Lesson Night: Can Games Really Solve Real-World Problems? (March 15th, 6:30pm)

People often talk about how games cause tons of problems — such as violence, obesity, addiction, aggression, or loneliness — but perhaps we should also talk about how games can solve real-world problems, too. In this talk, Dr. Karen Schrier of Marist College will take you on a tour of problem-solving games–from Foldit to the Beanstalk game. These games use crowdsourcing and collective intelligence techniques to encourage players to participate in real-world problem solving, data analysis, and more. Maybe a game will help us cure cancer or find world peace!

Instructor Bio:

Karen Schrier, now in her sixth year at Marist College, teaches courses in games and interactive media and directs the Games & Emerging Media program. She also directs the Play Innovation Lab, where she works with students to create and research games/media. Dr. Schrier’s scholarship is interdisciplinary, and is focused on the intersection of games with education, ethics, empathy, civic engagement, and citizen science. Prior to Marist College, she spent over a decade producing websites, apps, and games at organizations such as Scholastic, Nickelodeon, BrainPOP, and PBS/Channel 13. She is the editor of the book series, Learning, Education & Games, published by ETC Press (Carnegie Mellon), and co-editor of two books on games and ethics. She has written over 30 publications, including single-authored articles published in journals such as Educational Technology Research & Development and the Journal of Moral Education. Her latest book, Knowledge Games: How Playing Games Can Help Solve Problems, Create Insight, and Make Change, was published in 2016 by Johns Hopkins University Press, and has been covered by Forbes, New Scientist, and Times Higher Education, Radio NZ and SiriusXM. She holds a doctorate from Columbia University/Teachers College, master’s degree from MIT, and a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College.

rsvp-facebook rsvp-meetup

Lesson Night: TVGS Mentorship Groups Launch Into Orbit! (February 15, 6-9pm)

You asked for it, and now it has finally arrived! At this meeting, we’ll be introducing Orbit, our new mentorship program designed to provide greater opportunities for learning and collaboration at TVGS than ever before.

Orbit is all about bringing local game makers (and aspiring game makers!) together based around mutual interests, and providing a consistent environment for sustained skill development, personal growth, and community building.

Curious to learn more? Join us for this meeting! We’ll be fielding all of your questions, gathering feedback, and providing an overview of the initial set of Orbit groups that will be launching later this month.

Do you have a particular topic that you’d like to learn more about, or a desire to meet other local creators that share your interests? Let us know what types of Orbit groups you’d like to see in the future by filling out the feedback and suggestion form located here.

rsvp-facebook rsvp-meetup

Lesson Night: Game Design (November 30)

If you want to create a game or interactive experience, design is one of the most important skills you can learn. Although design plays a vital role in the creative process, a surprising number of game makers continue to misunderstand design or even overlook it altogether.

In this lesson, Jamey Stevenson will provide an overview of essential game design concepts from both a theoretical and practical standpoint. The lesson content is appropriate as both an introduction for beginners and a refresher for veteran game developers. Participants are not required to bring along any materials.

rsvp-facebook rsvp-meetup

AMP Server TVGS

Lesson: Introduction to Relational Databases (October 19)

This is an introduction to databases for people with zero background. It will cover what a database is and used for, how to set one up in MySQL, and how to interact with it. If I have time to get some examples built, I’d like to cover how to get the database to be accessible through a webpage.

Requirements (for people who want to follow along on their own machines): have WAMP/MAMP/LAMP server installed depending on whether you’re using Windows/Mac/Linux.

Read more

Twine TVGS

Lesson: Digital Storytelling with Twine (September 21)

Abi Johnson will discuss how simple it is to create an interactive story or choose-your-own-adventure game with Twine. No programming knowledge is needed! Twine publishes in HTML, so sharing your work is extremely simple as well.

Bringing a laptop is suggested if possible.

Get Twine for free at http://twinery.org/
Read more

Unity Physics

Lesson Night: Physics in video game design with Unity (August 17)

In this class Klil H. Neori will demonstrate some applications of concepts from physics to designing responsive and credible games.

The class will have two main parts:

  1. Basic physics in the Unity Engine: movement, collision, forces and friction.

  2. Using physics to control your game, featuring three main examples: platforming, space exploration, and drag-and-drop.

Klil H. Neori graduated from UAlbany with a PhD in physics in 2015, after which he transitioned into video game design. He is currently a software developer at FlyInside FSX – FlyInside Inc., a VR flight simulator startup, and Outreach Coordinator for TVGS. His main independent creation is Plane Defensive, a puzzle/strategy/action prototype available on itch.io.

https://khneori.itch.io/plane-defensive

As usual, please RSVP in the Facebook event or Meetup below:

Lesson Night: Physics in video game design with Unity

Wednesday, Aug 17, 2016, 6:30 PM

Tech Valley Game Space
30 Third Street Troy, NY

4 Space Cadets Went

In this class Klil H. Neori will demonstrate some applications of concepts from physics to designing responsive and credible games.The class will have two main parts: 1. *Basic physics in the Unity Engine*: movement, collision, forces and friction. 2. *Using physics to control your game*, featuring three main examples: platforming, space explora…

Check out this Meetup →

Lesson Night: Making VR Applications with Unity (July 20, 2016)

“Making VR applications with Unity” is a hands-on workshop on developing VR applications using Unity 5 for Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear, and Google Cardboard. In this introductory lesson, we’ll be making a simple 3D first-person perspective game that will cover the following topics:

  • Importing pre-made assets
  • Creating objects with super-fun physics
  • Using images to add visually-pleasing patterns to your objects
  • Learn what the heck materials are, and how to make your game look realistic
  • How to manipulate the lighting
  • Adding sound effects
  • Get a quick introduction on scripting

If you plan to attend, please RSVP via Facebook or Meetup. Read more

Lesson Night: Chiptunes Music and SFX Lesson (June 22, 2016)

As game developers we have a lot to think about, and usually audio is the last on the list. But poor audio can make a good game bad, and solid audio can make a good game great. So making audio a priority is always a good decision, and creating music and SFX in the Chiptune style is a simple and effective way to get started.

This lesson will go over the basics of the function and aesthetics of music and sound design in games, and give you chance to try your hand at some simple melodies and sound effects. Using free software, we will talk about the fundamentals of synthesis, and how to use basic sounds to create a variety of sonic elements.

Students will need their own laptop and, if possible, a MIDI keyboard (if not, don’t worry, other methods of note input will be covered). Students also must bring their own headphones. Although we will be using freeware for this lesson, the topics covered will be applicable to any Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). It is recommended that students download the following software and follow the instructions before the lesson, but not required.

As usual, please RSVP in the Facebook or Meetup. Read more

Lesson Night: Rigging and Animation with Blender (May 18, 2016)

Our next free monthly lesson is Rigging and Animation with Blender, the free-and-open-source 3D modeling application.  Stay tuned for more information!

If you decide to attend the class you will need to bring:

  • A computer
  • Blender, version 2.7 or higher already installed on your computer.

A free copy of Blender can be downloaded at blender.org

Please RSVP at our Facebook event, or on Meetup below:

Lesson Night: Rigging and Animation with Blender

Wednesday, May 18, 2016, 6:30 PM

Tech Valley Game Space
30 Third Street Troy, NY

3 Space Cadets Attending

Our next free monthly lesson is Rigging and Animation with Blender, the free-and-open-source 3D modeling application.  Stay tuned for more information!If you decide to attend the class you will need to bring:• A computer• Blender, version 2.7 or higher already installed on your computer.You can download a free copy of Blender at blender.org

Check out this Meetup →

Lesson Night: Making 2D Games With Unity (April 20, 2016)

Our next free monthly lesson is an introduction to using Unity, the super-popular 3D game engine, as a 2D game creating machine! We’ll create a simple platformer that’ll double as a fun physics playground.

No programming experience necessary, but a basic understanding is helpful.

If you decide to attend the class you will need to bring:

  • A computer
  • Unity, version 5.3 or higher already installed on your computer. You can download a free copy of Unity at unity3d.com/get-unity

You can RSVP at our Facebook event, or on Meetup below:

Lesson Night: Making 2D Games With Unity

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2016, 6:30 PM

Tech Valley Game Space
30 Third Street Troy, NY

6 Space Cadets Went

Our next free monthly lesson is an introduction to using Unity, the super-popular 3D game engine, as a 2D game creating machine!  We’ll create a simple platformer that’ll double as a fun physics playground.No programming experience necessary, but a basic understanding is helpful.If you decide to attend the class you will need to bring:• A comput…

Check out this Meetup →