Apologies - all my photos have to be links tonight.
Well, if you are at Gamefest for the second day, be sure to drop by the Dream Build Play exhibit area where you can get hands on experience with these games. I played Shuggy while doing booth setup Sunday and it had that great swoopy Joust feel (one of my favorite retro arcade games). The creator was also giving away nifty t-shirts in that area, so feel lucky if you got one; I got to him when he was out of my amazonian size. :(
Today I spent a lot of time gaming-I-mean-booth-watching at the XNA team booth. I didn't get to play all of the top 20, but spent way way too much time on Dishwasher (the dead samurai one with a satisfying amount of slashing and wirefu physics), which tied for first place, and never at all mastered Blazing Birds (robot badminton) which tied for first place. I got to meet the creator and he was a nice, softspoken dude with long hair who seemed un-used to the rockstarness with which people regarded the winners. It means fame hasn't ruined him yet. :) The dishwasher guy was all grins, and his story on stage was hilarious....he just got out of college and so his day job is Java programming on a Mac and his game programming is Microsoft. That's versatility for you!
While at the booth, I grew my pink flower in Ragu (a bee that nudges clouds) and also enjoyed the cute bloodthirsty-ness of Little Gamers, where the ridiculous Charlie Brown-style cute cartoonishness of the character is at odds with the well, chainsaws, beer, and Agent Smith types and zombies he ends up killing. I found that folks were a little shy at grabbing the controls if I stood back from the booth and the area was empty; they would rather watch me get my derriere kicked by bad boss gunfire and then would readily take the controller when I offered it to them.
We also had the Softimage demo running...just to show off what their tools can create in an XNA game.
For lunch I got to hang out with the XNA MVPs and Dave Weller. I'm a noob in the game development world so it was fun to hear them talk.
I think one of the most inspiring things I heard at the booth was from the Rocketball guys. They made their game in one month and did "pizza and beer" usability testing with their friends to make sure this dodgeball-esque sim really worked.
It was great to see.... Now I'm tired so will bid the blogosphere adieu until tomorrow. Live it vivid!!!