[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:

rsvp-facebook rsvp-meetup

[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

Global Game Jam at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (January 26-29, 2018)

This meetup is merely a reminder. Please RSVP in the Eventbrite link below (admission cost $10):

Albany Global Game Jam 2018

Hosted by Albany International Game Developers Association (Albany IGDA), we’ll be joining the largest game jam in the world, the Global Game Jam!

No experience in making games necessary! This is just a fun challenge for all of us, and often serves as an educational moment to learn how to work with deadlines. We will be going through game idea brainstorming and team building exercises to help you jump start your way to making games!

Join in as you make a game in 48 hours with a team! Meet up with other rapid game developers! Eat a lot of junk food! And most important of all, have fun!

For more details, as well as to RSVP, check out the Eventbrite page below:

eventbrite.com/e/albany-global-game-jam-2018-tickets-41536510822

Read more

[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

[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:

rsvp-facebook rsvp-meetup

[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:

rsvp-facebook rsvp-meetup

[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:

rsvp-facebook rsvp-meetup

[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:

rsvp-meetup

IGDA Albany – Inclusive Game Space (December 7)

As part of the regular schedule, we’ll be re-posting descriptions for the Albany IGDA talks that occur at TVGS on the first Wednesday of every month. This month’s speaker is Amanda Stevens.

What does an Inclusive Game Space look like?

With all the talk of Safe Spaces these days, what does an actual inclusive game space look like? Join Amanda Stevens as she breaks down what a safe space is supposed to be and why inclusivity in game spaces matter.

Read more