Lift Off 2019: Closing Ceremony Forum

The final day of Lift Off, opened with a forum between panelists Muse en Lystrala, Becky Arcovitch, and Jarell Pryor (with Frederika Edgington-Giordano as moderator) answering questions about how to get into the video game industry. The panelists focused on various perspectives of game making, from getting into professional studios, to starting independent studios. Topics covered includes where to learn more about game making, how to put together a creative portfolio, transitioning from one profession to another, and balancing one’s schedule while making games.

After the panel, everyone presented their final project. The six projects were (note: all titles are tentative):

  • Bip
    An artistic, 2D exploration game about slowly uncovering what the world looks like. Created in Construct 3.
  • Youth Gaming League
    A gamified task list teaching children and young teens how to improve the conditions of their local community, and hopefully themselves.
  • Go Robo Now
    A tabletop role-playing game set in the Go Robo Now universe. Explore the alternate universe of modern-day New York City, fighting monsters à la Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Plunge
    A metaphorical text-based adventure using a sci-fi universe to depict problems about poverty and systematic oppression. Created in Twine.
  • The Earth Present
    An environmentalist 2D platformer about restoring nature. Created in Unity.
  • Odyssey RPG
    An open-world RPG, similar to Skyrim. Created in Unity.

The event concluded with a celebration where each mentor congratulated their mentee with a certificate. Well done, everyone!

Lift Off 2019: Stress Management & Impostor Syndrome

3D Game Artist Kolel Pryor provides tips and tricks on how to manage stress while working in the game industry, and in the creative industry as a whole. In particular, he brings up the impostor syndrome, or the feeling that one’s accomplishments as just lucky flukes. He covers how to avoid overworking, finding motivation to work, and retaining your confidence in a field full of talented people.

After the presentation, the mentors covered what is expected for the Closing Ceremony, and what to prepare.

Resources:

Lift Off 2019: Quality Assurance

Quality Engineer Frederika Edgington-Giordano gives a rundown of what the job of a Quality Assurance (QA) in the games and software industry is like. A somewhat lesser-known field, QAs tests and confirms whether the game/software in development is up to the quality standard customers expect from said product. Frederika described what sort of people are desired in said profession, and provides some advice on being hired as one.

After the presentation, each participant reviewed with their mentor any feedback they’ve received from playtesting, and what changes they can make to tackle any problems brought up.

Resources:

Lift Off 2019: Diversity and Representation

Freelance e-sports journalist and diversity advocate, Amanda Stevens, provides an in-depth workshop on why diversity and representation is important in the media that we create. In addition, they provided some strategies on adding more representation in media, including uses of writing, music, characters, etc.

After the presentation, each participant reviewed with their mentor how their first playable went, and discussed what improvements can be made to it.

Resources:

  • None!

Lift Off 2019: You Belong in Tech

STEAM advocate, Milena Gonzalez provides a thorough presentation on why participants at the TVGS’ Lift Off Diversity Incubator belongs in tech. She lists the benefits of working in the tech industry and the positions available, but also indicated the negatives that the industry suffers from. Diversity can solve these problems, she argues, making a better world for everyone.

After the presentation, everyone split up to review their game design document and project schedule. They were tasked to make their first playable for next week.

Resources:

Lift Off 2019: Project Management

TVGS’ Lift Off Diversity Incubator continues with a presentation on Project Management for Game Development by college professor and former Studio Manager of Cinematic at Telltale, Becky Arcovitch. She provides a primer on what project management is, why it’s important, what the common practices are for game development, and provided an example of a schedule for Lift Off attendees to track their progress. Lastly, she provided resources on splitting and managing tasks, as well as encourage those interested in the practice to look for the Associate Producer role.

After the presentation, everyone split up to discuss how to write their first game design document and plan out their project over the course of the program using task management software like Trello.

Resources:

Lift Off 2019: Opening Ceremony

The second TVGS Lift Off: Diversity Incubator began with a keynote by indie game developer and TVGS Executive Director, Taro Omiya, who provided a large list of resources and common game-dev-related terms to look out for. The presentation came with a handout summarizing the presentation.

New to this year, attendees were also encouraged to share their game ideas to help the team building process. After ice breakers and a review of the program, everyone split with their own designated mentor. Each discussed what the attendee’s game ideas were, and what tools to look into to make it happen. With the handout and resources sheet in-hand, everyone will be spending the week studying what tools best fits their game.

Resources:

The Arts Center of the Capital Region

Interactive Showcase @ Troy Night Out (October 25th, 6:00pm)

Our monthly Troy Night Out with The Arts Center continues with an exhibition of locally created games. Macs and PCs will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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!

If you have any questions about the showcase, feel free to send a message to info@techvalleygamespace.com.

RSVP at the links below!

rsvp-facebook rsvp-meetup

Ludum Dare 45 (October 5th, 5:00 PM)

The time has come…to make games for the 45th 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!

rsvp-facebook rsvp-meetup

P.S. For parking, the two closest parking garages, Uncle Sams Parking Garage and 5th Ave Parking Garage, are free during weekends and after 6:00 PM on the weekdays. We highly recommend parking there.

Continue reading “Ludum Dare 45 (October 5th, 5:00 PM)”
Beginner game design orbit group

Orbit: Beginner Game Design (October 5th, 11:00am)

If you’re interested in learning to make your own digital games using a simple and intuitive creative tool that doesn’t require any prior experience with computer programming, this is the group for you!

The Beginner Game Design Orbit group meets every Saturday morning at Tech Valley Game Space and will provide a place to get feedback and advice on your game project for first time game creator. Join us and learn about how to create 2D games using tools such as Construct 2.

After learning the basics, you’ll apply your knowledge by working on your own game project alongside peers, with ongoing support from experienced mentors. Participants of all skill levels are welcome and encouraged to join in the fun!

First time attending this event?

Please sign-up using our short form at forms.gle/f5CgLnsbbTG38YL4A if you haven’t already done so.

You can also RSVP at the links below!

rsvp-facebook rsvp-meetup

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.

For more information about Orbit, including a list of all the currently active groups, please visit techvalleygamespace.com/orbit