Never Give Up: Success Could Be Right Around The Corner
Speaker: Josh Fairhurst
You never know when success could strike. Josh Fairhurst discusses the near closure of his game development studio and how never giving up lead to the biggest success of his career.
Positioning and Planning a Pitch
Speaker: Steve Reid
Projects start with a pitch. Equal parts creative and business. Regardless of new IP or a sequel to an established brand, each team needs to create a pitch that can communicate and align on scope, vision and risk. From market positioning to feature quality and quantity, the pitch needs to build the “promise” to both the partners and the customers. This talk will highlight business history, development challenges and design philosophy specific to the pitch process from the perspective of 20+ years as a studio manager.
How to Compete With the Roblox “Metaverse”
Speaker: Garrett Swanson
The difficulty of competing with Roblox – “Our platform is like Roblox but different” – The “chicken or egg deadlock” (UA = Developers = Content = UA) – The “company town” model Roblox uses What a metaverse means today, and how competition with Roblox’s would look – The metaverse isn’t just a real-time VR experience, this has been done many times – The metaverse is an audience share goal sought after by large companies (think Disneyland and all of their franchises, or Fortnite/Roblox and crossover events) – Do you join a metaverse, or make your own? What goes into making a sandbox game – The “cloud cost trap” (including developer payouts) – Knowledge of more than just game development (web, scaling, security, UA, retention, etc) How to advertise your competitor and what that has looked like in the past – Talk about CORE, Sandbox.game, and others.. what did they do right/wrong? – How did Roblox do it? How did they build an audience as the first “games as a service” sandbox?
Designing Token Economies
Speaker: Ethan Levy
As a 20 year veteran game developer, I have played a part in designing digital economies for some of the biggest brands and most successful games in the world. In this talk, I will share concrete design methods and processes to help you architect your economy for long-term value and growth. How should you think about your revenue stack? How should you balance your token sinks and taps? How do you ensure your NFTs and tokens have provable, long term utility? Drawing on lessons from 14 years of specializing in free-to-play monetization, this talk will help you design the digital economy for your blockchain game.
The Fan’s Journey – Understanding Fan Engagement and Needs
Speaker: Billy Le Voir-Barry
“With the changing tide of global adaptations that have impacted the world of competitive gaming and esports the last few years, the community of gamers and esports fans of all ages have taken on even more importance!” Billy Le Voir-Barry, President and Chief Gaming Visionary Officer of GENERATION Esports and Video Game Consulting, will explain how esports have captivated audiences through storytelling and connection to generate impressive fan engagement. He’ll also provide a glimpse behind these scenes, diving into the unique nature of esports broadcasting and event production. GENERATION also invites you to meet Kirk Yamatani, Chief Executive Officer and Business Strategist, after the conversation. Esports games are not an escapist distraction. They’re the world’s most participatory spectator sport. Billy will also discuss how esports are helping communities adopt the most advanced technologies, and they’re providing a pathway to STEM education and the best jobs of tomorrow.
The Words Are The Same: Writing Games Versus Writing Fiction
Speaker: Richard Dansky
Writing is a complicated business, and writing for different media even more so. In this talk, novelist and game writer Richard Dansky will examine the similarities and differences between fiction and games writing, looking at what lessons can be learned and applied from each, and where lines need to be drawn.
How to Take and Give Notes
Speaker: Alex Epstein
In so many disciplines — design, art, animation, audio and narrative — giving and taking criticism are both big parts of the job. And both are fraught. It is easy to offend someone, especially a boss, by not taking their terrible note. It is even easier to offend people by giving them a perfectly brilliant criticism they don’t want to hear. How do you give notes to higher-ups? To your co-workers? How do you sugar-coat your ideas without making them mushy? How do you respond to a direction you think will make things worse? As someone who’s given notes well and also badly, who has sometimes persuaded people and sometimes pissed them off, I will propose an approach to giving and taking notes that seems to work for me, and may work for you, too. (Note: could also be a panel.)
Speaker: Jonathan White
The Content Mileage presentation covers the topic of re-using assets to create game content. The presentation will cover good and bad examples of content mileage in popular games as well as ways to think about content mileage from both a player and developer perspective. Time will be reserved for questions and conversation about the topic.
I Didn’t Catch That: Disability Representation
Speaker: Eddy Webb
Accessibility has been a growing topic of discussion in the past few years, but it’s more than just making games more accessible to games with disabilities. There’s still a huge gulf in how people with disabilities are represented in our games and stories. Eddy Webb offers his perspective as both a narrative design consultant and someone with hearing loss about the complexity of representing disability on the screen.
Are you serious? Better game design for learning!
Speaker: Kenneth Hubbell
Serious games, immersive learning, edutainment, and a variety of other names have been applied to experiences that result in the effective transfer of knowledge, skills and behaviors to the participant. During this session you will have the opportunity to hear how game design and instructional design go hand-in-hand to create activities that support the learning process. You will see how: 1. Instructional objectives and game dynamics work together 2. Abstraction allows participants to learn difficult concepts 3. Repetition leads to long term and “muscle” memory So, don’t put your educational programs in “Jeopardy.” Apply great game design and your students will be winners.
Going Open-Source in Production and Education
Speaker: Zachariah Inks
This is a discussion of the pros and cons of open-source software in production and education. This talk will specifically highlight my transition from the use of popular closed-source software and tools in production and education, to fully embracing open-source software such as Blender, Krita, ArmorPaint, and the like. Please join me as I exemplify the virtues and pitfalls of open-source software in the production of simulation and games.
Beyond Escapism – Positive Games for Positive Mental Health
Speaker: David Klingler
We work within a field that is increasingly being talked about by the general public for anti-consumer practices, unhealthy work hours, negative societal influence, and manipulation of players while wasting their time and money. Where is the gap between the love of playing games and the creation of games worth loving? How can we be better in our day-to-day decisions in the games business? How, concretely, can the games we make change gamers’ lives – and developers’ lives – for the better? In this talk I will introduce how to implement simple changes to your work that will have a positive effect on you and on your players, how to easily talk about the games industry in a positive light with people who “hate video games”, what needs to change on a wider scale in our industry, and why it needs to happen for the sake of the longevity and profitability of games as a medium.
How to Address Communications Challenges in Small Indie Teams
Speaker: Rachel Presser
One of the biggest misconceptions about game development is that you’ll code all day, and that going indie isn’t any different except you’ve traded your home for the office. This couldn’t be more wrong! Poor communication can cause projects of any scale to go awry, whether it’s a low-budget sidescroller or the latest AAA blockbuster. But when it comes to independent development, communication can become more challenging based on your style, background, and other factors. You might also be unsure what to do if you’ve had one role most of your career but find it difficult to adjust to the many hats needed in indie games. Improving your communications skills and learning how to work with people in specific roles can level up your game in no time. Topics will include: -The basics of communication skills and why we need them -Handling the challenges of working with a remote team -How to define your studio’s and your game’s message -How to work with artists, composers, writers, and more!
Fun Sick: Questioning ‘Fun’ as an approach to Game Design
Speaker: Alex Loughran
So, we all know what a Game Designer does. They make a game fun. Games after all, are all about the ‘fun’. Find the fun. Fail fast and follow the fun. We can’t release until it’s fun. Playtest it to check the fun.
This has led to the prevailing wisdom that to make an appealing game is to make a fun game. But how do you define fun? Can you actually prove fun? What about games with heavy grinding elements? What about games that mimic real-life work? What about games that require dozens of hours of practice to achieve a positive result?
Can we really use this one approach, “Is it fun”, for the entire modern games industry?
The purpose of this presentation is to look at our current, common approach to game design and question if it is still relevant; why, and why not. Then to discuss what alternatives to this approach look like. These alternatives will discuss psychology, the science of motivation, and behavioral economics; and what game designers can learn from these disciplines to make their games more appealing, and potentially, more fun.
PRACTICAL MAGIC – Life of a Gameplay Engineer
Speaker: Max Litvinov
The game industry is trending upward with more and more concurrent worldwide players and new studios forming every year. Playing a video game may seem like it was created with magic but in reality large AAA video game titles are developed over many years with the help of many disciplines. One of those disciplines that help create this practical magic is a gameplay engineer. This session will cover what exactly a gameplay engineer is and will include four real-world case studies describing a type of feature or problem I have solved while working on a AAA game.
Humor–the Secret Ingredient Your Game Can’t Do Without!
Speaker: Suzanne Peterson-Warr
Skillful use of humor in your game makes the player feel they identify on a personal level with your game and your brand. It can also make breadcrumbing more successful, and the tutorial section of a game a player’s favorite part. Most importantly, it amps up the enjoyment of your game. In this humor workshop we’ll take a look at how humor is used in successful indie and AAA games, peek at the science behind humor, and flex our humor muscles with a short hands-on exercise.
Using examples from serious as well as funny games, I will help the audience better understand the role of humor. As outlined on my website (http://suzannewarr.com/tips-for-humor-writing-plus-a-squid), humor is an amazing narrative tool which allows a game designer to share information with the player without being boring, as well as providing an opportunity to establish a connection and make the player-character relatable. I will go over basic comedic tools, which we’ll then practice.
Creating Indie MMOs with Core
Speaker: Troy Maynard
In this talk I will cover the basics of how to get started with using the new Engine / Platform Core, specifically with a focus on creating Mini-MMORPG prototypes (Mini-MOS?). It is a UGC platform built from UE4 and makes creation of 3D multiplayer games easy and fast. I’ve spent the last 1.5 years creating an innovative Card Game MMORPG with it and have seen the engine rapidly improve and develop during that time. I’ll start with showing the fundamentals of the engine that translate from all other major ones, such as their equivalent of Colliders, Prefabs, UI navigation etc. Then move into explaining their easily accessible networking structures that are essentially a simplified version of UE4’s tools. Then show the latest methods for designing scalable, data driven frameworks in it for rapidly generating content. I’ll end the talk with showing the testing process, including how to utilize multiple branches for staging, and then finally publishing a live game!
Neurodiversity and Games
Speaker: Aris Bricker
Following waves of diversity and inclusion efforts, neurodiversity is a new topic of discussion in media and the workplace. While neurodiverse people have always existed, they have often been depicted poorly in media and ignored at work. Hosted by a neurodiverse designer, this talk covers what it means to be neurodiverse, writing neurodiverse characters, designing for accessibility, and creating a neurodiverse-friendly workplace. Attendees can expect to come away with a greater understanding of neurodiversity, the intersection with games, and practical advice for game industry professionals.
Tips and tricks for Complex Hard Surface Modeling techniques
Speaker: Saritdikhun Somasa
The discussion focuses on tricks and tips for 3D modeling complex hard surface 3D in Maya 3D. Explain the common issues and the workaround in polygon layout or edge flow, such as edge poles, pitching on curved surfaces, localized topology, Edge loop redirection, and UVs.
Inside Titanic’s Boiler Room to Teach STEM Big Ideas for Middle School Level Students.
Speaker: Ted Prawat
This Titanic project is a serious game project I am currently developing to inspire an interest in STEAM career pathways for students at the middle school level through an interactive story; this will provide players with an opportunity to experience Titanic through the lens of the big ideas related to the science and engineering behind this once advanced technological marvel. The boiler room, I think, is an excellent place for middle school students to connect some of the most important big ideas in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) document (e.g., molecules, potential and kinetic energy) to important content questions (e.g., “How is it that the energy in water vapor and chunks of earth can drive a skyscraper-size passenger ship through the water at 23 knots?”). The goal is to test this in classrooms with students and develop a curriculum using cutting edge technology–3D virtual reality—that teaches “big ideas” as described in the NGSS Standards.
Is graduate school for you?
Speakers: Todd Emma, Jacy Richardson
Whether you’re about to finish your bachelor’s degree or looking for a career change, graduate school could be your next step. But how do you know if it’s right for you, how do you apply, and which degree will you need to reach your goals? Are you considering a career in higher education? Which degree is right for you and what is the difference between an MA, MS, MFA, and PHD? As a member of the review committee and the coordinator of the Digital Media MFA at East Tennessee State University, I would like to share my understanding of how to put a portfolio together, what reviewers are looking for in a personal essay, and how to find out if a program matches your interests.
Getting a Job in Video Game Development…Tips, Tricks & Hints!
Speaker: Paxton Galvanek
(In the Career Lounge) Paxton will discuss how to get hired in game development, how to create a brand for yourself, how to navigate HR/hiring at different game dev studios, what to expect during the interview process, how to get your foot in the door, how a resume should look, some tools/resources to get interviews, etc. Paxton spoke at ECGC over the years, will be returning and adding to his successful presentation and hopefully, participants will walk away with some “tips, tricks & hints”. Paxton has built the team at Funcom over the past 4 1/2 years, not only in Raleigh but also internationally at his other studio locations including Norway, Portugal, Romania, Stockholm & more. Paxton will also be talking about the exciting things at Funcom including games projects such as DUNE, Metal: Hellsinger, Conan Chop Chop, and Conan Exiles.
Why Your Single Player Game Needs a Backend
Speaker: Raymond Arifianto
A single player game, to many, also means “a game which is not online”. However the opposite is quite true these days. Games like Spelunky have daily challenges, Saints Row and Just Cause have leaderboards, XCOM 2 has a global stats page and GTA 5 and Red Dead 2, while not predominantly single player games, have companion apps which allows you to influence your single player game in a variety of ways. There are also quite a few good reasons to have your single player game have an online component, even if it exists under the hood out of sight of your players. This session will cover: Telemetry to learn what users like Severside game data User relationships An example of integration flow
Building a light sphere for production and research (and one that people can fit inside)
Speakers: Eric Patterson, Jessica Baron, Xiang Li
We built a custom, giant sphere of lights and cameras! It allows us to control the direction and pattern of light illuminating objects and take photos from multiple angles for several applications. We present this new full-sphere system, continuing work presented at ECGC 2018 on a joint effort with Ubisoft Red Storm for their photogrammetry and material-acquisition efforts for game development. The project involves building hardware and software over the course of years. We discuss design and use, involving controls, hundreds of RGBW lights, cameras, raw HDR imaging, polarizing filters, arrangement of components, blood, sweat, tears, etc. We cover examples of use for graphics production and research: (1) human-facial capture (involving geometry and texture-map acquisition), (2) material capture (gathering detailed scattering models used for rendering a variety of surface materials), and (3) prop and maquette photogrammetry (quickly acquiring assets for real-time applications).
Lessons learned in VR training partnerships East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and ETSU
Speakers: Megan Smith, Todd Emma, Stephen Overton, Grayson Wiles
The Digital Media department has partnered with the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital to create multiple training scenarios from Crash Cart simulations to cutting-edge VR de-escalation training for the staff at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Working with Hospitals and remote partners creates unique challenges, in this discussion we talk about working with non-gamers as stakeholders and the pipeline for asset creation and deployment. As well as share some video from our current VR de-escalation training simulation.
Building a Secure New World: History, Risks, and Rewards of The Metaverse and Related AI Tools
Speakers: Sarah Glova, Phaedra Boinodiris, Kenneth Hubbell, Tony O’Driscoll
As the metaverse moves from science-fiction to reality, the gaming industry isn’t the only industry paying attention. Everyone from JP Morgan to Hermes is staking out valuable property in this new frontier, for enterprises and consumers alike. As a cutting-edge expansion of the digital world, the metaverse leads us to questions about its potential impact on individuals and businesses—both positive and negative. From expert virtual agents to toxic language classifiers, this panel will riff on the possibilities of how responsibly curated AI and big data can help game publishers craft systemic, enterprise-scale approaches to sustain participation and experience satisfaction. Our panelists will also dive into the evolution of the metaverse from a video game world to a world of tremendous business potential across industries.
Realizing in VR
Speaker: Andrew Shaver
The job of a realization director isn’t well known across the industry. It was new to me when I took it on! A year into the job I now understand the overlap of theatrical mise-en-scene and the staging of video game cinematics in Virtual Reality. I’d like to talk about the specific challenges shooting in VR pose, notably honouring player autonomy while working within the systemic limitations of the game engine, and how my experience as a theatre director has helped us overcome a number of them.
Thinking Outside the “Box” for Games
Speaker: Jacy Richardson
Gaming goes beyond sitting on a couch and looking at a screen. This talk will cover how to approach creating content to build a fully immersive experience in a physical space. We are now seeing AR/VR/XR and interactives being implemented more and more in places such as museums, clothing stores, and events. So how do we create content outside of the VR headset or the tablet or even a 4k screen? When creating content for immersive or interactive gaming experiences, you have to think about the lead up, the main attraction, and the takeaways. We will cover topics such as taking physical and virtual scale into consideration, handling multiple players at once, and different technology available for immersive experiences.
Game Education and Research Showcase, Part 1: Graduate
Speakers: Augustus Wendell, Justin Johnson, Brandon Crews, Amber Johnson
Part 1: Graduate – This session highlights graduate student research projects that use games or game technology as a critical part of their inquiry. Each presenter will discuss their project for around 10 minutes each. Students from North Carolina State University and Duke University will discuss research on topics such as: Ecosystem transformation from climate change, Vaikunth Raghavan, Master of Art + Design NCSU Climate change issues related to food, agriculture, and land use, Erin Willett, Master of Art + Design NCSU Prevention of falling into conspiracy theories, Lydia Granholm, Master of Art + Design NCSU A Virtual Museum of Architecture, Xinyue Qian, MA Computational Media Duke Reflective – a computational art installation on self-identity reflection, Sherly Fan, MFA Experimental/Documentary Arts Duke
Game Education and Research Showcase, Part 2: Undergraduate
Speakers: Augustus Wendell, Justin Johnson, Brandon Crews, Amber Johnson
Part 2: Undergraduate – This session highlights undergraduate student projects that use games or game technology. These projects cover a wide range of topics from research to practical simulations. Each presenter will discuss their projects for around 10 minutes each. Students from Duke University, Wake Tech Community College, and William Peace University will discuss topics such as: Colonial Landscape AR in the Sarah Duke Gardens, Jeffery Hwang, Duke Title TBD, Noelle Garrick, Duke Applying game design and interaction to an educational subject, Nathan Lembo, WPU Genetics simulation, Aleece Harmon, WPU Culinary training simulation, Chapin Reil and Anthony Parisi, Wake Tech.
A Beginners Guide to Photogrammetry and Cross Polarization
Speaker: Amber Johnson
Where do you go after you master the basics of a photogrammetry shoot? Cross polarizing your lighting will allow you to capture cleaner, more accurate photos of your subjects. This talk is meant for people who have been interested in this area but didn’t know where to start.
Why You Need To Understand the Business Side Of Video Games
Speaker: Jay Powell
Very few people get into the game industry because they simply love business and video games. I just happened to be one of those people. Whether you are a coder, artist, designer, community manager or anything else, you need to understand the basics of business in our industry if you want to be successful. This session will cover why all this is important but then we will dive into the details of marketing, prospecting, writing proposals, contract negotiation, project management, getting paid, and securing endorsements. We’ll cover a lot and you’ll come away feeling much more confident about moving ahead in the game industry.
Elements of Style: Deconstructing and Understanding Art Styles in Games
Speaker: Gregory Grimsby
As rendering technologies advance, art styles are virtually limitless. Visual design in digital games is limited more by team size and production than technology. Visual design in board games has grown and matured rapidly as well, as professional illustrators and graphic designers gravitate to the space as freelancers or on small teams. With so much visual design space, what drives art styles in games? This presentation explores the key factors that drive art style, such as audience and market differentiation. Each of the art elements are explored as we build an understanding of effective visual design. We’ll discuss the contrasty, limited colors of Inscryption. We’ll look at the clean, reducted aesthetic of smaller indie games like, Good Job, Monument Valley, and Mini-Motorways. Some top board games will also be analyzed as great examples of graphic design and art style supporting the mood and tone of a game while inspiring and attracting an audience.
Telling Hard Stories in the Age of Sensationalism: Cross-Sector Collaboration is Key to Storytelling
Speaker: Iris Cole
Learn how Do Good Artist collaborated with survivors of human trafficking, experts in trafficking intervention and prevention, artists, and others to craft Unseen, a virtual reality experience designed to raise awareness of and move the needle on human trafficking. Like many complex issues, human trafficking is often sensationalized in media, which can do more harm than good. Learn how to identify sensationalized content, and how cross-sector collaboration can help ensure that stories are told accurately without unintentionally harming those you are trying to help.
Emotional Learning: Developing a Peer Support Training Program using 2D, 3D and headset VR
Speaker: Maripat Metcalf
I’ll review lessons learned and key points for using simulation style serious game to help teach peer support skills and deal with emotional situations. We’ve created a simulation for medical students (who have been particularly challenged in the past 2 year), to help them deal with common challenges, and are testing 2D and 3D versions. The LIFT simulation lets users make various choices and receive feedback during a typical day as a medical student. Players interact with peers, staff, and patients who may need some support or offer verbal challenges. We prototyped using Adobe XD, and are now working in Unreal to create a more interactive version. I’ll review early user feedback on the pros/cons of the visuals, story line, and interactive features, esp with respect to “emotional intelligence” topics. Attendees using simulations and serious games for training or education will benefit from hearing about our mistakes and our successes.
Level Up Your Art Skills by Leveraging Your Limitations
Speaker: Jesse Henning
Limitations are and always will be a part of life as an artist, no matter how developed your skills may be. If we learn to embrace our limitations in the way we practice our craft, we can actually find more freedom to create. Through this practice we can achieve a greater ability to focus on direction, work faster, work more efficiently and actually increase our value to the companies that hire us. Having every tool available at your disposal and being given the freedom to make whatever you want sounds appealing, but it can often be crippling, leaving you with too many options to choose from. Limitations can help free you, by narrowing those options in order to move forward in creating the art you enjoy, to explore new areas of your craft and grow in skills that you might not normally focus on without having certain crutches removed. In this talk I will demonstrate how I have practiced and had to navigate limitations in both professional and personal projects.
From Idea to Prototype: A Student Journey
Speakers: Travis Brown, Matt Merino
We will be going through the production of our student lead group project “Remembering Hue”. Two of the team members will discuss the process of designing and producing a video game prototype over the course of two semesters from the perspective of a student. Remembering Hue was entirely brainstormed, designed, and created by a small group of students using Unreal Engine. Join us to discuss different aspects of production including programming, modeling, and several areas of design, all from the perspective of a student.
Making the Most of Mobile: How to Tell Diverse Stories on Tiny Screens
Speaker: Franci Dimitrovska
Mobile gaming is a tricky balancing game when it comes to designing content: players enjoy mobile games in bite-sized chunks or as second-screen experiences, teams are smaller, and market competition is fierce for limited attention. While short-form mobile game content doesn’t seem like an obvious platform for diverse stories, we can explore strategies that narrow down and identify the scope of narrative appropriate for a game that authentically connects with players. As a narrative designer on 3 mobile games varying in narrative intensity, I’ll go through my learnings, missteps, and redevelopment. We’ll explore lots of different mobile games that succeeded – and failed! – at using their limited resources to empower gamers from all backgrounds through small steps. From Marvel’s long-running match-three puzzler to Candy Crush to Episodes, we’ll break down what efforts feel genuine, impactful, and contribute to a wider, more inclusive world of gaming.
Keep it classy?!? or madd skillz?!? – Teaching ttRPG Development
Speaker: Stefan Hall
The impact of tabletop role-playing games (ttRPGs) on video game design is one of the fundamental paradigms that cuts across a wide range of genres. Yet, despite the recent resurgence of ttRPGs – particularly through Dungeons & Dragons 5e – many video game players as well as designers are unfamiliar with these systems and their dynamics. So, how do you teach game design students how to conceive of ttRPG systems when a lot of the computational components are typically handled under the hood (through software) from video game players? And how do issues ranging from genre to narrative design to cooperative play in a real-time environment where time is still fundamentally segmented, rewound, or sped up all contribute to crafting a compelling, cohesive, and (hopefully) somewhat innovative ttRPG? This talk will address these points and more all with an eye toward designing for fun.
Independent Together: an Exploration of Indie Game Development Communities, Collectives, and Bundles
Speaker: Michael Schmitt
In this talk, we’ll discuss trends in independent game development communities. Through examining a broad swath of coworking collectives, game zines, and even meme bundles, we’ll glean information about what makes for effective and inspiring organizing for game developers and artists. We’ll begin with a few case studies of indie game development collectives (you might call them “scenes”). These location-based communities function with a multitude of different purposes, including creative support, resource-sharing, and community education. We’ll also discuss the wild happenings in the world of online organizing through indie game bundles. By pooling efforts together, these bundles can greatly benefit those who make weird alt-games, those on the margins, or people who are just beginning to get their creative footing. Finally, we’ll talk about the goals of the Triangle Interactive Arts Collective, which is always looking for more like-minded friends, artists, and weirdos in the area.
Building a Transmedia Brand from Interactive Experiences
Speaker: Justin Achilli
Many of today’s most popular worlds originate with traditional “one-way” media such as movies, TV shows, books, or comics. Building a story-first transmedia brand requires a different approach when its primary identity is in games where the players’ stories take precedence over a traditional narrative. This talk demonstrates how such a brand can be built and thrive over time, and even grow to incorporate traditional media formats rather than be constrained by them.
Stop Whining and Get A Job: How to Land Your First Job in the Game Dev Industry
Speaker: Brad Swearingen
You’ve spent countless hours learning software and researching industry techniques. You’ve earned your skillset. Done your time. Now you need to find the job that will firmly plant you in the game industry. Where do you start and what does it take to get noticed?
Rapid Iterations or Quick to Market? Can we have the cake and eat it too?
Speaker: Mauricio Hollando
How can we build prototypes were ideas can be rapidly iterated and easily taken to market once they have been validated? This is a common problem I’ve come across multiple times and recently encountered again during my experience refactoring the codebase of our latest game, Adventure Chef. In this talk, I’ll be sharing some of the challenges we encountered while refactoring our project to get it ready for a worldwide launch and I will explain some of the strategies we chose for tackling big refactors such as introducing downloadable content, migrating parameters from prefabs to server stored data files, migrating persistent data from device to server and dealing with cross version migrations; all this while building tooling for designers and artists to keep their workflows undisrupted. Finally, I will share some thoughts on how we can better prepare our pipeline to handle both quick prototyping as well as getting ready for production.
Preparing a Kickstarter Campaign for your Indie Game
Speaker: Joseph Mora
I will be presenting about how one can prepare a Kickstarter campaign for their indie game. Chiaroscuro is the first large-scale product I’ve developed, which made pursuing this campaign as a full-time college student an extraordinary learning experience in production and marketing. In the talk, I’ll go over my experience building an audience, determining a funding goal, preparing backer rewards, revising my Kickstarter presentation, and responding to feedback. In addition, I’d like to offer a few elements to consider before the launch of one’s Kickstarter and discuss a few strategies I applied to maintain retention throughout the campaign’s duration. For more information on Chiaroscuro, visit the game’s website here: https://www.blackberry-studio.com/chiaroscuro.