Austin Game Dev Company Showcase

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Game Plan Entertainment is hosting the Austin Game Devs Showcase on August 7th sponsored by Meretz!

Awesome collection locally made games set up for demos, along with 8 VR demo stations! There is a room full of 8 gaming consoles, along with a cool arcade of 30+ games set to free-play!
Meretz has offered to sponsor free drinks and food for the event, and they will be there to show off their awesome technology that transforms your physical activity into a virtual currency which you can spend in your favorite games!

There are a few slots left for demos! If you are a developer who would like to show off your work, please email fstaber@gmail.com

See you all there!

Thank you to our generous sponsors and coordinators: Meretz Gaming Fitness and Game Plan Entertainment!

Escape Developer Hell Down the Fury Road – Visioneering: Indie Dev Strategic Planning Workshop

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Austin Game Devs will be hosting a free  “Visioneering” workshop, facilitated by the ZFactor Group (www.ZFactorGroup.com) for indie game studios, game company founders and game teams of all kinds.

· Are you stuck in development hell?

· Have you been unable to get your team working on the right things at the right times?

· Do you have a plan on how to make money and scale?

· What is “Visioneering?”

It begins with the questions: (1) what does success look like? and (2) what is our desired future state? Working backwards from these goals, workshop attendees will use the Z-Factor methodology to identify their path forward to success. At the end of the workshop, attendees will have a plan of action!

As a workshop, to get the maximum benefit, we will be asking for small indie teams (2-5 participants, though your studio can be larger!) to attend as a group, with either a game design in mind or live or ready to launch. Teams interested in attending should apply at https://austingaming.typeform.com/to/TN1490 with their team members names, roles, game name, and company name.

If you don’t have a team or a game yet, you can still attend! We’ll have seating for those who just want to attend and learn about the Z-Factor Visioneering method. Please RSVP via our Meetup.com page so that we can accommodate you!

Event will be on 29 June starting at 6:30 at We Work University Park and workshop will end at 9:00 pm.

About the Facilitators:

The ZFactor Group (www.ZFactorGroup.com), provide business acceleration support to SMBs and are the pioneers of the concept of “executives-as-a-service/”. They will be hosting and facilitating this free “Visioneering” workshop valued at $1,250 when provided 1:1 to company teams. The ZFactor Group team has real-world business builder experience and are eager to inspire new thinking for achieving growth, navigating change and overcoming crisis in your new game studio!

The Video Game Producer’s Chair

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O.K., SXSW is over. You have caught up on your sleep and killed off the hangovers. Onto the next big thing!
Join us for an amazing evening at our Austin Game Devs co-sponsored Video Game Gamers Unite! Meeting on April 14th., from 7pm – 9pm and our traditional Afta’ Party at Buffalo Billiards.
The April Video Game Makers Unite! Meeting is being co-programmed with the Austin Game Devs (the Austin affiliate of the IGDA) and will focus on the role of the video game producer. All aspects of a game’s production ranging from ideation, funding, game design and development, operations and getting the game out the door, published, marketed and discovered. What skills do they need to have and how do you get to be one?

The Game Producers Chair: Top Austin Game Producers Panel

Thursday, Apr 14, 2016, 7:00 PM

Capital Factory
701 Brazos Street #1601 Austin, TX

66 Gameristas Attending

The Video Game Producer’s Chair: Panel with Top 4 Austin Game ProducersThursday, April 14, 7pm – 9pm, Capital Factory & Buffalo Billiards Afta’ PartyO.K., SXSW is over. You have caught up on your sleep. Killed off the hangovers. Flossed between your ears.  Onto the next big thing!Come play full out and join us for an amazing evening at our Austi…

Check out this Meetup →

Visit to the Art Institute

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Back in February, I was pleased to have the chance to speak to students of the Austin Art Institute about the challenges and excitement of working in the video game industry.  Lots of great questions and interest!  Looking forward to seeing them join the community of Austin game developers in the coming years.

Thanks to Kathy Amell, and Josh Russell, current president of the AI chapter of the International Game Developers Association for putting the event together!

Frank

GDC and SXSW SURVIVAL GUIDE

GDC & SXSW bring developers and industry together in one (two?…) places and provide some of the best promotion, networking, and business development opportunities of the year. Did we mention parties? Oh, so many parties…
Make sure YOUR games play ahead of the pack and stand out by following these simple 10 tips to keeping up during one of the industry’s busiest weeks of the year.
 
1: Plan your day!
Check conference tracks and make sure you know where you need to be and when. Highlight your “must sees” and make sure you give yourself adequate time to make it to your venue and hold a spot for yourself. There is nothing worse than not getting a seat, especially if you’ve been waiting in an hour-long line. Not sure if your highlighted tracks are popular? Ask around your network (FB, Twitter) in advance and get the skinny on what tracks and events will be the most popular this year.
2: Dress comfortably (but not TOO comfortably…)
You’ll be on your feet all day, but you’ll also be making connections with some potentially career-making/breaking people (sometimes by complete happenstance). Put your best foot forward, stand out from the crowd, and make sure, when someone meets you, they know they can take you seriously. You want them to know that you’re a person worth partnering with and that you will respect the business development process. Don’t forget to wear comfortable business-casual shoes, bring your business cards, and have all pertinent materials (press kits, portfolio, etc.) on hand. No shame in a solid backpack or bag to stay organized.
 
3. Get names. Write them down.
You know that old memory trick- once you are given a business card, jot a quick note about the conversation you had with that person or something that stands out about your meeting on the back of the card. Consider bringing a notepad and having a single space where you collect all contact information for the week. You will forget details by the end of the week, so be organized and keep your contact info in a central location!
4. Don’t forget to Follow Up
Don’t let more than a week go by after making a contact without sending an email. Nothing says, “I respect you, your time, and moving forward working together” better than a solid follow up. Remind them who you are, where you met, the discussion you had at the conference. Don’t be shy – also remind them of how a relationship with you will benefit them, what you can do for them, and offer a time to follow up further in person or over the phone.
 
5. Identification
You may find yourself visiting another city this week. Traffic, transportation, getting into 21+ events, and collecting your credentials/registration is going to be a thing. Have your identification ready to go from the moment you hit the airport to the moment you go grab your badge. Don’t hold the team up; have your ID ready to go.
6. KEEP CHARGED and STAY CONNECTED
Don’t forget to keep your devices (phones, computers) charged, and get them charged when you have a moment. Bring a small external battery pack, if necessary. This will help you stay in the loop and not miss out on important emails, staying social, and inevitable changes to time and location of conference events.
 
7. Get noticed online!
What are your social media handles, promotional hashtags, and other digital assets that you need promoted? Connect with new friends fast by following each other on social (bring that 3DS for StreetPass connections, too!) and take some solid photos and footage of the events. Post what you can and look for event hashtags to tag/mention! This will help bring attention to your company, game, or project. Grab one of these FREE Zymge Social Media Stickers! Be part of the global conversation WHILE it is happening, and capture the attention of onlookers with your visuals.
8. Don’t over do it. (How much fun is too much?)
Remember to sleep, eat, and recharge your own batteries. Common sense, right? Nope! And we’ve all been there. Be cautious and safe where alcohol consumption is concerned. Make sure you leave enough energy in the tank to survive the entire week. After the least day, you still need to load out, make it home, and complete your follow-ups quickly. Survive by getting a solid breakfast in, bring a light snack, and don’t party too hard. That being said, some of your best networking will happen in the after hours, and nobody wants to partner or work with a total stiff. So get in there, tiger!
9. Have your promotional materials handy
Keep your promotional kit compact and easy to hand out as you go. Don’t over do it! People don’t want to carry a crate of your materials around with them. Give them all the best information and contacts, links or information to get more info. Travel light and help your fellow conference attendees do the same thing.
10. Austin Gaming, represent!
Represent the Austin Game Dev community well. We have the best talent in the world, and we want companies, publishers, and distributors to know that Austin is where best-in-class game development is happening. When one of us wins, it’s a victory for the ENTIRE game development community.

 

Join your Austin Game Devs Leadership for the Austin – IGDA “2015 Retrospective and 2016 Plan” Meetup!

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Join Austin Game Devs on Monday, March 7 to review our accomplishments from 2015 and to discuss strategic planning in 2016.

Chapter leadership will unveil our 2016 mission, how it corresponds to the greater Austin game development industry, event programming themes, and welcomes community input on which direction to take the chapter as we venture forward with new purpose and goals.

Join us for a meal and drinks, as well! We are excited to see what our friends (new and old) are up to and continue to provide our game development community with the resources needed to make Austin THE place for developers to work, grow, and create the highest quality products in the industry!

Bank of America / Merrill Lynch 2016 Austin Technology Innovation Forum

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Along with a number of other representatives of the video game industry (nice seeing you Todd Coleman and Gordon Walton), I had the chance to attend Bank of America’s most recent Austin Technology Innovation Forum yesterday at the W Hotel.  Great talks by a number of interesting panelists and speakers.

No surprise that security was a top consideration.   The variety of topics, risk vectors and potential fixes is staggering.

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Lots of good discussion on how tech is transforming society; key areas: mobile, social, and big data – all considerations for game developers.  The “Internet of Things” is coming along fast – what kind of games can we make if everything is interconnected?  Interesting omission (at least at the macro level): VR.

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Thank you Bank of America and Merrill Lynch for the great event!  Looking forward to 2017.

Panel: How to Pay Your Mortgage Making Video Games

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IGDA Austin is excited to start 2016 with a panel discussion: “How to Pay Your Mortgage Making Video Games.”

The video game industry demands much of its community.  Extraordinary talent, deep experience and luck just might be enough to keep you employed, either with a company or on your own!  Come to TechRanch on 28 Jan 16 and hear from a panel of distinguished experts on how they have survived – and thrived – in a hit driven world.

Panelists include:

Neal Nellans:  Neal Nellans has over 15 years of professional game making experience. After Graduating with a BFA in Computer Animation from the Ringling College of Art and Design, Mr. Nellans was immediately recognized for his work in Animation by being awarded the 1998 Gold Medal Academy Award for his Animated short entitled, “Jataka” later earning the Digital Cinematography Scholarship from the Hollywood visual effects studio Rhythm and Hues. Mr. Nellans was approached by Steven Spielberg to work first at Dreamworks SKG and then Electronic Arts on an Original WWII video game which later became known as Medal of Honor. Mr. Nellans founded the Austin based VR games company, “Ghost Machine” in 2014.

Adrian Glover:  Adrian Glover is the Assistant General Manager for Spacetime Studios, the premier independent studio for multiplayer mobile games on Android and iOS. At Spacetime he has focused on creating excellent products in a live and free-to-play environment as well as building cohesive and high functioning development teams who are directly engaged with their customers. His entrepreneurial experience includes bootstrapping two business: Rare World Features, which shipped the independent feature documentary The Children’s War and Thunderdog, LLC. a development and software consultancy studio that was profitable in its first year.

John Talley:  John Talley is the president and founder of Simply Good Games, an independent game studio that launched its first game in 2011. John started his professional career as an aerospace engineer designing the guidance system for the International Space Station while creating game technology in his free time. Following his passion for game development, John landed at Origin in the early 90’s and has since founded and sold multiple game development studios. John created Simply Good Games as a truly independent studio, with no ties to publishers or third party distributors, taking advantage of the distribution channels now available to independent content creators.

Chris Primozich:  Chris has logged over 20 years in software with about half that in games. He began in quality assurance at Origin Systems (Command & Conquer Champion, 1995) before leaving the glamorous world of games for the even more glamorous world of high tech startups. After enjoying the boom (and bust) of the first .com wars, Chris helped start a studio called Challenge Games and created one of the first web-based MMO platforms. Challenge sold to Zynga in 2010, and he then built two more web/mobile game companies before settling in as a Software Architect and Web Platform Lead at Chaotic Moon, a creative technologies studio known for flame throwing drones and biometric tattoos.

Moderator:  Frank Coppersmith, chair IGDA-Austin.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Intel Buzz Workshop

Back in October, we were excited to help Intel bring to Austin their “Intel Buzz Workshop,” an event focused on game development and how Intel tech can help.  Over the course of the day, we had a ton of great speakers including Warren Spector (Director, Denius-Sams Gaming Academy) and Starr Long (Portalarium).  The agenda is below; if you missed it, you can catch the entire event on Twitch here:

http://www.twitch.tv/intelgamedev/v/20796728

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11:15-11:45 Keynote

Warren Spector, Director of the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy

11:45-12:35 Women In Games: All-Star Discussion Panel

Panelist: Stephanie Orkand, XO Group Inc.

Panelist: Tess Snider, Hidden Achievement

Panelist: Sheri Graner Ray, Big Noise Games

Moderator: Jennifer Bullard, Founder, Captivate Conference

12:35-1:25 Lunch
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Put Your Player in the Game: Experience Deeper Immersive Experiences with Intel’s RealSense

Speaker: Joe Scheinberg, SW Engineer,  Intel

2:10-2:45 So You Want to Build a Snowman? …but it’s Summer – Tips on building a Unity game while keeping future platforms a consideration

Speaker: Corey Johnson, Unity

2:45-3:00 Break
3:00-3:30 Design Vision vs. Feedback: Developing in the Open

Speaker: Starr Long, Executive Producer, Portalarium

3:30-3:45 Break
3:45-4:15 Make Good Games into Great Games with Intel® INDE Graphic Performace Analyzers

Speaker: Brandon Blair, Intel

4:15-5:00 How to Launch and Fund Games – All-Star Panel

Panelist: Raphael Colantonio, Arkane Studios

Panelist: Gordon Walton, Art & Craft Entertainment

Panelist: Elizabeth Howard, Aspyr Media

Moderator: Frank Coppersmith, President, IGDA-Austin