Friday, November 18, 2011

Minecon: The event schedule

Minecon is upon us, and for those of us that can't attend, IGN is streaming all a few of the panels live.

The bulk of this post consists of the Minecon event schedule reproduced from Mojang's website, along with my speculation about some of the sessions. I'll be using this as a guide to help decide which stream to view.

One thing I'm particularly interested to see is @jeb_'s (Jens Bergensten's) talk about generating map structures, which I'm guessing will be during the Mojang Developers' Panel on Saturday.

Mojang in October issued an open call for speakers, so its likely that most of the panels will consist of people from the community, as opposed to Mojang employees. Since the schedule (which Mojang called an 'agenda') doesn't list panel members or describe the nature of each session, it's difficult to determine the value of some of the panels. I hope conferees at least get a handout with that information to aid in choosing which panels to attend.

For example, on Friday there's a panel API for Game Developers while Saturday has one called Creating Mods. It would be nice to know more about these panels in advance.

Also missing is any mention of the 'lightning talks' discussed in the open call for speakers.

A distressing number of the panels are about YouTube, either making videos or featuring particular channels. With 1.1 million Minecraft videos, do we really need more?

Friday, November 18th

10 a.m. Game Room and Exhibit Hall Open
1 - 2:30 p.m. Keynote Address and Minecraft Launch with Notch (Mandalay Bay Ballroom A-G) [Notch releases Minecraft! He hinted at surprise announcements—if they happen at Minecon this is the likely venue. Let's hope his fanbois don't overdo it; some of us have weak stomachs.]
2:45 - 3:45 p.m. Panels
  • YouTube 101 (Jasmine ABEF)
  • Composing Game Music (Banyan ABCD)
  • API for Game Developers (Palm A) [Which API? Is this for modding? ]
  • Minecraft as a Tool for Education (Palm B) [Probably presenting material available on The Minecraft Teacher blog.]
  • Creating Custom Maps (Palm C) [Sounds mildly interesting.]
  • Running a Server (Palm D) [Also could be interesting.]
4 - 5 p.m. Mojang Panel with Q&A – Live Demos of Scrolls and Cobalt (Mandalay Bay Ballroom A-G) [Q&A might bring worthwhile questions, but time will be taken up by the off-topic demos. Bah, marketing.]
5:15 - 6:15 p.m. Panels
  • The Art of Games (Jasmine ABEF)
  • Machinima Channel Panel (Banyan ABCD)
  • Bukkit for Multiplayer Servers (Palm A) [The clear choice in this time slot.]
  • Video Editing (Palm B)
  • YouTube 101 (Palm C) [Again? Two presentations of this off-topic panel?]
  • The Family that Plays Together (Palm D)
7 - 10 p.m. Kickoff Party – Open to all Ages (South Seas Ballroom)

Saturday, November 19th

10 a.m. Game Room and Exhibit Hall Open
10:00 - 11:00 p.m. Panels
  • Making a Difference – Minecraft (Jasmine ABEF)
  • YouTube Partners (Banyan ABCD)
  • Amazing Builds (Palm A)
  • Minecraft Community Ideas with Curse (Palm B) [Might yield insight into Curse's intentions regarding Minecraft, or it could turn out to be as lame as it sounds.]
  • Creativity with Redstone (Palm C) [Pointless considering that Eloraam's Redpower 2 mod far surpasses Minecraft's built-in redstone logic.]
  • Modder Concepts & Ideas (Palm D) [Really need to see a description of this. It almost sounds like it's describing the ridiculously ambitious pipe dream mods announced weekly by middle schoolers on the forums.]
11:15 - 12:15 p.m. Mojang Developers' Panel (Mandalay Bay Ballroom A-G) [A must-see. Perhaps the most important event of the conference. Likely venue for @jeb_'s generating map structures presentation.]
1:30 - 2:30 p.m. Yogscast Panel (Mandalay Bay Ballroom A-G)
2:45 - 3:45 p.m. Panels

  • Creating Compelling Videos (Jasmine ABEF)
  • Creating Stories and Comics Using Minecraft (Banyan ABCD)
  • Minecraft Architecture (Palm A) [Is this in-game building architecture? If so, that's nice, but hardly critical.]
  • The Shaft Podcast Live Recording (Palm B)
  • Family Game Night: Bonding through Minecraft (Palm C)
  • Creating Mods (Palm D) [Which mod API will be recommended?]
4:00 - 5:00 p.m. Closing Session (Mandalay Bay Ballroom A-G)
10 p.m. Into the Nether party – 21 and over (XS Nightclub, Wynn Hotel)

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