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Support tax credits for game development in New York!

Posted By Jess Haskins, Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Digital Gaming Media Production Credit bill (A.10083/S.7485) provides tax credits for both game development and music production (Empire State Music Production Credit ) in New York State.
 
Read the full text of the bill, including sponsor memo, here.
 
In July, we joined State Senator Martin Golden and State Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, the NYU Game Center, and numerous representatives from New York's game development and music industries on the steps of City Hall in support of the Empire State Digital Gaming Media Production Credit bill (A.10083/S.7485). In September, we joined Senator Golden, Assemblyman Lentol, and a panel of New York's top game developers, academics, and industry leaders to discuss the bill and the future of New York's game development industry at a roundtable on Digital Games and Public Policy at the NYU Game Center.
 
The bill, which provides tax credits for both game development and music production in New York State, recently passed both houses with nearly unanimous support and needs only Governor Cuomo's signature to become law.
 
The need for a functioning incentive program can be seen in that New York currently only generates a tiny fraction, estimated at less than four percent, of the $17 billion U.S., and less than two percent of the $55 billion global, music production industry.  Unfortunately, in digital gaming New York currently fares even worse, with only one percent of the U.S. $25 billion industry, and an insignificant blip of the $70 billion worldwide gaming industry.
 
What is truly disconcerting about these numbers is that New York is undoubtedly the home of the most creative individuals in the music industry, and graduates the finest game developers anywhere. We need robust and accessible programs to encourage these creative geniuses to work and perform in the state, for industries that have a potential for exponential growth both in down- and upstate.
 
Similar to incentives already in place for the film and television industries, the proposed credit would offset 25% of expenses for digital game production incurred in the state, including property used and wages or salaries paid to developers.
 
What would this tax credit mean for you or your company? How would it enable you to expand or bring new jobs or business to New York?
 
To share your perspective, drop us a note at nyc@igda.org. Let us know if it's ok to quote your comments or if you would be willing to lend your support publicly through letters or media appearances.

 

Voice your support

Your voice is needed! In order to encourage the governor to sign, it's important to demonstrate that the New York game industry is behind this bill. Add your voice to the community of New York State game developers and urge Governor Cuomo to sign bill A.10083/S.7485 {Lentol}/{Golden} to encourage game production and job growth in New York.
 
Send your letters by mail to:
 
Alphonso David
Counselor to the Governor
Executive Chamber
New York State Capitol
Albany, New York 12224
 
And/or by email to:
 
legislative.secretary@exec.ny.gov
 

You can view a sample letter by the NYU Game Center here: Join us in Supporting a Tax Credit to Develop Games in New York State.


Please also show your support by adding your name to the petition below on Change.org!

 

Sign petition: Governor Cuomo: Sign the Empire State Digital Gaming Media Production Credit Bill

 

 

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Celebrating NY Game Dev with #NYMakesGames

Posted By IGDA NYC, Tuesday, May 24, 2016

In our May newsletter, we introduced a new section entitled "NY Makes Games." Here's the deal on what it's for and how you can submit your news to share.


We want to highlight and celebrate great work by local game creators, and let the world know that NY Makes Games. We'll spread the good news about your game's public release, award win, crowdfunding or Greenlight campaign, early access launch, or recruitment drive for playtesters or alpha/beta testers. (If you're hiring or looking for collaborators, that's perfect for our opportunities section.)


The news should involve a major event where people can go get your game or take some concrete action to support you. We want to keep this section as awesome as possible, so at the moment we aren't planning to list things like studio formation, publisher signing, funding milestones, exhibitions/appearances, or development updates. (We're still happy for you, though—and feel free to share this news in our groups and communities!)


To list an item in this section, just fill out the form below!


Our newsletters go out on or close to the 1st of each month, so please let us know at least a week beforehand to make sure your news makes it in.


You don't have to submit your own projects—if you know of any New York-developed game you think should be in the list, please share.


Here's to great games made in New York!

PS: We also encourage developers to consider including a mention in the credits that the game was developed in New York. If you'd be interested in helping to coordinate or participating in a common crediting initiative to raise the profile of our local industry, we'd love to hear your thoughts.

PPS: Let's show the #NYMakesGames tag some love. :)




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The Case for an Empire State of Play

Posted By Collin Cummings, Thursday, April 28, 2016

This guest post by Collin Cummings, co-founder and CEO of PlayWell, originally appeared on the PlayWell blog. Republished by kind permission of the author.

 

This one is personal for me. New York is a tough town that rewards grit, creativity and experimentation. It’s perfect for games. Yet, here’s what I often hear on building the game industry in NYC:


“New York is expensive.”

“Game development is hard.”

“It’s a luck based business.”

“You have to be rich to be a game developer in New York City.”


When did we get so defeated?

 

World changing growth is a matter of mentality. The most exciting changes happen not when we run clear of any obstacles, but when we’re guided by people who eagerly take them head on. New York City is bold, brave and eager. I can’t think of any place more perfect for the next generation of play.

Sadly, we’ve become incredibly good at making excuses for the difficulty of making it in games. Trust me, I understand. Failure is bitter when it ushers in financial struggle. Making games is complicated. Developers often work on projects that cost years of their lives and launch to little fanfare (more on the importance of idea validationtesting, and collaboration as means to avoid these issues for our pleasure).

So why do startups thrive here? What about the struggling stage actress? It’s not easy, but nothing worth it’s success ever is. Games are not uniquely risky in comparison. There are scores of people who have come to this city to make it with no guarantee of money or success. They have the same cost of living, same rigorous schedules, and arguably greater competition to deal with.

The only true difference is that we’ve built a thriving infrastructure on supporting startups, tech, art, creativity in NYC and have comparatively very little for games. Well, even that is changing.

 

Is New York too expensive for game developers?

 

Yes, it is, but so is San Francisco and there are plenty of game developers there. Everyone is pulling day jobs, pinching pennies and building minimum viable products until they make it work. I’ve seen incredible things get made by people who live here and don’t really have an income. If you want it bad enough, you get clever.

 

Is game development hard?

 

Sure, but that can’t be the end of the story. Why are we giving up so easily? There are ways to make it easier. Whenever I’m faced with this concern, I say “Do we have the process all figured out? Is it as good as it will ever be?” Nobody has ever said yes to those questions. Imagine how an investor would feel if someone said “ugh, it’s just really harrrrrd”.

 

Is it a luck-based business?

 

This one boils my blood a bit. Sure, luck is involved. Why is that the end of the conversation? What do you do with that luck or the lack thereof?

When I did the 30 Weeks incubator last year I watched as four people in our group pursued hardware projects with very little real experience. A couple of them are still growing. One of them had insane potential (and interest from powerful people) but he let it go. I wish I could convey to all the down and out developers just how hard it is to make functional, fundable, and successful hardware.

Don’t ever let luck be a deciding factor in doing what you truly love.

 

So, then why New York?

 

Click this link, press play and read on.

 

Attitude means everything and New York has the right one.

 

New Yorkers are tenacious. We get things done and don’t make excuses. Give us an impossible wall to climb and we’ll jump over or break it. Don’t ask us to wait for permission, we’ll make it happen.

 

New York is packed with creativity.


You can’t yawn and stretch your arms without being within reach of thousands of incredibly successful and willing citizens. Ask me to choose whether I’ll work on a game by myself in a quiet town, or in the presence of the most concentrated creative population in the world, I know where I’ll go. Ideas don’t make products thrive, people do.

 

New York loves to collaborate.


Stick around a little while and you’ll have a hard time not finding dozens of opportunities to meet like-minded people who will go in the trenches with you. Most of us came here for that purpose. We’re here to find each other and make things. That’s why we take on the financial risk of the city. I’d rather spend the money to live here and tap the human capital then pay the opportunity cost of living without it.

 

Inspiration is free flowing and in high supply.


There’s no greater natural drug then the constant source of ideas you have access to here. Every minute gives birth to new brilliance. The atmosphere is thick with expression and life. Creativity bursts out of the chains of hesitation and fear.

 

New Yorkers love dreamers.


We elevate ideas and hard work together. We strive to see that everyone gets a chance. We know it’s not perfect but we’ll be sure we get there. People come and never leave. There’s too much to miss out on. Our table is big and we want everyone to come have a seat. If you sit with us, bring your ambitions.

 

New Yorkers are scrappy.


So are the best game makers. It’s a perfect partnership. Simply put, if you want the secrets to success against all odds, try New York. You’ll make more happen with less than you ever have.

 

The foundations are being laid.


We are making it happen. We’ve will not settle until everyone knows about the Empire State of Play. Every day, new opportunities rise for game makers. If you can’t find them, you’re not looking hard enough.

It turns out what they say is true. If you can make it here you can make it anywhere. Mark my words, this is where it’s going to happen. You can either be a part of it or watch it happen.

Cue Jay-Z and Alicia Keys mic drop.

 

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Introducing our Coffee & Ice Cream Socials

Posted By IGDA NYC, Thursday, March 24, 2016

There are plenty of game industry networking events, bar mixers, and drink nights out there, but we wanted to do something a little different—so instead, we're introducing our new monthly series of Coffee and Ice Cream Socials.

Held at an ice cream parlor rather than a bar, our socials are alcohol-free, family-friendly, and open to all ages.

Every month, we meet at Ample Hills Creamery in Gowanus, Brooklyn to share coffee, ice cream, and good times. Ample Hills offers a roomy upstairs space and a great menu of whimsical, handcrafted flavors. (We regretfully note that the event space is up a flight of stairs and unfortunately not accessible to all. If this would prevent you from attending, please contact us at nyc@igda.org and share your feedback to help us select alternate venues!)

Our next event is happening on April 21. Details and registration on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/igda-nyc-april-coffee-ice-cream-social-tickets-24038354365

Make sure you don't miss an event! Join us on Facebook or Meetup for event invites, or sign up for our monthly newsletter

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IGDA NYC Winter Town Hall on January 20

Posted By IGDA NYC, Thursday, January 14, 2016

In 2015, we ran several great roundtables about different aspects of game development, and we ran our first Career Fair. We're even more excited for all of our 2016 events!

It's been six months since we rebooted the IGDA NYC chapter, and we'd like to invite you to join us for our second Town Hall as we recap what we've done so far and look forward to the year ahead.

The Town Hall meetings are an opportunity to come together to share ideas and discuss the plans and future direction of the chapter. Have feedback to share, ideas for future events, something you'd like to see the chapter accomplish, or something we can do better? This is your chance to join the discussion and be heard!

Space is limited. Please RSVP on Eventbrite to secure your spot! 

Event link: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/igda-nyc-winter-town-hall-tickets-20472157775

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IGDA Membership Drive! Join by Dec 2 to support the NYC chapter!

Posted By IGDA NYC, Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hi Everyone,


As mentioned during our recent Women in Games roundtable that the call for nominations for the IGDA Board of Directors has begun. This election is for the main board members on a global level. In order to participate you must be a member of the IDGA, which is why we are having a membership drive for the month of November.


Each member that joins before December 2nd with the promotional code: NYC will help our local NYC chapter receive a small amount of the membership dues. This will help us accomplish more in the upcoming year!


Without funds we have managed to host three round table talks, begin fundraising educational supplies for Girls Inc, and host the first of many local Job Fairs! With assistance through this membership drive we will be able to accomplish much more!


So please, if you were thinking of becoming a member, now is the perfect time to help your local chapter. Visit www.igda.org/whyjoin to find out about member benefits, and join either of these membership options:


Individual Core Member – 1 yr.

Individual Core Member – 1 yr. with auto renewal

Individual Core Member – 2 yr.

Individual Core Member – 2 yr. with auto renewal


and use the promo code: NYC


Thanks!

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Come hang out in the IGDA NYC community Slack!

Posted By Jess Haskins, Friday, November 20, 2015

We’re pleased to announce that IGDA NYC now has a Slack for community members to connect! It’s a place to get to know one another, continue discussions from events, show off what you’re working on, get feedback, organize gatherings, and share news and info.


For those who haven’t used Slack before, it’s kind of like IRC for the modern age, a private community backchannel, or group instant messaging without the pressure. (And while that’s not what this one is for, it’s also a really handy communication tool for small production teams – so if you’re looking for an efficient way to keep your distributed indie team in touch, it’s worth a look.)


Ready to check it out? We have to add members individually, so please email  nyc@igda.org with any questions or to request an invitation!


For more about Slack and how it works, check out http://slack.com.


A big thank you to Michael Calvert (@rawrsoft on Twitter) for proposing and organizing the group.

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Women in Games Roundtable Followup

Posted By IGDA NYC, Thursday, November 19, 2015
Thank you to everyone who came to the event last night, and thank you to our moderator Maria and our fantastic panelists!

Here's some quick followup info about our announcements from the event:

* * *

We mentioned our partnership to help raise funds for Girls Inc., which teaches game development to 8-10 year old girls in Schenectady. An entire class of kids had just one computer to share to make their adorable wildlife-snuggling game, Bear Hug. Your donation will help buy equipment and software so these girls can flex their skills and be empowered to make even more awesome games! Pitch in to their GoFundMe campaign here: https://www.gofundme.com/girlsgotgame

* * *

ChickTech is dedicated to retaining women in the technology workforce and increasing the number of women and girls pursuing technology-based careers. They facilitate hands-on technology-centric events to empower, support, and increase the confidence of women and girls. Through their events, they build community, empower participants to see themselves as leaders, and provide networking and mentoring opportunities in the rapidly growing high tech industry.

ChickTech is now planning workshops now for each month starting Jan 2016. They're looking for workshop coordinators, sponsors, and volunteers.


* * *

The Code Liberation Foundation offers free development workshops in order to facilitate the creation of video game titles by women. Check out their lineup of classes and events: http://codeliberation.org/

* * *

Playcrafting offers workshops, classes, courses and events for game developers and those aspiring to make games in topics including game design, programming, art, business, and more. Upcoming events include the November Demo & Play Night on Nov. 30, and an info session for their 8-week game development course on December 2nd. https://www.playcrafting.com/

* * *

The WIGI NYC Food and Toy Drive is happening on Wednesday, December 16, at BUA on St. Mark's Place! Info and RSVP here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1498620053766609/
 
Follow WIGI NYC on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WIGINYC/

* * *

Thanks again to everyone for a wonderful event!

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IGDA NYC + WIGI NYC Women in Games Roundtable on November 18

Posted By IGDA NYC, Monday, November 9, 2015

Event details and registration on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/igda-nyc-wigi-nyc-women-in-games-roundtable-tickets-19476894917 

52% of gamers are women, according to a study by the Internet Advertising Bureau. However, games and the game industry often present an entirely different picture. The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) NYC and Women in Games International (WIGI) NYC are teaming up to present a roundtable discussion about the experience of being a woman in games, both as a player and as a creator.


We’ll discuss topics such as:

-How are women currently treated in the games space, as creators and players?

-How can we make the games space better and more inclusive?

-How can we support women creators, and provide education for new female developers?

-Anything else that comes to mind!


The event will be moderated by Maria Saint Martin, co-founder of the WIGI NYC chapter, and feature a panel of local game developers, educators, advocates, and players.


Afterwards, we’ll open it up to the crowd and the bulk of the evening will be dedicated to a participatory roundtable discussion among peers.


Game creators of all genders and disciplines are welcome! Capacity will be strictly limited, so make sure to reserve your seat on Eventbrite. Have a burning question, a brilliant solution, a sticky situation, or an issue you’ve been wrestling with? Come talk shop with other game devs, share knowledge, and gain insight.

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IGDA NYC Games & Digital Media Career Fair & Mixer on September 17

Posted By IGDA NYC, Monday, August 17, 2015
Details and registration on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/igda-nyc-games-digital-media-career-fair-mixer-tickets-18164521573

*** NOTE: The event is free to attend, but you must register on Eventbrite for admission! ***

NYC has a broad pool of talented individuals looking for work in game development; at the same time, it can still be challenging for teams and companies to locate qualified candidates with the skills they need. 

That’s why IGDA NYC and the NYU Game Center are teaming up to present the Games & Digital Media Career Fair and Mixer, a one-day event bringing together employers and job-seekers in the local game and digital media industries. 

In addition to a tabling area where employers and recruiters can meet candidates, we’ll also be offering a series of one-on-one resume and portfolio reviews and mock interview sessions. Job-seekers will be able to meet with experienced professionals in a variety of disciplines, including art, programming, design, production and QA/entry level, to get expert advice on polishing their application materials and a chance to brush up their interview skills.

Afterward there will be a social mixer portion where participants can mingle and make connections over drinks.

The career fair portion of the event will run from 5-8pm, and the mixer will start at 8 and run until 10pm. When registering, you may select a ticket for the career fair portion only, the mixer only, or both.

PLEASE NOTE: The mixer portion may be held offsite at a location TBD. If you are attending the mixer only, please check back for exact location details when they’re announced!


SEEKING EMPLOYERS & RECRUITERS!

Are you an employer or recruiter in game development or digital media with open positions to fill in NYC? Tables are available! Please get in touch at nyc@igda.com to discuss how you can participate.


SEEKING VOLUNTEERS!

Are you an experienced professional who would like to help others in the community? We’re looking for volunteers to offer one-on-one resume and portfolio reviews and mock interviews to attendees. 

You can sign on to offer feedback and critique in one or more of the following areas: Art, Programming, Design, Production, QA/Entry Level, or General. If you’re interested, please contact us at nyc@igda.com, or register as an IGDA NYC volunteer: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1vuQ0H6c-cFEKHeXFUMdIyFsLfhyXM0qXzvZRuYj-yiA/viewform


ADVANCE PORTFOLIO CRITIQUE

If you would like to get a jump-start on the event, you can submit your application materials (resume, portfolio, business cards, etc.) for review in advance. Just fill out this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1UdQAfH5jJbYNiQnsduvWiFNGz89GickCgUYkILDRgTU/viewform

A volunteer will review your submission and contact you via email with comments and feedback. Arrive prepared!


IGDA NYC CAREER DEVELOPMENT RESOURCES

For resources, tips, and more information, check out the Education and Career Development section on the IGDA NYC forums:https://www.igda.org/forums/Default.aspx?group=121099

Don’t miss the Job Postings board, which is updated frequently with new listings. 

Registered IGDA members can post on our forums as well as view. Looking for work? Put yourself out there and make a post advertising your skills on our Services for Hire board.

If you have an opportunity to share on the board, submit it here!


CONNECT WITH US!


NYU Game Center

For more info about the NYU Game Center, visit:http://gamecenter.nyu.edu/


IGDA NYC

Official site: http://www.igda.org/nyc
Forums: https://www.igda.org/forums/Default.aspx?group=121099
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/971434329585809/
Meetup.com: http://www.meetup.com/igda-nyc/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/IGDANYC
Contact: nyc@igda.org

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