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Lesson Night: Mega Microtalks! (January 18)

For the next TVGS Lesson Night, our presenter will be… all of you! As a change of pace from our usual format, we will be hosting a series of 5-10 minute “microtalks” from a variety of different speakers.

If you’re interested in presenting a short talk, please sign up using this form. Your talk could be a mini-lesson related to game development, a personal story about some hard-won bit of wisdom you’ve acquired from a recent project, a rave review of your favorite game, or even just a goofy bit of performance art. Just make sure to keep it short and sweet!

Here is a list of the microtalks that have been submitted so far:

“Flash Forward: Cross-Platform Game Development with Haxe & OpenFL” by Jamey Stevenson – A brief introduction to Haxe & OpenFL, how they relate to Flash, why they’re cool and why you should use them.

“Resources for Visual Novel creators” by Frederika Edgington-Giordano – Frederika will be discussing the resources that she has found and used for creating Visual Novels. These resources could be useful for creating other types of games.

“How to come up with an innovative game idea: game jam edition” by Taro Omiya – Winner of Ludum Dare 37’s Innovation category, Taro Omiya will provide his method of coming up with innovative game ideas during game jams. Check out this short talk for some flash of inspiration!

“Using Simple Spreadsheet Techniques to Help Balance Your Game” by Jamey Stevenson – Jamey has done a fair amount of economy design and balancing using spreadsheet tools like Excel. He will provide a whirlwind tour of the techniques he uses to keep a game economy organized and ensure that it is easy to maintain and update.

“How to buy PC components for a custom build!” by Alana O’Hair – Do you want to learn how to build a PC, but don’t know where to start? This introduction to custom PC’s will cover Alana’s techniques for building the best system for your needs and budget.

“Elegant Chaos: Setting up a Alt-Control booth” by John Ceceri III – From Alt.Ctrl.GDC alum John Ceceri III, you’ll be hearing a brief discussion of the dos and don’t for setting up a non-standard controller game!

“Composition – a brief intro” by Jason Harlow – What makes good composition? How can I improve my art and photography? How can I look at the world and see things differently?

“Simple Hex Maps and You” by Patrick Totaro – Patrick will talk about a hex tile system he created in Unity. He will quickly discuss pathfinding and coordinate systems.

Please RSVP using the links below:

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Game Club: Oddworld – New ‘n’ Tasty! (hosted by William) (January 19)

If you enjoy discussing games, come to the Tech Valley Game Space for Game Club!

Every month, participants pick a game to play, then get together and talk about their experiences! Think of this group as being a traditional book club, but with video games instead of books. People discuss various aspects of the game that they liked, disliked, or simply found notable; everything from music, character design, and storytelling, to the in-game physics, level creation, or graphics quality.

Anyone can attend – no memberships necessary. So long as you’ve got the right equipment at home, and enough time and interest to play at least a little of the game, then you’re welcome to join in!

This month’s host is William, and he’s selected “Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty!” This highly-rated and well-awarded game was developed by Oddworld Inhabitants Inc, and takes place on a giant planet in another dimension. There, a series of strange but gutsy protagonists fight against the nefarious spread of big businesses across their damaged world in an attempt to save the environment, their cultures, and their communities.

You can play Oddworld on Playstation, Xbox, Playstation 3, Windows, Wii U, and PC.

Try your best to play some of the game before you arrive, and be prepared for spoilers!

We will meet in the boardroom and begin the discussion after 7:30 pm.

RSVP at the links below!

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Volunteer Space Cadets

Volunteer Coordination Meeting (January 14, 2017)

Everything we do at Tech Valley Game Space is enabled by our enthusiastic members and volunteers. We are so grateful for your support, and we’re always striving to find new ways to leverage our collective energy to help the Capital Region game dev community thrive. We believe that the key to doing that is empowering all of you to take on a more active role in helping our local game development scene grow and flourish.

With that in mind, we want to invite everyone to attend our volunteer coordination meeting. Many of you have been asking how you can get more involved with our group efforts, and this meeting will be a great chance to do just that. The plan is to hang out together at TVGS, eat some snacks, have a good time and discuss ideas for how we can improve our community.

We’ll also be performing a communal evaluation of how we organize our current volunteer efforts, and gathering feedback about how we can more effectively translate our ideas into action. We’ll take a look at the existing process for tracking tasks via our Trello board (tasks.techvalleygamespace.com), and discuss opportunities for bringing in new members to help fulfill “officer” roles and guide the future direction of TVGS.

We’ve done so many great things together, and there’s no limit to what we can accomplish as long as we remain dedicated to improving. So, let’s get organized!

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Social Night: Overcooked!

Let’s get together for a fun community & social night, right before the holidays! We’ll talk about games, development, and other topics.

Got a new project to show off? Bring it in, and let’s play it! Want to talk about your current favorite game? Let’s discuss it! Want to bring your own VR? Everyone and every gaming news item, project, idea, and gadget are welcome!

This week we’re playing Overcooked, a fun multiplayer “couch game” where you work together to cook food for finicky customers.If you have any spare controllers or a copy of the game that you don’t mind lending out for the evening, please bring them with you!

RSVP at the links below!

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[IGDA Albany] Cooperative Game Design Principles (January 4th)

This month’s IGDA Albany speaker is Tom Sarachan, and his talk is entitled “Cooperative Game Design Principles: Lessons Learned through Research and Testing.”

The talk will begin at 7pm, but feel free to arrive around 6 and stay until 9 if you’d like to mingle before and after.

Talk Details
Building a cooperative game poses its own unique challenges. How can we avoid hostility between players? What do people want out of this specific form of entertainment? In this talk we’ll discuss how to address these and other issues, with concrete examples and guidance for designers.

About the Speaker
Tom Sarachan is a lawyer-turned-game designer. Recently he was part of the team that created Nosedive, an IndieCade Table Games Selection. He is currently pursuing an MFA in game design at the NYU Game Center, and arriving at the realization that he has to get rid of some of his wargaming miniatures to make room for a baby due in March.

Please RSVP using the links below:

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Community Night: Year-End Social (December 28th)

With 2016 coming to a close, let’s celebrate together by discussing some of our personal accomplishments and highlights from the past year. Everyone that attends will have an opportunity to recap their proudest moments from 2016 and share their game development resolutions for 2017.

We’ve come a long way in 2016, as individuals and as a community. Did you learn a new skill this year? Did you make progress on a game project? Did you collaborate and help others, or did someone else provide mentorship and assistance for you? This community event is a great chance to acknowledge the positive moments that have made a lasting impact on each of us this year.

Of course, no end of the year celebration would be complete without some games to play. For this event, you are encouraged to bring in your own game creations, including half-finished prototypes, or even just sketches of game ideas. Let’s play, share and have a great time for our last event of 2016!

Please RSVP using the links below:

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The Sims 3

Game Club: The Sims 3 (hosted by Alana) (November 18)

If you enjoy discussing games, come to the Tech Valley Game Space for Game Club!

This month’s host is Alana, and she has selected The Sims 3, the third major title in the life simulation video game developed by The Sims Studio and published by Electronic Arts.

Game Club – Episode 20: The Sims 3
Youtube version | MP3 download | OGG download