GDC Vault Highlight: We Suck at Inclusivity

vPart four in my series of highlighting free talks from Game Developers Conference 2015!

What is the GDC Vault?

The GDC Vault is a collection of (most of the) talks at various GDC events. Talks from GDC 2015 are now online and you can watch them when you want! If you have an all access, speaker or media badge you get access to the vault. Otherwise, there is an extra charge. However, each year they release certain talks for free. I wanted to highlight some of my favorite talks from this year that are available for everybody to watch for free.

We Suck at Inclusivity: How Language Creates the Largest Invisible Minority for Games

Rami Ismail of Vlambeer needs no introduction, but for this talk it’s best to describe him as a world traveler. Rami gave two talks this year. One as part of the GDC Microtalks, and another “We Suck at Inclusivity: How Language Creates the Largest Invisible Minority for Games

Many developers do not think about Arabic at all, and in fact the majority of games don’t even bother translating. When they do, often the results are comical at best for anyone who actually speaks the language. In an effort to promote more understanding, Rami decided to give GDC attendees a basic overview of Arabic. Why is this so important? Well, if you haven’t checked out Rami’s Microtalk, you should watch that first and let him explain it himself.

What other talks would you recommend?

Previously I’ve recommended Stone’s talk on “game < design“, “Keep Grooving: Life Musings & Live Musics” by Teddy Diefenbach and Rich Vreelandwhich, and the GDC Microtalks. All are available for free. My own talk, “Best Practices for Small Studios“, is sadly not available for free. You’ll need access to the full GDC Vault. You can also read my daily GDC summaries for talks that I attended in person: Day One Day Two Day ThreeDay Four Day Five Do you have any other talks you thought were highlights of GDC 2015? Let me know about them! -Tobiah

Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) Game Development Learning Plan

I thought I’d remind people if they weren’t aware, Microsoft has an awesome video learning resource called “Microsoft Virtual Academy”.

What is Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA)?

MVA has free trainings on a variety of subjects, from high level overviews to in-depth technical discussions.

I have been part of two MVAs, one on the basics of game production and another on developing games with Unity.

I thought I’d take a moment and give you 1-2 recommended links based on your game development skill level.

Continue reading Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) Game Development Learning Plan

GDC Vault Highlight: GDC Microtalks 2015

Part three in my series of highlighting free talks from Game Developers Conference 2015!

What is the GDC Vault?

The GDC Vault is a collection of (most of the) talks at various GDC events. Talks from last month’s GDC 2015 are now online and you can watch them when you want!

If you have an all access, speaker or media badge you get access to the vault. Otherwise, there is an extra charge. However, each year they release certain talks for free.

I wanted to highlight some of my favorite talks from this year that are available for everybody to watch for free.

GDC Microtalks 2015: One Hour, Ten Speakers, Games and Play, and Us

The GDC Microtalks are always a highlight for me. Held every year, ten speakers are invited to give a talk that is exactly five minutes and twenty seconds long with slides that automatically advance after exactly 16 seconds. The subjects vary, from high level discussions about art and culture in games, to well thought out rants on the speaker’s personal pet peeves with the industry.

What’s great about this session is that due to the nature of the format, the speakers have to have high energy and hook you in quickly. I don’t think you can every be bored, as every five and a half minutes a new speaker comes up with a whole new subject.

They also allow for important passionate speeches that may not work as half hour or hour-long lectures, but their message is neatly summarized in a few minutes and make you look at a subject or design problem in a way you may not have thought of before.

I really liked being able to watch Holly Gramazio’s talk again to write down the rules for some of those games. 50/50 is a really good idea!

What other talks would you recommend?

Previously I’ve recommended Stone’s talk on “game < design“, and  “Keep Grooving: Life Musings & Live Musics” by Teddy Diefenbach and Rich Vreelandwhich. Both are available for free.

My own talk, “Best Practices for Small Studios“, is sadly not available for free. You’ll need access to the full GDC Vault.

You can also read my daily GDC summaries for talks that I attended in person: Day One Day Two Day ThreeDay Four Day Five

Do you have any other talks you thought were highlights of GDC 2015? Let me know about them!

-Tobiah

GDC Vault Highlight: Keep Grooving: Life Musings & Live Musics

Time to highlight another talk from the Game Developers Conference 2015.

What is the GDC Vault?

The GDC Vault is a collection of (most of the) talks at various GDC events. Talks from last month’s GDC 2015 are now online and you can watch them when you want!

If you have an all access, speaker or media badge you get access to the vault. Otherwise, there is an extra charge. However, each year they release certain talks for free.

I wanted to highlight some of my favorite talks from this year that are available for everybody to watch for free.

Keep Grooving: Life Musings & Live Musics

GDC Vault: Keep Grooving

Teddy Diefenbach (Hyper Light Drifter & Kyoto Wild) and Rich Vreeland from Disasterpeace perform this unique talk. I say perform because it truly is a performance, not a normal lecture. I really like the way it was delivered with simple visuals and live music.

Wrapped up in a story about his day, Teddy gives all sorts of advice on how he deals with project management, social media, and work/life balance.

Just from its uniqueness alone, this is a talk not worth missing. Check it out for yourself.

What other talks would you recommend?

Last week I recommended Stone’s talk on “game < design“, which is also available for free.

I did a talk this year called “Best Practices for Small Studios“, but sadly it is not available for free, you need access to the full GDC Vault.

You can also read my daily GDC summaries for talks that I attended in person: Day One Day Two Day ThreeDay Four Day Five

Do you have any other talks you thought were highlights of GDC 2015? Let me know about them!

-Tobiah

GDC Vault Highlight: game < design

Talks from the Game Developers Conference 2015 are now uploaded to the GDC Vault!

What is the GDC Vault?

The GDC Vault is a collection of (most of the) talks at various GDC events. Talks from last month’s GDC 2015 are now online and you can watch them when you want!

If you have an all access, speaker or media badge you get access to the vault. Otherwise, there is an extra charge. However, each year they release certain talks for free.

I wanted to highlight some of my favorite talks from this year that are available for everybody to watch for free.

“game < design” from Stone Librande

GDC Vault game < design

I am very lucky to say I was one of Stone’s students in college. I actually took his class twice. Not because I did badly the first time (I got an A), but because I learned so much I wanted to hear all the lectures and do all the homework again. Stone has worked at Blizzard, EA/Maxis, and now Riot Games.

This year his talk was about design. Not “GAME design”, but design in general. Even if you don’t consider yourself a designer, I would recommend checking out this talk. Design ideas apply to everything you create. Whether it’s a software program, a piece of art, or a chair.

What about your talk?

Sadly, my talk “Best Practices for Small Studios” is not available for free. But, if you have access to the GDC Vault, just search for “Tobiah” and it’ll be the first result.

What other talks do you recommend?

I’m still going through the vault myself. You can also read my daily GDC summaries for talks that I attended in person: Day One Day Two Day ThreeDay Four Day Five

Do you have any talks you want to highlight from GDC or the GDC Vault? Let me know about it! I’ll be going through as many of the talks as I can myself slowly but surely over the next couple of months.

-Tobiah

Windows 10 will be the platform for gaming

I was at PAX South over the last week, so I have not yet had the time to write about all the exciting announcements from Microsoft.

What was announced?

In case you missed it, on January 21st Microsoft made a bunch of announcements on Windows 10. To watch the video for yourself, go here: http://news.microsoft.com/windows10story/

I am really excited about Windows 10 in general. That said, the announcements about Xbox One and the HoloLens are the most exciting for me. Continue reading Windows 10 will be the platform for gaming

Game Production Basics

This is a bit late, but I forgot to write a post specifically telling you guys that the Microsoft Virtual Academy on the basics of Game Production I did with Amanda Lange last month is online and available for you to view at your leisure.

If you don’t know how a game is made or how the games industry works, what the different roles of game developers are, or are just confused on where to start and want more information, I’d encourage you to check it out for yourself! Continue reading Game Production Basics

“Freemium isn’t Free”

The latest episode of South Park is all about freemium games.

I am a big fan of South Park in general, but this episode had me laughing non-stop. I believe this is now my new favorite episode of South Park.

I would highly recommend you watch it, especially if you are a game developer. Not only is it funny parody, but it’s a great commentary on the state of the industry.

Content Warning: South Park is known for bad language and highly offensive humor, viewer discretion is advised.

Click here to watch on South Park’s website.

It’s worth noting that not every freemium game is the neo-gambling style that the show is talking about.

I am most interested in hearing Trey and Matt’s commentary on this episode. Like some other episodes they’ve done in the past, I wouldn’t be surprised if this episode is very referential to some conversations that might be going on behind closed doors in South Park Studios.

-Tobiah

Should freemium games factor in Purchasing Power Parity?

One of the biggest strengths with the games industry today is how global it is. People download and play games from all over the work. Developers who realize this already make sure their games are localized for other languages. This leads to more players, more engagement/viral growth, and ultimately more revenue.

However, but I seldom hear about game developers customizing the price of their games on a per currency basis.

That’s where Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) comes in. Continue reading Should freemium games factor in Purchasing Power Parity?