SIEGE Conference 2016 Recap

Giving a talk at the SIEGE Conference

I had the last minute opportunity to speak at the Southern Interactive Entertainment and Games Expo (SIEGE Conference) over the weekend. During the first part of the week, I was asked to present on the HoloLens. The reason for the last minute ask was because of Hurricane Matthew and previously scheduled speakers not being able to make it to the conference.

This was not my first time at the SIEGE conference. I’ve had the opportunity to speak at the conference in the past. I enjoyed the conference this year as well. I was able to meet some great people and have a lot of conversations around augmented reality and the HoloLens device in particular.

In attendance you will find both Indie game studios, one man teams, students, professionals, traditional game studios, investors, composers, and even lawyers. The keynotes are really great. The first year I attended I was able to meet Nolan Bushnell, co-founder of Atari.

This year, the creator of the infamous game Myst, Rand Miller was interviewed in the first keynote. It was a great session!

Also, Nick Laing, Senior Producer at Turn 10 (makers of Forza Motorsports), also gave a fantastic talk around personal leadership. While his talk was geared toward game production, much of what he talked about was very applicable to those who are starting their own business and are on the path to entrepreneurship.

True leadership, no matter where you are going to end up, it starts at the personal level and it’s a deeply personal endeavor.

Personal Leadership is the process of self-influence in which a person can aid and support themselves for accomplishment. This is responsibility for yourself, this is setting standards for yourself, this is holding yourself accountable.

If you are thinking of creating your own game as an indie game developer, this notion of personal leadership or self-discipline is super important. I’ve have the opportunity to work out of my house for the last 16 years. When I first started working from home, I couldn’t separate work from home.

This is a common struggle for many. For some, they can’t focus on the work that needs to be done because of distractions at home, or just the overwhelming feeling of everything at home that needs to be done. For others, and I fall into this group, the issue is more that they don’t work at home as much as they live at work. It is hard to set aside time to do things around the house because the stack of work is always there. Fortunately, I’ve gotten much better over the years at separating work and home.

It takes discipline to start work and to then stop work when it is appropriate. When you start your own company, or launch your own indie game studio, the number of tasks increase. Besides the technical aspect of work that will ultimately pay the bills (graphic design, software development, art creation, etc.), you also need to do the paperwork of the company, like submitting invoices, paying bills, doing the bookkeeping, paying taxes, etc.

I believe that time management doesn’t exist. It comes down to self-management. Time is what it is. We can’t manage it, but we can manage ourselves.

This notion of self-management is more than just self-discipline. Self-discipline is about doing what needs to be done even if it doesn’t feel good. Self-management is about knowing what needs to be done and prioritizing those important things to be done in an efficient manner.

I’ve mentioned the book Essentialism before, but I listened to the book again on the way back from the conference. When you run a business, you get a lot of opportunities and you have to decide which opportunities are worth doing. Where should your time be spent?

Self-management says we need to set a priority based on what needs to be done and then have self-discipline to actually do them in that order, regardless if we feel like it or not.

The SIEGE Conference live streamed my HoloLens session

The talk I gave this year at SIEGE was around spatial mapping for the HoloLens. I’ll be giving a similar talk at CodeMash in January of next year. So if you are close to Ohio you should check it out.

Also, I have a Master Class talking all about spatial mapping in a more concise manner (because of the power of video editing) in the Learn HoloLens membership site. So if you are interested in learning about the HoloLens you should check out the site. Enrollment for the membership site is only open a couple of times a year.

We did the alpha launch of the first week of September. I’ll be reopening enrollment the first week of November for our beta launch. If you want to be notified when membership opens, make sure you sign up on the waiting list.

The first month’s Master Class was all about using spatial mapping with the HoloLens. This month, the Master Class will be all around using the Emulator. This way you can get started immediately with HoloLens development even if you don’t have a device.

Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality are going to continue to grow. Make some time to get in on the ground floor to learn how to work with AR and MR using the HoloLens.

I provide free videos on YouTube every week, including this week’s video. Enjoy!


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