Burnie Burns, co-founder of Rooster Teeth, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23 as a guest of Delta Sigma Pi – Beta Kappa Chapter speaking event in the Student Activity Center Auditorium at UT-Austin. Click to sign up on Facebook!
AlterConf, one of several regional events seeking to provide “safe opportunities for marginalized people in the tech and gaming industries to learn from and support one another,” will take place 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 25 at Capital Factory, 701 Brazos St. (Austin Centre, top floor). Click to request a ticket, pay what you want!
We had an exhausting but exhilarating weekend. This one will be a lot more personal, from my own point of view.
IGDA-Austin had table space on the floor of the SXSW Gaming Expo, continuing a presence we’ve had since it was a little bit of hopeful vibes called Screenburn. Thanks to Justin Burnham and Estevan Aviles for all the hard work in securing a space for us.
IGDA-Austin will have a booth at the SXSW Gaming Expo on March 13, 14 and 15 at the Palmer Events Center, in Stand 350. We’ll be showcasing game projects, presenting live demos by local game developers and handing out company-branded collectibles. But we also want your help with something else.
It’s not often that IGDA-Austin takes a particular political viewpoint, but as a chapter, we will always be in favor of anything that keeps video game production viable in Austin, and Texas in general. (You all did know that Texas is only behind California for the number of active game development projects, with a 16 percent growth from 2009 to 2012, right? Right.)
As the 2015 Legislative session starts up, many well-meaning elected officials may be looking for ways to reduce state spending. The message to be conveyed here, with respect to the sentiment and agendas at work, is simple: Hands off TMIIIP, because this is a program that secures jobs in Texas and thus far has made 95 cents for every dime spent.
What follows is a summary of what happened at Tech Ranch Austin on the morning and afternoon of Saturday, February 7, 2015. We called it Career Catalyst 2015, using the same name as an event IGDA-Austin had in February 2011 in association with the Mary-Margaret Network. That’s a long time.
The boom and bust cycle of video game projects is on roughly a 4-year cycle. Austin lost 300 jobs within the first 6 months of 2013, and 2014 was mostly a rebuilding year. Austin’s well overdue for a boom year, and 2015 had better be it.
The assumption was that local employers would benefit from a cooperatively organized and funded career fair that would be cheaper than each company running their own career fair, as is usually the case after a major layoff. But, whenever there is a prospect of “video game jobs” on the line, the majority of people who would find out would either be under-qualified or otherwise not considered viable for any of the jobs listed.
Also, because video games are software, software engineers would be the most sought-after labor division. But engineers with proven experience who don’t already have a job are strange exotic creatures who are very much in the minority of anyone interested in game development work in general, don’t socialize much and have learned (rightly) that they are well in demand and will be sought after, career fair or no career fair.
The grand vision: Anyone could walk into a room full of employers and get the very clear message: “Look at all the jobs for game devs in Austin.”
Vision realized. First, some numbers. There’s a lot to cover.
The GGJ is the world’s largest game jam event taking place around the world at physical locations. Think of it as a hackathon focused on game development. It is the growth of an idea that in today’s heavily connected world, we could come together, be creative, share experiences and express ourselves in a multitude of ways using video games – it is very universal. The weekend stirs a global creative buzz in games, while at the same time exploring the process of development, be it programming, iterative design, narrative exploration or artistic expression. It is all condensed into a 48 hour development cycle. The GGJ encourages people with all kinds of backgrounds to participate and contribute to this global spread of game development and creativity.
What can be said in 10 minutes? When the subject is making video games, it’s dangerous to go alone. And it’s best to get straight to the point, even when the theme is JOY.
JOY is the theme for the latest speaker symposium presented by IGDA-Austin, scheduled for the evening of Thursday, Aug. 21. Doors will open at 7 p.m., with opening announcements to begin at 7:30.
Location will be the auditorium inside Retro Studios’ offices in North Austin.
Speakers include some of the best Austin has to offer from within and without its video game industry, from technology, design, art, audio, research and the world beyond. What does what they do relate to the subject of joy? How much does joy matter when the subject is video games? And how much can they say about it in 10 minutes?
Let’s find out! The show is free, but seating is limited, so please sign up only if you’re sure you plan to attend!
Mark your calendars. Doors at 7, talks at 7:30. Austin City Hall, Council Chambers. Sign up on Facebook!
A first time for Microtalks, all the speakers are given a non-binding challenge in addition to the 10-minute time limit: Talk About Austin.
There are lots of places to be a professional game developer, and many more still where games are made. The more experience a dev gets, the more in demand they could get and, in the pursuit of the opportunities they want, they might be lured to move away.
Why then, does anyone want to move to, or stay, in Austin?
IGDA-Austin Presents: Microtalks at City Hall, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS. Featuring, in non-essential order: