Category Archives: Videogame Industry

Things related directly to the videogame industry.

My own networking tips

Not exactly networking anyway, but I posted at AI Game Dev again, and so I thought I’d put it up here to record for my own use!

From the post, like I said – I need to do the advice “do more stuff”. Project work (which is AI based, so some gain from it 😉 ) is taking up my precious free time though. And so many games to play and other university coursework, gah!

This info is based upon today, hopefully it’ll be useful for a good half-year on current things to attend or attend in the future.

IGDA scholarship applications to GDC 2008 are open until December – you have to be a student member, of course. Worth getting involved in the IGDA regardless.

You can also volunteer to work at GDC (if in America, I doubt it’s worth flying there to volunteer if you’re strapped for cash) and it’s said there is some free time or choice of what to help at (and thus see) at the conference.

I volunteered at the Develop conference (mentioned in Alex’s post). Was good work and fun, although I was terrible at networking, since I mainly talked to the other volunteers. For shame me 🙁 – but still worth doing!

Note: The UK game developer conferences vary year on year from my research – there used to be one in London (now not on), there used to be another one, the European GDC is more in Germany (Lepzig) or Lyon (GDC Lyon), but Develop will be on in 08, which is good!

The IGDA can always use some boost in it’s SIG’s too. I’ve been told the AI SIG *will* be active as soon as Alex and his people sort integration of AIISC content/discussions into the IGDA site. The student SIG is all but abandoned, and for university people, getting it working would be good.

And my preference is the Preservation SIG…I’m a bit biased with this though since I help with it, but it’s a good SIG to help if you can!

While not AI related as such, there are UK gaming career fairs, which is good to see what’s around and talk to people/see seminars (Going to the London one: AI and programmers are seemingly in demand, although obviously not all without experience). The last one was London (in October) – the next one I can find it “Game Grads” in 2 locations – Hammersmith or Manchester.

There also is some other events in the UK that students might want to attend; Nevermind The Polygons is awesome, I filmed the last one and hope to get the final permission to get it online – next one would be a bit more promtly up 😉 it’s held in Derby, and yeah, I was rubbish networking there, since I had a camera to look after (honest excuse guv!) Also, although you have now missed them, the London Game Festival, and GameCity (my choice) are both on in Autumn – and likely will be on next year. Various events (such as the career fair in London, and cool events at GameCity) are well worth attending. Networking might be limited depending though 🙂

Covering interesting things on your blog/site/whatever is a good idea, since some interesting stuff can crop up, and it’s worth keeping a personal record at least.

Note: I am terrible at talking to people really – I get so hung up on what I’d talk about, I need to practice I guess.

The Apply AI thing was okay-ish (some neat guys there), but I got laughed at a bit for saying academic stuff is useful in game stuff (or a lot has been used from academics), which actually once I found out about it, what I said was, really correct. I think it was just more out of context (ie; I think I said “currently…” rather then the masses of stuff implemented years ago, like B&W, Sims, etc. which is now “old”).

I can be contacted if you want to ask anything about this I guess, or post a comment.

Will Wright’s fellowship lecture

Will Wright gave what I thought was a good, insightful lecture on the history of interactive media in relation to other types of media, and actually, a lot more, and what it is becoming compared to typical films and TV shows.

What more, with his Q&A he talked quite a bit on a load of topics, with a bit on Spore’s problematic development, as well as what FPS games he likes (“only really the Battlefield series”), and that he uses other people’s games, both free online and paid ones, to check out designs to see what went right, and more importantly what went wrong.

And putting it in perspective, he’s an high advocate of user created content – such as in Spore, Second Life which he got asked about, and home brew games. He said there was a problematic high level of programming knowledge needed, and that it should be solved by teaching basic programming in school.

He also dispelled 2 myths – the first being that he can play the Tuba, which was on his wikipedia entry (he basically said he enjoyed music specifically because he can’t play any instrument. His Wikipedia as of this post is still wrong 😉 ), and dispelled the myth that it was EA who tried to cancel The Sims many times, when it was actually Maxis, and that EA threw money at the tiny team developing it (a 4 person tools team he got to do it with from Maxis) once they brought the company. He also commented that he wanted to get out of the business side of Maxis which is why he sold – he said he was good at business, but it wasn’t fun, and he likes leaving it to the people who enjoy it and can take care of it better then him.

A very worthy recipient of the award I felt. I didn’t get any pictures of his talk or Q&A, because I forgot due to the interesting topics brought up!

London Game Career Fair ’07 visit

I visited the London Game Career Fair to do some filming today – I basically did a quick interview about each company (me, being like I am, off camera). Once I get them done they should be up somewhere for download, and I’ll put it on the IGDA forums – and should be useful for people interested in each company, although I don’t ask any tough questions.

Sadly, LucasArts and THQ couldn’t talk without express permission, while Ubisoft had only just recently brought Reflections (who produced Driver and other racing games) from Atari, and rebranded it Ubisoft Newcastle (I think they did anyway…).

I was finished with just about everyone but EA at the end, and so got time to film their 1 hour Q&A about themselves. Sadly, I didn’t have time to make any of the other sessions, since I arrived a bit late.

I also enjoyed talking to several companies about programming, although currently I lack the kind of unique demo which would sell me to them 🙂 some useful information came out of it all however.