Microtalks in Studio 6A: Everyone’s Back to School

Coming THIS FRIDAY! Sign up on Facebook!
Everyone’s looking forward to the end of summer in Austin, except maybe those going back to school. But there’s no reason not to look forward to the start of a new school year, especially when MICROTALKS IS COMING WITH IT.
This is a FREE SHOW. IGDA membership is ENCOURAGED, but NOT REQUIRED. Microtalks is a speaker symposium in the vein of TED, O’Reilly’s IGNITE or pecha-kucha, where each speaker gets a limited amount of time (10 minutes) to speak with authority about his or her chosen subject.
Our focus is insight into video game development and the industry thereof, and reasons to appreciate Austin and what it has to offer said industry and those who are part of it.
If you haven’t been to KLRU Studio 6A, GET FAMILIAR WITH THE LOCATION AND SCOUT IT OUT FIRST. While the event is free, parking likely will not be. We’ll have refreshments available, and we’re hoping to line up a sponsor to cover costs.
Speakers to include:
Chris Kokkinos – Gamesalad designer, audio guy, occasional bartender
Shay Pierce – mobile game developer and occasional headline-grabber
Sheri Graner Ray – speaker, author, game designer, race car driver, no one’s novelty
Billy Joe Cain – not just the Rock Band guy, seeker of Better Ways
Dan Magaha – the boss you wish you had, and that he’d wish to be
Larry Kleinkemper – laser beams and community building
with musical guest, Amanda Lepre ( www.amandalepre.com )!
Please help us spread the word! We want to pack as many seats as we can!

Microtalks coming back, May 11!

Microtalks is coming back to Studio 6A, KLRU, on the UT-Austin campus, on Friday, May 11. Rock Band is coming, too!


Special thanks to our sponsor, DeVry University!
Free drinks and fun networking! Bite-sized insight from hand-picked experts with stuff to say relevant to game development, in Austin and beyond!
Facebook signup page. Help us keep track of guests!
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS: (and it’s OK to be a little late to this)
5:30 p.m.: Doors open!
6 p.m.: Rock Band 3 with the Oh S–t! I Didn’t Mean To Do That Band, with AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION!
8 p.m.: Speakers!
10 p.m.; Clear out! (too many parties to mention otherwise)
SPEAKERS: (Google them!)
Moises Chiullan – all about crisis communications
Sheri Graner Ray -“fitting in” as part of a creative team
Alexander Brandon – remote game production
Jon Jones – checking the health of your employer
Jorie Stuckwisch – workplace wellness from a dietitian

Microtalks presentations and docs (6-24-11)

The video has yet to be edited, but I’ll get links to Youtube up when they’re available. Anyone with useful commentary on any of these subjects is encouraged to join in.


Jon Jones – The Art of Getting Noticed (link to blog post, with link to PPT slides as well)

Denis Loubet – How to Sink Your iPhone App Without a Ripple (no slides, but fascinating!)

Sara Jensen Schubert – Simple RPG Math (DOC)

Fred Schmidt – Opportunities to Build Austin’s Creative Industries (PDF)

Damion Schubert – About Innovation (no slides yet!)

Quoc Tran – From Startup to Survival (PPT)

Carl Canga – Investment Planning (ODP)



Carl’s linked slides are not actually the slides he wanted to use, which ended up not working at all. He was so practiced at the speech, and spoke well enough that it ended up not mattering. The slides come from Ameriprise Financial, where he works as a planner.

Quoc’s slides were originally presented in KeyNote, but we didn’t have an adapter for his MacBook, and for some reason his export wouldn’t open in Microsoft PowerPoint. However, the same file he exported got recognized by Google Docs right away.

IGDA-Austin Microtalks returning to Studio 6A

KLRUIGDA-Austin Microtalks is coming back to KLRU Studio 6A, the historic original home of the Austin City Limits music show on the University of Texas at Austin campus.

It’s the same format as before: Local experts with insight into video game development and the business thereof, seven (7) in number, given only 10 minutes apiece to make their case.

Speakers list:
Jon Jones (art outsource manager/producer, smArtist) – Presenting Yourself as an Artist for Hire
Denis Loubet (legendary artist of both Origin and Steve Jackson Games fame) –
How to Sink Your iPhone App Without a Ripple
Sara Jensen Schubert (design lead, Kingsisle) – Quick & Simple RPG Combat Design
Quoc Tran (engine programmer, GameSalad) – Common Features of Successful Startups
Fred Schmidt (CEO, Portalarium) – Opportunities to Build Austin’s Creative Industries
Damion Schubert (systems design lead, Bioware Austin) – Understanding Innovation
Carl Canga (financial advisor, Ameriprise Financial) – Hows and Whys of Saving Money

Microtalks videos posted!

The videos for our first Microtalks session at KLRU Studio 6A are now posted. Click here for the playlist of the six videos.

Unfortunately, this was an event with seven speakers, and the speech by Aaron Romo went unrecorded. But this is the best video quality and tv-studio-quality audio we’ve had for these yet. Plans are afoot for a proper page to showcase the videos and profile the participants, so watch the site for more!

Also thinking seriously about having Q&A “interrogations” with the speakers be directed to the forums in the near future. Lurkers are encouraged to register profiles on the forums so they can take part at a later time.

March 2011 Microtalks – After-Action Report

Thanks to the audience, speakers, volunteers and staff at KLRU-TV for hosting us at the historic Studio 6A!!

Pros: The mood was upbeat, the audience was attentive and respectful, the beer was free (thanks Mr. Mike!) The speakers were engaging with a great range of topics and lots of highlights. I personally had several approach me after the show to tell me who their favorite speaker was, and no one speaker took all the accolades. We’ll have the video on Youtube as before, but we had the use of a better camera and patch-in through an audio system we had time to test properly.

Cons: Parking was the main tradeoff. We’ll need to communicate it better, and a number of ideas were discussed, including Watty’s idea about scheduling a meetup for a free parking lot across campus, so everyone could walk to the studio together. Might be worth trying, but we clearly could use better information on this site about how to get to the location, especially if we use Studio 6A again (and we think we will.)

We had about 90 people in total, which is in line with what we’ve had at the previous two events, maybe a little fewer than the TAD show last December. Clearly we could continue to grow this audience, which is still meant to be mostly general, at least for this particular show. We could still do better about getting the word out.

This is not going to be the only speaking event that this chapter puts together, nor are all such events going to be this general in aim or scope. We have lots of ideas for events that more directly serve pros and enthusiasts who want to become pros.

What we need is help from people who know what they’re doing. Our hope is that we’ll continue meet people like that as we roll along. This chapter is emerging from a period of confusion and inactivity, and 2011 will be a banner year for us.

Special thanks to Allistair Pinsof for the writeup of the event in the Daily Texan on Thursday; our bartenders Lee VanWallene and Chris Kokkinos; timekeeper Andrew “Watty” Watson, and volunteers Edward Furstenau and Brian Alvarez-Bailey.

And, of course, my buddy JJ Weber, broadcast operations manager for KLRU, for making our use of the venue  You da man, Jethro.

I’ve tabulated the scores from the 43 comment cards that were turned in, here.

March 2011 Microtalks

Location: KLRU-TV, Studio 6A (6th floor), 2504B Whitis, Austin, TX

IGDA-Austin Microtalks is coming to the original home of the Austin City Limits music show on PBS, KLRU-TV Studio 6A. Map: http://bit.ly/fgoCHL

Speakers, their credentials and topics include:

  • Zach Vowell – archivist of the UT Video Game Archive: What’s going on at the archive?
  • Ian Bullard – senior engineer, Total Immersion Studios: How programmers and non-programmers can talk to each other
  • Tess Snider – programmer/designer, ex- of Trion Worlds, now Pixelsea: All about normal mapping
  • Jason Hughes – programmer/president, Steel Penny Games: Lean development studio models, and how their time has come
  • Ed Stark – senior designer Vigil Games/THQ, ex- of TSR from the D&D v3 and v3.5 era: How stories in games ought to be told
  • Aaron Romo – artist/animator, Powerhouse Animation: Working for your next client
  • Sloan Spaeth – real estate agent at Aquila Commercial: Can your office space ruin your company?

This will be, once again, a free show. Spread the word!

Station: http://klru.org/

Program: http://austincitylimits.org/

Facebook signup page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=132844066785443

Parking options: http://www.utexas.edu/parking/parking/garages/index.php
San Antonio Garage and 27th Street Garages are the closest to the building, but without a permit, you’ll be charged a fee.
Other options within walking distance might be available on the west side of Guadalupe.