CEDEC 2006

It's the time of year for hundreds of developers to shuffle up to Sangenjaya's Showa Women's University, sadly vacated for the summer holidays. There we all squeeze into Gaijin-unfriendly, hard wooden school benches to listen to industry professionals on a variety of subjects; you get the idea.

CEDEC, stands for “CESA Developers Conference”, and to open up this matryoshka of an acronym, CESA stands for “Computer Entertainment Supplier’s (sic.) Association” Here's the official site.

I thought I'd attend this year mostly to spend a little time away from my desk and avoid retina screen-burn; I swear I can see the Windows toolbar when I stare at bright surfaces.
Skipping the morning’s opening speech I attended the crowded seminar by two, programmers on “Wanda and the Colossus”. Though they didn’t really share any development secrets that weren’t already available on-line, it was pretty cool to see their tools and techniques demonstrated in real-time and to get a look the psychedelic character animation test levels.

For the 30 minute break we weren’t content to wait in line for half an hour at the cafeteria, so in stead we waited half an hour in line at the nearest convenience store. A quick cigarette at the official smoking area, funnily enough the bike shed, we had to hurry to the next seminar.

This second lecture, “How to become a box-office hit creating graphic artist” was a waste of time. Focusing mostly on semi-traditional 2D anime art, we were shown a very mediocre company show reel, followed by a long speech about how to be as great an artist as those guys are. It included such gems as: “Characters with blue hair, white skin and big eyes are cool because they look American” and “If you interview with us, here’s what to say…” I utilized the time by napping, as much as my caffeine-withdrawal headache allowed which just about woke me up enough to survive the rest of the afternoon back at the office.

Tomorrow I hope to quickly attend a demonstration of the new aspects of Autodesk Maya 8.0, after which I have to get back to work and inform the rest of the art team of my findings. Friday I have another seminar planned. I thought I’d append that with the evening’s developers' drinking party, but I learned today it isn’t free, so maybe not. I was hoping to attend more seminars, especially some by IGDA Japan, but sadly my work schedule is a bit more pressing this week.

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