As luck would have it, this years Unite 2013 is being hosted in my own backyard, Vancouver Canada.
The 3 day conference is running from August 28 to 30 at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre and with over 2 million registered Unity developers, should be a very lively and worthwhile event.
As a local I thought I pass along some info for those travelling to Vancouver for the first time to help make your trip more enjoyable.
First off, sooner or later, you’re going to need to eat and you’re in luck, Vancouver has some amazing restaurants. You can find pretty much any type of food you could imagine in the downtown core and surrounding areas do to Vancouver’s multicultural mix.
Graving a nice glass of beer, this brew pub is only a few blocks from the convention center and is a great local hangout.
I’ve had the most amazing breakfasts here, but they are great for lunch too.
Vancouver has some of the best sushi restaurants you’ll find so if you like Japanese, you in the right place.
Guu – Gastown
Modern take on Japanese located in quaint little Gastown.
Voted the top restaurant in Vancouver, if you’re looking for fine dining, the Hawksworth is highly recommend.
Do you like indian food, I know I do! Check out the award-winning Vij’s.
If you have any time outside the conference and are looking to check out some sites in Vancouver here are a few worth seeing.
The Steam Clock in Gastown
Be prepared for the swarm of tourists. everyone’s gotta see the clock at least once.
Take a walk or run around the park, or just cop a squat and enjoy the ocean and one of the many beaches surrounding the park
One of the most amazing views you’ll ever see of Vancouver. You can either walk about the mountain, what we locals call the Grouse Grind, or take the tram up. While frequented by skiers in the winter, there is quite a bit to do in the summer too, so check it out!
Capilano Suspension Bridge
If you’re not totally freaked about heights, this a great little excursion.
Driving in Vancouver can be a pain, so why not make use of our excellent transit system.
We have busses, skytrains, sea-busses and even ferries to get you around! If your staying within the downtown core, you’ll be a 1 zone fair. If you venture over to North or West Vancouver, or Burnaby, you’ll need a 2 zone fare. One important note is that on weekends and after 6:30 you’ll only need a 1 zone fare. Your fair will give you a certain time period that it’s valid for and during this time you can ride busses, skytrains and the seabus at will.
Vancouver employes transit police, so don’t get caught without a fare or you can get a nasty fine. 2 zone fares are $4 for adults and 1 zone fares are $2.75, but you can always ask your driver or fare attendant if you’re not sure. If you know your going to be travelling around all day on transit, you should pick up a day pass, which will give you unlimited travel for the day.
Buy the way, you can take our skytrain all the way to the airport, which is both fast and economical, but make sure you get on the Canada Line. There are also tons of bike rentals around the city, especially around Denman St. near Stanley Park.
Pre Conference Training
If you’re new to Unity and want to get up to speed quickly before the conference, I can help. Just click on the link below and enter code unite2013 and get a discount on the most popular Unity training course on Udemy.com. Take the course for only $29 for a limited time. Check out Anyone Can Learn to Make a Game.
I hope this information helps make your Unite 2013 visit rock. Have fun!
Need a web presence for your games or yourself but don’t to spend all your time writing code and wrangling with technology? Check out my new howto video on setting up WordPress on Bluehost in under 5 minutes. WordPress powers 1 out of every 6 websites on the internet and allows you to focus your time making your websites most important asset, great content.
To get started signing up for a Bluehost account just click here.
As of May 2013 the free version of Unity 3D will now allow developers to build games for iOS and Android at no extra cost. That’s right no strings attached, no royalties and no extra license fees as long as you’re clearing under $100,000 in the previous fiscal year. If you happen to be make more than this, all you need to do is upgrade to Unity Pro. With over 600 million iOS devices out there and an even greater number of Android devices, the mobile market represents a huge opportunity for Unity developers!
I’ve put together a quick start guide to help you get your iOS devices set up and ready to run your Unity games!
Download your free copy of my Unity iOS Quick Start Guide today.
I just launched my brand new course this week called Learning Samurai – How to Kick @$$ in School!
The new course is aimed at University and College students who may be struggling in school or who simply want to learn to become a better learner.
I created this course because in my first year university, I almost flunked out before learning about one of the most incredible oversights in modern education.
The majority of modern education has consisted of telling students what to learn, but has spent almost no time at all teaching students how to learn.
Think about it, how many classes did you take in the past decade or so that taught the actual process of how to learn effectively?
I thought it was a real waste that every year thousands and thousands of students entering into higher education will drop out, not because the don’t have the potential, but because they were just like me, and were never taught how to learn properly.
I created this course to close the gap, so that any student taking this course can benefit from my experience and begin to master the skills and techniques for effective learning.
I’m giving away 100 free passes. Grab one while you can at https://www.udemy.com/learning-samurai/?couponCode=reddit100
Check out Learning Samurai – How to Kick @$$ in School! on Youtube today!
While the never ending debate on the impact of playing video games continues to capture the interest of the mainstream media, I choose to examine a different and perhaps more constructive question. What if we teach kids to make video games.
Why teach kids to make video games you ask?
We’ll there are many reasons but let’s start with some of the most important ones.
If you’ve been following global trends, pretty much every country on earth has realized that the future prosperity of their country will depend on their ability to harness and innovate with science and technology. Despite a stream of media stories about companies like Facebook, Twitter and countless other high tech success stories, the enrolment in programs related to science and technology, especially information technologies has actually been stalling out and in some countries it’s actually declining including the US. So with our future prosperity so heavily dependent on people with skills in science and technology, we have an increasing number of people turning away from this type of training and these types of careers. In order to cope, many countries have resorted to importing skilled workers from other counties, not because they want to, but because they have no other choice.
So why aren’t more young people pursuing careers in science and technology? We’ll once again, there are many reasons, but perhaps one the most relevant is that they don’t see the relevance of these topics to their life and the real world. Many students go through school learning to hate science, math and computers and so by the time they hit college, if they even get the far, the last thing that want to do is pursue studies in these areas. We don’t like to do things we aren’t good at, or that we constantly seem to fail at, so eventually we just give up.
While there is not silver bullet that will fix this problem, I am willing to offer up some things I think are worth considering and worth trying.
We need to find ways to heavily engage and captivate students with just how cool and relevant science, technology and math can really be. I think the biggest thing that gets missed in traditional education is real world context. Without pinning information and ideas to real world examples and making it relevant to our students real lives, it just doesn’t stick.
Also, todays students don’t want to be a passive participants, they want to actively participate and have more control over their learning.
So, now let’s take these ideas and run with them. Why teach kids to make video games?
First off, show me something other that video games that has the power to capture and hold the attention of young people. No coercion needed, they are drawn to games like a moth to a flame. Remember, we are not arguing this is good or bad, just that a very strong pull naturally exists around games.
Playing games can focus and hold attention, but guess what, so can making them. And remember, kids want to participate.
So enabling them to participate in the design and creation of their own video games could be the beginning of a perfect storm.
But what else can students get out of creating a video game? How about this…
-Music design and appreciation
-Graphics design and layout abilities
-3D modelling knowledge and skills
-Programming knowledge and skills
-Exposure to topics in psychology
-Written and aural communication skills
-Business and marketing concepts
-Exposure to concepts in physics and mathematics
-Innovation and entrepreneurship skills
-Exposure to social media and networking sites
And I’m not even warmed up yet!
Sounds to me like this could be a great thing to expose a new generation to, that has been disenfranchised to science and technology.
But what about the costs?
We’ll there are a ton of free or very low cost resources available now online.
Real industry calibre game development software like Unity 3D and the Unreal Development kit can be downloaded and used for free in the classroom. What’s even better is that tools like these are not dumbed down, yet remain highly approachable and easy to learn by educators willing to put in a little time and effort (with policy makers giving them the support, time and permission to do it). Students can take these skills immediately into the real world and start creating real video games for fun, profit or even make it into a career! What’s even better is that the skills and approaches the students have learned in the process of creating games can carry over into all the other realms of science, technology and mathematics making these areas much more interesting and relevant to them.
I’m am both a parent and an educator and while my children are still quite young, I can not accept a future for them in which science and technology have been written off.
While the debate on the effect of playing games remains unresolved, I hope this post has given you something to think about and that more educators and people in charge of educational policy will see video games for what they really are, a tool and and opportunity to assist in the creation of a bright and prosperous future.
Interested in learning to develop mobile Apps, but not sure where to get started? Check out my new presentation and I’ll show you how. Visit http://www.appBuilderTV.com.
Starting today, all future posts will be made on positiveplay.wordpress.com. I’ve made a career change recently and no longer work at Ethical Entertainment. I will be leaving the Unity 3D tutorials up, but may be adding some new ones over on the positiveplay.wordpress.com blog.