[IGDA Albany] So You Want to be an Artist (October 10th, 7:00 PM)

IGDA Albany usually has a professional talk every 1st Wednesday of the month. This month, Penelope Barbalios will present “So You Want to be an Artist.”

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

You’ve always taken a liking to drawing and design, but now it’s something you want to make a living doing? Here’s a brief guide from one artist to another on how to navigate obstacles ranging from setting your Commission Rates, Time Management, Social Media presence, and keeping your daily motivation, so your “job” doesn’t have to feel completely like “work” 🙂

About the Speaker

Penelope is a Freelance Illustrator who grew up in Troy, NY drawing and sketching comic book and anime characters on everything as a kid. She then decided to go to school for Video Game Design in Pittsburgh PA, learned terms like “Understructure” and “Anatomy”, as well as the “business side” of being an Artist. After college and an autoimmune disease diagnosis, she found her place in the world wasn’t necessarily in cubicle, but continuing to draw and design things from home. Now back in Troy NY with her Family, each day she’s working on building a brand name of Art Prints, Stationery, Apparel, and visualizing all the crazy ideas in her head so they can brighten a part of people’s everyday lives.

RSVP at the links below!

[IGDA Albany] The Pragmatism of Inclusivity: Social Justice in the Gaming Industry (September 5th, 7:00 PM)

IGDA Albany usually has a professional talk every 1st Wednesday of the month. This month, Muse en Lystrala will present “The Pragmatism of Inclusivity: Social Justice in the Gaming Industry.”.

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

In this frank and open talk, gamer and musician Muse en Lystrala focuses not on the moral considerations of social justice, but the practicality of its inclusion in the gaming industry. Relaying industry statistics and both personal anecdotes and others’ stories of successes and failures relating to the paradigm of social justice, Muse illustrates how the pragmatism of inclusivity has benefited both individuals and companies – and how it can positively transform and expand the gaming industry.

About the Speaker

Muse en Lystrala is a musician, writer, artist, and humanities scholar. She is the director of classical ensemble Geek Musica – an ensemble specializing in the performance of video game and film music – for which she arranges works and performs on voice, viola, and percussion. Earlier this year, she began composing for video games. She is the progenitor of darkwave/EBM project Sirenne and the lead singer and programmer of symphonic metal band Crown of Melusine. Muse teaches music and acrylic painting, and undertakes regular modeling work for several local art classes. Originally from Providence, Rhode Island, she resides in Albany with three cats, many musical instruments, and far too many tubes of paint.

RSVP at the links below!

[IGDA Albany] Nina Stanley (August 1st, 6:30 PM)

IGDA Albany usually has a professional talk every 1st Wednesday of the month. This month’s IGDA Albany speaker is Nina Stanley, as she discusses her experience in the industry as an artist.

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.

About the Speaker

Nina Stanley started out rather by accident working for a small 8bit Nintendo games developer called Color Dreams, later rechristened Wisdom Tree. After 3 years of doing a variety of 8bit games, half of them religious, she went on to work on games for PC, Sega Genesis, stand up arcade, Nintendo 64, PS 1 and 2, Game Boy, GBA, and DS. After 15 years she transitioned out of games and into teaching, following her passion for providing real and meaningful foundation training in the arts as the basis of all good Visual Communication. She has been teaching on ground and online in a wide variety of concentrations, from Typography, Photoshop, and entry level 3d to storyboarding, character development, UI, basic animation, and of course, drawing and painting, especially the figure with a special interest in anatomy. Currently full time faculty for the Art Institute of Pittsburg Online Division in Game Art and Design and Media Arts and Animation while moonlighting in the Art Foundation department teaching Observational Drawing. She takes on a few passionate and motivated private students for painting and drawing in her studio in Albany.

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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[IGDA Albany] Intersection of Media and Digital Art (May 2nd, 5:30 PM)

IGDA Albany usually has a professional talk every 1st Wednesday of the month. This month’s IGDA Albany meeting is a bit special! We’ll be joining The Upstate Alliance for The Creative Economy (ACE) for their Mixer and talk — “Intersection of Media and Digital Art” delivered by Karen Helmerson of the New York State Council on the Arts. The event will additionally feature freelancer discussions, demonstrations, and tours of the equipment and services offered by the Tech Valley Game Space and Tech Valley Center of Gravity.

The event will start on Wednesday, May 2nd, at 5:30 PM, and will run until 7:30 PM. It is free to attend, but registration is required due to limited space. Please visit the registration page (link below) to ensure a spot:

events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07ef916scn065dd067&llr=9rpfx7yab

About the Speaker

Karen Helmerson is Senior Program Officer for Electronic Media, Film and Visual Arts at the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), funding the arts and culture in New York State. Ms. Helmerson oversees the allocation of 2.8 million dollars to more than 300 non-profit arts and cultural organizations annually. Her responsibilities at NYSCA include the facilitation of seminars and focus groups on new media research and technology advancements, and professional development on sustainability in non-profit management.

[IGDA Albany] Game Design and VR: Designing for a New Medium (April 5th, 7:00 PM)

IGDA Albany usually has a professional talk every 1st Wednesday of the month. This month’s IGDA Albany speaker is Chris Caulfield, and he will provide the talk, “Game Design and VR: Designing for a New Medium.” The presentation will provide a list of unique game design challenges VR brings to the table.

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 this talk, Chris will discuss game design in the exciting medium of VR. The main focus of the talk will be on the unique constraints of designing games for VR compared to designing non-VR games, as well as how to design within these limitations. He will also describe design issues he has noticed in popular VR games and explain why you should avoid them.

About the Speaker

Chris Caulfield is a lifelong gamer with a love of analyzing what makes good games good and is a passionate programmer. He is combining these talents for his first venture into professional game development as a co-founder of Catapult Games, a VR game development company. Chris is the lead designer and game director for Catapult Games’ first title, Don’t Look Down, a VR climbing game inspired by classic platformers like Super Mario Bros.

Please RSVP using the links below:

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[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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[IGDA Albany] December Interactive Showcase (December 6th, 7:00 PM)

IGDA Albany usually has a professional networking meeting every 1st Wednesday of the month. This month, the organization is celebrating the end of the year with an Interactive Showcase, where local developers bring in their game–analog or digital–at any point in development and show it off to other like-minded individuals! Of course, this event is open to all game developers, from hobbyists to professional, from all around the Capital Region of NY. The showcase will begin at 7pm, but feel free to arrive around 6 and stay until 9 if you’d like to mingle before and after.

Please RSVP using the links below:

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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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