On the 24th May we were delighted to welcome Shahid Ahmad to Dundee, where he gave an inspirational talk about his phenomenal career in games and shared his advice for both established and aspiring game developers.
Shahid gave a heartfelt talk about his years in the industry, explaining how his fascination with early game consoles inspired him to learn programming at a young age in order to make his own games. Shahid talks about the love he had for programming at this time, and how it enabled him to maintain a degree of control in amidst childhood situations which were ultimately uncontrollable. After establishing himself as a talented game developer Shahid eventually moved to Playstation, where he worked as a Developer Relations Manager, spending many successful years meeting with developers and securing games for the platform. The talk was filled with anecdotal examples of Shahid’s own experience, which danced between both the comical and the heart-wrenching. Using standout moments from his career, Shahid shared his practical advice in regards to success, reputation and pitching, from the point of view of someone who has lived, learned and evolved during their career.
Shahid spoke candidly about his own ‘mistakes’ during his career and shared the wisdom that followed. For instance, the necessity to be nice and respectful when talking with peers and clients, to be able to deliver on the promises you make, and to allow yourself to evolve with the ever changing circumstances of life in order to be the best you can be.
We want to thank Shahid for sharing with us his invaluable experience and providing us with a wonderfully entertaining talk. We’d also like to thank our partners for this event; Abertay University and Henderson Loggie.
Join us at Abertay University on Thursday 26th March from 5pm to hear from a panel of games industry professionals on the current state of diversity within the games industry, and the role of women in games. Our panelists will be sharing their own personal experiences, stories, advice on getting a foothold in games and building meaningful relationships within the development community.
The panel is open for anyone to attend whether you’re a student, professional, educator, or just curious. Tickets are free, even for non-IGDA members. A donation on the night in aid of WRASAC Dundee would be appreciated.
We’re hosting this special event in association with the Abertay Feminist Society. If you wish to stay up to date on their activities, please like their Facebook page for all the latest news, or contact Paige Shepherd to learn more.
Posted in Dundee, Meetings, Special Events
Tagged Abertay Feminist Society, Abertay University, Cian McNabola, Diversity, Dundee, Feminism, Hannah Drummond, Luci Holland, Meeting, Meetings, Panel, Phil Harris, Romana Ramzan, Scotland, Special Event, Timea Tabori, Women in Games
Last Tuesday, IGDA Scotland hosted our 2nd ever special event at Abertay University, Dundee. Ed Fries, the “father of the Xbox” privileged our 200 or so audience with a candid talk describing his amazing industry experience from programmer beginnings at Microsoft to what he is best known for, co-founding the Xbox project. After one or two glasses of wine in the reception party we all settled in to the university’s Main Lecture Theatre ready to absorb the wisdom and inner stories that this industry giant would tell us.
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Posted in Dundee, Special Events, Student
Tagged Abertay, Abertay University, Atari 2600, Ed Fries, Excel, FigurePrints, Halo 2600, IGDA, Interview, Louis Natanson, Luke Dicken, Microsoft, Microsoft Studios, Publishing, Q&A, Scotland, Xbox
In this post, IGDA Scotland volunteer Finlay Thewlis recaps the chapter meeting held June 12th in the Hannah Maclure Centre, Dundee. Thanks as always to our excellent sponsors in Dundee – The University of Abertay Dundee, and of course to our excellent speakers without whom this event would not have been such a great success!
Opening the IGDA Dundee meeting was Luke Dicken who told us that we had SOLD OUT of spaces at the meeting! That certainly shows an appetite for all things IGDA. Various other aspects showed how the ball is really rolling with IGDA Scotland now, such as the Chapter’s progression and a number of special events which are coming up. We then moved onto the regular Open Mic part of the evening which contained a myriad of awesome job vacancies, networking opportunities and attendees with games they wanted to share with everyone. It was great example of the openness within Scotland’s developer community and appetite to contribute and share.
David Thomson of Ludometrics then gave the first talk in the ‘Post Mortem’ style which always gives fellow developers and games types the frank and honest assessment of what went well and where mistakes were made. Bips was what David coined as a ‘Dave-Wave’, although in this case he wasn’t referring to spark of a concept from himself but in fact one of the Godfathers of the Scottish Games Industry, Dave Jones. The project came with an additional aim where the ever-unique Denki wanted to try out some new production/design processes and this was an ideal opportunity to do it.
The main aspect of the insightful post-mortem was that you need to tailor your development processes to your team and your project, square shapes won’t fit into a circular gap so don’t feel forced into having to accept a process or development method that you aren’t convinced is right for your respective project/team.
Yann Seznec from Lucky Frame was next up and he gave a session mainly deconstructing their iOS game Bad Hotel. There was a distinction right from the off from Yann that “we’re a ‘Creative Studio’ not just a games studio”, I think underlining the idea of ‘what makes a game a game?’ and that developers shouldn’t rule themselves out of doing certain work if they don’t feel it qualifies in their pre-conceptions of what they understand a game to be.
Overall Yann delivered a really bright and confident talk on the issues encountered in the development of Bad Hotel even going as far as to show us the game’s sales, revenues and background to the company’s operation. All these aspects constituted a talk that sheda lot of light on subjects many developers are instinctively quiet about and that was a major victory for the evening. It begs the question will there be a trend of developers becoming more increasingly open with aspects such as sales and their shortcomings?
Finally we had Sandy Duncan from YoYo Games who gave a decidedly more informal talk than the first two, refusing to give in to the oppression of PowerPoint having a worked at Microsoft in his past! Sandy took us through the background of YoYo and the origins of their GameMaker engine. Overall Sandy communicated how important he considers HTML5 as a platform and showed the strength of how timing of when a developer come into a market can be almost direction-changing when a platform or market opportunity is met with a prepared and able team there to take an idea forward. This can secure funding for projects that might not be considered by the masses of the games industry as not having any viability, at least yet.
The IGDA Scotland meeting in Dundee was a window into what makes the games industry in Scotland such a special place, the inclusiveness, warm, relaxed nature of the night and anyone hesitating to attend any IGDA meetings in any of the three locations we visit (Dundee, Glasgow & Edinburgh) should really get involved, it’s never too late to learn something helpful, meet someone new or find someone for that job vacancy you’ve been wanting to fill.
Don’t just watch this space, fill it!
Posted in Dundee, Meetings
Tagged 2013, Abertay, Abertay University, Bad Hotel, Bips, David Thomson, Denki, Dundee, Game Maker, GameMaker, Hannah Maclure Centre, HTML5, June, Lucky Frame, Ludometrics, Meeting, Meetings, Post Mortems, Postmortems, Pugs Love Beats, Sandy Duncan, Wave Trip, Yann Seznec, YoYo, YoYo Games