Join us for our first event in over half a year on Wednesday, December 17th from 6:00 - 9:00 PM at DeJohn's Restaurant & Pub on Lark Street in Albany! We will be meeting for socializing and discussion (which begins at 6:30) on several topics including:
See you at the meeting!
Speaker: Casey O'Donnell, PhD Candidate, RPI
Topic: Game Development & Quality of Life in India
Location: Brown's Brewing Co., 417 River Street, Troy, NY
Date: Wednesday, August 1, 6:30-9 PM
The rise of India, China, and South Korea as viable locations for game
production, and the increased use of offshore and inshore outsourcing
could have developers feeling like their worlds are eroding. But does
the process of globalization necessarily mean the descent of game
development in the US?
This talk will look specifically at game development studios in India
compared to those in the US. What kinds of studios are there? What is
the state of game development? How are they alike or different? What
is the state of relations between them? What do both have to learn
from the other? More broadly, what can this teach about the game
industry? And, finally, what does globalization mean for QoL here at
"Learning to play Cricket with some of the guys from RedOctane. With a
tennis ball I'm an asset. With that crazy heavy leather covered thing,
I'm a liability."
Casey O'Donnell is a PhD. Candidate in the Department of Science and
Technology Studies (STS) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His work
examines the diverse forces and activities - laws, technologies,
collaboration, and workplace cultures, for example - that shape video
game development, and make it tenable in today's globalized economy.
His broader research questions, "What can the everyday worlds of video
game developers teach us about the "new" economy?" and "How do these
worlds differ across national and cultural boundaries?" links the game
industry to global processes.
Portions of his research have been supported by an NSF Grant (Award #0620903).
Speaker: Colin Wilkinson, Senior Designer, 1st Playable Productions
Topic: Puzzle Quest: Co-development for the Handheld Market
Location: Brown's Brewing Company, 417 River Street, Troy, NY
Date: Tuesday, May 22, 6-9 PM
Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords created quite a splash when it came out in March. The game is a fusion between the addictive game play of Bejewelled and RPG mechanics with experience gain, loot, magic and tons of monsters to slay. In short order it had received critical acclaim, two comics about it featured in Penny-Arcade, and became a top seller on Amazon.
Three versions of the game were developed. A PC Demo which was released in February and then a PSP and DS version. The DS version was a collaborative effort between several companies D3 Publisher, Infinite Interactive, Vicious Cycle, Engine Software, and Troy's own, 1st Playable Productions.
Colin Wilkinson, Senior Designer at 1st Playable was the producer for the game and worked with Infinite and D3P to bring the design to the DS system. Join us next week when he will give a talk going into the details of that process.
During the past eight years Colin Wilkinson has shipped more than 16 titles for handheld, PC, mobile, and web platforms in genres ranging from classic platformers to children's titles to action adventure. Most recently he has focused on the Nintendo DS, where the touch screen and other features offer exciting new design opportunities and challenges. Most recently he led the development of the cross-genre hit Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords for the Nintendo DS. Puzzle Quest combines casual puzzle play with an epic RPG saga, and illustrates how handheld games are reaching new audiences while also appealing to the more classic audience.
Join us this month will be the first ever Albany IGDA Board Games Night! Bring your favorite board games, card games and handheld games. Have some coffee, dessert or Peruvian food at the newly opened Troy Hotspot. This will be a casual event and will run from 6 to 10 so drop in any time during the evening.
Event: First Ever Board Games Night!
Location: The Troy Hot Spot, 122 4th Street, Troy, NY
Date: February 26th, 6-10 PM
We are in the process of setting up the next meeting for sometime in mid-to-late February. As soon as the details are set we will have the information here. Thank you for patiently waiting!
Speaker: Leo Zuniga - Designer, Vicarious Visions
Topic: Tiny Tony: Delivering Console-Quality Gameplay on a Handheld Platform
Location: Brown's Brewing Company, 417 River Street, Troy, NY
Date: Wednesday, September 20th, 6-9 PM (Presentation 6:30-7:30)
Ever wonder how Vicarious Visions manages to cram all that delicious Tony Hawk gameplay into a convenient travel size package? Designer Leo Zuniga has the answers. Join us as he explains the process behind adapting a sucessful console design to a handheld platform.
If you want to enjoy a tasty meal or frosty beverage at the meeting, we've got the hook-up. Make sure you bring cash, though, and pay one of the coordinators before you go. Otherwise, we will be sad (and broke!) pandas. Don't forget to include 24% for tax and tip.
Read below for further details on Leo's talk and his bio:Tiny Tony: Delivering Console-Quality Gameplay on a Handheld Platform
Presented by Leo Zuniga
How did Vicarious Visions manage to bring the fun and challenge of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater franchise to Nintendo’s GBA - and then do it all over again with the Nintendo DS? VV’s time with Tony Hawk has been a positive experience resulting in many great titles. Having played a key role in developing the franchise at VV, I’d like to share some of that adventure with you.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2, the franchise debut on the GBA, was met with great reviews and awards for technical achievement. Tony 2 was a big game to fit on the GBA. It took a lot of tricks coming from all three disciplines in order to keep true to the Neversoft formula.
Last fall, Tony Hawk’s American Sk8land DS met with similar praise and recognition. The DS is a different monster. It is more powerful, but the Tony Hawk series (now on its 8th iteration!) has done nothing but balloon over the years. As a result, there was still a lot of cramming and careful feature evaluation on our part. We spent a lot of time deciding which features would fit best in a “pick up and play” handheld game as well as considering which features were most important to new and old Tony fans. On top of that, we found ways to incorporate the touch screen and pioneer online play on the DS.
Leo Zuniga, Game Designer, Vicarious Visions.
I started as a lowly tester for Activision QA for a little known title called Tony Hawk Pro Skater (1999). I was able to help VV during the
development of Tony Hawk 2 GBA and joined the company later in 2002. My latest project is Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam for the Nintendo DS.
Tester - Tony Hawk 1, 2 PSX
Production Tester - Tony Hawk 2, 3 GBA
Level Designer - Tony Hawk 4 GBA/PSX
Designer - THUG GBA, THUG 2 GBA, THAS DS, THDJ DS
Host: Katherine Isbister, RPI Professor & Game Research Lab Director
Event: Book Release Party for Better Game Characters by Design: A Psychological Approach
Location: Market Block Books, 290 River Street, Troy, NY
Date: Thursday, July 6th 2006, 4:30-6 PM
Katherine Isbister sent out this invitation to the book release party for her newly published book on character design. Katherine presented her research at the August 2005 meeting of the Albany IGDA. Here's an article about the release of her book on RPI's website.
Here's the official invite from Katherine:
Speaker: Erin Hoffman (aka "ea_spouse")
Topic: Quality of Life Discussion
Location: DeJohns Restaurant & Pub, 288 Lark Street, Albany, NY 12210
Date: Tuesday, June 20th 2006, 6:30-8 PM
Join us at the June 2006 meeting for an informal chat lead by Erin Hoffman to discuss quality of life issues in the games industry, the process by which they became hot button topics in recent years, and steps that can be taken in the future by employees and employers alike to ensure a development environment most conducive to producing great games. We'll also discuss the IGDA's efforts to document and improve quality of life practices in the industry, and how Gamewatch will work in parallel to sustain quality of life as a focus issue for continuing development.
Darren Communication Center, RPI, Troy, NY
Friday, March 28th, 2006, 5 PM - 9:00 PM
Java++ Cafe, 15th and College Ave, Troy, NY
Friday, March 28th, 2006, 9:15 PM - 10:15 PM
RPI Biotech Center, RPI, Troy, NY
Saturday, March 28th, 2006, 9:45 AM - 2:30 PM
RPI 3rd Annual Game Festival & Symposium
Please join the Albany IGDA and RPI Game Development Club this Friday at the 3rd Annual Game Festival & Symposium. The festival will take place on Friday from 5-9 PM in the Darren Communication Center on the RPI Campus in Troy, NY. There will be 20 student projects on display and tables for local game studios, the Albany IGDA and RPI Game Development Club.
Following the Game Festival there will be an informal gathering at the nearby Java++ café on the corner of 15th and College Ave. This meeting will be an opportunity for Game Festival attendees and members of the Albany IGDA and RPI Game Development club to socialise. We will also be having a raffle (free for IGDA members, $1 tickets for non-members), an update from Bret Dunham (designer from Vicarious Visions) on the Albany IGDA chapter mod project HolyStrike, and brief informational talk on the Albany IGDA and RPI
Game Development Club.