flash Lite 3.1.
  • Yahoo was promoting it’s Blueprint 1.1 platform with a lot of demos and workshops. Some cool stuff here too.
  • Another widget SDK that showed great potential was Streamezzo. Apparently their framework solves a lot of developer issues, specifically related to porting on different mobile platforms. It is supposedly an intelligent framework that automatically fits it’s self well on any screen. I was quite impressed with what they showed me and would definitely look into their SDK.

Adobe too lived up to its commitment of last year in focusing on the Mobiles area. This time in MWC, Adobe made several announcements which we will find extremely exciting and motivating to take it forward, and look at it as a potential platform for 2009.

  • Flash shipped on 1 Billion devices (cummulative): Flash Lite shipped on 40% of all new handsets in 2008
  • Public beta of the Distributable Player Solution – the ability to distribute mobile apps with the latest Flash Lite 3.1 runtime. The regions include US, Spain, Italy, UK and yes India too (reason to celebrate because devs from India can now monetize from their apps)
  • Launch of Featured Applications from leading content providers at m.adobe.com (live now)
  • Palm joining the Open Screen Project and intends to ship with Flash 10 devices
Adobe Booth at the MWC09
Adobe Booth at the MWC09
Adobe Booth at the MWC09
Adobe Booth at the MWC09

AppStores also seemed to be an upcoming trend with Nokia announcing their OVI Store, allowing developers to publish and sell their content through Nokia’s global application market.

Got to see some great devices like the ones from DoCoMo, LG, Nokia and Android handsets. Apparently Samsung was to display a new Android phone during the MWC, but it turned out to be a rumor.

Android
Android

That kind of sums up my Mobile Week during the Mobile World Congress. I think the conference was great and much bigger in scale when compared to the conferences I’ve attended so far. It definitely deserves another visit next year.

Mariam