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IndieCade expands conference for 2015 - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 17:52:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .disable cursor default opacity 0.5 text-decoration none important .pageTextfont-weightbold .pager margin10px 0 IndieCade expands conference for 2015 August 18 2015 By Christian Nutt August 18 2015 By Christian Nutt Post A Comment More Indie Programming Design BusinessMarketing The organizers of the IndieCade festival have revealed this year39s keynote speakers and conference information the conference will take place October 23-25 in Culver City California. The conference has two announced keynote speeches so far Developer and NYU faculty member Naomi Clark How do you Do It dev Nina Freeman and Stick Shift creator and academic Robert Yang will quotdiscuss intimacy and sexuality in gamesquot while Brenda Laurel and Christy Max will talk about quotgirl gamesquot of the 3980s and 3990s with the help of moderator Rachel Weil. This year IndieCade has been split into three tracks quotThinkquot quotGame-Uquot and quotIndieXchangequot the academic and game design-focused quotThinkquot track will feature names such as Anna Anthropy Pippin Barr Mattie Brice Katherine Cross Nathalie Quagliotto Eddo Stern and Austin Wintory. Meanwhile Game-U will focus on helping newcomers get into independent game development while IndieXchange will focus on topics such as shared game development spaces opportunities for designers and a tabletop design and funding workshop. You can find out more about the conference and purchase tickets to attend at its official site. Related Jobs 08.18.15 Senior Software Engineer Client Gameplay Programmer C 08.18.15 Software Engineer 08.18.15 Technical Artist 08.18.15 Backend Developer View All Jobs Top Stories Next News Story View All 251642 newswire viewnews251642IndieCade_expands_conference_for_2015.php Loading Comments

Video Narrative lessons from Road Not Taken - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 17:20:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .disable cursor default opacity 0.5 text-decoration none important .pageTextfont-weightbold .pager margin10px 0 Video Narrative lessons from Road Not Taken August 18 2015 By Christian Nutt August 18 2015 By Christian Nutt Post A Comment More ConsolePC Indie Design Video Road Not Taken has wowed critics with its storytelling -- despite being a roguelike a genre not primarily known for emphasizing and excelling at narrative. What led to this In the video above taken from last year39s Full Indie summit and just published on YouTube Spry Fox designer and co-founder Daniel Cook delivers a talk about how the game39s storytelling took shape. Last year Cook told Gamasutra that the inspiration for Road Not Taken was quota painful topic so I tend not to talk about itquot and that tone underscores the game and the complex feelings it engenders in players. You can learn more by watching the video. If you want to learn about the nuts and bolts of Road Not Taken39s game design meanwhile you can read Cook39s game design deep dive into the game39s movement system. Related Jobs 08.18.15 Game System Designer 08.18.15 Senior 3D Artist 08.18.15 Technical Artist 08.18.15 Game Balancer x 2 View All Jobs Top Stories Next News Story View All 251639 newswire viewnews251639Video_Narrative_lessons_from_Road_Not_Taken.php Loading Comments

Chris Roberts speaks to the delays in developing Star Citizen - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 16:14:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .disable cursor default opacity 0.5 text-decoration none important .pageTextfont-weightbold .pager margin10px 0 Chris Roberts speaks to the delays in developing Star Citizen August 18 2015 By Alex Wawro August 18 2015 By Alex Wawro 1 comments More ConsolePC Indie Production quotItrsquos the same stories you get on all big projects and distributed projects. You tend to scale up on big projects because yoursquore trying to deliver a lot of stuff. But the bigger you get the less efficient yoursquoll get and the more friction yoursquoll get in terms of trying to get things done.quot - Chris Roberts says the lengthy development of Star Citizen originally slated forrelease in 2014is business as usual. What39s going on with the development ofStar Citizen That39s a question that designer Chris Roberts is having to answer more and more often as delays mount and the game39s developmentcoffersgrow Star Citizen39s recentlysurpassed 87 million in funds raised from a combination of crowdfunding and sales of in-game items. Roberts recently announced that a much-desired FPS module for Star Citizen quotStar Marinequot would be delayed indefinitely in order to overhaul its basic mechanics networking code and more. As part of that announcement he wrote with remarkable candor about how the delayimpacted the release timelineofStar Citzenas a whole which is being developed concurrently as a series of modules that are beingreleased piecemealto supporters ahead of the game39s official debut showcasing what big-budget game development can look like when it39s backed by crowdfunding. Now in a Kotaku feature which incorporates commentary from anonymous ex-employees ofStar Citizendeveloper Cloud Imperium Roberts is once again waving away concerns about his project as the result of what happens when the general public finds itself in the publisher39s seat. quotPeople arenrsquot aware of some of the risks of developing a gamerdquo Roberts told Kotaku.ldquoIt might take longer than you estimated. There might be some aspect of the game that doesnrsquot turn out as fun as you thought. Features might get changed or canceled. Most of those things happen frequently in the game business. A lot of people just arenrsquot aware of it because in the past yoursquove been shielded from the mechanics of how games get made. With crowdfunding theyrsquore getting an on-the-front-lines experience.quot Elsewhere in the report Roberts is asked directly about specific examples of missteps made duringStar Citizen39s development provided by sources close to the project including an ex-employee who claimed that the game39s FPS module was delayed in part because the team had to scrap and re-do- the player skeleton system from scratch -- seven times. quotItrsquos not an arbitrary decision that was made because oh yeah thatrsquod be coolerrdquo Roberts responded. ldquoWe really needed a way for first- and third-person animations to be unified. Plus if you can make that work it means less resources and assets used which is another issue for us since we already have such a big game.rdquo For more of Roberts39 comments and insight into what39s going on behind the scenes at Cloud Imperium including a great anecdote about a quotMenu Helmetquot gone awry check out the full Kotaku article. Related Jobs 08.18.15 Associate Producer 08.18.15 Project ManagerProducer 08.18.15 Product Manager - Games mf 08.18.15 Art Director mf View All Jobs Top Stories Next News Story View All 251631 newswire viewnews251631Chris_Roberts_speaks_to_the_delays_in_developing_Star_Citizen.php Loading Comments

Video Creating hyper-adaptive game music on an indie budget - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 15:03:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .disable cursor default opacity 0.5 text-decoration none important .pageTextfont-weightbold .pager margin10px 0 Video Creating hyper-adaptive game music on an indie budget August 18 2015 By Staff August 18 2015 By Staff Post A Comment More Indie Audio Video Vault Writing great music for a video game is hard crafting a compelling musical score that shifts and changes in response to a player39s actions is even harder. Doing it on an indie budget That39s a bona fide feat. To pull it off you need to learn from the experts among them composer C. Andrew Rohrmann whotook to the stage during GDC 201539s Indie Games Summit to deconstruct hismodular approach to music writing production and implementation. With an overview of his workcreatingthe music for Galak-Z as an example Rohrmanndemonstrated how with the aid of 17-Bit Games39 Unity-based Audio17 music environment composers can create multi-layered and hyper-adaptive musical elements that react to multiple gameplay variables and combine to form an arrangement that is unique for each and every play session. His presentation offered rare insight into the practical realities of designing a game with adaptive music and its well worth watching for any indie developersand anyone whomissed it in person. A full recording of his talk isnow available towatchfor free over on the GDC Vault. About the GDC Vault In addition to this presentation theGDC Vaultand its newYouTube channeloffers numerous other free videos audio recordings and slides from many of the recentGame Developers Conference events and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers. Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC GDC Europe and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription viaa GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via theGDC Vault group subscription page. Finally current subscribers with access issues cancontact GDC Vault technical support. Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech Related Jobs 08.19.15 Engine Software Engineer - Infinity Ward 08.18.15 Character TD - NBA 2K16 08.18.15 3D Game Artist 08.18.15 Character Artist - NBA 2K16 View All Jobs Top Stories Next News Story View All 251621 newswire viewnews251621Video_Creating_hyperadaptive_game_music_on_an_indie_budget.php Loading Comments

Dont Miss Mike Bithell chats about pumping up the Volume - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 14:20:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .disable cursor default opacity 0.5 text-decoration none important .pageTextfont-weightbold .pager margin10px 0 Pump up the Volume A candid chat with Mike Bithell March 20 2014 By Mike Rose March 20 2014 By Mike Rose 2 comments More ConsolePC Indie BusinessMarketing Exclusive GDC I was hoping to bump into Mike Bithell at GDC not simply because I wanted to see his new game Volume in action but because hes a man with his head screwed on right and advice to share. Such bumping did occur and after Id dragged him into an empty side room the conversation that flowed was one of looking to the future and how developers will be putting out their games as openness begins to trump curation. Bithell has already grafted for his own badge of honor but the goalposts are rapidly moving. Here he discusses how if he were launching Thomas Was Alone now itd be a whole different ballgame. Mike Rose You hear about the difficult second album in music all the time. Does this feel like your difficult second game Mike Bithell Its not my difficult second album - its like my difficult seventh or eighth album. You just didnt hear the first six. But yeah the pressure is on now to be open about development and to share development and to talk to people about what youre doing. I try to do that as much as Im comfortable with but there is that awareness of people watching over your shoulder that wasnt originally there. When I was making Thomas Was Alone I wish people would have been paying attention. No-one cared I couldnt get any coverage or interest. And now I post up a video of some raw footage of my new game just to show people where its at and thats a news story. Im still getting used to that - its a lot of pressure. Im fully aware that almost certainly Volume will be seen as my disappointing game unless its amazing. And then god help me with the third game. So yeah its in your mind because theres expectations. You work very hard and all indies work hard to get their first game known and then its terrifyingly straight-forward to get coverage from that point on. Thomas Was Alone was out for a while and wasnt getting the greatest amount of traction. Then the PlayStation deal was revealed and suddenly you had tons of press and players talking about you. Its really interesting the credibility consoles still have. I think because PC is the open platform and anyone can release a PC game your average gamer who is not seeking out weird indie stuff - for them me having a PC game coming out doesnt impress them. Discoverability is an issue but its not the issue. Being given the badge of honor by whoever is the person handing them out is actually crucial and makes such a difference to how your game is perceived.Its actually a badge of honor to those people. I know Thomas Was Alone gained an incredible amount of mindspace or whatever pretentious bullshit term a marketer would use because it was out on console. And I saw a ridiculous sales boost just because the second people saw it was coming to PlayStation it became a real game for a lot of people. What it demonstrates and its going be interesting to watch in the next few years - it demonstrates that curation is more powerful than getting people to see your game. Discoverability is an issue but its not the issue. Being given the badge of honor by whoever is the person handing them out is actually crucial and makes such a difference to how your game is perceived. Up until recently Steam was the biggest deal if you got on it - but with Valve striving to be a more open platform it feels like thats starting to fall away. Exactly. Steam meant you were going to be sorted as long as your game was quite small youd be sorted for a year or two bare minimum. I struggle to believe that Thomas Was Alone would have been successful were it to come out now on Steam. It was on the front page of Steam for a week. It was released right before that final moment where being on Steam meant Valve thought you made a great game. That used to be what that meant. Did Thomas Was Alone get accepted before Greenlight was announced We agreed to get it on Steam at the Greenlight announcement event. It was that tight. Valve do a lot of events for UK indies and they did an event to tell us about Greenlight just as the press release went out just so they could talk to us about what that was. After they explained it I just thought I dont want to wait for that... thats going to be a lot of work. So I went up to a Valve representative and said Hi Im Mike And I thought Yes Ive just got in by the skin of my teeth. I beat Greenlight - just. And obviously once you have a relationship with them things get easier - Im not doing a Greenlight for Volume. I think Greenlight was a great experiment. I dont think it came from anywhere but a place of goodwill. There are flaws and problems with it. I suspect that those problems will get resolved but Im still waiting for them to open it up. I thought Steam Dev Days was going to be the announcement of Everyone can be on Steam. But I think thats whats coming - something like the App Store with very simple checks to make sure youre not uploading a virus and thats it. I struggle to believe that Thomas Was Alone would have been successful were it to come out now on Steam.I guess its not dissimilar to the Nintendo seal of approval they have on the boxed games. Steam meant something at one point and being on Steam said something to players that allowed a lot of people with weird esoteric games to get an audience. Thats going to be harder to find now. Youll require more traditional marketing and talking to press. I think other curators will come in. Look at YouTubers with their audiences who get ridiculous numbers of views. I know from my own data that they lead to a lot of sales. So I think thats going to come through. Its sort of a return to it being about marketing and Steam have removed themselves from the equation in terms of them being a curator which - is it good is it bad It means a lot of indies are going to have to

Scholars are still calling on APA to stop linking violent games to - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 14:09:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .disable cursor default opacity 0.5 text-decoration none important .pageTextfont-weightbold .pager margin10px 0 Scholars are still calling on APA to stop linking violent games to aggression August 18 2015 By Alex Wawro August 18 2015 By Alex Wawro 1 comments More ConsolePC Indie BusinessMarketing A group that includes psychologists criminologists and self-professed media scholars continuesto call for the American Psychological Assocation to reconsider its stance on how violent media affects people in the wake of the APA39s recent affirmation of a link between violent video games and heightened levels of aggressive behavior. The group delivered an open letter to the APA in 2013 welcoming its then recent decision to appoint a task force to reevaluate the APA39s2005 stance that violent media causes increased aggression but expressing concerns that the task force39s methods might be quotmisleadingquot and quotovergeneralizedquot based on quotweak or inconsistent evidence.quot Now one of the members of that group Stetson University psychology professor Chris Ferguson has reached out to Game Informer to reiterate his concerns about the APA39s methodology in the wake of its Task Force On Violent Media39s conclusion that playing violent video games is a consistent quotrisk factorquot for both decreased empathy and increased aggressive behavior though not necessarily violence. quotThe evidence linking violent games to aggression is honestly a lot less clear than the APA report would have one believequot Ferguson told Game Informer. quotFurther the task force appeared to have been selected from among scholars with clear anti-media views two had previously signed an amicus brief supporting attempts to regulate violent video games in the Brown v EMA 2011 Supreme Court case for instance.quot He goes on to claimthat a number of recent studies have found no link between violent video games and increases in aggression which is especially notable in light of the APA39s recent call forquotdevelopers to design games that are appropriate to usersrsquo age and psychological development.quot For more information about how the task force conducted its research you should readthe report PDF in full. You can read more of Ferguson39s arguments against the APA39s stance over on Game Informer. Related Jobs 08.18.15 3D Game Artist 08.18.15 Character Artist - NBA 2K16 08.18.15 Technical Artist ampndash NBA2K16 08.18.15 Senior Recruiter View All Jobs Top Stories Next News Story View All 251617 newswire viewnews251617Scholars_are_still_calling_on_APA_to_stop_linking_violent_games_to_aggression.php Loading Comments

Launching on Steam Early Access What I did right and wrong - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 13:46:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs Mini Postmortem On A Steam Early Access Launch by Jamie Fristrom on 081715 020100 pm 1 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Hey everybody - let me tell you about my latest boneheaded mistakes so you can make all different mistakes with your launches. I only released Energy Hook - a game about swinging from building to building something I hadn39t worked on since Spider-Man 2- on Steam two days ago and I39ve already made enough blunders to fill an article. Here goes What Went Wrong 1 Falling For Scammers After I announced Energy Hook coming to Steam Early Access a few weeks ago I started getting e-mails from people who wanted review keys. Getting a deluge of these sorts of e-mails is something my other indie friends have had to deal with but usually for me it was a small enough burden that I could respond to each one individually and humbly. This time I got a couple e-mails from people who said they ran really big foreign Youtube sites in Germany and Russia. I thought to myself quotYou only want keys I39ll do you one better I was going to put localization off but I39lldo it right now. That should impress youquot So I paid some friends to translate into Germany and Russian. You guessed it after the deal was done I thought - quotWait a minute. How do I know these guys are actually connected to the Youtube channels they say they arequot I checked their e-mails and sure enough they didn39t match the Youtube sites. Wah wah wah. What Went Right 1 Localized In Time For Early Access Launch Although it didn39t make a lot of sense to localize now - the game isn39t done yet More and different text is comingThe good news was that I managed to get the game localized in just a few days using the I2 Localization plug in. That plug-in is pretty sweet - it is good at searching through your UI for things that need to be localized. It also lets you keep a spreadsheet on Google drive that you can share with your translators and then you can pull the translations into your game with a button press. It made me very happy. Also some friends volunteered to do the Swedish French and Polish versions for free. Kind of an odd collection of languages to start with but I39ll take it I39m certain that having the game and the store page translated into those languages will help sales in those regions. Would my time have been better spent elsewhere Maybe but I don39t regret it. What Went Wrong 2 Handing Out The Wrong Keys Keys are associated with different branches in Steam and I got their meanings backwards - I thought the keys for the default branch could also access the testing branch but it39s actually the other way around. So for preview copies I should have been sending out the testing keys not the default keys. This was a particularly bad mistake because eager previewers who used that first key couldn39t then disown the game and activate the second key They were stuck not being able to preview. One of them was kind enough to give me his steam id so I could add him to my development team and let him play the game that way but who knows if the others were willing to give it a try or just gave up. Fortunately after I39d sent out a couple dozen of bad keys a nagging voice in my head said quotWait. Are you sure about thisquot I mentioned it on Twitter and someone happily volunteered to test one of the keys - and sure enough it didn39t work. So I did manage to course correct and start getting the right keys out to the remaining journalists. What is it they say That 80 of the time what you worry about isn39t the problem that bites you This time I was glad I paid attention to what I was worrying about. What Went Right 2 Other Press I send personal e-mails to members of the press I know and have talked to before. Although I dropped the ball on appearing at any big trade shows this year should chalk that up as another What Went Wrong I decided I could maybe make my own trade show I wrote the journalists I knew and asked if I could come by their offices and show them the game in person. The folks atPolygon took me up on it and did a fantastic interview with me where I ummed and errred my way through a demo. For members of the press I don39t know I finally automated my system. For sending out keys to my press list I used Yet Another Mail Merge fortunately I39d figured out my key problem before then for members of the press who were contacting me asking me for keys I used Vlambeer39s distribute and told them to apply there. So I39m spending a lot less time answering e-mails from smaller press than I did with Sixty Second Shooter Prime. What Went Wrong 3 Launching The Game Just Plain Didn39t Work So some of my Kickstarter backers and social media followers were gathered together for a launch party on twitch and I said quotOkay I39m doing it I39m pressing the Release buttonquot and I did ... and although Steam claimed the game was now released there was no price or Buy button. Some party. It mostly consisted of me worrying about whether I needed to wait because maybe it would come online in a bit or what... What Went Right 3 Using My Valve Connection I posted to the Valve developer forums but an answer was not forthcoming. Now I have a friend who works at Valve. But at some level I both feel like I39m cheating if I try to get help through him and also feel like I39m sort of abusing his friendship. But after a few hours had gone by I decided I better go for it and hope he39d forgive me. He put me in touch with the right person and they solved the problem. I39m not sure what the take home lesson is here. Maybe it39s quotIt Never Hurts To Askquot or maybe it39s quotUse Every Unfair Advantage You39ve Gotquot... Maybe it39s just quotBe lucky enough to have a friend who works at Valve.quot P What Went Wrong 4 Not enough lead time for an Ask Me Anything on Reddit Two years ago doing an AMA on rgames

Can crunch ever be fixed in the game industry - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 12:01:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs Can crunch ever be fixed in the games industry by Andreas Papathanasis on 081715 020100 pm 16 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. This post was originally published on my personal blog Crunch and the long term view One of the puzzling attitudes I39ve seen in the games industry is companies talking about focusing on long term success yet not taking a firm position against crunch. This doesn39t make much sense to me. The only coherent argument in support of crunch I39ve seen that it can provide a short boost in productivity that39s useful for meeting a critical deadline is clearly a short term benefit. No game developer who enjoys the respect and admiration of their fans are in such esteemed position because 10 years earlier they hit a deadline or kept their original release date. They are respected because they put out consistently high quality products. It39s why the quotwe39ll release it when it39s donequot attitude works. In the long run nobody remembers a game that slipped but everyone remembers a disappointing game. Anyone thinking about what it would take to create a strong team that is equipped for long term success ought to give special consideration to crunch. Like other easily measurable short term performance boosts crunch can and does have hard to measure long term negative side effects. There is no formula I know of to model its long term effect of driving away some of the most valuable developers - the ones who will never be happy obsessing over a single hobby and throwing their entire life away for certain periods of time no matter how much they love games. For managers who are genuinely committed to long term results this kind of dilemma do we encourage crunch for short term gains at the risk of long term loss is a no brainer. They never risk any long term negative side effect no matter how enticing the short term gain might seem. They do so even at the face of missing data about the potential long term side effect against readily available and very measurable data about the short term benefit. As long as the team can survive without the short term benefit the choice for anybody focusing on the long term is easy. The crunch problem then becomes clearer many developers have no choice but to force themselves to crunch because they can39t afford not to. Being in a relationship with a publisher that holds all the power to fund and make last minute requests for example is such a situation. Working for a public company where the investors typically have a very short term view and will punish any date slips is another. The question of whether crunch can ever be fixed cannot be held in isolation from such pathological but very common situations that force teams to take a short term view. But the first step for making any progress whatsoever against crunch is to address the myth that good games cannot be made without it. Eliminating Crunch is hard - but not impossible Warren Spector has this to say about crunch emphasis mine quotWhat I39m saying is that games - I39m talking about non-sequels non-imitative games - are inherently unknowable unpredictable unmanageable things. A game development process with no crunch I39m not sure that39s possible unless you39re working on a ripoff of another game or a low-ambition sequel.quot This kind of thinking is rampant among the developers who have been well trained over the years to uncritically reject any thought that crunch might actually be a problem that can be fixed. Imagine a young developer going to work for such a studio as their first job in the industry. What they are hearing from senior management perhaps including industry legends like Spector is that crunch is a feature not a bug. Making games the good games at least is impossible without it. Watch the logic in the above quote because it39s typical. It39s implying that if you don39t crunch you must be making some terrible game a low ambition sequel or cloning someone else39s game. Who in their right mind would even suggest eliminating crunch in such an environment And then it gets even worse. Trapped inside the echo chamber where everyone is quick to point out how unavoidable crunch is some brave souls go even further to prove their dedication to the cause. They start questioning whether crunch is such a bad thing to begin with. Surely it must have some advantages. For example many developers agree that quotworking through adversity helps bring team members closer togetherquot. Going through hard times they claim creates long lasting bonds. It39s easy to fall for such absurdities when you39re working on such a team of course when you spend every waking hour with other people it39s possible you39ll get to know them really well and maybe even like some of them more just as you may also dislike other people you don39t get along with but are forced to work with all day long. That doesn39t make the idea that torture is the only or most efficient way to bond with your team any less silly. Another common suggestion is that quotcrunching in small doses can actually stoke the creative firesquot ignoring both that crunch most of the time ends up being chaotic firefighting where nobody has time to even think of anything creative and the fact that all sorts of research indicates that creativity works in the exact opposite way. So basically anyone who would dare speak up against crunch in such teams would sound like someone who doesn39t care about whether the game they39re making is any good doesn39t care about their team mates and doesn39t really want to be too productive or creative. But it39s not just many development teams that fall into that mode of thinking it39s outside observers too. The press has a lot of incentive to contribute to this impression that crunch is unavoidable if you want to make good games or even any kind of games. Teams that

Danish dev Press Play wants players to help develop its next game - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 10:25:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .disable cursor default opacity 0.5 text-decoration none important .pageTextfont-weightbold .pager margin10px 0 Danish dev Press Play wants players to help develop its next game August 18 2015 By Chris Kerr August 18 2015 By Chris Kerr Post A Comment More ConsolePC Indie Design Production Video Newsbrief Microsoft-ownedDanish developerPress Play is looking to open up its development process to the worldby letting fans decidewhich project itshould work on next. According to Xbox39s Major Nelson the new quottransparent development initiativequot is about putting the game community quotfront and centerquot and building a game in the most open way imaginable. Press Play are currently looking for feedback on three different game concepts with the team promising to start working on whichever ideahas proven to be the fan favorite by September 1. The studio is also planning on sharing early builds of the game and inviting community members to join company meetings and project review sessions via Skype. Related Jobs 08.18.15 Associate Producer 08.18.15 Project ManagerProducer 08.18.15 Product Manager - Games mf 08.18.15 Art Director mf View All Jobs Top Stories Next News Story View All 251598 newswire viewnews251598Danish_dev_Press_Play_wants_players_to_help_develop_its_next_game.php Loading Comments

New platform Fig adds investing to video game crowdfunding - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 10:23:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games .disable cursor default opacity 0.5 text-decoration none important .pageTextfont-weightbold .pager margin10px 0 New platform Fig adds investing to video game crowdfunding August 18 2015 By Christian Nutt August 18 2015 By Christian Nutt Post A Comment More ConsolePC SmartphoneTablet Indie BusinessMarketing Kickstarter has proven a boon to game developers around the globe. But getting users to find a campaign is tough and many miss their funding goals. Is there room for an upstart Double Fine veteran Justin Bailey thinks so. As the company39s chief operating office Bailey saw the studio through Kickstarter campaigns Broken Age aka Double Fine Adventure and Massive Chalice has left the company to found Fig -- a venture-backed crowdfunding platform specifically catered to video games. Fig is very different from Kickstarter and its competitors. For a start Fig will only host two campaigns at a time and in addition to quotrewardquot Kickstarter-style quotpledge and get the gamequot funding it39ll also offer uses a chance to invest in games and receive proceeds from its sales -- in perpetuity. Bailey who serves as Fig39s CEO hasn39t cut ties with Double Fine founder Tim Schafer sits on the new platform39s advisory board alongside inXile39s Brian Fargo and Obsidan39s Feargus Urquhart. The trio plans to use Fig to fund their future projects. Launch title Outer Wilds But those projects aren39t the only ones you39ll see on Fig. The service launches today with its first campaign Outer Wilds this year39s IGF Seumas McNally grand prize winner. Each indie project will come from quotan amazing indie that has potentialquot in Bailey39s words. The site will follow Outer Wilds up in about two weeks with the first campaign from one of its quottriple-Iquot studios. With each campaign lasting a month that forms the basis of an overlapping schedule. Fig is designed that way to bring in traffic that will help the quotindiequot game during the middle of its campaign exactly when most crowdfunding efforts most struggle to pull in backers. quotWe39re hoping the indie can draft off the established studiosquot says Bailey. Fig staff will handpick each project that appears on the site. quotEverything39s spotlight -- that39s all we arequot Bailey says. This is the quotnext iterationquot of crowdfunding says Bailey and it39s specifically catered to game developers. For example the top of the page houses a nice Steam-style gallery of images and videos built into the site39s design is a gauge that tells you where in the game development process e.g. concept alpha beta the project is. Fig also plans to buy advertising for campaigns to drive potential backers to them one upcoming campaign may even feature an embedded quotdaily dealquot to lure in traffic. The inspiration By pairing up both reward quotback and you39ll get the game and this T-shirtquot and equity quotinvest in the game and you39ll get a portion of the proceedsquot crowdfunding Bailey hopes to create a mix that will help games that are quotproperly funded budget-wisequot and avoid the need to seek more external funding to complete a project and situations where developers ask for less than they need to really complete a project just so they get something. The idea of bringing in lesser-known indies meanwhile is an outgrowth of an experiment Double Fine made with Last Life -- the company threw its promotional weight behind its Kickstarter campaign and helped developer Sam Farmer smash his initial funding goal. It39s also a reflection of the fact that as the developers behind high-performing Kickstarter campaigns Schafer Urquhart and Fargo often ended up advising on others39 crowdfunding efforts anyway. quotTim and I both emerged from prior crowdfunding efforts having a much better idea of how to make this successful and work for everybody as did Brian and Feargusquot Bailey says. That relationship will now be formalized as part of Fig. As an example Fargo visited Outer Wilds developer Mobius Digital to evaluate the studio39s development plans and offer suggestions Fargo and Schafer also offered feedback on its Fig funding campaign. The company also offers campaign managers to run the nuts-and-bolts day-to-day of funding on Fig. Bailey told a story about how after Indie Fund got involved with Double Fine39s Hack 39n39 Slash Canabalt dev Adam Saltsman called and offered project lead Brandon Dillon advice on how to radically rework the game for the better. quotThat39s the kind of impact we39re trying to havequot Bailey said. Direct investment What devs want The most notable thing about Fig however might be that it offers equity crowdfunding -- its model is to quotalways have investment availablequot says Bailey. Gambitious has also explored the complicated equity crowdfunding space. The lead investor in each project will negotiate the terms of the investment -- which will then be passed on to the investors who sign up on Fig and follow suit. Minimum investments will be high -- in the thousands of dollars -- particularly in the initial projects but Bailey foresees a future where fans set up trusts to invest in games collectively. Notably he says developers will retain creative control and IP rights to their projects under the terms of Fig39s investment scheme. It39s also well worth noting that investments are made in specific titles not in the studios themselves. Investors will be paid proceeds of their investments in these games perpetuity. But because Fig will have a stake in seeing these games perform well both directly and indirectly -- keeping investors who use its platform happy -- it will work with the developers on promotional activities for the games once they39re released. quotI39ve probably talked to the top 10 creators involved with crowdfunding and all of them were interested in this approachquot he says. For its part Fig takes 5 percent off the top of the reward crowdfunding and 5 percent in perpetuity of investment proceeds. Add in payment processing and the company takes 7.2 percent

Engine Software Engineer - Infinity Ward Activision - Link 2015-08-19

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Character TD - NBA 2K16 Visual Concepts Entertainment - Link 2015-08-19

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3D Game Artist Sega Networks Inc. - Link 2015-08-19

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Character Artist - NBA 2K16 Visual Concepts Entertainment - Link 2015-08-19

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Technical Artist ndash NBA2K16 Visual Concepts Entertainment - Link 2015-08-19

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Senior Recruiter Red 5 Studios - Link 2015-08-19

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Unity Developer- Madision Sega Networks Inc. - Link 2015-08-19

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Unity Developer- Philadephia Sega Networks Inc. - Link 2015-08-18

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Associate Producer Sanzaru Games Inc. - Link 2015-08-18

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Unity Engineer Backflip Studios - Link 2015-08-18

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Associate Producer Cloud Imperium Games - Link 2015-08-18

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Game System Designer Game Circus LLC - Link 2015-08-18

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Contract 2D Game Artist WildTangent - Link 2015-08-18

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Marketing Artist Tilting Point - Link 2015-08-18

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Community Manager CrowdStar - Link 2015-08-18

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Senior Software Engineer Client Gameplay Programmer C Limbic - Link 2015-08-18

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Software Engineer Zindagi Games - Link 2015-08-18

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Project ManagerProducer Tripwire Interactive LLC - Link 2015-08-18

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Gameplay Engineer Sanzaru Games Inc. - Link 2015-08-18

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Unity Developer - San Francisco Sega Networks Inc. - Link 2015-08-17

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ampquotSound is Magicampquot - Insights for the Game Music Composer - - Link Mon, 17 Aug 2015 02:01:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs quotSound is Magicquot - Insights for the Game Music Composer by Winifred Phillips on 081815 012800 pm Post A Comment The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. From May 19th to the 20th of this year the British Broadcasting Corporation39s Research and Development department presented a two-day conference to explore the future of immersive sound. Called quotSound Now and Nextquot the event featureda distinguishedspeaker list that included accomplished audio engineers producers educators inventors researchers musicians and composers. The event offered a wealth of fascinating presentations on the future of audio and I recommend visiting the site andchecking out the awesomevideo resources from the event which include complete session videos made freely available for streaming from the site. For game composers and sound designers one of the best sessions was presented byNick Ryan an award-winning audio engineercomposeraudio consultant who is best known in the game industry for his sound design work on thePapa SangrePapa Sangre IIandThe Nightjaraudio games for iOS. These three games utilize binaural sound to immerse players in an audio-only interactive environment which Nick Ryan callsquotinhabitable audio.quot Nick39s presentation at the quotSound Now and Nextquot conference was entitledquotSound is Magic.quotAccording to Nick audio has a unique power to bring about an emotional and perceptual impact by virtue of the collaborative relationshipbetween the sound source and the listener. When a sound isseparated from its original source i.e. when it39s not possible to see the source that39s emitting the sound listeners will instinctively use their imaginations to supply the nature of the sound39s origin. This imaginative contribution on the part of listeners has the potential to draw themmore fully into the experience. quotI profoundly believe that we are co-authors in everything that we listen toquot Nick tells us. Nick Ryan sound designer for Papa Sangre Papa Sangre II and The Nightjar Early in the presentation Nick introduces us to his initial work in binaural spatial audio by describing a project he produced in 2002 for BBC Radio 4. quotThe Dark Housequot was a popular interactive radio drama a ghost story recorded on location in a large house. The actors wore baseball caps with microphones embedded in the brims. While the project was ostensibly a traditionally linear radio drama it was structured so that the audience could decide from which character39s perspective the story would be told and the audio mix would switch to the perspective of the character who had received the most votes. In this way the audio mix of the program changed drastically as the audience cast their votes during the broadcast. The entire program is available for listening here Nick stresses that this project illustrates the power of adding interactivity to an audio experience. Moving on to his work in video game development Nick launches into a discussion of his work on Papa Sangre a game set in a completely quotnon-sightedquotrealm of the afterlifeinhabited byvicious unseen monsters. Sharing a few observations about gamers39 experiences in Papa Sangre Nick points out that visually-impaired players would usually breeze through the game in an hour whereas sighted players found it to be crushingly difficult. Also Nick describes a phenomenon whereby sounds associated with personal movement such as footsteps stimulated the motor cortex of the brain to be active making listeners feel as though they were actually in motion. This motor cortex stimulation contributed to the immersive qualities of the gaming experience in Papa Sangre. The effects of sound on the brain are tremendously fascinating and I explored some of the effects of music on brain activity in my bookA Composer39s Guide to Game Music- so I was especially interested to hear more about that phenomenon in Nick39s talk. To learn more about Nick39s work on Papa Sangre and another audio-only game titled The Nightjar check out this sound design mini masterclass that Nick gave for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Continuing with his presentation for the BBC quotSound Now and Nextquot conference Nick described a collaboration with Volkswagen and the famous electronica duo known as Underworld to allow a car to essentiallydrivea piece of music associating an interactive musical composition with the turning braking acceleration and de-acceleration of the vehicle. While it isn39t a game-related project it is fascinating when considered in terms of the interactive music possibilities that could be translated into gaming applications. Here39s the final video result of quotVolkswagen Golf GTI Play the Road.quot And here39s a behind-the-scenes video that explores the making of this interactive music system for driving Finally Nick brings the entire concept of quotSound is Magicquot to a culmination by describing his collaboration with John Matthias to create a four movement piece for string orchestra entitled quotCortical Songs.quot A computer simulates the way in which human neurons naturally behave sending these signals to tiny flashing lights on the music stands of the string players. The musicians respond to these flashes as theywould respond to a conductor issuing cues- as though the simulated neural activity was leadingthe orchestra. The magic of the human mind is now expressed through sound expressing Nick39s concept ofSonification-- the aural expression of silent phenomena. Here is an excerpt from a performance of the composition The quotSound Now and Nextquot conference offered an abundance of inspiring ideas from top practitioners in their fields and I urge everyone to check out the site and see some of the other presentations that are available online. Alsobe sure to check outthe complete presentation given by Nick Ryan --

Mini Postmortem On A Steam Early Access Launch - by Jamie Fristrom - Link Mon, 17 Aug 2015 02:01:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs Mini Postmortem On A Steam Early Access Launch by Jamie Fristrom on 081715 020100 pm 1 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Hey everybody - let me tell you about my latest boneheaded mistakes so you can make all different mistakes with your launches. I only released Energy Hook - a game about swinging from building to building something I hadn39t worked on since Spider-Man 2- on Steam two days ago and I39ve already made enough blunders to fill an article. Here goes What Went Wrong 1 Falling For Scammers After I announced Energy Hook coming to Steam Early Access a few weeks ago I started getting e-mails from people who wanted review keys. Getting a deluge of these sorts of e-mails is something my other indie friends have had to deal with but usually for me it was a small enough burden that I could respond to each one individually and humbly. This time I got a couple e-mails from people who said they ran really big foreign Youtube sites in Germany and Russia. I thought to myself quotYou only want keys I39ll do you one better I was going to put localization off but I39lldo it right now. That should impress youquot So I paid some friends to translate into Germany and Russian. You guessed it after the deal was done I thought - quotWait a minute. How do I know these guys are actually connected to the Youtube channels they say they arequot I checked their e-mails and sure enough they didn39t match the Youtube sites. Wah wah wah. What Went Right 1 Localized In Time For Early Access Launch Although it didn39t make a lot of sense to localize now - the game isn39t done yet More and different text is comingThe good news was that I managed to get the game localized in just a few days using the I2 Localization plug in. That plug-in is pretty sweet - it is good at searching through your UI for things that need to be localized. It also lets you keep a spreadsheet on Google drive that you can share with your translators and then you can pull the translations into your game with a button press. It made me very happy. Also some friends volunteered to do the Swedish French and Polish versions for free. Kind of an odd collection of languages to start with but I39ll take it I39m certain that having the game and the store page translated into those languages will help sales in those regions. Would my time have been better spent elsewhere Maybe but I don39t regret it. What Went Wrong 2 Handing Out The Wrong Keys Keys are associated with different branches in Steam and I got their meanings backwards - I thought the keys for the default branch could also access the testing branch but it39s actually the other way around. So for preview copies I should have been sending out the testing keys not the default keys. This was a particularly bad mistake because eager previewers who used that first key couldn39t then disown the game and activate the second key They were stuck not being able to preview. One of them was kind enough to give me his steam id so I could add him to my development team and let him play the game that way but who knows if the others were willing to give it a try or just gave up. Fortunately after I39d sent out a couple dozen of bad keys a nagging voice in my head said quotWait. Are you sure about thisquot I mentioned it on Twitter and someone happily volunteered to test one of the keys - and sure enough it didn39t work. So I did manage to course correct and start getting the right keys out to the remaining journalists. What is it they say That 80 of the time what you worry about isn39t the problem that bites you This time I was glad I paid attention to what I was worrying about. What Went Right 2 Other Press I send personal e-mails to members of the press I know and have talked to before. Although I dropped the ball on appearing at any big trade shows this year should chalk that up as another What Went Wrong I decided I could maybe make my own trade show I wrote the journalists I knew and asked if I could come by their offices and show them the game in person. The folks atPolygon took me up on it and did a fantastic interview with me where I ummed and errred my way through a demo. For members of the press I don39t know I finally automated my system. For sending out keys to my press list I used Yet Another Mail Merge fortunately I39d figured out my key problem before then for members of the press who were contacting me asking me for keys I used Vlambeer39s distribute and told them to apply there. So I39m spending a lot less time answering e-mails from smaller press than I did with Sixty Second Shooter Prime. What Went Wrong 3 Launching The Game Just Plain Didn39t Work So some of my Kickstarter backers and social media followers were gathered together for a launch party on twitch and I said quotOkay I39m doing it I39m pressing the Release buttonquot and I did ... and although Steam claimed the game was now released there was no price or Buy button. Some party. It mostly consisted of me worrying about whether I needed to wait because maybe it would come online in a bit or what... What Went Right 3 Using My Valve Connection I posted to the Valve developer forums but an answer was not forthcoming. Now I have a friend who works at Valve. But at some level I both feel like I39m cheating if I try to get help through him and also feel like I39m sort of abusing his friendship. But after a few hours had gone by I decided I better go for it and hope he39d forgive me. He put me in touch with the right person and they solved the problem. I39m not sure what the take home lesson is here. Maybe it39s quotIt Never Hurts To Askquot or maybe it39s quotUse Every Unfair Advantage You39ve Gotquot... Maybe it39s just quotBe lucky enough to have a friend who works at Valve.quot P What Went Wrong 4 Not enough lead time for an Ask Me Anything on Reddit Two years ago doing an AMA on rgames

Stretch Goals Best Practices for video games crowdfunding Part 1 - by - Link Mon, 17 Aug 2015 02:01:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs Stretch Goals Best Practices for video games crowdfunding Part 1 by Thomas Bidaux on 081715 020100 pm 5 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Following up on my medium.com piece on the Yooka-Laylee campaign I feel there is a need for a dedicated blog post on the most common mistake I see on crowdfunding campaigns both large and small alike the management of Stretch Goals. Stretch Goals For those who are not familiar Stretch Goal is the terminology now commonly used for the additional goals creators add to their campaign for actions and features they will implement once they raise beyond their original goal. They became more and more common as crowdfunding soared in popularity. I believe their origin lies with the tabletop campaigns where adding new rewards to a campaign became a popular formula to expand beyond its initial objective. The first campaign I saw use this very efficiently was the original Zombicide campaign which raised 780000 in April 2012. Stretch Goals are not just creators trying to keep their campaign going strong after reaching its initial goal. There is also a strong demand from backers who wants to see the project they support expanded on with the extra cash raised. The pressure to promise more content is very real and can become a very insidious trap. But more on that later. How to manage Stretch Goals Beyond the few campaigns I got directly involved in I have provided advice for a lot of campaigns over the last 3 years. I have also now run 3 workshops with creators on how to properly manage a crowdfunding campaign. I have put my most frequent advice from these experiences below DO NOT ANNOUNCE ANY STRETCH GOALS WHEN YOU LAUNCH YOUR CAMPAIGN There is nothing to gain from announcing as you launch and everything to lose. I will use a very extreme example to illustrate this Zombie Playground Zombie Playground was a campaign launched in May 2012 right on the back of Kickstarterrsquos first big wave for video games. It had its initial goal set at 100000 and in the middle of that first wave might have been deemed as easy to reach by the creators. From the very beginning they set a series of Stretch Goals that they called Milestones. They had 5 Milestones starting at 100000 for the basic pitch to 2000000. And this is the description they had for 2m And right here in the first sentence you have the biggest issue with announcing your Stretch Goals early ldquoComplete vision of the Zombie Playground school world.rdquo The campaign didnrsquot go well lots of reasons for that you can read the updates if you are curious and it raised ldquoonlyrdquo 167000. If you follow this blog regularly you know that raising more than 100000 is not small achievement for any campaign but here it was seen as a big failure by the backershellip And rightfully they were more than 1800000 short for the ldquocomplete visionrdquo of the game. Like I said this is an extreme example but this is very true for any project with Stretch Goal announced from day one. Stretch Goals are moving the backersrsquo perception of what is the goal of the campaign I will go a bit further There is nothing to gain by announcing Stretch Goals early Letrsquos go through what might happen to your campaign. For the purpose of this article imagine you are trying to raise 100000. To make my point letrsquos say that you have roughly three potential outcomes There is simply not a scenario where you benefit from having your Stretch Goals at the beginning. IMHO the best way to present your Stretch Goals at the beginning of a campaign is as follow The objective at the beginning is to keep all the focus of the early campaign to be on the initial goal and the initial goal only and to keep Stretch Goals as new beats to keep the momentum of your campaign. There are backers that will always be asking about them. Some will in fact demand them holding their precious pledge hostage if you donrsquot promise X Y or Z. And you know what Thatrsquos finehellip Tell them you are not comfortable discussing these things while your campaign is still not funded and things will come in time. and if they donrsquot want to pledge now they shouldnrsquot. Invite them to keep an eye on the announcements you do as the campaign advances ldquoHey why donrsquot you follow us on Twitter or Facebook to make sure you donrsquot miss when we announce the Stretch Goal to port the game on N64 as you have been askingrdquo. Let met give you some examples with a few current campaigns. Everspace The campaign was launched on August 6th and will end on September 11th. They are asking for euro225000 and have currently raised euro156000 and by all metrics this campaign is going well. This is what they have on their page about Stretch Goals they changed the order of some the goals but they announced from the very beginning For euro225000 campaign they already have announced Stretch Goals going to euro725000 and the goals range from euro50000 to euro125000. The campaign is probably going to settle around euro7000 on average per day taking them 10 more days to reach their initial goal likely a bit less as getting close to the goal usually helps a campaign. Then with 15 days to go they will likely reach 2 or 3 Stretch Goals. They wonrsquot go to the point where they will reveal those goals 06 and beyond. They are missing out on announcing what the most exciting Stretch Goals are going to be. holding on their Stretch Goals they would have had been able to announce them mid-campaign they also most likely wouldnrsquot have changed their goals in the first few days as it would have given them some time to understand what were the most important requests from the community and plan accordingly. Pauldron The campaign was launched on August 10th and will end on September 9th. They are asking for 5000 and have currently raised 4000. Itrsquos very

Can crunch ever be fixed in the games industry - by Andreas - Link Mon, 17 Aug 2015 02:01:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs Can crunch ever be fixed in the games industry by Andreas Papathanasis on 081715 020100 pm 16 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. This post was originally published on my personal blog Crunch and the long term view One of the puzzling attitudes I39ve seen in the games industry is companies talking about focusing on long term success yet not taking a firm position against crunch. This doesn39t make much sense to me. The only coherent argument in support of crunch I39ve seen that it can provide a short boost in productivity that39s useful for meeting a critical deadline is clearly a short term benefit. No game developer who enjoys the respect and admiration of their fans are in such esteemed position because 10 years earlier they hit a deadline or kept their original release date. They are respected because they put out consistently high quality products. It39s why the quotwe39ll release it when it39s donequot attitude works. In the long run nobody remembers a game that slipped but everyone remembers a disappointing game. Anyone thinking about what it would take to create a strong team that is equipped for long term success ought to give special consideration to crunch. Like other easily measurable short term performance boosts crunch can and does have hard to measure long term negative side effects. There is no formula I know of to model its long term effect of driving away some of the most valuable developers - the ones who will never be happy obsessing over a single hobby and throwing their entire life away for certain periods of time no matter how much they love games. For managers who are genuinely committed to long term results this kind of dilemma do we encourage crunch for short term gains at the risk of long term loss is a no brainer. They never risk any long term negative side effect no matter how enticing the short term gain might seem. They do so even at the face of missing data about the potential long term side effect against readily available and very measurable data about the short term benefit. As long as the team can survive without the short term benefit the choice for anybody focusing on the long term is easy. The crunch problem then becomes clearer many developers have no choice but to force themselves to crunch because they can39t afford not to. Being in a relationship with a publisher that holds all the power to fund and make last minute requests for example is such a situation. Working for a public company where the investors typically have a very short term view and will punish any date slips is another. The question of whether crunch can ever be fixed cannot be held in isolation from such pathological but very common situations that force teams to take a short term view. But the first step for making any progress whatsoever against crunch is to address the myth that good games cannot be made without it. Eliminating Crunch is hard - but not impossible Warren Spector has this to say about crunch emphasis mine quotWhat I39m saying is that games - I39m talking about non-sequels non-imitative games - are inherently unknowable unpredictable unmanageable things. A game development process with no crunch I39m not sure that39s possible unless you39re working on a ripoff of another game or a low-ambition sequel.quot This kind of thinking is rampant among the developers who have been well trained over the years to uncritically reject any thought that crunch might actually be a problem that can be fixed. Imagine a young developer going to work for such a studio as their first job in the industry. What they are hearing from senior management perhaps including industry legends like Spector is that crunch is a feature not a bug. Making games the good games at least is impossible without it. Watch the logic in the above quote because it39s typical. It39s implying that if you don39t crunch you must be making some terrible game a low ambition sequel or cloning someone else39s game. Who in their right mind would even suggest eliminating crunch in such an environment And then it gets even worse. Trapped inside the echo chamber where everyone is quick to point out how unavoidable crunch is some brave souls go even further to prove their dedication to the cause. They start questioning whether crunch is such a bad thing to begin with. Surely it must have some advantages. For example many developers agree that quotworking through adversity helps bring team members closer togetherquot. Going through hard times they claim creates long lasting bonds. It39s easy to fall for such absurdities when you39re working on such a team of course when you spend every waking hour with other people it39s possible you39ll get to know them really well and maybe even like some of them more just as you may also dislike other people you don39t get along with but are forced to work with all day long. That doesn39t make the idea that torture is the only or most efficient way to bond with your team any less silly. Another common suggestion is that quotcrunching in small doses can actually stoke the creative firesquot ignoring both that crunch most of the time ends up being chaotic firefighting where nobody has time to even think of anything creative and the fact that all sorts of research indicates that creativity works in the exact opposite way. So basically anyone who would dare speak up against crunch in such teams would sound like someone who doesn39t care about whether the game they39re making is any good doesn39t care about their team mates and doesn39t really want to be too productive or creative. But it39s not just many development teams that fall into that mode of thinking it39s outside observers too. The press has a lot of incentive to contribute to this impression that crunch is unavoidable if you want to make good games or even any kind of games. Teams that

Telepath Tactics brass tacks and sales stats - by Craig Stern - Link Mon, 17 Aug 2015 01:53:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs Telepath Tactics brass tacks and sales stats by Craig Stern on 081715 020100 pm 6 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Irsquove posted a lot about the development of Telepath Tactics my design philosophy my month-to-month progress and so on. Now a couple of months out from the gamersquos release I want to take an in-depth look at Telepath Tactics from a financial standpoint. Prior to Telepath Tacticsrsquos release I did not make games full-time. Rather I had to maintain a day job in order to pay my bills and to hedge against the possibility that Telepath Tactics might not be commercially successful. I havenrsquot made a secret of the fact that I dislike having to compromise like this nor have I hidden the fact that I very much want to go full-time with game development. Will Telepath Tactics tip the balance of my finances in favor of being able to quit my day job and develop games for a living That depends entirely upon some cold hard numbers which we will now examine What did it cost to make I began developing the Telepath Tactics engine in April 2009 a little over 6 years ago. I worked on it only occasionally until March 2012 at which point I began regularly devoting 10-20 hours a week to the game on top of my regular full-time employment. For a four-month period during the summer of 2013 I took a sabbatical from my day job and worked on the game for 40 hours per week. Other than that sabbatical I did not receive pay for any of the time I spent working on the game. In total I spent 13266.25 out of my own pocket to pay for art tools and marketing opportunities for Telepath Tactics over the past three years. Of that 6034.38 was spent before and during its second Kickstarter campaign all on expenditures to secure the assets and attention needed to crowdfund the game successfully. The gamersquos first Kickstarter campaign did not succeed. The second Kickstarter campaign however raised 41259.00 or 275 of its funding goal. After accounting for Amazonrsquos cut Kickstarterrsquos cut and pledges that didnrsquot go through I eventually received 37161.75. Of that I was able to spend 29560.78 on the game before the end of 2013 thereby dramatically reducing the taxes I would owe on the Kickstarter money come April 15 2014. Still I ended up owing several thousand dollars more in taxes for 2013 than I did the year before as a direct result of what Irsquod raised on Kickstarter these taxes ultimately had to come out of the Kickstarter funds as well. Counting my out-of-pocket expenses the available Kickstarter budget and all of the cuts taken out of the Kickstarter budget by the government and various private middlemen Telepath Tacticsrsquos monetary cost to develop totals 54525.25. Money isnrsquot everything however. With all the recent brouhaha over developers underselling people on the cost of developing games I feel obligated to mention that the true cost of developing Telepath Tactics is actually a good deal higher than that. Other than a small chunk I used to keep myself alive during the 4 months where I coded full-time I did not pay myself for my work. The average entry-level salary for a full-time game programmer is something like 66000 per year. The average calendar year has an average of 2087 working hours for a full-time employee making the corresponding hourly wage rate something like 31.62 an hour. Starting around March 2012 and ending with the gamersquos release I coded without compensation for 32 months at 10-20 hours per week which wersquoll average to 15 hours per week times 4 weeks per month prior to March 2012 Irsquod give a lowball estimate that I put in 400 hours or so getting the engine prepped. Thatrsquos 2320 hours of work. At 31.62 an hour2320 hours of work puts an additional 73358.40 of uncompensated labor onto the gamersquos true cost to develop. Had I compensated myself fairly for all the time I spent developing Telepath Tactics the total cost of development would actually be something closer to 127883.65. As far as money actually spent the gamersquos budget breaks down like so I was not even close to being able to pay for my own work on the game out of the gamersquos available budget. Thankfully I went into development of Telepath Tactics assuming that I would be working without pay and ultimately subsidized this cost by keeping a day job. This was what allowed me to make the game with the budget I had. So what does that mean Is that good Yes. RPGs in general are extremely costly to develop due to the high number of required assets and content compared to other game genresndashthis remains true of strategy RPGs as well. Telepath Tacticsrsquos budget is incredibly small given what we achieved with it. Compare Telepath Tactics to Fire Emblem Awakening for instance. Fire Emblem Awakening costs 39.99 at full price it reportedly needed to sell 250000 copies at that price to be considered ldquoworthwhilerdquo which we can assume means ldquoprofitablerdquo or something close to it. 250000 copies sold at 39.99 equals just shy of 10 million. Thatrsquos about 200 times the budget that Telepath Tactics had or 78 times its total cost to develop that includes my theoretical salary. Hitoshi Yatagami of Nintendo has said that a WiiU Fire Emblem would need to shift 700000 copies to cover the costs of development WiiU games typically cost 49.99 or 59.99 new. Giving the benefit of the doubt and assuming the lower of these two prices that means a WiiU Fire Emblem game would cost roughly 35 million to make. Thatrsquos about 700 times Telepath Tacticsrsquos budget or more than 273 times its total cost to develop. But even without comparing Telepath Tactics to other sRPGs itrsquos pretty impressive that it got made on the budget it had. This was a focused but ambitious gamendashand knowing the limited resources I had available I tried to make every last dollar

Video screencast Good once good three times or always good what game - Link Fri, 14 Aug 2015 03:00:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs Video screencast Good once good three times or always good what game do you want to make by Lewis Pulsipher on 081715 015300 pm Post A Comment The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Below is the text of the slides. There39s much more to the video than that of course. Good once good three times or always good ndash what game do you want to make Dr. Lewis Pulsipher Pulsiphergames.com Robert Heinleinrsquos Saying Itrsquos been decades since I read ldquoThe Moon is a Harsh Mistressrdquo But a friend tells me that author Robert Heinlein at one point says this about the nature of jokes quotFunny once funny twice or always funnyquot Think about it itrsquos true and true of books as well if you substitute ldquoworth readingrdquo for ldquofunnyrdquo And I think itrsquos become true of games as well if we substitute ldquoworth playingrdquo and Irsquoll say three not two Wersquore ignoring all those jokes books games that arenrsquot worthwhile even once. . . How it applies to games This tends to apply to modern games both video and tabletop. quotEnjoyable once enjoyable thrice or enjoyable always.quot 3500 tabletop games a year and tens of thousands of video games think of all the mobiles 500 per day on iOS and F2P games In both cases itrsquos immensely easier to self-publish than in the past AAA video games have always tended to be ldquoone and donerdquo ndash ldquoI beat the gamerdquo and then I donrsquot play any more Because theyrsquore really puzzles more than games They so often have always-correct solutions like puzzles ldquoCult of the Newrdquo But tabletop games are leaning the same way not ldquoI beat the gamerdquo though there is that but the ldquoCult of the Newrdquo So most games are played just a few times before everyone moves on to the next This is exacerbated as there are more and more new games I think wersquove come to the point that most games are designed to meet this standard of ldquoplay three timesrdquo or less Need for Personal Validation So why donrsquot more people ldquocall outrdquo those weak games Heavily-hyped games e.g. on Kickstarter build up a ldquocreditrdquo Young people especially feel that they need others to validate their likes so that they campaign in favor of what they like and against what they don39t or against anyone who doesn39t like what they like. Hence the hype increases Emotional Investment Older generations tend to have more belief in their own preferences and don39t feel a need to campaign for them or against the contrary A result there is less actual analysis of games and more emotional ldquous and themrdquo Magnified by the Internet of course Those who let themselves be sold on a game before itrsquos released are emotionally invested in the success of the game so theyrsquore less likely to criticize it once itrsquos on the market Thatrsquos sad . . . As long as there are enough buyers for ldquoenjoyable oncerdquo or ldquoenjoyable thricerdquo it will continue Itrsquos easier to design games that way too. You can forget about gameplay depth and about replayability You can design the game to be ldquotransparentrdquo that is people can figure out how to play well after playing once No this is not how deep games used to be designed itrsquos ldquoparty and familyrdquo game design But thatrsquos where the market is How many people do you know that study individual games in order to play better Not many Irsquoll bet Heck most people donrsquot even want to read the rules these days Not surprising that the overall quality of games for ldquoseriousrdquo players is decreasing But thatrsquos where the market is nowadays short simple easy-to-digest games bagatelles for the most part that we can play a few times and give up Much easier to design such games as well Time-killers More and more players treat games as time-killers As long as the individual game isn39t too long What quottoo longquot is varies but I was recently at a game designer guild meeting where I described an hour-long game as a quotfillerquot and was told fillers are now 15-20 minutes Not surprising that so many games are shallow lacking substance What standard are you working toward as a designer lewpuls on twitter Online courses with discounts listed at pulsiphergames.com Related Jobs 08.18.15 Game System Designer 08.18.15 Senior 3D Artist 08.18.15 Technical Artist 08.18.15 Game Balancer x 2 View All Jobs 251492 blog blogsLewisPulsipher20150817251492Video_screencast_Good_once_good_three_times_or_always_good__what_game_do_you_want_to_make.php 849654 32925313 Loading Comments

The Itch to Make and Nothing to Say Creative Significance and Games - - Link Fri, 14 Aug 2015 01:58:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs The Itch to Make and Nothing to Say Creative Significance and Games by Paul Kilduff-Taylor on 081415 030000 pm 7 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Inmy last post I suggested that developers should focus on ldquocreatively significant workrdquo. I realised that this was so vague as to be almost completely meaningless so herersquos a further lookhellip Moneyballs AtMode 7 we try to make two things games which interest us and money. This blend of creativity and commerce seems to be a traditional game development recipe a happy medium. I do wonder though if this is the worst of both worlds. Perhaps real pioneering creativity is being hampered both by the need to keep the company ticking over and by the desire to grow it Maybe wersquore chasing some futile abstract creative ideal and undermining our financial prospects So what if wejusttried to make money Pre-credit crunch any financey investory venture-capitally-type people we met would tell us that we should be taking on loads of debt and scaling up. That never felt right and in retrospect it would definitely have been a horrible idea. The core value we have is the creative collaboration betweenIan Hardinghamour Lead Designer and myself diluting this would be a waste. There was basically no guarantee that a second or even third simultaneous game would be anything like as good as a single project we worked on intensively together. The business side of my brain has always been annoyed by this scaling problem. It gets angry and jealous when I see developers who can scale by just repeating themselves this seems unfairly easy. Could you pivot ugh an indie company to become this kind of cash cow Well possibly. The Supercell ldquogame spamrdquo approach where you soft-launch reams of microprojects then mine the successful ones forever is certainly a great risk management strategy which doesnrsquot seem out of reach for many indies. Picking obvious trends like the survival genre or popular aesthetics like swords-and-wizards fantasy could also be more straightforward than magically predicting the whims of the audience. There are some issues with that however. It seems odd to me that Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananencan say ldquoIrsquove never worked for money. I just want to make great gamesrdquo when his two most successful titles are slight evolutions of traditional F2P and exhibit monetisation systems which place extreme constraints on game design. Thatrsquos not knee-jerk F2P-bashing by the way8202mdash8202I deeply respect Supercellrsquos work and achievements8202mdash8202itrsquos just something I find curious. Herersquos why developers who are willing to compromise a shot at the very top end of financial success in exchange for a little more creative freedom avoid traditional free-to-play like the plague. So ldquojust wanting to make great gamesrdquo seems disingenuous there is absolutely no way Supercell can exercise their full creative freedom if they need to operate within these tough parameters. This sounds a bit precious but I also donrsquot know any serious artists who focus test their output and then commit to working only on the most popular pieces either. It just doesnrsquot make sense as an environment in which anything genuinely challenging could happen. They couldnrsquot for example make a game which intentionally bores and frustrates the audience I feel like creativity is being confused with something else here. Whether or not you think itrsquos possible for a small indie team to have aClash of Clansstyle success for the record I do believe that someone could achieve this with some truly disruptive design in that area I think there are only two routes to making a lot of moneyconsistentlyin the games industry which donrsquot solely rely on luck 1. Being extremely conservative with aesthetic and genre choices but very ambitious with subtle design innovation and tech 2. A sustainable portfolio approach with which enables you to release a variety of titles without taking too much risk on a single one Cliffskirsquosrecent post on risk managementwould seem to support this theory. My point is simply that if you wantconsistentlyreliablecommercial success there is little incentive for what you might call ldquoreal creativityrdquo no deep formal innovation no singular focus certainly no narrative challenge. Over the last few years the most straightforward commercial choices were the correct ones it wouldnrsquot have taken superhuman perspicacity to spot those trends or systems at the time and capitalise. So why did very few people do that One problem is that when smaller studios try to be market-driven or even cynical they tend to be spectacularly bad at it. Tale of Talesassertedthat they ldquostudied successful games and applied our findings to the design of Sunsetrdquo this somehow led them to make a slightly impenetrable narrative game about a cleaner. Overwhelmingly though designers especially indies are attracted to the high-risk high-return model of pushing their pet projects through to completion. The fact that almost every hugely successful indie title was made without a strong commercial direction in mind is profoundly enticing because it throws the spotlight on what they want to do design. Whether or not you believe this is ldquorightrdquo depends entirely on your stance on creativity vs. commerce. As things stand now itrsquos debatable whether anything can be considered reliable. Discussion amongthe big gunsis largely about how significant success is only possible through the vagaries of massive innovation. Irsquom personally most attracted to wildly creative art which is also successful thatrsquos specific to me and not necessarily an inclination which is always helpful. I think for real creativity to happen we need to break out of a situation where money is the only justification for a

Lost in Game Space - by Sande Chen - Link Fri, 14 Aug 2015 01:58:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs Lost in Game Space by Sande Chen on 081415 015800 pm 5 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. This article originally appeared on the blog Game Design Aspect of the Month. In the past few years I have served as a judge for multiple game festivals and competitions. There are several reasons why some games don39t make the cut. Beyond the technical complications of not being able to get a game running I find a similar failing may be in not having a strong enough tutorial i.e. a player shouldn39t be confused about how to play a game. Struggling with controls or an interface is just frustrating and not the experience you want for a first-time player. I recall there39s an infamous transcript of a WWII Online player griping that it was easier flying a plane in World War II than trying to do the same in a game In other games I find a beautiful world that I would like to explore but I am directionless as to what would be my goal. Free-form exploration and self-direction are fine as long as there39s enough interesting content to support it indefinitely. In most cases due to production costs this is simply not true. Therefore there needs to be a way to guide the player to the more interesting content rather than leaving the player to trod through the same loop of scenery. A prehistoric storyteller describes a hunt. Luckily stories provide context and player motivation. If I know I have to find a way off the island then I39m not going to spend my time admiring sparkly fish. Moreover human beings crave stories. Even in prehistoric times cave dwellers conveyed tales of great hunts. Stories tell us about ourselves and the human condition. In this age of game making it might seem like emergence or AI is the solution but it39s not enough. Emergent stories could be interesting but they could also be not interesting. As Alex Toplansky said at the panel Writing for Horror Video Games even in systemic games quota writer needs to come in and stack the dice.quot Dramatic storytelling whether linear or non-linear is a crafted experience. As for AI while there have been advances in computer algorithms generating stories poetry and news articles sometimes a human touch is warranted. To escape the redundancy of randomly generated quotRescue X at location Yquot quests players of the now-defunct The Matrix Online banded together to create an epic storyline that gave their characters more motivation. While the quests did give the players specific goals to complete the randomness did not generate an interesting story for players. What39s the lesson here As I have written in my article Towards More Meaningful Games don39t leave your narrative design choices to chance. Yes a game still needs to feel open enough to allow for meaningful player choices but that doesn39t mean that players should be left confused as to what they ought be doing. Sande Chen is a writer and game designer whose work has spanned 10 years in the industry. Her credits include 1999 IGF winner Terminus 2007 PC RPG of the Year The Witcher and Wizard 101. She is one of the founding members of the IGDA Game Design SIG. Related Jobs 08.18.15 Associate Producer 08.18.15 Project ManagerProducer 08.18.15 Product Manager - Games mf 08.18.15 Art Director mf View All Jobs 251326 blog blogsSandeChen20150814251326Lost_in_Game_Space.php 43521 28924453 Loading Comments

Letting players set their own difficulty - by Asher Einhorn - Link Thu, 13 Aug 2015 03:22:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs Letting players set their own difficulty by Asher Einhorn on 081415 015800 pm 3 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. When we talk about players setting their own difficulty wersquore not talking about choosing from lsquoeasyrsquo lsquomediumrsquo or lsquohardrsquo in the main menu but a vast range of techniques that allows the player to dynamically set their own level of challenge as they progress through the game. Why allow the player to do this These designs mean players can fine tune the challenges that yoursquove set out for them in some cases even skipping them altogether. This reduces the emphasis that must be placed on a dynamically scaling system - though not something it should replace but stand beside. Unlike dynamic difficulty these designs embody the ranges of challenge in missions scenarios and systems - and so are visible to the player. This often this means greater replayability as beginners can see ways of interacting with your game they can aspire to. There are in-fact many more benefits to these systems which wersquoll explore with some examples. More difficult optional game components This is commonplace in many games - harder challenges of all kinds that can be attempted or bypassed depending on whether the player feels they have the skill required. Different ways to play These are games that cater for multiple playstyles give the player the chance to master an alternate way of completing the game or mix and match the two. Itrsquos a nice design element that supports player choice but it also allows us alternatives when a section may become too challenging. Setting your own goals Unlike games which offer you many ways to complete them these games embody the idea that the goal is set by the player - many goals varying in the level of challenge that they provide. System design This is my personal favourite mostly because clever systems design can deliver this player-set difficulty on a micro or macro level. These are systems that range from allowing you to elegantly but purposefully raise and lower the difficulty to systems that when pushed push back harder. Takeaways Finally letrsquos call this by its true name - this is actually dynamic difficulty ramping of the current situation. Something I warned away from in this article. The thing that makes it work is that the player can back away from it. Vary it consciously. These systems are presented as a natural aspect of the gamersquos world and not a developer lurking behind the scenes reducing the difficulty. It is the difference between choosing a worthy opponent and being faced against a skilled one who is very obviously going easy on you. This is the third in a four-part series on difficulty in games. Part 1 is about dynamic difficulty Part 2 is all about the relationship between difficulty and readability Related Jobs 08.18.15 Game System Designer 08.18.15 Senior 3D Artist 08.18.15 Technical Artist 08.18.15 Game Balancer x 2 View All Jobs 251350 blog blogsAsherEinhorn20150814251350Letting_players_set_their_own_difficulty.php 999636 34895273 Loading Comments

Process and Goal - by Taekwan Kim - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 02:28:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs Process and Goal by Taekwan Kim on 081315 032200 pm 13 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. I spotted the report earlier yesterday on Mr. Simon Parkin39s new book and was reminded to revisit Mr. Keith Burgun39s post on quotpsychological exploitationquot in games. Some new comments had cropped up with the following from Mr. Rickard Elimaa. quotI think some people need to realize what this article boils down into Do we design games to make people enjoy the activity or do we design them to play for the reward There is a clear difference between intrinsic rewarding activities and extrinsic rewards for doing them. The first lets people do the activity for the fun of doing it and it39s totally fine to do it to spend time to 39waste39 time to fight boredom to activate yourself to get a sensation out of the activity or feel stimulated in mind and soul. I know some people don39t differentiate extrinsic from intrinsic rewards. Well if you can39twont do that then you don39t have anything to get from this discussion.quot Not to be antagonistic here but I feel that this comment rather embodies the problematic assertions at the heart of Mr. Burgun39s post and the whole trouble with what it means for a game to be a quotwaste of timequot or not. Please refer to that post for context and continuity. Frequently in these discussions there is an unquestioned assumption that a clear and universal distinction exists between intrinsic and extrinsic values and that one is necessarily better than the other. However sorting and balancing this out individually is to my limited understanding precisely what individuation and psychological development are about. The answers we come up with are not the same for everyone and they probably shouldn39t be. This in fact is the valuable thing about games that games are a relatively safe place to do this sorting because by intention or not they almost directly force the player to evaluate intrinsic needs against extrinsic ones. Again I don39t mean to put him especially on the spot but Mr. Elimaa39s comment seems to highlight the very difficulty of cleanly separating these two orientations. My understanding of his comment and I could be entirely off on this is that games that have players chase extrinsic goals are destructive and he writes this in support of Mr. Burgun39s observations. But the games discussed in Mr. Burgun39s post are all theoretically intrinsic in their rewards. There are no monetary rewards being chased and mostly no leaderboards to top. They also mostly happen to be single player games so there39s not even a built-in social component to them besides the quotimagined communityquot the player engages with in single play. The only thing that can explicitly be encapsulated and externalized in these games is how much in-game measured progress a player has to show for her time which actually is used as a primary argument against these games in that post that at the end of the day players have nothing to show to the outside world despite how much time they have spent in them. Taking this line of thought to its conclusion the fact that we inevitably have to engage with the outside world is precisely what makes games dangerous and repugnant to critics that view them as time-killers. Because--and this is something that even game apologists such as myself cannot dismiss out of hand--indulging only intrinsic values can also be solipsistically harmful not so much in the selfish sense of that word but in the sense of refusal to engage with external realities. To be slightly unfair Mr. Burgun39s requirement that games should at least be quotintellectualquot reads to my mind as a demand for these games to have an quotintrinsicquot pursuit which is more socio-culturally acceptablevaluable or is otherwise more visible than quotmerequot emotional fulfillment or self-concept refinement. That is we can see from this that even intrinsic values have extrinsic components to them. In response specifically to the idea that there is a quotclear difference betweenquot intrinsic and extrinsic rewards I would strongly disagree with that statement as it pertains to most games because many game mechanics can be vehicles for either intrinsic or extrinsic rewards. For instance completing a game at its highest difficulty level can be a pursuit undertaken purely for the player39s own self-improvement and self-challenge but it can also just as easily and more likely simultaneously be one undertaken as a means of externalizing how much skill a player has as a method of social jockeying reputation seeking public image management which assumably are extrinsic goals. In a situation where the player cares only for the latter goal the activity itself loses value until the goal is obtained. In that same scenario imagine a player that intentionally employs handicaps such as utilizing only low tier gear deliberately using controllers patently unsuited for the game bongo controller for Dark Souls never reloading to correct a failed state etc. Are these activities done for quotfunquot and accomplishment or for quotbragging rightsquot It really just depends on the player and it39s most likely a mix of both which further fluctuates depending on the day and the player39s mood. quotI only care about being good at this gamequot can be both an intrinsic and an extrinsic value statement. It39s really this fluid duality this auto-conflict that makes games so powerful and useful. To put it another way pure process orientation can mean neglect of obtaining tangible results and pure goal orientation can mean neglect of all the learning that can occur in the process of achieving even immaterial goals. We really need to recognize the importance of both and balance them in good measure. Getting back to the topic of games and time-wasting my point here is that many game mechanics

Almost No One Sided with GamerGate A Research Paper on the - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 01:28:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs Almost No One Sided with GamerGate A Research Paper on the Internets Reaction to Last Years Mob by Livio De La Cruz on 081815 022800 pm Post A Comment The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. .aligncenter margin 0 auto .wp-caption font-style italic text-align center blockquotefont-styleitalic li ullist-style-typecirclemargin-left40px li ollist-style-typelower-alphamargin-left40px ol lipadding-bottom10px p.quotebytext-alignrightmargin-left30pxfont-stylenormal blockquotebackground-colore0e0e0padding20px 20px 1pxmargin-bottom20px This paper was originally posted on my blog Superheroes in Racecars. Abstract Lately Irsquove been troubled by the fact that GamerGatersquos supporters and I seem to have completely opposite perceptions about what most people think of their movement. Irsquove had GamerGaters tell me that most people donrsquot equate GamerGate with online harassment and that most people or at least most gamers are actually on GamerGatersquos side. How is it that our perceptions of ldquowhat most people thinkrdquo are so different Could it be that we all live inside some social-media echo chamber that makes us oblivious to other points of view So I decided to start a little research project to settle the question What did most people think about GamerGate The results of this project suggest that the vast majority of people do in fact equate GamerGate with online harassment sexism andor misogyny. More people see GamerGate as a toxic mob rather than a legitimate movement worthy of respect. The following paper goes into great detail about how I conducted this research and why I reached those conclusions. This paper also reads like a historical analysis of the previous year by uncovering patterns in the ways that different people reacted to GamerGate. Therersquos a strong TRIGGER WARNING for anyone who was deeply affected by last yearrsquos events and similar forms of harassment. Things get particularly heavy in the section titled Patterns in How People Reacted to GamerGate. Table of Contents Methodology There are several methodologies that one might consider when tackling this research question. Since the whole event produced a ton of discussion most of which seems to have taken place online I chose to focus on analyzing the tons of online content that were produced since the birth of GamerGate. However since it is impossibly difficult to analyze all of that content much less gather it I inevitably had to decide how I was going to narrow things down into something more manageable. I also had to accept that not all of that content had equal weight to it. For instance an obscure forum post almost definitely wouldnrsquot have had as much of an impact on ldquowhat most people thinkrdquo as a popular and widely-distributed news article. With that in mind I chose to gather as much of the ldquopopular stuffrdquo that I could find about GamerGate. I reasoned that I would be able to get a pretty solid estimate of popular opinion by looking at the most significant artifacts that were produced by the public. I was also working off of the assumption that all of the smaller more obscure leftovers wouldnrsquot end up making a significant difference to the results. Measuring popularity is pretty difficult since we donrsquot really have precise data on all of the individual webpages across the Internet. Rather I mostly worked off of Alexa.comlsquos Global Rankings which is an estimate of the relative popularity of websites across the internet. I chose not to consider Google search rankings when measuring popularity because theyrsquore significantly determined by relevance. For instance just because a site might have the word GamerGate written all over it doesnrsquot mean that people actually go there. Alexa Rankings fluctuate a lot. The drawback to using Alexa rankings is that this metric isnrsquot useful for analyzing platforms such as Twitter YouTube Facebook Reddit etc. and so I couldnrsquot directly analyze social media content with this approach. This isnrsquot to say that social media was entirely ignored. The most significant stuff inevitably bubbled up out of social media and into the essays news articles and wikis that covered GamerGate. Itrsquos also worth noting that for many of these popular sites a significant amount of their incoming traffic comes from social media. My process for gathering the data sources revolved around finding websites and publications that covered GamerGate and then for each website I would gather every single thing that they published on the subject. This was done by using a mix of Google searches in-site searches and by following links between sources. I also visited certain websites directly which was necessary in order to make sure that the most popular game publications were represented in the data such as Gamespot IGN and others. Below is a rough summary of the rules that I used to determine whether or not to include a particular source in the data set Because of the criteria that I used to collect sources the data ended up being very biased towards what journalists columnists and other writers thought about GamerGate. Given how unanimous the results were however itrsquos reasonable to think that popular opinion wasnrsquot very far off from the opinions that these writers were expressing. Irsquom essentially assuming that the world of journalism had more of an impact on ldquowhat most people thinkrdquo about GamerGate than all of the YouTube videos Reddit threads and Twitter hashtags combined. There is a more thorough interrogation of this assumption in the Comparing Estimates of Population Size section of this paper. This was not a comprehensive study. In fact my decision for when to stop gathering data was fairly arbitrary I stopped once it was getting hard to find new stuff to add. Itrsquos likely that there are more English-speaking

The Standard of Kickstarter Pitches for Game Development - by Josh - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 01:28:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs The Standard of Kickstarter Pitches for Game Development by Josh Bycer on 081815 012800 pm Post A Comment The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Recently former Bioware developers got together to pitch theKickstarter for Mooncrest a return of old school RPG design with modern combat. And while their pedigrees are impressive they messed up with one of the most amateurish Kickstarter presentations I39ve seen this year. Kickstarter is no longer in the gold rush period set by games like Broken Age and Planetary Annihilation and it39s important for would be Kickstarter project makers to understand what needs to be in a Kickstarter to avoid the same fate as Mooncrest. The Video The originalKickstarter video for Mooncrestwas ... special to say the least and it has since been taken down but someone did manage to save a copy of it on YouTube. Regarding examining that video and what39s wrong with it from a storytelling and presentation angle while it would be a fun activity is not the point of this topic. The big red flag is that there was no in-game or proof of concept explanation anywhere in that video. And that takes us to point oneKICKSTARTERS NEED GAME FOOTAGE either actual footage of the game in action or something to show off the proof of concept and basic game engine. The days of your video essentially saying ldquoI want to make something cool so please give me moneyquot are over. Kickstarter backers are a lot more leery of Kickstarter video game projects and they are expecting more. The days of a kickstarter succeeding without having any in game or concept footage are gone backers are a lot more critical of projects now I have to point out the amazing work that Redhook Games did with their Kickstarter video They didn39t need to show themselves ask for money or make a cute little skit. Instead we got two minutes showing off what kind of game they wanted to make while using in game graphics and aesthetics. If you want your main video to be a skit or you talking about your game you can do that but there still needs to be something that shows your game off somewhere on the Kickstarter page which takes us to the next point. Describing the Game One of the challenges of funding a game through Kickstarter is the fact that you are pitching something that in most cases you have no idea how it will turn out. Video game development is a constantly evolving project and your quotdream ideaquot now may not work when you start trying to develop it. This is the main reason why Kickstarter pages don39t go into specifics about the game as the developer doesn39t want to write themselves into a corner if they have to change something. With that said you still need to give the kickstarter audience some idea of how your game will play out. Looking at the Mooncrest page there is very little information on how someone would play the game. The developers tried to use the shortcut of describing their game using other games in this case Demon Souls but that39s not good enough. Just like how there are many types of RPGs you need to explain what makes your game special and bringing up other games doesn39t work. Another selling point the developers tried was bringing up logic puzzles in old school RPGs however there were no actual examples given of what they mean. For someone like me who didn39t grow up playing these puzzles I have no idea what the hell they39re talking about so why should I be excited and give them money Speaking of giving money another part of a Kickstarter are the rewards that the developer has in mind and there are several important considerations that must be taken into account. Rewards When we39re talking about rewards this could mean either physical or digital goods. The first thing is that you need to spell out what your rewards are on the Kickstarter page. Having a rewards matrix like the Mooncrest developers did was a good idea but there needs to be an explanation of what the rewards are and the matrix isn39t enough. There are basic descriptions listed on the pledge area to the right but a backer should be able to see easily what they are getting with their pledge. Redhook39s kickstarter for Darkest Dungeon was just about perfect Delivering a great concept explanation of the game and an easy to follow list of rewards Another thing to watch out for is what you promise to backers only. Consumers don39t like it when game changing content or unique features are left out and they don39t care if this was something promised months before they even heard of your game. This is why you need to be very careful with promising exclusive content as it can come back to bite you. Redhook Games ran into this problem with the Darkest Dungeon kickstarter and how backers at a certain level will get an exclusive class. At the time of this post we still don39t know what that means but the developers are taking their time to make sure that what they come up with won39t piss off the fans that didn39t back. Physical goods and bonuses are fine and people understand that they were meant for an exclusive period. The only things to watch out for are the costs of shipping and manufacturing which is another topic that we can talk about sometime soon. The Best Foot Forward You cannot haphazardly go onto kickstarter with a project and expect it to succeed. One of the comments that I hear from developers I39ve spoken with on the Game-Wisdom Perceptive Podcast is how demanding Kickstarter is it really becomes its own project that you have to work on alongside your game. For many developers they don39t like that idea and would rather work on making the best game possible but that39s not how you succeed on Kickstarter. You need to spend adequate time on your Kickstarter promo to make sure that the points I talked about above are covered. With the Darkest Dungeon Redhook spent at least six months on the

Interviewing veteran composer Barry Leitch Part II. A new profession - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 01:28:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs Interviewing veteran composer Barry Leitch Part II. A new profession Game Composer. by Jesus Fabre on 081815 012800 pm Post A Comment The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. About the correlation between a game39s reception and its soundtrack. After researching some cases I saw the recognition a video game soundtrack could get uses to be limited by the recognition that title receives. So if the soundtrack is superb and the game is mediocre those fantastic pieces of music will probably get lost very fast. Can you talk about your case and mention other curious situations you know Rob Hubbards ldquoSpellboundrdquo music was given a 53 rating for audio in Zzap 64... It is arguably the best piece of music ever written for the C64. The game wasnrsquot bad so thatrsquos a one off anomaly. If the game isnrsquot very good usually the music gets tarred with the same brushhellip If the game is great it usually benefits how the audio is perceived... Itrsquos a negative positive association. I think games have changed a lot over the yearshellip people used to pay a lot more attention to their soundtracks due partly to several reasons A Novelty and uniqueness It was a new sound that had never been heard before. Synthesizers were new at the time and suddenly there was this whole new genre of music with game music being a far derivative of that. Where people would have to push boundaries and create new mechanisms in order to squeeze something not only musical but aesthetically pleasing out of a sound chip. In this sense Rob Hubbardrsquos work was absolutely groundbreaking. B Creative Control The composer had a lot more creative control over what went in the game so obviously they would compose a soundtrack that people would want to listen to. As the industry grew so did the amount of people involved in a game no longer did you just have to get the programmers approval. You had to appease the producer the programmers the artists the marketing guys and in the end you get that horrible ldquodesign by committeerdquo thing and it simply dilutes the quality of the audio you end up steering what you are writing to something that will appease as many people as possible as opposed to doing what all the great composers do which is to be somewhat more self-indulgent and create art. Sometimes studios look for renowned game composers and give them more of that creative control when they probably had a talented local composer available who wouldn39t have that freedom. It39s a very crowded space where you need to work a lot on your own quotbrandquot outstanding what makes you different and delivering the best quality at your hands. In this surreal case Irsquom the renowned composer.. LOL.. Something I would have never dreamt of and I have to tell you Irsquove had SO MUCH fun writing the music. Irsquove been more excited to write this soundtrack than ANYTHING Irsquove worked on previously and Irsquove probably gone way over the top in places more so than I would usually have done as Irsquom quite used to writing for a committee - keeping the pieces within those ldquosafe boundariesrdquo that you know will appease most people but in letting me off the leash a bit Irsquove had that freedom to explore places that I wouldnrsquot usually have gone. I am constantly testing ideas out on friends just to make sure Irsquom not going off the rails too much and the feedback has just been incredible So I really feel like what Irsquove created here is a work of art. Not everybody will like it - but I think a lot more people will like it than hate it. There are many stories about famous bands who had difficulty getting their most famous works published... It all comes down to that creative control. Aquiris have been very ldquohands offrdquo with the music. They havent really pushed back on anything other than when I used a sitar in one of the race tunes and their reasoning for that was because it grounded the music too much in a specific geographical area. So itrsquos very much been a ldquodream gigrdquo. C Getting lost in the noise Therersquos a LOT more audio now... In music production alone therersquos been a 100X increase in recorded music produced from 1980-ish until now... and on top of that therersquos a LOT more mediums of delivery from toys to cellphones so people are constantly bombarded with music itrsquos easy to see how great soundtracks can simply drown in the maelstrom. Regarding the consideration from developers about the music of a game was it always equally relevant back then as it is now I could waffle on nostalgically about how game music was more important back then. ldquoHow music used to mean somethinghellip.rdquo but to be honest itrsquos just as relevant now as it was then.. Therersquos just a LOT more of ithellip Todayrsquos wee mobile apps have FAR more music in them than most commodore 64 games ever did. Another thing Irsquove noticed though is that pieces are written more to create an atmosphere rather than just be some good music. Obviously this is game specific and therersquos games that suit some good old fashioned ldquogame musicrdquo and games where atmosphere is paramount. I think I just miss picking up a game knowing that yoursquore going to hear something musically interesting no matter what it was. Itrsquos possible to create atmosphere with melody.. It doesnrsquot always have to be a long drawn out string section. I can imagine you are still in touch with other veteran video game musicians are they still working in games how does this industry treats veteran musicians I still am in touch with several veteran game composers many are currently enjoying the current ldquoretro revivalrdquo but many have had employment problems over the years. The game industry in general is very cyclic boom and bust. I havenrsquot worked full time in games for almost 15 years now. In

Some Insights and Advice on How to Get into US Market from Marketing - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 01:28:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs Some Insights and Advice on How to Get into US Market from Marketing Game Design and User Acquisition Perspectives by Echo Zeng on 081815 012800 pm Post A Comment The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. We had a special video interview with Pangea Mobile. The San Francisco-based company provides services thatcan help Chinese mobile games developers bring their titlesto Western audience. The interview was divided into two parts. The first part is about Derrick Chen CTO of Pangea Mobile tells us what is Pangea Tools and how Chinese developers can benefit from these tools. 1st part video The second part is about four executives from Pangea Mobile giving Chinese developers some insights and advice on how to get into US market from marketing game design and user acquisition perspectives. 2nd part video Henry Huang Marketing Director of Pangea Mobile tells us an overview about Chinese and US market Paul Pierre CPO of Pangea Mobile tells us the differences between Chinese games and US games in terms of game design primary challenges for Chinese developers to get into the US market and how to address them. Steve Growth Hacker of Pangea Mobile gives us some insights about game marketing strategy in the US. Son Nguyen Senior Director of Product of Pangea Mobile tells us how they do for Summoners Age in terms of app store optimization design UIUX and art etc. The following is the edited transcript of the interview. Derrick Chen CTO of Pangea Mobile Gamegyro Would you tell us about Pangea Tools Derrick Chen Our Pangea platform is a unique one-stop solution to help developers succeed in US. It combines pre-install analytics post-install analytics and an array of tool sets quite helpful for non-western developers to get into the western market. Our pre-install analytics tool consists of Cross-promotions UA attributions and UA management. The post-install analytics have all the KPIs that we care about such as Retentions ARPDAU etc. We try to reduce the amount of noise that other analytic platforms has. But of course you can dig deeper if you want to in our platform. Then we tie up all that up into our predictive analytic tool that measure the true ROI of your game by taking into considerations of your head account your marketing and office expenses. Also we have other partners and services in the platform such as User Acquisitions Translation Services User Services Icon Testing System and consultation. It is a full array of services that will help the western developers. Gamegyro How Chinese developers benefit from your tools Derrick Chen first the cross-promotion tool will help lower eCPI by leveraging existing users. The post-install analytic tools will help them gain more insights into their games and tell the developers what areas they need to improve on. Also our predictive analytics tool will give developer true ROI on the behalf of the game. Also the array of service that we provide they donrsquot have to go anywhere else. Basically they can come to us. We help the developer focus on what they can do best in making games and we handle the rest in one dashboard. Henry Huang Marketing Director of Pangea Mobile Gamegyro Please tell us about the US and Chinese market. Henry Huang Today in China high volumes of Chinese games that flood app stores are big problems in Chinese mobile games space. This year we can predict over 500 to 600 mobiles coming out every month in China. The numbers are crazy the market competition is very intensive. And obviously the developersrsquo revenue keeps decreasing. Comparing with the Chinese market the US market looks more healthy and transparent. The game developers they only need to focus on their own products. Also the US players are more mature they are more willing to spend more money on games for fun. So we can see there is a trend to introduce high quality Chinese games from Chinese developers and publishers that seeking opportunities in US. About culture difference Chinese developers and publishers are facing big hurdles in reaching the audience in terms of retention monetization UA social media mechanism and high quality localization. So Pangea offers a solution for Chinese developers to well understand US market and audience. Paul Pierre CPO of Pangea Mobile Gamegyro What is the difference between Chinese games and US games in terms of game design Paul Pierre Sure. Specifically for Chinese VS US free to play game design. If boil it down it really boils down to two things it boils down to ldquopower and timerdquo. What I mean by ldquopower and timerdquo is when come to monetization and strong retention loops a lot of what drives Chinese free to play gamers is power. So that means being able to straight up buy or have a chance to buy more powerful items weapons etc. And a lot of it revolves around vanity as well. Things that relate to ldquobragging rightsrdquo and having the people known that you have the most powerful item. In the West itrsquos a little bit more about time. So if you look at the top grossing game like Candy Crush Clash of Clans we put a premium on our time that means we are more willing to pay for shortcuts so we donrsquot have to wait for our Farmville crops to grow or wait for our Clash of Clans troops to finish building. And you actually see that all across the top grossing games at least the mid-core free-to-play games. Because of those two things the concepts actually trickle down throughout the entire game design. Small things like leaderboards. In the US we typically only have one server and leaderboards tend to refresh themselves over time. So that everyone has a shot at becoming No.1 and they get the leaderboard rewards. While Chinese games you actually choose a server and leaderboards are permanent. Itrsquos almost like a mark for the top players that stay forever in that server and the developer just creates a

Less communication better community - by Nick Gravelyn - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 01:28:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs Less communication better community by Nick Gravelyn on 081815 012800 pm 2 comments The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. During a recent session of Rocket League I found myself joining a game with players who had just beaten us in the previous game. The first thing that appeared as the game launched was a text chat message in the top corner quotwelcome back derogatory word for African Americans.quotI immediately exited the game. Regardless of any punishment by the game a 15 minute ban frommatchmaking I refuse to engage in any way with people who feel compelled to use that kind of speech. Then I started thinking about the very concept of open chat in games. Hearthstone is a popular online game that has no way for users to directly communicate aside from a few preset options. Image from fullcleared.comwho shares my opinion on Hearthstone39s emote system This limitation gives a range of expressions for the player without allowing people to communicate freely. This provides the social interaction many want while giving players a safe space free of harassment by other players. Rocket League likewise has a quick chat feature primarily to accomodate the gamepad control scheme where players use the directional pad to select first a category and then specific message that can be sent to teammates or the game. These options range from instructional text like quotI39m defendingquot to reactions like quotWowquot and quotOMGquot. In total Rocket League provides 16 such messages that can be sent with just two presses of the directional pad as a bonus these quick chat messages can be automatically translated by the game enabling communication across language barriers. However while Hearthstone has no custom text entry Rocket League does provide the option to users in addition to the chat options. While most of my games have been nothing but quick chat and friendly messages it only takes a couple bad apples to sour the experience. People putting down the opposing team or even members of their own team really makes the experience less fun for everyone. I really dobelieve that any game that doesn39t require or benefit from extensive chat e.g. games featuringshorter experiences like Rocket League Hearthstone or even many quotroundquot basedfirst person shooters likely would bebestsuited by a limited communication system. It allows for some level of communication and expression but ensures the content of the communication stays friendly and focused on the game. And that seems like a big plus when your game is dependent on building a happy user base to fill your servers. Of course there is a compromise here that Rocket League could and in my opinion should take. Given their dedicated PC user base and background they could add an option that allows users to block text chat except for quick chat options. This would allow an opt-in quotsafequot mode for chat which while not as nice as being the default at least provides those of us who39d rather not have people harassing us an option to limit the chat to only the friendly and safe quick chat options. As an aside I39ve also noticed an interesting trend where the higher my ranking in Rocket League the less friendly chats I seen. At the start many people on opposing teams would give quotNice shotquot messages to the other team but that friendly spirit seems to diminish on the way up the rankings. It39s interesting that the better players get the generally less friendly they are to opposing players. It39s not a rule I39ve seen people at all stages complimenting each other but it39s definitely less frequent from my experience. Related Jobs 08.18.15 Game System Designer 08.18.15 Senior 3D Artist 08.18.15 Technical Artist 08.18.15 Game Balancer x 2 View All Jobs 251538 blog blogsNickGravelyn20150818251538Less_communication_better_community.php 989574 34244593 Loading Comments

UAT Game Studios Crunch Time - by Jorge Portillo - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 01:28:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs UAT Game Studios Crunch Time by Jorge Portillo on 081815 012800 pm Post A Comment The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Another week has passed and the UAT Game Studios team is now in ldquoCrunch Mode.rdquo The team heads into their final week of production and the dedication discipline and persistence has surfaced throughout each contributor. The motivated team of artists programmers and designers have continued to show great strength during this time of duress. As we continue to get the game market ready the team is focusing on extensive gameplay features that allow the player to engage in exploration and boss levels. Since the game is narrative driven we want to immediately have the player drawn into the games storyline and play a major role in helping the protagonist problem solve through each event she encounters. This attempt will invite our game designers to show off their skill set by encouraging the player to want more or as I like to call it ldquoleave them in suspenserdquo. This motivating factor can be done by educating the player with simple gameplay mechanics such as attack block power-ups and basic navigation movements. Each new found ability can be performed throughout the levels where the player can perform the task and be rewarded with additional clues or abilities to help progress in the game. The first level is the most crucial and challenging levels of all. We want to focus on engaging the player by demonstrating a good balance of risk vs reward. Essentially itrsquoll be a tutorial level that educates the player on what he or she can or cannot do. The more obstacles the player encounters the higher reward. Hopefully our first level can teach motivate and encourage the player to want more. Once this has been accomplished our aim from a marketing standpoint is to have the first few levels open to the public where they can play at no cost. I feel the best way to evolve in game development is to get feedback from your potential consumer. I understand that this game will not appeal to all gamers however if we strategically reach to the certain few that can adapt to it then we will be able to successfully get thorough feedback from them. We are also currently anticipating the release of our new game trailer and website. They are projected to both be released to the public by the beginning of next week This will create an enormous amount of presence for our game and help with promotion marketing and obtaining a potential publisher. As next week winds down UAT Game Studios will hold their seasonal Greenlight event. This essentially allows for all game projects to have the opportunity to get into the UAT Game Studio or have another iteration of production. With all that Irsquove seen this semester Irsquom confident that Team Mirrored will get another shot at production and be ready to dig deeper into the phases of game development. Till next time Jorge Portillo For additional information on the game and UAT Game Studios see below. Links to UAT GAME STUDIOS httpswww.facebook.comuatgamestudios httpwww.uat.edugclidCjwKEAjw8qetBRCj6vKH8IC_kwoSJADGQ8dSurO814GimT7-YLfdbQEuFqK3G7pW5Nh-zeN5pZQkcxoCiU7w_wcB Links to Mirrored Reflection of Resolution httpswww.youtube.comwatchv3chYpdIphS4ampfeatureyoutu.be httpbpope011.wix.commirroredgame httpswww.facebook.compagesMirrored-The-Reflective-Resolution3559757879247 Related Jobs 08.18.15 Associate Producer 08.18.15 Project ManagerProducer 08.18.15 Product Manager - Games mf 08.18.15 Art Director mf View All Jobs 251541 blog blogsJorgePortillo20150818251541UAT_Game_Studios_Crunch_Time.php 866257 33083783 Loading Comments

Subtext and the importance of feedback - by Pontus Lundn - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 01:13:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs Subtext and the importance of feedback by Pontus Lundn on 081815 012800 pm Post A Comment The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. When creating a story about intrigue mystery and secrets one of the most important aspects is subtext. It39s what keeps the player on the edge through every bit of dialogue detail and interaction. It39s what makes us analyse characters their behaviour and their relationships. One of the biggest advantages that non-interactive media has regarding subtext is that the person experiencing the story doesn39t need to understand the subtext in order for the story to progress. Examples for this would be Fight Club or The Sixth Sense where the subtext goes unexplained until the very end of the story Which in turn makes the second viewing quite different from the first one. While games can still use subtext in similar way by utilizing plot twists to make the subtexts appear more clearly upon a second viewing if we truly want the player to be a part of a subtext-heavy story herhis actions should be reliant on that subtext. For an example in a detective game the game shouldn39t outright tell the player that quotA hates B because C is in love with B instead of Aquot. Rather the player herselfhimself should have to figure out the underlying intrigues going on in order to solve the crime. The subtexts should be a part of the puzzle. As I wrote earlier games don39t need to use subtext in this way in order to be a good game. Subtext can be used in numerous ways. But if you want subtext to be an interactive element in your game the player should have to figure out these things herselfhimself. So why is this hard to do in games Well it39s because subtext is based a lot on understanding the layers of a story. If seeing through the layers is too easy the subtext feels forced or at worst barely like subtext at all. If it39s too hard no one will understand what you39re really trying to say and all you39ll end up with is a confused player who doesn39t know what to do. At this point in the text it39s probably good to briefly tell you about the game we39re developing and how it relates to this subject. We39re developing a game called The Westport Independent a censorship simulator about an independent newspaper trying to survive in a totalitarian state on the brink of revolution. In the game you affect the peoplersquos opinion of both the rebels and the state by removing and editing the contents of your articles. With an increase in rebel activity and an ever watching government breathing down your neck it39s up to you to decide whose truth to print. The dilemma we soon ran in to when starting to write the game was how we should write the articles. We needed to make sure that the players would understand how the people of the game would react without saying anything outright. For an example if the rebels bombed a building in the middle of the city would the rebels get more support as they show their strength or would people view them as terrorists and therefore distance themselves Well in that case it39s actually a multi-layered question To explain it other terms if you39d only say that a bombing took place the government would be very angry at you and the public would get angry at the government and the rebels would gain more support. If you39d instead blame the bombing on the rebels the rebels would lose support causing the government to gain more supporters which in turn would make sure that the government wouldn39t be AS angry with you as in the first option. However if you39d just cover up events like these and let the government clean up the rebels without the public ever hearing about it the government wouldn39t take offense at all and might just even start to take a liking to you. A different example of an article. Here the player has to understand that a study perfromed by the government will probably be biased. Keeping it in will make the government angry and give the rebels a bit more support.Keeping it out will make the study seem more objective making the claims much more believable which in this case will make the government happy and also give them more support. All this just might seem a bit complex but understanding the subtext is one of the main points of the game. It39s all about how you manipulate each story to benefit your agenda. So how did we make sure that the players understood the subtext while still making it a part of the quotpuzzlequot We gave the player feedback. We39ve done our best to make sure just about everything in the game reacts to the players actions. By doing this we let players who don39t catch the subtext immediately get a reaction from the game that will make the subtext more understandable. Types of feedback I39m going to walk you through the various ways we39ve used to give the player feedback while trying to avoid shoving the sub textual meaning down the players39 throats. I39ll try to divide these into different categories to make things a bit easier to read. Also while I39ve been working with games for a while now I don39t have an academic degree in game design or anything so the way I categorize these types of feedback might be different from what other people have heard. This is how we define them when we work on The Westport Independent and might not work as well on other projects. Stats-based feedback Mechanics-based feedback Stats-based feedback is what we call feedback that are pretty much point based. A decently basic example of this would be getting badgood karma in Infamous or renegadeparagon in the Mass Effect-games. You pretty much make a narrative choice and the game responds to that choice by giving stats that reflect your quotgoodnessquot as a character. A slightly more advanced version of this would be GTA 2. In this game you can do missions that will gain you trust with one gang but will also make

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Made by Indie Development Studios - by Aidan - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 01:13:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs The 5 Biggest Mistakes Made by Indie Development Studios by Aidan Minter on 081815 011300 pm Post A Comment The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. The competitive nature of the video-game industry makes it one of the most volatile markets in business today. As technology amps up the pace to define our lifestyle needs so too does the level of expectation placed up developers and publishers to deliver truly standout forms of entertainment. In late 2013 and early 2014 we saw more of the transitional shift in the digital games market where developers and startups one man bands and bedroom coders were being the creative freedom to explore the direct to consumer possibilities. For the publishers who remain we also saw a dramatic shift in their product strategy as they looked to adopt a digital business model with their I.P and move more aggressively into markets they had not even discussed five years prior. Consumers are being bombarded with all kinds of different media on a daily basis so discoverability and brand loyalty are much harder to achieve. Marketing is now taking on broader and more diverse forms to coax consumers into the fold transmedia marketing and social networks are now the go to tools to nurture that all important divide between passive viewer and active player. I39ve worked in the games industry for over 20 years I39ve primarily worked on the publishing side Atari Midway Games Meteor Entertainment but have worked closely with development teams of various sizes in helping them negotiate a route to market. Over that 20 years I39m still still seeing the same mistakes made today that teams from years ago were making. Here39s 5 mistakes some development teams are still making - here39s the guidance to avoid making those mistakes. 1. Lack of Positioning For The Product There are too many instances in current development teams where staffers working on the title look at the product as a set of tasks rather than understanding the title as it should be positioned. The bond between your marketing communications and your development team needs to be in sync in most cases they never are and teams become alienated and fractured which invariably creates an emotional divide. Smaller development teams working their own communications tend to avoid this because they become masters of many talents they have to work together and they absolutely have to know where the product is at and what they are creating. Imagine how better your team would operate if everyone actually knew what they creating where it was going to fit into the wide open gaming space and more importantly what type of person was going to buy it or experience it. Your team will gain an extra insight by being more socially and commercially aware than if you had a team focused on a list of tasks rather than a product for X amp Y gamers. 2. Lack of Benchmarking for Trends and Competitors Failure to recognize what your competitor is doing will create more work for you in the long run. Benchmarking gives you a greater sense of understanding your own abilities to match or exceed the consumer demand on your product. By knowing how much work you need to undertake just to match expectation you are building the groundwork for a very capable product. Keep in mind that yoursquore not looking to be a lsquome toorsquo product yoursquore looking for ways to exceed your consumers level of expectation in what yoursquore bringing to the table be it a service or a product. What top 5 features do you have in your product compared to the top 5 features in your competitors product - If you don39t know the answer you should because no one39s going to buy an inferior 39me too product39. 3. Underestimating the True Value of Video Content For Discoverability Itrsquos the single most important format for people to learn share and connect. Video content is also the most direct way to communicate with your audience in order to convey information about your product. YouTube should be high on your list of priorities and it pays to plan a consistent drip feed of content that will build familiarity with your brand. To stand out on YouTube you need original compelling content because every man and his uncle is also uploading content because they want your audience as well. In terms of search gamers rely on two resources Google and YouTube so the title of your video is almost as vital as the content you are promoting. In a recent Google report on how Gamers use YouTube it revealed the following facts. 4. Inadequate Press Kits and Media Content Emphasis should be to provide journalists and publications with everything they need and more to talk about your product better to go above and beyond what they need rather than under-delivering. Create a solid press kit with information screenshots art trailer and press release. Reducing the amount of time you are being pulled away from your project by constant media requests is much more beneficial than chasing down assets and delivering them especially where man power or resources are limited. If press can39t or don39t get the assets they need - they39ll just write about a product they do have the assets for. In summary prepare for trade events where journalists will be present with a comprehensive press asset offering and be sure you have some way of being able to maintain contact with the publication either directly or through a representative. If you think a dedicated PR agency might be able to help you then bring them into the fold don39t assume that PR is too expensive for your budget you39d be surprised how flexible PR agencies can be. 5. Lack of Market Awareness and Understanding Community Buzz Competitor activity is one of the biggest factors in marketing adjustment as well as audience awareness. Ideally yoursquore looking to deliver the best possible message to the largest possible

Ten Games In A Year The CalArts Game Makers Post Mortem - by Nathan - Link Tue, 18 Aug 2015 01:13:00

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs Ten Games In A Year The CalArts Game Makers Post Mortem by Nathan Savant on 081815 011300 pm Post A Comment The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. A little background info to start I am a fourth year student of CalArts Character Animation. This past year I started a group on campus for those of us interested in making video games something that CalArts does not officially do. I decided that since the workflow of making films is so similar to making video games we could start up a production of a few games and see how it would go. After a school yearrsquos worth of game-making and with 10 video game prototypes under our belt I do hereby declare it a resounding success So letrsquos discuss what made that possible. Management of the Round Table Call me King Arthur but I prefer everyone to be on equal footing. No one officially in charge just a group of like-minded individuals taking on the roles they believe they were best suited to taking on. Project leads stepping up as a necessity but not treated as higher than their teammates just being the person responsible for keeping the team moving in a single direction. The advantage of this system is that everyone is capable of offering up suggestions and a wide variety of ideas are tossed around. Being a group of people from a college that focuses so heavily on creativity we were definitively suited towards an environment conducive to creative thinking. The disadvantage of this system comes in that the team lead ends up carrying the whole project on their shoulders coordinating everyonersquos tasks while doing a large chunk of production work themselves. There simply isn39t anyone else for people to report to so the project lead does it all. And then there39s ego. I ran into a couple situations where I tried stepping in where I wasn39t wanted because I felt like I was the person running the group. Fortunately my team was willing to tell me to back off when I overstepped a boundary. Actually my team was the fortunately in every way they were simply amazing and every time we hit a road block someone was able to find a way around it. T-Shapes Part of the reason that the open management system worked well for our group was the fact that our team was entirely made up of quot T-shaped rdquo employees. Every year at CalArts you can find people working on their own films their own stage productions their own music etc. You can also find people helping those people create their works. Animators make films but only with the help of sound designers and composers. Musicians perform the pieces composed by their peers. This atmosphere makes CalArts students very knowledgeable about a variety of subjects. When making our team I was very much aware of the type of student I had at my fingertips. I knew I could trust people to figure out what tasks they could do because they39d done them all before. My job and the job of the other project leads became simply to ensure that everyone knew what needed to be done next. Not in a micro sense but just that tasks were listed somewhere that everyone could find. Strict Goals Fluid Tasks Trello was a great task management system for us to make sure everyone had access to a list of what needed to be done but we also had to keep them interested. I had to keep the interests of busy students who were not getting class credit for showing up to my little meetings every week and two strategies did me well here. First I set strict short-term goals. I gave us a month on our projects and set two projects in action at a time. This meant that at any given time we required no students to take on more than a few weeksrsquo worth of commitment and that tasks were available in a wide assortment of difficulties. Each task tended to be only a weekrsquos worth of work no different from another homework assignment. If a student was busy one week they could simply pass on a task until they had more free time. Some students were unable to offer help on entire projects at a time but because no project lasted longer than a month that tended to be a fairly minor problem. Second we split the tasks up into small pieces and denoted those tasks on a Trello board that everyone had access to. For instance one of our projects needed the entire contents of a fridge to be modeled individually. Rather than assign one artist to create all the assets for an entire refrigerator we made a list of objects that would make sense in that context as well as a list of objects that wouldnrsquot make sense because the goal of this game was to sort the reasonable from the wacky and allowed artists to take on as much or as little of that as they felt they were capable of producing. This means that a majority of those objects were created by one or two artists but it also means that several people were able to contribute small pieces as they found time. This approach changed a little for different departments. Ours is an art school so while we were able to distribute art tasks among people as they had time programming tasks tended to only have one person that could approach them. For these communication was the key. Asking the programmer what was possible and reasonable kept us moving forward smoothly. Luckily we happened to recruit some of the most insanely productive and talented programmers one could ever ask for Unity As mentioned one of our biggest areas that we were lacking was programming. Our school does not have much in the way of programming just a few classes that cover the basics. Because of this we used Unity as a crutch. I figured that even if no programmers showed up to our meetings we would be able to at least make a simple shooter game or something with the basic character controllers in Unity. The projects may not have been particularly interesting if that had happened but at least we would have been able to make

Feature Requirements in Games - by Sara Santillian - Link

SEARCH GAME JOBS updates Blogs events contractors newsletter store SEARCH PROGRAMMING ART AUDIO DESIGN PRODUCTION BIZMARKETING Latest Jobs View All RSS August 19 2015 Latest Blogs View All Post RSS August 19 2015 Features View All RSS August 19 2015 Special Reports Press Releases August 19 2015 PR Newswire prn_overridesmargin0 10px 10px 3px prn_overrides tablebackground-colortransparent prn_overrides table tdbackground-colortransparent prn_overrides td.linkcell_prnbackgroundurltwimgs.comgamasutraimagesgray_arrow2.gif no-repeat 0px 7pxpadding-left12pxdisplayblock30px prn_overrides a.headlinelink_prnfont-family Verdana Arial Helvetica sans-serif View All Games Press View All RSS Calendar View All Submit Event About Contact Gamasutra Report a Problem Submit News Comment Guidelines Blogging Guidelines How We Work Gama Network If you enjoy reading this site you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites Game Career Guide Indie Games Blogs Feature Requirements in Games by Sara Santillian on 081815 011300 pm Post A Comment The following blog post unless otherwise noted was written by a member of Gamasutras community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. Industry Identity Crisis Quick question are you in the software industry if you make games The short answer is no. The longer answer is lsquoyes in some ways no in others.rsquo More accurately the games industry is in the business of entertainment. Your jobas a game makeris to entertain people.Make them feel better about themselves.Reduce the complexities of the world into a pixel-perfect enjoyable experience. Games have objectives that have tangible rewards story progression beautiful art nice cutscenes. Meanwhileif you look at a word-processing softwarelike Microsoft Word it has a bunch of functions that allow you to type in somethingsuch asa book report. And then it hasfunctions that 1 save the data you input into a file and 2 transmit the data into an output device like a printer. Software development is about building something that fulfills a definite purpose. You do not need to create data for the softwareunless itrsquos a help document. The end-user creates the data mdash book reports inventories invoices user accounts digital art and so on. The point here is that video games have a really abstract function fun.And to fulfill this elusive human desire we have to make some software as toolsand make the content of the game for the person to play with. A very very simplified chart of what we do. This post is about feature requirements in games. While it sounds pretty straightforward to have a list of features and the parts needed to fulfill that feature it can get hairy pretty fast. Making games is a mess Feature requirements change all the time. You start out with one feature ndash say a battle feature ndash and pretty soon you may have an item system maybe the battle has changing environments maybe the environment modifies the abilities of some player character type and so on. For the purposes of this post I39ll be drawing some points from the project I39m working on which is a PVP battle-oriented mobile game called Monster Roller. To illustrate how different a game can be from initial conception here are 3 mockups all of the same core battle system The screen on the left was the earliestbut we finally ended up with the screen on the right. The current iterationwas made to be easy to understand pick an action mode the numbers 2-1-1 next to the monster avatars and the monster performs an action related to that mode after you flick the roller.1 is the attack mode 2 is an ability mode that varies from monster to monster dependent on role. The knee-jerk reaction at first for a game with an RPG-looking battle system is lsquoof course your game needs an item system power ups a store and so on.rsquo ldquoWhy didnrsquot you figure out yoursquod need all thisrdquo ldquoWhy didnrsquot you figure out that you DIDNrsquoT need all of thisrdquo Making games is a messbecause true innovation is a mess. The other kind of innovation is lsquoiterativersquo mdash building on known formulas. Games are made of a combination of both in varying degrees. While developers may get tied to certain formulas a racing game needs these kinds of tracks these kinds of powerups and so on at the end of the day you canrsquot serve a mojito like everyone elsersquos mojito in an industry where so many are willing to give eight or usually more hours at NO PAY into finding the holy grail of fun. Making games is a humbling experience. You start out thinking you know what this game is going to be. Itrsquos a tower on the verge of being unbalancedall the time. Maybe it turns out that itrsquos too derivative or the mechanics were too different to be meshed together or it is hard to get into but fun. A certain degree of experience mitigates this of course and a veteran will likely have a better idea of the pitfalls but the true creation of something is alwayshellip unexpected. Thatrsquos what beingnew and innovativeis about. How feature requirements evolve We start byprioritizingbased on how core the feature is to the game. Then we makeprototypesbased on what we think wersquoll be putting into the game with sample data. For this last part of the article wersquoll go over the battle systemrsquos components. The Monster Roller Teamhad several functions we wanted to do at the very beginning That is not a list of feature requirements. Thatrsquos just a wishlist. Feature requirements may include things like a proper description of whatrsquos going to be in it the data how itrsquos going to be presented UI and success criteria if itrsquos working the way it should be working. Letrsquos look at the items system for example hellip And so on. The document that answers those questions will then be the featurerequirementsdoc. Now as to the evolution of all those systems and functions letrsquos take a look at battle. The left mockup was made by yours truly almost half a year ago. The one on the right was made by a real artist and is how battle looks now. Letrsquos go over what we see on the screen to find out how the feature requirements changed between then and now. Top Row Old Top Row New They both have agold indicatorand asettings button. The prototypersquosAutoplaymoved to the bottom row in the latest version see below. The biggest change is the addition oflightsaround the frame that change based on whatrsquos happening and thetimer. We added the timer because the game is PVP mdash it would suck to be waiting for a long time for your enemy from around the world to decide how to attack. Battle Screen Old Battle Screen New Yoursquoll notice the original mockup failed to account forselection indicatorsthe arrows on top on the left or showing things like negativepositivestatus effectslook at the super tiny monster Therersquos also the difference ofseeing your monsters in battle. The other

Engine Software Engineer - Infinity Ward Activision - Link 2015-08-19

Infinity Ward is looking for a skilled EngineSoftware Engineerto work on core systems and pipelines in our proprietary engine. You should be comfortable and competent working in both low level and mid-level code. And you should have a good sense for overall software architecture. Responsibilities You will be responsible for the technical success of critical software components drawing assistance from other programmers when necessary. You must be able to anticipate and overcome the technical hurdles and maximize the strengths specific to IWs development tools technologies and techniques. You must take pride in a high standard of work but be willing to prioritize and deliver in the necessary timeframe. The ideal candidate will have experience with both systems and rendering code. Possible tasks would include Performance and memory optimizations to engine subsystems. Improving and optimizing geometry and texture processing pipelines Continued improvements to the material authoring and material factory systems Assisting with andor directing the porting of miscellaneous platform-specific code as necessary Working with occlusion culling and procedural animation systems. You must be a team player Be able to break down and design code features Exchange feedback and suggestions with others Be flexible and responsive to the needs of the team Contribute ideas for features and improvements as the engine evolves Be able to make and stick to a realistic schedule Regularly communicate progress Report problems as soon as they become apparent Requirements Must be fluent in CC 4 years of programming experience Good understanding of multi-threaded programming Strong 3D skills and low-level engine experience are essential. Know when not to use object oriented programming. About Us Founded in 2002 Infinity Ward is the studio that created the Call of Duty franchise. The titles developed by Infinity Ward have won over 200 Game of the Year awards and 100 Editors Choice awards among many other industry accolades. In 2007 the studio released Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare a revolutionary title that set the bar for the modern first-person shooter. Our latest releases Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 broke records with the fastest revenue generating launches of any entertainment product. Infinity Ward is located in Woodland Hills California just outside of Los Angeles. A critically-acclaimed studio Infinity Ward is proud to have one of the most passionate and accomplished development teams in the industry. We love to have as much fun as the games we create and it shows in our relaxed yet diligent workplace environment. Looking towards the future Infinity Ward strives to continue creating improving and advancing the possibilities of the first-person shooter genre. Join us. ltimg srchttpfeeds.feedburner.comrGamasutraJobs4Mplw04bCZTs

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