News from Day 1 of Conflux 06.
Headed into the National Museum with the fantastic Danny Oz (who crashed with us last night) and found everyone still setting up. With nothing to do, I took myself into Civic for breakfast and some comic shopping. Picked up the new trades of JLA, Outsiders, and Batman, as well as single issues 52 Week 5, Outsiders #37, Hulk #95, and Batman #652 and #653. More on those titles in a separate post, maybe. Eventually I headed back to the convention where I was able to greet friends from Canberra, Perth, Melbourne, and guests including Jack Dann, Dan Abnett, and Nick Stathopoulos. Special mention goes to Maxine Macarthur for fantastic last minute panel-wrangling, Michael Kraaze for being a sport about panels he wasn't informed he was on, and the always fantastic Stuart Barrow, Barbara Robson, Bec Handcock, April Rutkay, Margie Levingston, Gillian Pollock, and Ben Watley-Smith for just being around.
12 pm - Art Show
Upstairs at the National Museum the dust is not only forming words but also some amazing international quality artwork. It's an absolutely eye-melting field, and I have been possessed by the urge to buy every last bit of it. I tried to note the names of some of the highly impressive newcomers, but sadly trained monkeys stole my paper, so all I can do is say that you can see some absolutely gorgeous art of a far-beyond-professional standard from regular convention exhibitors Marilyn Pride, Shane Parker, and Nick Stathopoulos, as well as some gems from guest artists Les Peterson and Shaun Tan. Well worth your time just to come see this exhibition even if you miss the rest of the convention, and it's free entry to boot. Showing all weekend.
1 pm - Dealing With Adaptation
Seeing as I was going to be on the "dark twin" of this panel later, I wandered into the first adaptation panel, starring Sean McMullen, Jonathan Hardy, Mal and Dean from Inventive, and Steve Jackson. It wasn't a bad panel - Jonathan Hardy is a deceptively humble guest with decades worth of anecdotes. Sean also has decades worth of anecdotes, which he made a valiant attempt to cram the entirety of into this panel. Steve looked a bit lost through most of the panel as it was mostly focused around adapting into films, rather than his obvious specialty of games.
4 pm - Adaptation: The Optioning and Filmmaking Process
Starring Mal and Dean, myself, Sean McMullen, Jonathan Hardy, Kaaron Warren, and Kaaron's producer from local company Bearcage Productions, Michael Tear. A huge panel which Dean did a great job of keeping in line. We probably wasted too much time rambling and should have spent more time on the legal issues of option agreements, but what's done is done. The audience seemed like they didn't think it sucked, and they outnumbered us, so that's a good sign.
6 pm - Dinner with Steve, Monica and Andy
The guys from Inventive dragged me out for some Singaporean cuisine with Steve Jackson, his partner Monica, and a fellow by the name of Andy Smith from Prophecy Games. (Prophecy are a new ACT company formed mostly of former Irrational Games talent.) Dean and Mal wanted to talk options in game development for properties, and I got to see what happens when TV people pitch game ideas. Also talked casual MMOGs and the developing trend of ARGs with Steve and Monica, which was great. Steve took the time to direct all and sundry who are interested to the blog of Daniel James, creator of Puzzle Pirates. Steve also told the tale of hanging out in Richard Garriott's garage, seeing him working on some crazy game called "Akalabeth", and saying, "Hey, you could make a fortune with things like this!" Steve Jackson responsible for the origin of the Ultima series? Possibly not. Let's file this under "apocrypha".
Anyway, dinner went so long I missed both the opening ceremony and the cocktail party, so that sucked. I did get a cocktail though, called a Jade, apparently made with lots of blue curacao. Tasty! Among the things I missed out on through dinner were:
* Talking further with Jo, who I met tonight and seems worth knowing.
* Going to the room party of James, which would have undoubtedly been debaucherous and heaps of fun.
* Catching up with any of the great people at the con I haven't chatted too much yet, not the least of which is Bec Handcock.
* Seeing more of April's geek chic - she was wearing a slinky black dress with the Autobot and Decepticon icons picked out in sequins across the back and chest! Sorry, no photos available at this stage.
Tomorrow I'm moving into the hotel, going to Steve's game design workshop, appearing on Inventive's panel where they'll roll the Silicon Spies trailer, and capping it all off with an impromptu birthday celebration for my good self to mark the occasion of my 26th year of life coming to an end. Should be busy.
If you'd like more detail on anything in this post leave a comment and I'll oblige.