Lesson Night: Unreal 4 (November 15th, 6:30pm)

Presenter: John Ceceri III

Description: Learn the basics of Unreal Engine 4! We’ll be taking a look through the other major 3D game engine available, and learn your way around using it by creating a small game of laser tag. This tutorial takes a brief look at some of the tools and workflow of UE4: creating levels, setting up animations, designing AI, and more.

Special Notes:
-We’ll be using Unreal version 4.18
-Unreal requires signing up for a free Epic games account.
-The minimun requirements for running are high for most machines, if you don’t have a laptop you can bring, we’ll be streaming the lesson on twitch and taking questions from the chat, so you’ll be able to follow along at home.

About the instructor:
John Ceceri III is a 2015 Game Design graduate from Rochester Institute of Technology. His one big game so far was SlapFriends which was featured at GDC’s Experimental Gameplay Workshop and Indiecade. He’s currently working on more weird games he’s biding his time to talk about.


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TVGS Transmissions: Epistle 3 Jam (Nov 17th)

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 we’ll play through some games created during the Epistle 3 Game Jam – games based on the “leaked” “Half-Life 3” plot. Find them here: https://itch.io/jam/epistle-3-jam

RSVP at the links below!

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Game Club: Avernum 3 (hosted by Frederika) (Nov 16th)

Get ready, space cadets, because our next monthly Game Club is starting! Game club is a monthly podcast discussion on a game chosen by a selected host. Our next host is Frederika, and her selection will be:

Avernum 3
Genre: RPG
Developer: Spiderweb Software

This game is currently available only on Gog.com as part of the complete Avernum collection. https://www.gog.com/game/avernum_the_complete_saga

Avernum is a series of old school style fantasy RPGs which show that a game can be far more than its graphics. The series is set in a world where a single Empire rules the surface and sends its undesirables into dangerous caverns deep underground, a place called Avernum. The people in Avernum have found a way to survive thanks to their eccentric mages and new alien allies, but life in sunless caverns is never easy. Avernum 3 sees the Avernites return to the surface only to find that all is not well for the Empire.

The discussion will take place on Nov 16th. Newcomers to the group have higher chance of selecting the next month’s game! As usual, this selection is meant to be played before the time of the meeting. It’s recommended to play a few hours of it.

RSVP at the links below!

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Ludum Dare 40 (December 1st, 8:00pm)

The time has come…to make games for the 40th tri-annual online game jam, Ludum Dare!

No experience in making games necessary! This is just a fun challenge for all of us, and often serves as an educational moment to learn how to work with deadlines. We will be going through game idea brainstorming and team building exercises to help you jump start your way to making games!

Join in as you make a game in 72 hours with a team, or if you want to go hard-mode, 48 hours solo! Meet up with other rapid game developers! Eat a lot of junk food! And most important of all, have fun!

RSVP at the links below!

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P.S. For parking, the Uncle Sams parking garage — which is only one block away from our office — is free during weekends and after 6:00 PM on the weekdays. We highly recommend parking there.
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TVGS Community Night (November 29th, 6:30pm)

With the 4th Wednesday being the night before Thanksgiving, we moved it to the 5th Wednesday for this month.

Community Updates (TVGS members)

  •  A presentation on what’s happening in the local area.
  •  Any recent updates regarding TVGS.

Orbit Updates

Each Orbit Group will have a chance to discuss what has been happening with their group, what will be happening and anything else they have to say.

Coordinator Talks 

Each Coordinator will have a chance to update the community on what is going in their respective area.

Show and Tell (YOU!)

  • Project updates! (Tell everyone about your current project, what you’ve learned, what’s new, and where you’re going!)
  • Time dedicated to serving the community at large! (Do you want to present a game idea for feedback? Need people to help out on it? Need some brainstorming to help flesh it out? Have some concept art to show?)

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Social Night: HoloLens demo @ RPI (November 1, 6:30pm)

(Image by Microsoft)

It’s social night again and let’s celebrate with something a little special! Microsoft will be demonstrating their latest HoloLens technology at RPI in EMPAC all day on November 1st. Sounds like the perfect opportunity to get together and get social!

To learn more, check out EMPAC’s website.

There will be a talk at the theater starting at 7:00 PM, so let’s meetup shortly before it starts!

RSVP at the links below!

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Orbit: Intermediate Game Design – Unity Camera Tricks (November 2, 7:00pm)

First time attending this event?  Please sign-up in our short form over here: goo.gl/JwpJzx

Looking to step up your game development skills by diving into 3D? This mentorship group is for you! The Intermediate Game Design Orbit mentorship group can help provide you answers and resources to any questions you may have on a variety of popular 3D game engines, including Unity 3D.

This session, Taro Omiya will discuss how utilize the camera to the fullest! Tips includes how to layer camera views on top of each other, how to create TV screens featuring what’s visible somewhere in the world, how to hide certain elements, and more.

The Intermediate Game Design Orbit group will meet on the 1st and 4th Thursday of the month at Tech Valley Game Space and will provide opportunities for participants to share information, discuss projects, ask questions and obtain guidance from experienced mentors.

About Orbit

Orbit is a community-driven mentorship program designed to provide greater opportunities for learning and collaboration at Tech Valley Game Space than ever before!

The goal of Orbit is to bring local game makers (and aspiring game makers!) together based around mutual interests, and provide a consistent environment for sustained skill development, personal growth, and community building.

RSVP at the links below!

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Extra Life

Extra Life: 24 hours of gaming for charity! (November 4th, noon)

Tech Valley Game Space will once again be hosting a fun-filled marathon of Extra Life festivities in Troy, and we want you to join us! Let’s work together to surpass our fundraising goals and make a difference for the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center, as well as other Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals throughout North America.

Our team is on a mission to save kids through gaming, and we need your help. Each of us has chosen our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital where thousands of children are treated each year, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. These kids are facing scary stuff like cancer, cystic fibrosis, and injuries from accidents to name just a few.

We’ll be part of a huge international celebration of the social impact of gamers with Extra Life and it’s our sincere hope that you’ll find it in your heart to support us with a monthly pledge or one-time gift that will go directly to that team member’s chosen hospital.Your donation is tax-deductible and ALL PROCEEDS go to help kids. Last year, Extra Life raised more than $8 million dollars to save kids, but in 2016 our goals, just like the needs of the kids we serve, are much, much higher. We can’t do this without your help. Donating online is safe and easy! To make an online donation please click a participant’s name and then click the “Support This Participant” button on this page. Thank you for caring for our kids!

Join our team!

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[IGDA Albany] Can We Move the Furniture? Using Intelligent Design to Guide Players (November 8, 7:00 PM)

IGDA Albany has a professional talk every 1st Wednesday of the month, except when they don’t. This month’s IGDA Albany speaker is Stephen Kohler, and he will provide the talk, “Can We Move the Furniture? Using Intelligent Design to Guide Players.” The presentation will describe the game design challenges behind escape rooms and live role-playing games (LARPs).

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

In the digital realm, the game designer has (mostly) full control over the range of actions that players can take. However, games that take place in physical reality, such as escape rooms, can’t choose to limit player actions by just not programming them in. How can a designer design their environments to guide players towards desired actions, and away from detrimental ones, without coming across as too condescending? And how can you do so with game challenges actively designed to be non-obvious, such as puzzles? This talk will cover observations and theories from the first six months of running an escape room, and the lessons learned regarding teaching players without using brute-force tutorials or directions.

About the Speaker

Stephen Kohler is the CEO of Lime Shirt Studios LLC, and the designer and co-founder of Enigmatic Escapes, Troy’s first escape room. He also runs theatrical-style live action roleplaying games as the head of Lime Shirt LARPing, and has given several talks at the New England LARP theory convention, NELCO, about the logistics of running live-action roleplaying games. He’s been involved with running and analyzing games of one kind or another for over a decade, both at an amateur and professional level.

Please RSVP using the links below:

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