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Unity User Conference: Unite 2007!

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by HiggyB, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. HiggyB

    HiggyB

    Unity Product Evangelist

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    Unite 2007
    October 10-12, 2007
    San Francisco, California USA
    http://unity3d.com/unite/

    With the rapid growth of both Unity and the Unity Community the time has come for folks to come together as one for the first ever Unity developer conference, Unite 2007. It will be a three day technical conference that will offer attendees a chance to learn more about Unity and the Unity Web Player, to expand their horizons and explore what's possible. Developers, artists, producers or anyone else interested in using Unity to develop top-quality games and entertainment content are invited to attend.

    The conference will be held on October 10-12, 2007 at the San Francisco Film Center in the Presidio of San Francisco. Here is a brief overview of the conference agenda:

    * 1.5 hours of keynote and road map presentations
    * 8 1-hour technical sessions on a variety of topics, including shading and shadows, using physics and multi-player game development
    * 8 hours of hands-on lab time during which you can work 1-on-1 with OTEE staff or meet with representatives from game portals and publishers
    * Lots of time to get social and have fun!

    Technical Sessions
    There will be a total of 8 one-hour technical sessions offered, each covering a unique topic related to creating and deploying Unity-authored content. The sessions that will be offered are:

    * Creating Great Game Play Quickly
    * Developing Content for the Web
    * Developing Multiplayer Gamers
    * Making Physics Feel Good
    * Performance Optimization
    * Shading and Shadows
    * Taking Your Games to Market
    * Workflow and Asset Pipeline Tips

    Hands-On Lab
    At the end of each day of the conference there will be time for a hands-on lab. During this time attendees can received 1-on-1 assistance from OTEE staff in order to answer any outstanding questions or work on project-specific problems. There will also be game portal and publishing representatives there, ready to review and critique your games. So bring your project files or just bring yourself and a head full of questions, this is your chance to sit down with the experts and get over-the-shoulder help and advice so don't miss out.
    Get Social

    In addition to the daily conference agenda there will be a Unity Mingle event held during the conference. Everyone is invited to join us for a relaxed evening of talking shop and making friends. Details on this exciting and fun event are forthcoming so please stay tuned for updates.
    Registration

    Registration is open and if you register by August 10, 2007 you can save 25% off the cost of your conference pass. Conference registration includes access to all presentations and events as well as lunch each day of the conference. Register online today and join us in October for Unite 2007!


    For more information about the conference, including the agenda, sessions and speakers and other event details, please visit the Unite 2007 area of our website.


    I hope to see you there!
     
  2. Jonathan Czeck

    Jonathan Czeck

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    I registered. :)

    You guys might want to fix this:
    See you all there.

    -Jon
     
  3. HiggyB

    HiggyB

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    Thanks Johnathan, we'll get on that... :D


    It's gonna be fun!
     
  4. DaveyJJ

    DaveyJJ

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    Signing up shortly!

    PS. My old offices are in the Presido grounds.
     
  5. bronxbomber92

    bronxbomber92

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    Oh man, I wish I could come to this! I guess I'll just have hear about it from all you guys (make sure to take pictures) :D
     
  6. HiggyB

    HiggyB

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    No worries, I'm handy with the digital camera so things will be well documented!

    And Davey, depending on how long ago you worked there you may find things a bit different now that G. Lucas and friends have moved in. :)
     
  7. DaveyJJ

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    From what I understand they actually took over our office space in their move (as Britannica closed up shop in SFO). I told my wife I was going and she said fine, but she's coming too. What to do with the kids now?
     
  8. pete

    pete

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    >>What to do with the kids now?

    buy them their own copies of unity and take em along! :p
     
  9. HiggyB

    HiggyB

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    Bring the kids along, there's plenty for them to enjoy in San Francisco. Family trip!

    lol@pete... :D
     
  10. drJones

    drJones

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    i'm 99.9% sure i'll be there - just have to finish getting the travel money together over the next month or so - this is too useful to be missed ; )
     
  11. antenna-tree

    antenna-tree

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    This is brilliant! I'm going to make every effort to attend.
     
  12. DocSWAB

    DocSWAB

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    I'll be there (#2 to register). Looking forward to hob-nobbing with the Unity community as well as the OTEE crew!
     
  13. HiggyB

    HiggyB

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    And if folks have any questions about San Francisco, where to stay, etc., then feel free to get in touch with me (PM, email, IM, whatever). I'm happy to help folks sort out their travel plans as best as I can.
     
  14. taumel

    taumel

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    Why is it so expensive, to meet?
     
  15. David-Helgason

    David-Helgason

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    Expensive? This is one of the cheapest user conferences ever and great value if you're interested in the talks or just the hands-on sessions.

    For many, just getting to San Francisco is going to be the biggest expense. We can't really solve that problem, so instead we chose a really cool city to host the conference in, so that at least the travel money is well spent :)

    Renting space and equipment, flying in and housing our crew, feeding and coffeeing and teaing everyone costs money. Without going into details, we need around 50 people for the conference just to break even, and any profit we might run is going to be very small.

    d.
     
  16. taumel

    taumel

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    It's good to know that you guys earn enough money so that this looks like peanuts to you but it really depends on the perspective you're looking at this:

    o If my company sends me there and business is going well. Then it's no problem at all. Balance pays that.
    o If i take the incoming of a more usual director developer here in germany then this already is quite a lot of money.
    o If you're a indy user well, the registartion fees is much more expensive than a indy licence already.

    Actually My Modo Update to 301 was cheaper than that. And i haven't already counted in the other costs (travelling, accomodation, ...).

    I think it's too expensive for a lot of people and by the way why does it has to be overseas? Hmm let me remember...last Breakpoint had tickets for 60€, 30€ were the social fees. Sure they had a lot more people showing up but can't you also decrease the costs of the meeting (different rooms, ...)?
     
  17. DaveyJJ

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    Compared to the WWDC this coming Monday, this is a huge bargain. My concern as David H said is the cost of getting there (I have friends to stay with so I can eliminate that costs, even if it means getting up a 6AM and onto the BART and bus to get across to the west side of SFO as they live a few blocks away from where I rented for two years in Oakland).

    After having a serious discussion about this whole adventure with my wife last night (and being a one-income family) the travel cost will be the big (and possibly insurmountable) thing to overcome for me personally. The conference is cheap and very good value for the money (even after buying Charles G his single malts). 8)
     
  18. drJones

    drJones

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    agreed on all. the cost of the conference is a steal IMO (and that's coming from someone on a micro budget) - and especially for people making their first game / product i think it'll be an invaluable resource. i live in new hampshire (the other side of the country) so the travel is easilly going to be the most expensive part - nevertheless i still think its well worth it to scrape together the cash. i for one can't wait ; )
     
  19. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    It's not overseas. ;) Unfortunately it's too expensive for me at this time, but I recognize that it's not really expensive for this type of thing.

    --Eric
     
  20. hsparra

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    Woot! I get back from vacation today and see the Unity conference does not clash with m wife's scedule. Now just for planning the schedules, and of course, the money part. Time to start price watching. Since registration is inexpensive by conference standards, this seems doable. No need to worry about justifying, I am great at rationalizing why I should do things :)
     
  21. antenna-tree

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    I'm grateful that this is happening in the US... no way I could afford a trip to Denmark right now. So I sympathize with all of you that can't afford to make it to SF for this event.

    As far as the price of admission ($300 before August)... that's fair game for a conference of this sort. I'm sure 3 days of direct contact with OTEE and other developers "on the level" is going to be a great learning experience as well as an invaluable networking opportunity with other like minded developers. Yes, it costs the same as an Indie license, but if you're truly into developing a game for distribution $300 is a small chunk of change. I'm more than willing to pony up the price simply to get some one on one interaction with the core developers of Unity and the other game developers that will be present.

    Mad props to whoever came up with this conference idea (HiggyB most likely). I'll be there sharing and learning as much as I can.

    Ethan
     
  22. Dranore

    Dranore

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    How about New York City next year? It's the casual games capitol and it's closer to Denmark. ;) We can hook you up here. Seriously.
     
  23. Ryuuguu

    Ryuuguu

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    For me as a not young anymore professional, $300 is a bargin price a 3 day workshop from Oracle, Sun or even a small finance related software company would 10x to 20x as much. I'm flying from Japan so if I book early and stay a weekend or two travel won't be bad and there were some good cheap hotel on the travel page. I am really looking forward to both the talks (esp. mulitplayer) and the hands on.

    Since Tokyo is probably out for next :) I haven't been to Europe yet so Denmark would be nice.

    Cheers,
    Grant
     
  24. DaveyJJ

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    Someone should also put out a post/thread for sharing accommodations. While I'm lucky enough to be staying with friends in my old neighbourhood, there are some here who could split the cost of a hotel room with two double beds and half their accommodation costs immediately.
     
  25. DocSWAB

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    HiggyB,

    A suggestion for name tags -- we should provide our forum handles so they can be printed on the name tags along with our real names -- some of us know that Yoggy is Forest and Ulgonep is Sam, but I don't think I know everyone's real name yet!

    Cheers,
    Steve
     
  26. drJones

    drJones

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    you call me doctor jones!!!

    my professional name ; )
     
  27. DaveyJJ

    DaveyJJ

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    Actually we should get name tags of OTHER people just to watch the wackiness happen. I'm going to wear one that says Charles Goran just for fun. :D

    PS. If I'm wearing Widget Monkey t-shirts, do I need a name tag?
     
  28. Jonathan Czeck

    Jonathan Czeck

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    That's why I just have a photo of myself as my avatar. :)

    -Jon
     
  29. antenna-tree

    antenna-tree

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    Absolutely. I have contacts in SF, but I don't really want to put anyone out for the whole week I'm planning on being there. If anyone finds any good deals on hotels let us know. I'm thinking about trying to find a place in Oakland... it has to be quite a bit cheaper and is only a few BART stops away from the action. If I find anything good I'll post it.

    I'm really looking forward to this :wink:
     
  30. DaveyJJ

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    I'll be in Oakland too but between the BART ride under the Bay into SFO then the bus ride out to the Presido it'll be quite a commute. Maybe we can jump off the BART at the same stop and grab a cab together?
     
  31. shaun

    shaun

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    oops :oops: - see post below:
     
  32. shaun

    shaun

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    Agree, the cost is minuscule. It cost us $4000 for the Web2.0 conference in San-Fran for 1 person (not inc plane ticket)... and the value/connections we got from that were nothing we didnt know/couldnt do already.

    For companies who use the Unity engine as a key tech in their product, Unite is a really good initiative.

    When Unity matures and becomes more mainstream, maybe you could find some nice sponsors to pay for OTEE to live it up in SanFran ;)
     
  33. jeremyace

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    My 2 cents...

    I think it is awesome that you guys are putting this together and I am sorry that I can't make it out. There are a lot of people here I would like to meet sometime, then of course the otee guys.

    I think there is a small contradiction with this event though. It seems to be targeted at _new_ developers who want to improve their Unity game (pun intended), and the problem is, most new developers aren't going to have the green to get to SF unless they live close, and then the $300 fee.

    $300 is very fair and everything, but I am talking about how it was all targeted. It costs a lot for you guys to fly to SF, the equipment, then the conf room, etc. I understand that. It would be a lot better if you could get some sponsors that try to "sell" us on this new mac, or this art tool or whatever, and cut the conf fee substantially. ;-)

    All that being said, if people are serious they will make it happen. I just think an event like this targeted at new indies is a bit off.

    Anyway, congrats, hope it all goes great, and maybe I can get to the next one!

    -Jeremy

    PS: this stuff may have already been said. If so, isn't it a nice day today?
     
  34. antenna-tree

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    Hmm, yeah, when I lived in SF I never had to get out to the Presidio for much (only went out there a few times because some fellow students had apartments in the old living quarters there). I'm sure there's a MUNI bus that gets out there (I probably took it at one point, but all I remember now is the Stockton 30 and the Geary 38 :wink: ) , but you're right that from Oakland we're looking at an hour long commute possibly. I'm not sure yet, I might rent a car for the week and if I do I'd be more than happy to pick up any wayward conference people hiding out in Oakland. I'm still not sure where I'm staying so this might change.

    In reply to Jeremy's post, I think this conference is aimed towards anyone actively developing games with Unity and is serious about bringing their game to market... be it people that have never published a commercial game before to accomplished developers that are considering Unity as an engine that will fit into their current business model. I'm obviously in the former and I'm just looking forward to some one on one time with everyone involved in this sort of thing... I spend a lot of time collaborating with people on-line and it's slow as molasses trying to get concepts across. I think a 3 day meet up with some of these people will expedite our work quite a bit. Plus I'll get to meet Joe and Aras face to face and get to strangle them both into submission until they implement all the features in Unity that I want :wink:
     
  35. jeremyace

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    Just make sure you stop at the "submission" level. If you kill either one of them or cause brain damage, we will all have to come and strangle YOU! ;-)

    -Jeremy
     
  36. antenna-tree

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    Here's how I see it going down... just some gentle persuasion :wink:
     

    Attached Files:

  37. Joachim_Ante

    Joachim_Ante

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    Damn, I was already looking forward to some serious action.
     
  38. Aras

    Aras

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    Brain? What's that? Is that something you humans use? :wink:
     
  39. HiggyB

    HiggyB

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    Thanks! The idea was born during a coffee shop lunch Joachim and I had during GDC, from there everyone has been on-board right away, it's not exactly a tough-sell! :D


    We thought for a long time about where to host it and are definitely thinking that it will rotate locations so as to ease the travel hassles for different groups each time. But first, let's finish our first conference then we'll start worrying so much about the next one. ;)


    Name tags or something will be in effect in one way or another, and it's a great idea to be sure and connect real humans to their forums names. :)


    Definitely something we'd like to incorporate in the future. That having been said I'm willing to bet that any "sponsorship" will get put right back into the conference as opposed to enriching our already lavish lifestyle. 8) :p We'd use it to expand the session offerings, get larger (two room) event space so we can have multiple "tracks", lower registration fees, etc.


    Well, I disagree with your assessment that it's targeted so squarely at new users. We tried to aim at the mid-section of the community (some experience, not a total newbie, but perhaps not yet someone on a fully "pro" level). Based on our research there was more than enough interest to justify holding this event with the given agenda. As time goes on and we have successive events we will of course adjust the session offerings as necessary. But please note that there have been very few complaints about the conference price (out of a few hundred email replies I have to the poll and announcement, plus here on the forums), the real deal breaker has been the travel costs so it's not the reg fees/course offerings that seem to be the biggest barrier for folks.


    While the 30 and 38 buses are fine indeed, neither will quite get you there, each would result in a fair walk to finish the trip. That having been said I did link to a MUNI service map on the event web site Travel page so give that a look if necessary. As stated before I'm more than willing to help folks out if they have questions about where to stay and how to get to the conference venue, drop me a line (email, PM, IM, whatever!) and I'll do my best to help out.
     
  40. jeremyace

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    Sry man, forgot myself there for a minute. And yes, FYI "brains" are what we humans use to think up the stupid things we are famous for. You're much better off without one!

    Yep, I want to make it clear that I think the cost is _very_ fair. I have no complaints at all about that. ;-)

    My only comment was with the wording of the email announcement and such, where I think for most new indies, who are probably low on cash, a moderated IRC session(s) with the Otee guys would have a better cost/benefit ratio for everyone. For anyone who can get to the conference, it will be a very valuable experience for sure, I am not trying to knock it at all.

    It is probably just my perception of things, and I wanted to mention a different perspective. ;-)

    -Jeremy
     
  41. hsparra

    hsparra

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    After checking travel and hotel prices last night, I was pleasantly surprised by the cost. Of course, I am in the US, however, I do not have the advantage of a stronger currency :)

    I do have a question regarding places to stay for those in the area. There is a decent probability that my family may acompany me, which means my accomodation needs become more complex. What I am looking for:
    1. Nature trails - my wife is into environmental education
    2. Beautiful views
    3. Good food within short distance
    4. Perhaps some other activities close by

    I do not mind driving some distance to the conference, but my family will not have a car to get around in. Also, my wife does not have much experience on public transportation, so if it is not nice, then she will be uncomfortable taking my son on it. We were looking at some hotels and there are some in Sausalito and Tiburon that looked nice. Checking Google maps, the drive distance and estimated time did not look that bad either (I drive farther to work every day). We also looked at some hotels on the Pacific near Sutro Heights Park and Golden Gate Park, but they looked a little "scary". Any thoughts? The key is nature close by, preferably near some water :)
     
  42. DaveyJJ

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    There is a lot of nature near by. The Presido is on the west side of SFO basically at the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge with Marin County and the nature/walking trails just a short trip away.

    That said, the rule I tried (and always failed) to follow in SFO (like Vancouver when I lived there) is "Never put a bridge between your home and work."

    Never.

    I'm sure Tom will pipe in but there is a lot of opportunity to stay out on the very west side of SFO with access to great parks, trails down the coast etc. But stay as close as possible to the Presido if you can as traffic and commuting within the city limits can be, uh, slow at times.
     
  43. taumel

    taumel

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    I still think it's expensive for a certain percentage of the users. It's user selection like anywere else they do these things. Beside of this i also don't understand the argumentation that the travelling costs are higher and so the price for the entrance is okay as i'm not interested in a part of the bill, i'm interested in what comes out at the bottom and there x+300/400 is still more than dunno x+100 for instance.
     
  44. MatthewW

    MatthewW

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    This is fun--you rent bikes, ride across the Golden Gate into Sausalito or Tiburon, and take a ferry back: http://www.blazingsaddles.com/

    In my opinion, the cost is very reasonable. Even small conferences in niche markets usually run well over $100/day.

    We'll be there along with a few people (depending on their schedules).
     
  45. HiggyB

    HiggyB

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    You're right Davey, as predicated here I am ready to share a few thoughts! :D For folks that haven't seen it yet please look at the Travel page posted on our website.

    Luckily enough you'll find all of that either in San Francisco or over in Marin somewhere (Sausalito, Tiburon, etc.), so I think you're going to find a good spot for you and your family regardless.

    Some thoughts:

    - MUNI, our public bus/transit system in San Francisco, isn't necessarily the cleanest ever but it's also far from the dirtiest/scariest I've been on. I think that most folks find it plenty friendly enough to use for daily transportation around San Francisco and it offers great coverage of the city. A weekly pass is $15 (same for kids and adults) and allows unlimited bus rides for one week. Although you will have to pay $1 additional per person if you ride the cable cars. More MUNI info

    - Sausalito and Tiburon are gorgeous without a doubt, good food, shopping, friendly and nice, both will offer easy access to hiking and bike trails and a short ferry ride over to Angel Island (former military base now turned hike/bike only island trip with very few camping spots). Neither has decent bus service though, so unless they're happy staying in/around those places with only bikes and their legs to get around then you might reconsider. Of course they can take the ferry boat from their over to San Francisco if they like, thus allowing them to see SF a bit if desired.

    - About driving across the Golden Gate Bridge every day, the mileage may be short but traffic can at times be rather painful (not always though). Of course you too could opt for the ferry boat from Marin over to San Francisco, then take a bus to where the conference is, but that will likely take as long as the drive on a bad traffic day (but at least you'll get a nice trip across the bay - weather permitting you'll have a nice view of the GG Bridge too).

    - The hotels in the Sutro Heights area are going to be, well, a bit dodgy but nothing that I'd consider dangerous or unsafe in any way. It's just not a common place for folks to stay and all things considered I think you might be better off staying elsewhere (read on).

    - For hotels near Golden Gate Park you can run the full range. Those way out by the beach end of the park are dodgy and in some cases not likely the best spots to stay for your family. While I personally wouldn't feel in danger out there, I still wouldn't want my family strolling around much after dark in some spots. But moving away from the beach end of the park as you get towards the eastern end things aren't so bad, but you'll likely be staying right near the Haight/Ashbury neighborhood. For example, there are some boutique hotels on Stanyan Street that are rather nice, it's just that you're two blocks from Haight where you'll find some homeless street kids and urban punks (all quite harmless really) and I'm not sure how comfortable your family will be there. That having been said it is very close to Golden Gate Park (as in walk across the street close), plenty of good food, some interesting shopping, central to many bus/train lines, etc.

    - If you can find yourself a place to stay in either the Marina or FIsherman's Wharf areas of town you'll have the best chance for meeting all your goals, including the best chance for nice bay views. For example, the Marina is just a short walk from the Presidio, and the Presidio is a huge massive park for the most part, lots of trails, some of them going down to the water (right under the GG Bridge!). You would also be a short walk from the Palace of Fine Arts and the Exploratorium which should be a LOT of fun for your son (get him into the Tactile Dome!!!). Fisherman's Wharf is a bit further from those locations but still close enough to be an easy reach on the bus (which again isn't such a bad proposition in SF). Also, both the Marina and Wharf areas of town offer easy transit by bus to other neighborhoods so your wife and son can find enough to do during your stay here.

    If it helps, let me know what hotels you are considering and I would even be willing to go by them and give you a first-hand report of where they are, what they look like, what the bus/walking/bike access is like, etc. I can also point out lots of other family/kid friendly activities here in San Francisco should you want them, but they'll generally be a bit spread out so some bus rides may be necessary. Or some walks around town if they're up for it! All of that can be done while guiding them through safe/sane neighborhoods to minimize any worries on that front.

    I'm here to help so keep asking questions or feel free to get in touch with me directly as I would be happy to help you make sure you plan a fun trip for your whole family!
     
  46. HiggyB

    HiggyB

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    We can't offer it for free and so we did our best to keep the price as low as possible. Unfortunately you're right, not everyone will be able to afford it but that would be the case regardless of price and location, there will *always* be some folks that can't make the trip or cover the expense.

    That is not how we justify the price of registration. We looked at the whole conference picture (our costs, what we're offering attendees, etc.) and came up with a price that we felt was fair and offered folks a good return on their investment. The travel cost discussion has come up because there are many people for which those costs are why they can't make the trip.
     
  47. terransage

    terransage

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    Darn, October is the only time when I can't escape my job, because it's our busiest month. :cry:

    Maybe next year you can have the conference in Albuquerque! The weather's pretty nice, and the surroundings are beautiful. :)

    And I can have all the Unity attendees stay at my home for free. Well, maybe not.... :oops:
     
  48. taumel

    taumel

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Posts:
    5,292
    >>>
    We can't offer it for free and so we did our best to keep the price as low as possible. Unfortunately you're right, not everyone will be able to afford it but that would be the case regardless of price and location, there will *always* be some folks that can't make the trip or cover the expense.
    <<<

    Yes but i suspect that you could make it more affordable so that the percentage of users who can afford it is actually growing. I don't want to imply anything to you but prices in theses ranges are often just used for the selection and not for covering the costs in first place.

    I prefer the idea that more users can attend something like this and not that money is the key to get into.

    If it really takes $100 a day covering the costs for a room, chairs, ... i'm sure there are cheaper and also nice places which have a good airplane hub in the rest of the world and you could lower costs by doing it elsewhere. Why not couple it with the income or what people are willing to pay on top to a minimum fee? ...
     
  49. HiggyB

    HiggyB

    Unity Product Evangelist

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2006
    Posts:
    6,183
    $100/day per person for room, chairs, A/V equipment, food for attendees, our travel and preparation costs, etc. And note that we will likely *lose* money on this, something we're ready to do for the benefit of both us and the community (call it marketing expenses).

    We're offering a great conference at a great price in a great location. If you can't make this one then look for the next one as we'll be moving locations to rotate the travel burden a bit (East Coast of the US? Europe? Other?) and continue to do what we can to keep the registration fees low. I'll say it again, no matter where we have it and no matter what the price there will always be folks for whom it's too expensive or too far.

    The cited registration cost is the minimum fee we can offer for this event.
     
  50. taumel

    taumel

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Posts:
    5,292
    I think it's a bit unimaginative...

    As you said eating: On of the best things about travelling to a foreign country still is hunting food on your own and discover what's all available and not eating in your hotel, at a fair, conference,...