July 17, 2015

Talking about patching in Nottingham and Brighton

Neil speaking at NottsTest
Neil speaking at NottsTest. Photo: BC Creative

Earlier this month, I debuted a new talk at July's #NottsTest. It was very different to other presentations that I've given before, and this fresher format worked really well for me (and seemingly for the audience, too).

In this talk, I examined how the ability for developers to easily patch their apps and games has become something of a double-edged sword. The current furore surrounding the PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight is a perfect example: the game is in major need of a patch for performance problems, and whilst it's great that they'll be able to release an update to solve this, would the situation have ever emerged in the pre-internet days where you only had one shot at getting things right? (I dabbled with this conundrum in my first major article for my blog, My First Encounter(s) With Bugs In Games.)

It's a fun presentation where I get to geek out over the gaming events that shaped my childhood, comparing these to my experiences in software development and seeing where we can learn or adapt from some of gaming's biggest successes and failures.

If you've seen any of my previous sessions in the past year, you'll know that I have something of a reputation for "Death by Powerpoint", as I attempt to storm through dozens of slides of bullet-point hell. I've had some great coaching and feedback, and read some splendid tips (such as Troy Hunt's "Speaker Style Bingo") which persuaded me to attempt a completely different approach this time around - a streamlined slide deck consisting solely of glossy visual prompts. The meat of the presentation came from my words, which I found flowed more freely once I didn't have to worry about hitting every bullet point.


Sounds interesting? Then you're in luck - I'm going to be giving v2 of the talk in Brighton next month; come along to Brigh#TestActually on August 19th to find out what's in store! There's drinks and pizza from 7pm, with the talk commencing at 7.30, so there'll be plenty of time for discussion and debate afterwards.

Hope to see you there!

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