This is a series of posts from my road trip in 2011 where I traveled around the US and Canada giving talks, attending conferences, visiting IGDA chapters, networking, hanging out with friends, and dog sitting an adorable pug named Thomas!

Going to make this a quick one, I hope.

I’m now sitting in my hotel room at the Sheraton LAX after attending the IGDA LA’s mixer to kick off the IGDA Leadership Forum. The IGDA’s mixer was located in one of the bars of the Sheraton and was attended by both IGDA LA and other local game devs as well as attendees for the Leadership Forum. It was great to get some time with some people who would not be attending the Leadership Forum over the next couple days as well as get a chance to say hi to some old friends before the hustle and bustle of the conference took over. There’s too many people to name here who I spent some time with so I’ll just skip to the recap of the events of the past couple days (in no particular order).

1) Lunch with Sean Flinn and Dan Maas. Sean, who’s quite familiar with Chicago, and I worked together when I lived in Orange County as two of the people who helped reboot the IGDA Orange County chapter and got elected to their board of directors. Sean also works with Dan at IGN/GameSpy and Dan is now helping lead the latest activities of the IGDA OC as it seemed to have died down shortly after I moved away. We met to discuss the latest going-ons with the chapter, go over the situation with the chapter chartering docs and the EIN I had managed to wrestle out of IGDA Central, as the former chair didn’t seem to have them, and talk about what other chapters do and how to continue the momentum and find volunteers. Orange County actually has a lot of game development (Blizzard, anyone?) in the area so it should be no problem to find support and members. However, running a chapter is never easy so I gave them the best advice I could, promised to put them in touch with some other chapter leaders who have done stuff they are interested in trying, and talked to them about when GameSpy is coming out to Chicago area for presentations for IGDA Chicago. It was a great lunch and I hope to do it again next time I’m in the area.

2) Dinner with Daphne Hart! I was so excited she was able to squeeze me in. Ms. Tuscaloosa Tornado (Daphne works for the American Red Cross) is a very popular gal these days but we share an interesting bond based on our experiences together working on the ARCOC’s website re-design. I’m glad it finally launched not long after I moved to Chicago and I was honored to also be able to give so much of my time to the Orange County chapter. I try and also squeeze in a meal or time with Daphne every time I’m in town and I’m glad we were able to make it happen this time around as well.

3) The IGDA Orange County chapter meeting. For October, the IGDA OC did a “game showcase/demo” type event. It was a more casual version than what I believe IGDA New York City’s chapter “Demo Nights” to be. In this case you would enter the room (once you found it!) and there were multiple sets of tables and chairs with various computers or consoles and TVs setup. They had various indie games, school projects, and inXile’s newest, Choplifter available for show. I’m quite familiar with inXile because my husband worked there for four years. Because of that I was very happy to see and catch up with Bryan Perfetto. Besides doing his own great games he also works for inXile and is a How I Met Your Mother fan – so one very cool kid. Well I can’t call him a “kid” really anymore, but he was very young compared to Brett and me. Thanks for hanging out with me Bryan!

4) Lunch with Libby Gill! Libby Gill is a great entrepreneur, branding expert, and business woman who I met a couple years ago at a business summit, since then I joined a program of hers and then before I left California, got her to agree to be one of my mentors. Libby has a very busy schedule and is often out speaking around the world so it was an honor that she was able to find some time for me as I headed up from the OC to LA. Thanks for being my mentor Libby!

5) My car. 🙁 I took my car in for another oil change so that when this week was over I could safely head back towards home but of course they found a bunch of other stuff they wanted to fix. I had sort of prepared for this (financially and mentally), but what I didn’t plan for was that the repairs were going to take so long that they had to get me a car rental and it was going to eat up my whole first morning of the Leadership Forum. Uggh! At least Brenda and I had talked a bit about what they were going to talk about before the conference.

So now I’m off to bed and going to get some sleep so I can deal with my car and try and get to LF Day 1 before it’s over – night all.

Stay awesome,
Sheri