The Director Shockwave Education Assembly

What would happen we wondered if we brought together some of the most amazing educators and community leaders in the history of Shockwave & Director for a quiet little weekend full of sneak peeks, roadmap discussions, information exchange and brainstorming? And why not bring them all to the amazing tropical oceanside vistas of Puerto Rico? In November, Adobe expressed a very serious interest in sharing the ideas and experience of one of the most stunning groups of Director Developers ever assembled in a single place.

Adobe Director Education Assembly
Chris Brannigan, Caspian Learning and Peter Desberg, CSU pause for a quick photo.


So what happened and who was there, is a frequently asked question. Below is a summary of the event schedule and a bio for each of the participants.

Featured Events

Friday Keynote: Thomas Westin, Stockholm University (Pin Interactive)
Thomas Westin is a lecturer at Stockholm University and KTH, Dept. of Computer and Systems Sciences in Sweden. He is a co-founder of both Pin Interactive AB, and the IGDA Game Accessibility SIG. Thomas will speak about his new open source Lingo initiative, FLIP.

Saturday Keynote: Malachy Duffin, CanDo Interactive
As one of the directors of CanDo Interactive, Mal Duffin has extensive experience creating interactive Shockwave 3D content. He previously worked on video games and virtual reality projects for companies like Sony, Shiny Entertainment, and IBM. Mal worked with CanDo to create NanoQuest, an immersive 3D simulation of subatomic space for Discover Science and Engineering.

Sunday Keynote: Dean Utian, University of New South Wales (Dean’s Director Tutorials)
Dean is an architect turned multimedia consultant, with experience in teaching Director and other digital applications. He runs two courses at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, and has been a consultant for the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics and Salt Lake 2002 Winter Games. Dean also runs a multimedia company called Multimedia Creative, that offers training and project support as well as development of a wide range of multimedia applications, 3D visualizations, and exhibition installations. Dean has co-authored a book on Director (Foundation Director 8.5), and maintains a set of online tutorials and resource information. In his spare time, Dean enjoys sports and painting.

Schedule of Events (All times are Atlantic GMT-4)
Friday 8PM: Keynote – Thomas Westin

Saturday 10AM: Peter Desberg, Using Director for traditional e-Learning multimedia development Saturday 11AM: Director Sneak Peek – Allen Partridge
Saturday 1-3PM:Tutorial Exchange, Participants will share summaries of their tutorials with one another and make recommendations about content, form and distribution of Director/Shockwave educational materials.
Saturday 3PM: A little fun in the sun
Saturday 8PM: Keynote – Malachy Duffin, CanDo Interactive

Sunday 10 AM: Engineering Chat, a chance to share your questions, comments and concerns with Director / Shockwave engineers.
Sunday 11 AM: Director Roadmap
Sunday 1 PM: Director MMO’s & Virtual Worlds for Education and Training, Allen Partridge
Sunday 2 PM: Keynote – Dean Utian, University of New South Wales, Dean’s Director Tutorials

Participants
Allen Partridge, Ph.D. – Technology Evangelist, Adobe Systems.
Dr. Allen Partridge is the Technology Evangelist for Adobe Director. In addition to his work for Adobe Systems, he continues to serve as the Director of the Applied Media and Simulation Games Center at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Partridge owns Insight Interactive games and has developed a myriad of interactive 3D games. Partridge’s games are featured on Reflexive Arcade and in international publications. He has written several articles and a book on Shockwave 3D games Real Time Interactive 3D Games and was the technical editor for Paul Catanese’s Director’s Third Dimension. Partridge is the host of the popular dirGames-l and dir3d-l mailing lists. His latest book, Creating Casual Games for Profit and Fun features games created in Director and Flash.

James Newton – Openspark Interactive
James Newton has been working with Director since version 5, and has participated in all beta and pre-release programs since version 7. He wrote many of the behaviors that have shipped with Director since version 7.0. He published a book on 3D and Imaging Lingo, Director Shockwave Studio Developer’s Guide, with Osborne/McGraw-Hill, edited the Director section of the MX Developer’s Journal, and written articles on Director for a variety of on-line and printed publications. He currently acts as Articles Editor for Director Online where he also actively contributes to the Director Wiki. He was a founder member of the French Director community, Director Hors Pistes, and the chairman of Director Users Group UK. He hosts a mailing list for Shockwave Multiuser Server developers. He worked on a number of prize-winning projects, from interactive CD-ROMs for children to a Virtual Vine for teaching the craft of pruning grape vines in order to produce different types of wine. His other interests include music (saxophone, guitar), photography and creative writing.

Danny Kodicek – Sunflower Learning
Danny Kodicek is a graduate of Cambridge University, now working as a programmer and multimedia developer. He currently resides in the United Kingdom, where his previous clients include the BBC and the Royal Air Force. He is also a director of Wellspring Interactive Ltd, and co-creator of the award-winning, TimeHunt, Web site. Danny has been in the industry for more than a decade, mostly in the Education field. He is the author of Mathematics and Physics for Programmers (Charles River Media).

Peter Desberg, Ph.D. – Professor of Education, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Peter is a professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills, and also a licensed clinical psychologist. For over twenty-five years, he has conducted seminars and workshops on controlling stage fright for business people, students, performers, athletes, job applicants, and others. Dr. Desberg is the author of sixteen published books and numerous articles. He and his family currently reside in the Los Angeles area.

Andrew Phelps, Director, Game Design & Development, RIT
Andy is the Director of Game Design & Development at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. He is the founding faculty member of the Masters of Science in Game Design & Development within the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, as well as the Bachelors of the same name, and his work in games programming education has been featured in The New York Times, CNN.com, USA Today, National Public Radio, IEEE Computer, and several other articles and periodicals. He regularly publishes work exploring collaborative game engines and game engine technology. He currently teaches courses in multimedia programming, game engine development, 2D and 3D graphics, and game development theory. Primary research interests include online gaming, electronic entertainment, 3 dimensional graphics and real time rendering, virtual reality, interactive worlds. In absentia.

Chris Brannigan, Chief Creative Officer, Caspian Learning
Chris Brannigan is one of the two co-founders of Caspian Learning and is its Chief Creative Officer. Chris focuses his time and efforts within Caspian leading the R&D of the technology and the pedagogical approaches employed within the applications. Brannigan studied Learning and Memory research at both undergraduate and post graduate level at the Universities of Cardiff and St Andrews in Scotland. In 2002 Brannigan co-founded Caspian Learning in Sunderland. He leads a research team to develop tools that integrate learning and memory research methods with interactive computer games technologies. These tools are now being deployed in corporations and schools around Europe.

Kerry Thompson, Cyberian Tiger Multimedia
Thompson is an independent multimedia developer with over 25 years’ experience in system- and application-level programming and more than 15 years’ experience programming interactive multimedia applications in Director/Shockwave and Flash. Thompson has worked with major companies such as Disney Interactive (production manager) and Sony ImageSoft (Engineering Manager) and his former clients have included Sesame Street, Disney Online, ING, Wrigley, Houghton-Mifflin, Addison/Wesley, and many other companies.

Dave Miller, DMiller Studios
Miller’s experience includes 13 years of ongoing Director Development. His principle projects are educational CD-ROM and shockwave tools for the University of Texas Distance Education Center and an image/product management desktop application used by Nike, Reebok, Puma, and other sports apparel companies.

Peter Mackey, Pratt Institute, pixelRiot LLC
A founding partner of Imergy™ in 1992, Peter became responsible for developing interactive CDROM products, leading technology research, and consulting on multimedia programs supporting high-level corporate communications. Peter consulted for Kodak’s Photo CD imaging team in Rochester during development of the first interactive Photo CD titles, including Rick Smolan’s award-winning “From Alice to Ocean”. He both directed and contributed to OPEN WIDER, probably the first original CD-ROM documentary. He was director and lead programmer for the Star Trek: The Next Generation® Interactive Technical Manual published by Simon & Schuster Interactive. This CD was the first commercial title to implement Apple’s Quicktime™ VR technology, and has won numerous industry honors, including nominee as “Best New Game” at Millia ’95 in Cannes. He was the chief architect of the Star Trek Omnipedia CD-ROM, which incorporates voice-recognition capabilities. More than a dozen other Star Trek branded titles followed, including the popular “Starship Creator.” Outside the CD medium, he also produced a suite of interactive installations for GE’s presence at the Innoventions Pavillion at EPCOT in Orlando, Florida. Peter has given numerous lectures and seminars on interactive media at industry meetings and academic venues in the USA and internationally. Since 1997, he has been on the faculty of Pratt Institute’s Department of Computer Graphics and Interactive Media in Brooklyn, and is now the senior faculty member for the interactive track. He is also “co-conspirator” at pixelRiot LLC, specializing in interactive design and production.

CC Chamberlin, New Mexico State University
C.C. has more than 15 years experience in multimedia, including work as senior multimedia developer at ExploreLearning.com, an educational software and online textbook provider based in Charlottesville, VA where he applied his knowledge as a math instructor to the work of creating educational software. He has also worked on multimedia projects and 3-D animation for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, FBI and Smithsonian, among others. His multimedia and video game design won best of class awards from his peers in Agricultural Communicators in Education. Currently heI develops web applications in PHP/mySQL, programs educational games and multimedia, and creates 3D and 2D animations for NMSU video projects.

Adam Altemus, MobilVox
li is a software engineer who specializes in desktop and web application development as well as business intelligence in web applications. ln addition to his work for MobilVox as a developer of video using Director, Adam is an avid gamer and game developer. His current project is an MMO server communication Xtra for Director. Adam has been in the industry for the past three years and works in Web services and web applications using Java, information extraction, text summarization, Java based Maven plug-ins and game development using Director/Lingo. He graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he worked on projects with Allen at the Applied Media and Simulation Games Center.

Jervis Thompson, Drexel University
Jervis Thompson is a faculty member in the Department of Media Arts, Digital Media Program at Drexel University. Jervis teaches undergraduate courses in Interactivity and Multimedia. Before teaching at Drexel University, Jervis served as a Master Technical Training Instructor with Secret Clearance for the USAF. As a member of a mobile training team he traveled worldwide to instruct Department of Defense personnel in Software Engineering, Networking, SUN OS/Solaris 2.3 UNIX System Administration and Oracle/SQL. Jervis is presently a partner and interactive multimedia engineer with EPDESIGN (http://www.epvisual.com), a company specializing in the production of presentations, reference software, and games for Internet, CDROM, and DVD delivery media. You can read his blog at (http://www.jervo.com/blog).

Rob Gordon, Article 19
Rob’s company Article 19 began more than 12 years ago as an educational multimedia content developer and is now producer of some of the most successful casual games anywhere. The Carrie the Caregiver series has been a substantial hit. Rob holds advanced degrees in Educational Technology and Psychology which he puts to good use developing user-focused interfaces and game play in his titles. He continues to have a strong interest in education, a field with growing interest in the strategies employed by casual games.

The major take-aways from the assembly were …

  • Director / Shockwave is growing again.
  • We are in desperate need of a convenient mechanism to get new developers in touch with prospective employers (esp. 3D Shockwave developers, but also application, e-Learning and kiosk developers.)
  • We all want to talk about the sneak peeks but had to sign blood oaths.
  • There was for the most part concensus about the central needs of the roadmap for the next several releases.
  • The opportunities for networking, information and idea exchange were amazing, and the island was definitely the perfect backdrop. Here’s to the hope that it (or perhaps something even bigger, might become an annual Director Shockwave event.