[IGDA Albany] Kill the Overseer! Playing the Rebel Slave in Videogames

This month we’re in for a real treat — Empac is hosting Sarah Juliet Lauro where she will be giving demonstrations until 9pm, with her talk begining at 7pm.

We will meet at The RPI Union’s Pub around 6pm to discuss chapter updates and will then make our way to EMPAC for the 7pm presentation. Hope you can make it!

Talk Details

In a video game demo and talk, Sarah Juliet Lauro will discuss how resistance to slavery is represented in video and computer games. Lauro will profile many games that feature this narrative and will demo an art game being developed by students at the University of Southern California called Thralled, which focuses on a runaway slave in Brazil.

During the day leading up to her evening talk, Lauro will demo chapter one of Thralled in Evelyn’s Café on EMPAC’s 5th floor. This chapter features the playable character Isaura, who attempts to flee slavery through the rainforest with her infant in her arms. On her journey, Isaura encounters many obstacles as she is pursued by a ghostly specter. Lauro will then expand on this storyline in her talk Kill the Overseer! Playing the Rebel Slave in Videogames, which will consider race, empathy, and power dynamics between players and characters in game-based digital commemorations of slave revolt.

About the Speaker

Sarah Juliet Lauro is Assistant Professor of Hemispheric Literatures in the Department of English and Writing at the University of Tampa, where she teaches courses on literature and film. Lauro’s areas of expertise are postcolonial literature, especially of the Caribbean, American literature, and cinema. She is author of The Transatlantic Zombie: Slavery, Rebellion, and Living Death (Rutgers University Press, 2015), and many articles, including A Zombie Manifesto: The Non-Human Condition in the Era of Advanced Capitalism (boundary2, Spring 2008). Her second monograph addresses commemorations of slave revolt in various media, including monuments, books, films, and videogames.

Please RSVP using the links below:

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TVGS Transmissions: Game Jam Grabbag (February 3rd)

Welcome to TVGS Transmissions! This is our weekly livestream event where we’ll be playing video games with the TVGS community! You are welcome to be a part of the stream by coming by the the space during the stream, or by joining online on our Twitch or Youtube channels! Please be aware that if you participate you will be audibly and possibly visually recorded.

This week is the Game Jam Grabbag, where we’ll be playing games made in Global Game Jam 2017. You can submit games using the google form here, and we’ll play them on this week’s stream!

RSVP at the links below!

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Game Club: A Merry Mini Medley

Get ready, space cadets, because our next monthly Game Club (think book club, but for games) starts now!

This month, since everyone will be busy for the holidays, we had the TVGS members select 3 short games to play!

Little Inferno (http://tomorrowcorporation.com/littleinferno)
Uncle Who Works For Nintendo (https://ztul.itch.io/the-uncle-who-works-for-nintendo)
NiGHTS Into Dreams: Christmas Nights (http://store.steampowered.com/app/219950/)

And an optional bonus: Save the Date (http://paperdino.com/save-the-date/)

Game Club – Episode 21: A Merry Mini Medley
Youtube version | MP3 download | OGG download

The Arts Center of the Capital Region

Interactive Showcase @ Troy Night Out (January 27, 5pm – 9pm)

Our monthly Troy Night Out with The Arts Center continues with an exhibition of locally created games. The showcase is free and open to everyone, and we welcome you to show off games that are in any state of completion. So bring along your project for some playtesting and feedback, or just stop by and join in the fun!

RSVP at the links below!



Community Projects Shark Tank

TVGS Community Night and Shark Tank 10 (January 25, 2017) (6-9 pm)

Welcome to the community, projects, and shark tank event!
If you have a project that you need help with, this is the time to request any assistance from the community! TVGS has a goal to help create local games, and there are multiple projects ongoing.
Back in October, we held our ninth “shark tank” session, where anyone with a game idea was invited to present a five minute pitch. The pitches were then voted on by attendees, and a team of TVGS volunteers have been working together over the intervening month(s) to develop the concept that received the most votes into a working prototype.
Now that over a full month has elapsed (as well as the holiday season), the progress that was made on the winning project will be presented.
This time around we’ll be hearing from Neil Alers on the progress of his game “Double Rainbow Mirrors”, winner of our last Shark Tank event. The results of the past several weeks will be shared, and there will be time afterwards for feedback and questions.
We do need to limit the total number of pitches for scheduling purposes. Therefore, if you wish to participate in the event, we ask that you please RSVP in advance using the registration form: http://goo.gl/forms/bffPovTE9jG58XLh2

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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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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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