[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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Lesson Night: Intermediate Programming (Part 2) (Oct 18th, 6:30PM)

Presenter: Taro Omiya

Here’s the lesson night description:Come over for a lesson night on programming, using C#! Renowned game jammer Taro Omiya will provide an introduction to object-oriented programming, a modern and innovative way of organizing your own code to create a flexible and powerful framework for your own games. Since this is a very dense topic, the lesson will be split into 2 parts, with the second portion detailing features introduced when upgrading from structs to classes. The covered topics includes inheritance, polymorphism, and pointers.

Requirements:

Participants are expected to have reviewed the programming basics lesson, available under our Learn page with slides from part 1 and part 2, and last month’s intermediate programming lesson, part 1. Requirements: It’s highly recommended for one to bring in their own computer with Unity installed so they can test and experiment with example code provided by the talk.

Programming Basics, Part 1:

http://www.techvalleygamespace.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Programming-Basics-Part-1.pdf

Programming Basics, Part 2:

http://www.techvalleygamespace.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Programming-Basics-Part-2.pdf

Intermediate Programming, Part 1:

http://www.techvalleygamespace.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Intermediate-Programming-Part-1.pdf

 

RSVP at the links below!

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[IGDA Albany] Who is WB Games New York (October 4, 7:00 PM)

IGDA Albany has a professional talk every 1st Wednesday of the month. This month’s IGDA Albany speaker is Steven Flenory, and his talk will describe what his tools-developing subsidiary does, and how it improves their publisher’s development process.

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

WB Games New York is the online services development team for all of WB Games. The team within WB Games has a long history of building game services that increase engagement, and extend the life of games years after their initial release. This talk will provide an overview of the type of software that is built at WB Games New York, and the role that the team will be playing in making our games more digitally powered.

About the Speaker

Steven Flenory is the Studio Head of WB Games New York. He has led technology teams for over 16 years, and has launched online game services for many AAA video game publishers, including names such as WB Games, 2K Games, Activision, Namco-Bandai, and Bethesda Softworks.

Please RSVP using the links below:

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Lesson Night: Intermediate Programming (Part 1) (Sept 20th, 6:30PM)

Presenter: Taro Omiya

Come over for a lesson night on programming, using C#! Renowned game jammer Taro Omiya will provide an introduction to object-oriented programming, a modern and innovative way of organizing your own code to create a flexible and powerful framework for your own games. Since this is a very dense topic, the lesson will be split into 2 parts, with the first portion introducing structs, classes, objects, and inheritance.

Requirements:
Participants are expected to have reviewed the programming basics lesson, available under our Learn page with slides from part 1 and part 2 (links below). Furthermore, it’s highly recommended for one to bring in their own computer with Unity installed so they can test and experiment with example code provided by the talk.

Part 1: http://www.techvalleygamespace.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Programming-Basics-Part-1.pdf
Part 2: http://www.techvalleygamespace.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Programming-Basics-Part-2.pdf(edited)

 

RSVP at the links below!

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[IGDA Albany] Games Criticism for Everyone (August 2nd, 7:00 PM)

IGDA Albany has a professional talk every 1st Wednesday of the month. This month’s IGDA Albany speaker is Stephanie Jennings, and her talk will be about game criticism.

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

What is games criticism? What does it do and what is it for? This talk will explore the purposes of games criticism and its importance for the design, reception, appreciation, and study of video games. For developers, games criticism can illuminate the complexities of (often unexpected) player experiences and of how players make sense of video game designs. Further, the talk will examine different approaches to games criticism—in particular, popular and academic—to ultimately argue that games criticism must be open and available to all.

About the Speaker

Stephanie Jennings is a PhD candidate in the Department of Communication and Media at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her research focuses on feminist theory, play, horror films and video games, and histories of witch trials. She also occasionally dabbles in pedagogical theory and games-based learning.

Please RSVP using the links below:

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[IGDA Albany] Engaging Online Communities (July 5th, 7:00 PM)

IGDA Albany has a professional talk every 1st Wednesday of the month. This month’s IGDA Albany speaker is Tyler Nielson, and his talk will be about managing online communities.

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

Having founded an unofficial community for Final Fantasy XIV over 7 years ago, it has become the cornerstone online community for the game and has seen over 120,000 unique visitors a day. In this presentation Tyler will discuss what it’s like to manage such a community, his role and how he acts as an intermediary between the players and the game dev team.

About the Speaker

Tyler Nielson is the founder of a cornerstone online community for a popular MMORPG, with over 7 years experience of managing this fan-centric community of 140,000 strong. He is a hobbyist MUD developer for well over a decade now and works in the professional field as a Security Analyst for healthcare in Saratoga Springs. Tyler has been working in the professional tech field for 12 years between web development, system administration and cyber security.

Please RSVP using the links below:

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