[IGDA Albany] Songs of Solitude: Telling More Story with Less (February 14th, 7:00 PM)

IGDA Albany usually has a professional talk every 1st Wednesday of the month. This month’s IGDA Albany speaker is C.J. Kershner, and he will provide the talk, “Songs of Solitude: Telling More Story with Less.” The presentation will look into creative methods of storytelling utilized in games without using speech or written dialog.

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

How do you tell a story without words? How do you create a world rich with history without reams of lore? Is it possible to guide players through an emotionally resonant experience if you haven’t even taught them the mechanics? Every so often a game comes along that captures the hearts and imaginations of players, yet uses few – if any – of the traditional elements associated with narrative in video games, or uses them in unexpected ways. This talk studies several minimalist games, attempts to identify common elements, explore the psychological reasons they affect players, and offer suggestions on if, and how, they might be used in our own work.

About the Speaker

C.J. Kershner is the head of Polyhedron Productions, an independent studio and narrative consultancy. By the time you read this, he will have (hopefully) finished work on a point-and-click game produced and set in the Middle East. Previously, he wrote about stabbing people in Victorian London (for which he received a WGA Award nomination), encouraged players to shoot endangered animals in the Himalayas for a fashion show, and attempted to justify a full-scale North Korean invasion of the United States. He likes adventure, arts and crafts, and alcohol. He hates social media.

Please RSVP using the links below:

rsvp-facebook rsvp-meetup

[IGDA Albany] Immersion: Fiction, History, Virtual Reality (January 3rd, 7:00 PM)

IGDA Albany usually has a professional talk every 1st Wednesday of the month. This month’s IGDA Albany speaker is Dr. Klil H. Neori, and he will provide the talk, “Immersion: Fiction, History, Virtual Reality.” The presentation will look into the history of virtual reality, and what we can expect in the future.

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

Dr. Klil H. Neori, PhD, received his doctorate in Physics from UAlbany, and works as a software engineer at FlyInside Inc., a virtual reality flight simulation startup in Troy, New York.

Please RSVP using the links below:

rsvp-facebook rsvp-meetup

Game Developer Social Night w/RIT (September 21, 2015)

Attention, game developers and game enthusiasts! Let’s have a fun and exciting social night at the new Tech Valley Center of Gravity location at the Quackenbush building!

This event will also serve as an informal reception for visiting game developers from outside the Capital Region, including Stephen Jacobs (Associate Director of the RIT MAGIC Center and Professor at RIT’s School of Interactive Games and Media) and other RIT faculty, as well as a group of German game development students and faculty.

In addition to the social gathering, we will also be showcasing a playable selection of games created during our Local History Game Jam!

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

Game Developer Social Night w/RIT

Monday, Sep 21, 2015, 7:00 PM

Tech Valley Center of Gravity
30 Third Street Troy, NY

2 Space Cadets Went

Game developers and game enthusiasts! Let’s have a fun and exciting social night at the new Tech Valley Center of Gravity location at the Quackenbush building!This event will also serve as an informal reception for visiting game developers from outside the Capital Region, including Stephen Jacobs (Associate Director of the RIT MAGIC Center and Pro…

Check out this Meetup →

TVGS presents: #include <Local History Jam>

For this event, please reserve a free ticket on Eventbrite: Local History Game Jam tickets

The latest event in our #include series is the Local History Game Jam, a weekend “hackathon” dedicated to creating games and interactive prototypes inspired by the history of Rensselaer County. Historical themes and settings have been incorporated into many popular games, ranging from commercial titles such as Civilization and Assassin’s Creed to educational classics like The Oregon Trail. Whenever historians and game developers get together, we always end up making history!

Jammers are invited to gather at The Arts Center (located at 265 River Street in Troy) over the weekend in order to participate. The jam will begin at 12pm on Saturday, September 19th with a kickoff event featuring members of the Rensselaer County Historical Society, who will be joining us to share some interesting local lore and provide an overview of the incidents, people and overall trends that have played an integral role in shaping the development of the Capital Region. From there, jammers will have the opportunity to work alone or in teams in order to create projects inspired by local history over the rest of the weekend.

Even after the weekend is over, the jam won’t be relegated to the history books just yet! Jammers will have multiple opportunities to share their creations over the following week, including a post-jam reception at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity featuring a group of international game design students and faculty, and a prominent showcase as part of the Hyperplace Troy festival, during which the games created by jam participants will be projected onto the outside of The Arts Center building.

The event is open to all game developers, students, graduates, industry developers and even those with no experience of game development. Tickets are free, but spaces are limited, so please book your ticket early to avoid missing out on your chance to participate in the game jam. Please read all of the event info below before booking your place in the jam.

 

Dates and times:

Kickoff

  • Saturday, September 19th @ 12pm – The Arts Center (265 River Street, Troy)

Jam Hours

  • Saturday, September 19th 12pm-9pm
  • Sunday, September 20th 9am-4pm

Post-Jam Reception

  • Monday, September 21st 7pm-9pm – Tech Valley Center of Gravity (30 3rd Street, Troy)

Showcase

  • Friday, September 25th 5pm-9pm – The Arts Center (265 River Street, Troy)

 

About the Jam:

The game jam will take place at The Arts Center of The Capital Region, located at 265 River Street in Troy. The kickoff event will take place at 12pm on Saturday, September 19th and the jam will run for the rest of the weekend. The jam will be centered around the theme of local history, with relevant information provided during the kickoff by members of the Rensselaer County Historical Society. However, participants are free to interpret the theme as they see fit and explore any ideas they wish over the course of the jam.

The jam will embrace healthy working practices, and therefore the venue will be closing during the evening to encourage participants to get some rest. The jam times are 12pm-9pm on Saturday, September 19th and 9am-4pm on Sunday, September 20th.

The Arts Center is located in close proximity to a variety of dining options, but there is no eating or drinking allowed inside the jam venue itself, so please take this into consideration when planning for meals and snack breaks. Also, if you are able to bring your own laptop, please do so! We have a finite supply of desktops available for the event, and once these are claimed we will only be able to accommodate more participants if they are able to supply their own machines. Wi-fi passwords will be provided, and desktop access will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

During the week following the jam, there are two separate events that jammers are invited to attend for the purpose of showing off their creations. The first will be a post-jam reception held at the Tech Valley Center of Gravity, located at 30 3rd Street in Troy. The reception will take place from 7pm-9pm on Monday, September 21st and will offer an opportunity to showcase our local history games to an audience of international game developers, including RIT faculty and a group of visiting game design students from Germany.

The final, culminating showcase event will take place at The Arts Center from 5pm-9pm on Friday, September 25th during the Hyperplace Troy festival. As part of the festival, the games we have created during the jam will be featured in playable form, and will be projected in large scale on the side of The Arts Center building.

 

includeLogo

About #include:

#include is a series of diversity-focused, creative events hosted by Tech Valley Game Space that are intended to support aspiring game makers in the Capital Region. The goal of the #include initiative is to provide recurring, local classes and game jams targeted toward groups that continue to be underrepresented within the game development community, in order to demystify the process of digital game creation and make it more accessible and welcoming for everyone.

At TVGS, we believe that a more diverse and nurturing game development community is also a more sustainable one. There is a vital need for new voices within the game development space, and our mission is to help address that need by providing support and mentorship for creative people that are interested in developing new artistic and technical skills that they can then reinvest back into the local community.

Let’s Get Together and Make Games: Local History Edition (September 23, 2015)

Want to continue on your Local History Jam game? Have a game project you’re working on, or even just an idea for a game you’d like to create? This is a great time to meet up with other people and tell them what your project is about, get some feedback from fellow game makers, and discuss how much progress has been made on your project. Game projects in any state of completion are welcome, so feel free to bring a laptop along and take advantage of the opportunity to improve your game while receiving help and guidance from experienced mentors.

Additionally, this meeting will include an update on our community activities, and a chance for interested members to discuss how much progress has been made on various TVGS initiatives and share ideas for what other types of events and workshops you’d like to see us host in the future.

For reference, you can view the current list of suggestions and group initiatives via the TVGS Trello board.

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

http://www.meetup.com/TechValleyGameSpace/events/225248925/