Good Morning Gato #37 – Ocular Glow

Her eyes glow with a piercing power that’s so warm, so consuming and so eerily welcoming that nobody can resist their attraction. Be attracted, give in and follow Gato’s mystical cat-eye glow into this week’s edition of Good Morning Gato.

Hanging With The IGDA
On Wednesday night, James and I traveled into Albany for the local Independent Game Developers Association (IGDA) chapter meeting where we were invited to speak about Ska Studios’ “Big Old Indie Story”. And thanks to James’ new Windows Phone 7 (of which I’ll talk about later) and its expert navigation instructions, we arrived on time and prepared to talk.

The Albany IGDA is comprised of a handful of Captial District locals including a few students, but mostly developers from Vicarious Visions and 1st Playable Productions. Both of which are Albany locals. After a quick parking job, an equally quick setup of our presentation materials (which included a spiffy James-crafted Powerpoint), we dined on bar food and mingled. Fast forward an hour and we find ourselves listening to James talking about the start of Ska Studios, his developer background, overall design philosophy and expressing his love of all things XNA. I chimed in when I could, especially when we got to talking about marketing, PAX planning and all non-game-making topics. We also got around to showing off The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile and a bit of ZP2KX (in trailer form), even though the projector was acting up, causing constant frame freezes. (It wasn’t the game, I PROMISE!)

So, our inaugural IGDA meetup turned out to be a blast. We got to meet a lot of cool developer folks, got a chance to talk about our games and got a free dinner (nom!). Good times all around 😀

WP7 In The House
I already mentioned this, but I wanted to re-emphasis that James tossed out his old iPhone and purchased a new Windows Phone 7. This subsequently means that I have a major case cellphone envy. *sigh*

If you are not familiar with Windows Phone 7, all you really need to know is that it’s your long-requested solution to Xbox gaming on the go. Once you sync up your Gamertag with the phone, you can start downloading games from the (currently sparse) library of launch titles. All of the available titles are treated as mobile Xbox LIVE Arcade games which means there are achievements to unlock and plenty of Gamerscore up for grabs. I only got the chance to see ilomilo in action and my initial impressions are that it’s adorable, free and rather pretty looking, especially when viewed on the Samsung Focus’ drop-dead gorgeous Super AMOLED screen.

The take away here is that James has been playing with his fancy new Windows Phone nonstop, tempting me with it’s simplistic UI and now I want one. Maybe I’ll end up snatching one in the near future when there are a few more must-have games on the service, but until then, I wait … in cold, empty, sadness.

That’s It!
Happy day to you and remember; always look both ways.