Category Archives: IGDA

The International Game Developers Association – – I am a volunteer for various bits of work there, and update this site with any major items relating to that.

IGDA Quality of Life SIG Committee Member

I’m not even in the games industry…why even try and be a committee member of the IGDA’s Quality of Life SIG? I think I can help is why!

It also might be a plus not being in the industry I’m only peripheral to at best, since I can’t really get fired for saying anything.

I’m also really happy if I can help get students more knowledgeable about the situation, and help facilitate the SIG to do great things. I’m going to be helping edit people’s own QoL stories, if anyone wants to contribute any, as well as help write or at least edit some of the white papers that the SIG will be doing. All this will hopefully grow the SIG so more rapid progress can be made, which is always awesome to see.’s Treasures

igda logo
igda logo

The old IGDA site will be closing down, with a new site put in place, sometime – I presume – next month. In the mean time I’ve done some automated, and just recently some entirely manual preservation of the site. I still need to confirm the original site will be preserved, or better put online as archived pages.

In any case, now is a good a time as any to say there are some rather unknown but great articles and words on the site, just very difficult to find! Most of it is under the aptly named Content section, so it’s worth digging yourself of course…

The Articles section hasn’t been updated for a few years, but contains some nice, lengthy articles. Some good reports, good opinion pieces and some factual works too. Work a check out 🙂 – I just wish there were more new ones… 🙂

Out of the various Columns, only 3 are currently active (I presume paid for, and come out monthly). All 3 are worth reading themselves – if only for the entertainment, although as advice and opinions they are well informed and extremely on the mark.

The archives are good too, Famous Last Words by Jim Charne goes into a lot of legal and contract topics (fascinating stuff, even if not all American law applies to the UK for me) – no wonder he got an award for MVP award in 2006 🙂

Matt Sakey goes in-depth into culture and related areas in Culture Clash – a highly recommended read. The great thing about the archives is the additional reading material links (if they still work). He also gets down on culture more often at his Tap-Repeatedly site (formerly the quirky-named Four Fat Chicks), which I’d also urge a read or search of the archives 🙂

The Games Game by Tom Sloper does a good job, and entirely applicably still in the archives, give great advice to students and those looking for industry jobs. A lot is basic, but there are some things worth learning there for sure 🙂

Finally, the closed columns!

The Ivory Tower is fascinating – I’ve not read nearly enough of it yet to give a full comment, but I’d say this would be something worth bringing back – or doing more ad-hoc articles for the IGDA site in the same vein. Lots of writers I recognise, with good topics – on games at the time, the collaboration of academia and industry and much more. I will be making enquiries at DiGRA if I have a chance on if this would ever be restarted!

Miller Time by Scott Miller is a fun little read, stopped short it appears. Since 3d Realms is now in the area known as “mostly dead”, seeing the old words from the owner back when Duke Nukem Forever wasn’t so much a joke is interesting.

Finally, Words of Wisdom is a nice look at luminaries’ quotes – not enough of this is done I think, more is needed so people can be called out on repeating rubbish or changing views or being hypocritical – but this column was more just for advice for new people, sought out by Barbara Walter, who I can’t find online (but appeared to be a recruiter, and worked the moderation of the newbie forum at the time).

I’d love to see more of all of this on the IGDA site! 🙂

There are also some well-worth-reading white papers and other material in the Papers and Reports section – a wee bit old now, but some is still highly relevant and not out of date at all. It misses out any kind of new papers (from around 2006 onwards unless it links to a more up to date page), which is a big shame.

PS: I’m still working on other posts, but without a gallery which, yes, I’m still looking into, I’m reserving those for when I can upload pictures 🙂

Develop 2009 Roundup

develop09 whitebg

The Develop Conference was good this year – I have notes to write up, some interesting ones, which I hope to sort once I do my gallery up with some new software (this has but a few of the ones I took with my new camera, and I’ll link to the notes here and in a minipost when they are up). I’m glad I went, and I think that not wasting holiday time is pretty important 🙂

Some CA's
Some CA's

The main thing was I got to talk to some great CA’s this year – who I also got to instruct them in the ways of Werewolf too. I also saw One Life Left (and participated!), although it seems it won’t be put up as a podcast, we’ll see. There was also Never Mind the Polygons, which was great. Much good discussion was had, and I caught up with some other people too.

I also put forward to the CA’s about the student SIG and got some positive and some muddling feedback, which I’ve taken on board 😀

Sadly, the IGDA presence was limited. I missed the Women in Games lunch (One Life Left was on at the same time), although this wasn’t strictly IGDA. The local chapter, from all reports is dead 🙁 a great opportunity there missed, especially since evening activities were limited – recession hitting in I guess!

Fear the Flaming Brighton Pier!
Fear the Flaming Brighton Pier!

The one thing I did miss, entirely unrelated to games, was having time to swim in the sea. It was actually rather sunny on the first day, but I lacked the time – there was bag packing to do, and in addition the Guardian Games Quiz – where we got a 20/20 for our brilliant “Brighton Pier on Fire” demonic monster 🙂

I also picked up Warhammer Mark of Chaos: Battle March – a mouthful to be sure. It didn’t change the original game much, but provided a good deal of fun for the reduced £4 price – the campaign has some quite fun missions (although I lament not being able to play the Dwarfs still, and I couldn’t get online). I might get around to writing something up about it, we’ll see.

Revamping the IGDA Students SIG

igda logo

I’ve been working in the background a reasonable amount on a revamped IGDA Students SIG, which is still a work in progress, and still needs all kind of help to get going (waiting on the new site to get functionally started too doesn’t help matters).

The SIG, even though I am not a student right now, I just hope to get going. There’s been pretty much no student initiatives in the IGDA, the Education SIG is very centred on the educators, not educatees, and so it’s left to revamp the current Student Action SIG. Not much action, so I certainly think Students SIG is enough, for starters.

I’ve yet to contact the old staff from the SIG, but have been trying to contact students of various sorts, mainly through the forums and (nearly dead) mailing list. You will entirely believe how hard it is to find people to contact who haven’t got email addresses available: it’s Very Hard. What came out of this was the proposal – a draft right now, and needing working, I think, mainly on what should happen in the future, as well as organisational details.

Why is this important anyway? Well, even though I’ve barely taken advantage of it, the British Computing Society has an active Students section, and the IEEE has it’s own version. These have different activities, club parts, and so forth. I’m going to be contacting both to get some knowledge of how they operate, and will try at some point to contact our new Executive Director to get their knowledge on the subject.

It might only start as a web-based organisational effort, and not much more, but hopefully if people are willing to help – and unlike the Preservation SIG, I hope not to do all the work myself (since it’s really hard to find non-busy people interested in that niche, I can tell you!), meaning once it’s going it can run under it’s own steam and not peter out like the last attempt, valiant how that appeared at first to be. The new site should, I hope, be the easiest possible way to start it going, we’ll see soon I guess.

Email me now, leave a comment, or catch me at Develop if you will be there, since I’d love to discuss this in person with someone, and I’ll be bringing it up at every opportunity with any students I do meet 🙂

GDC2009 – Thursday – Meet the Press, QoL and a AI Roundtable

A lot of various things done on Thursday – this year I was looking to see what the IGDA was doing in more depth, especially on the QoL side. Jason Della Rocca is leaving, so they explained in the AGM that there is a process underway to get a new executive director. There was also news on the Leadership event issue – no apology from the person directly involved but at least an apology from the board chair herself at the lax actions of the response and not having any coherent voice, although I think more needs to be done (as did several question askers). The board voting (it being a rather closed process), the board being silent (they’re getting a blog, so a good first step) and other items were also brought up (website revamps, money issues, chapter restructuring). My notes will be up next week.

I also went to the QoL committee roundtable – a lot of issues were raised as being problems to tackle and there is a reasonable action plan underway – as well as changing it to a Special Interest Group so more people can get involved. I’ll report more on this as I get involved.

The morning had the second AI Roundtable – less people (it clashed with another AI session!), but very informative on some subjects. I’ll get notes up next week 🙂

Finally, an area that I keep an eye on is game press – so going to Meet The Game Press panel was interesting. There was some good information on how to promote games – such as how to contact the press – and some of the problems they have too. They didn’t go much into why there wasn’t much journalism done, but it was at least very informative on how the 3 different sites run.

The evening had me visit the speakers party, which was fun (although I missed Simon Carless who I intended to chat to, who was always busy speaking with someone 🙂 ), although I felt a little out of place just doing the lowest of the low student mixer (which I think is important, but I doubt everyone would, hehe 🙂 ).

GDC2009 – Wednesday – Anti-Censorship and more

IGDA Luncheon

On Wednesday I intentionally missed the Nintendo keynote, which from checking the news didn’t announce anything interesting. I went to 4 sessions in the day – only 4! It’s utterly bizarre…

In any case, the first one was the Anti-censorship Committee Roundtable, which looked to do a few interesting things this year – a cheat sheet for the ESRB, information for debunking myths and regional grassroots campaigners or people who rally against laws. Some interesting people there I met who do European items too, which wasn’t covered much in the roundtable itself.

The next session on adding LIFE to Saints Row 2 was a big lesson in not giving designers too many things to do. 15,000 or something nodes on the map – slowly added over development, constantly erroring, and whenever art got updated the nodes sometimes were then in terrain. It however did add a good amount of artificial life – another big thing was that the basic things, not the special fire breathing mimes but just the smokers or groups of talkers were the best additions to the world since they are so common.

Lunch was the IGDA VIP Luncheon – it was nice to see some great praise for Jason although there was, sadly (and I should have seen if something was going to be done) no presentation of anything to him, even just a card or something else. A missed opportunity.

After lunch was the censorship roundup – an interesting look at the state of American censorship. Some stuff on countries I’ve not had a chance to check up on either. After this was the first AI roundtable – a great look at a whole range of areas, from multi-core processing to behavioural design to the way to implement things.

We checked out the Expo briefly before the awards, where a lot of the IGF games sadly were turned off (obviously all at some pre-awards thing, annoyingly I guess!). The IGF awards gave me a few titles to check out, the main awards were pretty standard – not much, I think, that really pushed games this year as much as some of the previous years, but at least Tim Schafer was fun 🙂

I actually wrote this writeup of the day there too, I perhaps half wished I had something better to do I guess! Notes for this day will appear when all the others go up too.