Friday, February 20, 2009

Flash Indianapolis - February Meeting Recap

We had 16 people show up to the user's group this month, which I think was a success (especially considering the short notice). We had mostly people in the industry: Brandwidth, Techcom, eTapestry, O2ed, Freelance, the Basement, Simulex, and Dean Johnson... hopefully I did not miss anyone. We also had a couple professors from IUPUI and one student (turns out it was SIGGRAPH's Portfolio night... so that hurt student numbers a bit). I think we had around 5 or 6 designers and the rest were mainly developers.

After introductions I gave a brief overview of where I see the group headed. In summary, I want it to be an all encompassing Flash group in that it covers design as well as development. It covers all platforms and all outlets. It is community owned, which means the community will steer what topics are covered, who covers them, and where events are held. I would like it to be a traveling organization so that it does not become owned by any particular company or school. If we keep that mentality it should become a great place to meet like minded people, network, learn, experience new things, have fun, and raise the bar of quality work coming out of Indianapolis.

A big part of getting the community to steer the organization is by becoming active on the Ning site which is our online presence. At a minimum it will be the place to go to check out upcoming meeting topics and RSVP. But it has the potential of being a great tool to get people to steer where they want the organization to head, what topics should be covered, and what speakers should be invited. It should also be a great way to stay involved with the flash community in between meetings by networking, answering/asking questions, critiquing work/recent projects, collaborating on projects, and posting jobs.

After the overview we dove into the SurfTheCrowds game. We discussed some general development topics and answered questions. It was great to have Brian, Stan, Amy, and Spence all there as well to chime in with their knowledge. I then briefly dove into how we went about optimizing the game to get the frame rate up. One of the methods we used was Blitting and Double Buffering. I whipped up 2 examples to show the difference in frames per second between using movieclips and using blitting (just type a number of sprites to display in the text box and hit enter):

From there we opened it up to discussion and questions. There was a lot of talent in the room. I was very impressed by everyone's knowledge and look forward to hearing their future contributions.

We ended by headed next door to Taylor's pub. I think the discussions at the pub were just as rewarding as the event itself. I highly recommend people try to plan to stay after and mingle. It was a great time.

Next month will be even brighter. We'll plan on having the doors open March 19th at 6pm and the meeting will start at 6:30. It will tentatively be scheduled to be at the Basement, but depending on the topic and speaker the location may change. We will formalize it by the end of the week.

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