Codemotion Rome 2018: old and new friends, Llamasoft and puzzle design

or: How I went to give a talk about puzzle design in adventure games and came back with an interest in hardware programming.

On April, 18 you could find me in Rome, among over 2000 people attending Codemotion tech conference.

The event was held at the engineering department of Roma Tre University, a place I know very well, because that’s where I first attended a Global Game Jam in 2012.

I was there to give a talk about puzzle design in point-and-click adventure games!

Here is a handy YouTube video. You can find the presentation slides here.

Thanks to both my brother Syd and TheTMO for recording the video!

That said, let’s talk about the conference!

It was exciting to see my name there, but turns out there were a lot of things to be excited about.

First of all, I was going to meet some old friends from the indie gamedev scene.

Andrea Ferlito (who made all of this possible in the first place), TheTMO, Ciro Continisio (now Technical Evangelist at Unity in Brighton), Giuseppe and Francesca from Yonder (now working on Circle of Sumo), Giorgio Pomettini (who gave a great talk about Rust programming language in videogames), Augusto “KyserByte” from Motorsport Gaming, Tommaso from Caracal Games, and more!

It all started here, end of Day 1, when we met Jeff Minter and Ivan Zorzin (Giles) from Llamasoft!

Credits to Ciro who took the picture!

From left to right: Andrea Ferlito, my brother Syd, me, Jeff and Giles from Llamasoft!

Needless to say: meeting Jeff and Giles was a blast. We laughed over a couple of drinks and chatted about stuff we love, in and out of the gamedev subject.

Yet again, it’s always nice to feel like part of a huge family.

In the back you can spot Ivan Preziosi (wearing a baseball cap), whom I met on this occasion and found out he’s developing Hard Times, a game about homeless survival in the big metropolis of indifference. A really interesting and deep game that sends out an important message, without compromising entertainment.

Also, it reminded me of one of my favourite games of all time, which is Rags To Riches from C64, but this takes everything on a whole different, and higher, level.

Ivan discussing the game with Giles (Llamasoft) and Andrea Ferlito

Another thing this event may be responsible of is my taking my first step into hardware programming. Something I would NEVER expect to happen.

Amie DD was one of the speakers and when I attended her keynote, I couldn’t help but be inspired and curious.

I personally thought she came from the future (Source: Codemotion)

I really like this picture, because it seems like she’s just out of a cyberpunk movie, her lines being: “Hey, fancy some hardware?”.

I asked for advice and she provided me some, also advising me not to fear hardware and offering to help me start, something I accepted with extreme gratitude!

Being mostly among the gamedevs I didn’t manage to be around many other speakers, who all came from different backgrounds.

Still, it was nice to meet them and share a few laughs at the Speakers Dinner. I’m very curious about the “Anxiety Driven Development” talk by Nicole Bartolini, which I could not attend to because I was giving my own talk at the same time.

Thanks, Codemotion Rome 2018, I won’t forget you and your excellent team easily, if ever.

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