[IGDA Albany] Concepts in Worldbuilding (September 26th, 7:00 PM)

IGDA Albany usually has a professional talk every other month, on the 4th Thursday of the month. The talk will begin at 7pm, but feel free to arrive around 6:30 PM and stay until 9:00 PM if you’d like to mingle before and after. This month, we welcome Justin Mitchell with his talk, “Concepts in Worldbuilding!”

Description:

A guide to some procedures and starting points on building a new setting or expanding an existing world. From starting points to material considerations and beyond, we’ll look at ways to incorporate new ideas and how they can translate into gameplay or in-game assets.

Speaker Bio:

Justin Mitchell is a game developer and writer from Richmond, Virginia with a background in many different areas and skill sets. Justin tries to harness his varied knowledge into detailed and interesting approaches to game design.

RSVP at the links below!

[IGDA Albany] Welcome to Game Dev High—A Post-Mortem! (June 26th, 7:00 PM)

IGDA Albany usually has a professional talk every 4th Thursday of the month; this month is a rare exception. The talk will begin at 7pm, but feel free to arrive around 6:30 PM and stay until 9:00 PM if you’d like to mingle before and after. This month, we welcome Astra Wijaya with his talk, “Welcome to Game Dev High—A Post-Mortem!”

Description:

As game development education is gaining ground all over the world, so too is the interest. I would like to share what I have learned in the first year of my teaching Game Design and Implementation at Capital Region BOCES. Some of the things I’d dissect are: students’ interest, support from the school, what I would change, and what we can do to help.

Speaker Bio:

Astra Wijaya has a background in various visual media namely, illustration, photography, and graphic design. He completed his MFA degree at Parsons The New School for Design in 2011 with Game Design concentration and had worked mostly as a paid mercenary. Most recently, Astra has started a full-time teaching position as a Game Design instructor at the Mohonasen Center for Advanced Technology.

RSVP at the links below!

[IGDA Albany] The Virtual Reality of Healthcare (May 23rd, 7:00 PM)

IGDA Albany usually has a professional talk every 4th Thursday of the month. The talk will begin at 7pm, but feel free to arrive around 6:30 PM and stay until 9:00 PM if you’d like to mingle before and after.

Speaker Bio:

Samir has a background in the IT industry and studied Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Neuroengineering at Drexel University. He is currently the CEO and Game Designer at SIR-VR Studios. Samir will share from his experience about what he has learned in terms of the business development aspect.

Note: unfortunately due to a sudden health issue, the speaker is not able to present the originally-planned, “Entrepreneurship & Business of Indie Games.” His prior recorded talk will be played instead. Original description of the former talk is printed below:

Video games are a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States and added about $11.7 Billion to the US GDP in 2016 (Forbes 2017) and Americans spent $36 Billion on Video Games in 2017 (World Economic Forum 2018). While there is plenty of opportunity to make money in the video game industry and it continues to grow, the video game industry is also very competitive. How does someone that isn’t Triple A get to have a slice of that pie? It will come down to understanding the mindset behind a game industry entrepreneur and what exactly it takes to run an indie game company.

RSVP at the links below!

[IGDA Albany] Data around Players with Disabilities and Introduction to APX (April 25th, 7:00 PM)

IGDA Albany usually has a professional talk every 4th Thursday of the month. The talk will begin at 7pm, but feel free to arrive around 6:30 PM and stay until 9:00 PM if you’d like to mingle before and after. The talk’s description is as follows:

APX is a new approach to making game accessible for players with disabilities. This first of it’s kind data driven approach makes accessible design accessible to everyone. We will go over the data that helped drive the APX system, and then give some examples of the new APX Patterns. In the end, you will have access to the entire 24 patterns, with examples of games that use them. This has been presented at GDC 2019, and is already being used at major studios in the US, Canada and Europe.

Speaker Bio:

Mark Barlet has 25 years of hands-on experience in the technology and assistive technology field. Widely regarded as one of the leaders of 508 accessibility, Mark manages a team of high-end accessibility experts through his veteran-founded business The Barlet Group, as well as the highly trained assistive technology experts at AbleGamers. He has trained, assessed, managed, and supported hundreds of people with disabilities. Mark has worked for the Department of Defense, Homeland Security, and other top-secret departments since leaving the Air Force in 1996 as a service related injured veteran.

From 2005-Present, Mark has traveled around the globe giving speeches about accessibility, assistive technology, and videogame adjacent disability topics for organizations such as Microsoft, Yahoo, and other Fortune 500 companies to bring the inspirational message of his perseverance, bringing fun and returning joy to those in need.

In 2004, Mark founded AbleGamers after Multiple Sclerosis attacked his best friend, Stephanie Walker, nearly taking away her ability to interact and connect through video games. His vision was to ensure that no one with a disability would ever be without answers on how to conquer disabilities and continue enjoying one of the world’s largest past times.

This vision for an inclusive world has won awards from AAPD, the mayor’s office of New York City and many more for excellence in leadership. He has been interviewed by The Atlantic, CNN, MSNBC, NPR and dozens more. During the summer of 2016, Mark and his AbleGamers partner, Steven Spohn, were invited to the White House to discuss accessibility and technology. Mark has infused his passion into a global movement changing the way multibillion-dollar companies operate to stop ignoring accessibility.

RSVP at the links below!

[IGDA Albany] Lightning Talks (December 5th, 7:00 PM)

IGDA Albany usually has a professional talk every 1st Wednesday of the month. The talk will begin at 7pm, but feel free to arrive around 6:30 PM and stay until 9:00 PM if you’d like to mingle before and after. Join us as we have our inaugural Lightning Talks, a series of 5-minutes-or-less talks which is presented by people like you! To submit your talk, just fill out the form below:

goo.gl/forms/kC2XqMBLLULS2Nut2

RSVP at the links below!

[IGDA Albany] Scoping it Out: How to Plan Your Next Game Project (November 7th, 7:00 PM)

IGDA Albany usually has a professional talk every 1st Wednesday of the month. This month, game designer Amanda Kirk will provide her talk, “Scoping it Out: How to Plan Your Next Game Project.”

The talk will begin at 7 pm; feel free to come in as early as 6 or stay until 9 if you’d like to mingle.

Talk Details

Do you have a great game idea or maybe even a working prototype, but the idea of taking it and turning it into a fully featured game seems daunting? Come listen to this presentation where we discuss how to properly document your game design, estimate a reasonable scope of work and discuss simple tools that can be used to develop your game.

About the Speaker

Amanda Kirk is a freelance game designer and coordinator for RPI’s Digital Game Hub. In the past 10 years she has worked on entertainment, educational and serious games for a variety of platforms including DS, 3DS, iOS, Android and Windows. Some of her 20+ shipped titles include interactive experiences in AR/VR and educational software.

RSVP at the links below!

[IGDA Albany] Communicating Your Way to a Better Sounding Game (June 6th, 6:00 pm)

IGDA Albany usually has a professional talk every 1st Wednesday of the month. This month’s IGDA Albany speaker is Amanda Laven, and she will provide the talk, “Communicating Your Way to a Better Sounding Game.” The presentation will provide a list of unique game design challenges VR brings to the table.

The talk will begin at 7 pm; feel free to come in as early as 6 or stay until 9 if you’d like to mingle.

Talk Details

They say music is a universal language, but at times trying to discuss audio can feel more like sending a transmission into deep space and hoping an alien lifeform can decipher it. In this talk, Amanda will discuss how to communicate with a composer, including how to structure a deliverables list and the best (and worst) ways to talk about how you want your game to sound. The discussion will include an interactive component for those interested to see how a composer might interpret their musical requests as well as a glimpse into the pre-composing process.

About the Speaker

Amanda Laven was born with an NES controller in her hand…not really, but she was handed one shortly thereafter and has been a rabid gamer ever since. She has a BA in Music from Union College, then went on to earn her MFA in Music Composition with a focus on scoring for media from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is a member of the Game Audio Network Guild, the International Game Developers Association (Albany, NY chapter), and the Materia Collective.

RSVP at the links below!

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[TVCOG] Business in Digital Games (March 7th, 1:00pm)

To reserve your space, sign up at Eventbrite below:
eventbrite.com/e/the-business-of-digital-games-tickets-42889693227

Join us as we explore the depth and breadth of the digital game ecosystem in the Tech Valley and opportunities for creative and technical professionals and entrepreneurs.

Learn about the companies included in this ecosystem, what they do and who they work with and how. Dig a little deeper into the growth and development of one successful business. Then drill down a little more into a targeted discussion of your choice. Finish your day with a Networking Reception complete with opportunities to talk with representatives of game design companies and a TedX-style presentation on “The Intersection of Digital and Media Art.” Here’s our agenda:

Mapping the Tech Valley Digital Games Cluster – a panel of representatives from each game design or related company with each sharing information on the company’s mission and place in the ecosystems, as well as the type of employee and freelancers their company works with and the skills those individuals need.

Starting, Growing, Pivoting and Still Growing a Business in Digital Games, featuring Brian Corrigan of Mad Glory

Dig Down Discussions — Breakouts for Creative, Technology and Entrepreneur

Networking Mixer with workshop attendees and members of the Upstate Alliance for a Creative Economy, with information tables for the digital games businesses and sponsoring organizations

CoGTalk — The Intersection of Digital and Media Arts featuring NYS Council on the Arts Program Director for Electronic Media & Film|Visual Arts Karen Helmerson

This program is free, but space is limited. Reserve your place at the event by registering at Eventbrite (all proceeds goes to the Extra Life charity)! The donations made to reserve a space will benefit the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center through Extra Life, which unites thousands of digital game players around the world in 24-hour fundraising and gaming marathons to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

eventbrite.com/e/the-business-of-digital-games-tickets-42889693227

[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:

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[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:

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