This past September we hosted a night of talks on the topic of game jams, and with Global Game Jam this weekend in it seemed right to share them again with you all! Here is some advice for both participants and organisers, as well as some words from a team who decided to develop their idea further after the Global Game Jam.
First up was new board member Steven Taarland, talking about his experiences in organising Rainbow Jam ’16. He discusses some of the issues he faced regarding organisation, getting sponsorships, promotion and more.
Next was the winner of several of the Play Party Awards: Team Curvish. They spoke about how they came together during the jam and developed their game further after the play parties, including showing Curvish at EGX Rezzed, sourcing funding and how they plan to bring the game to market.
Finally Brian McDonald spoke about the Global Game Jam, his experience in helping to organise it as a site and as a board member, and several tips for people looking to take part in not only them but other jams.
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Back due to popular demand, learn what went right and wrong during the development of some of your favourite Scottish titles, and gather valuable insights to aid your own projects at our second Scottish Post-Mortems session.
You lot couldn’t get enough of them last year in Dundee, so we’re taking them on tour, starting with Glasgow. Join us at the Admiral Bar on 21st May from 19:30 for a series of short post-mortem sessions from local developers, our traditional open mic, and networking with drinks.
Last year’s meeting completely sold out, so we heartily encourage you to register your spot now early while you still can! It’s early days yet, so we’ll announce the line-up nearer the date, and let you know by email. Save the date!
If you need a reminder of just how useful reflecting on the development process can be, here are last year’s excellent post-mortems below on the IGDA Scotland YouTube channel, and our recap blog post by Finlay Thewlis. They might even serve as inspiration for your own post-mortem! We will announce this year’s speakers nearer the date.
If you recently finished or launched a project of your own, we’d love to hear your game’s development story; both the ups and the downs. What lessons did you learn, what would you do differently, and what advice would you give your fellow developers? If you’re keen on sharing your triumphs and tribulations, we urge you to contact firstname.lastname@example.org and arrange to speak.
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We’re delighted to be able to announce that thanks to the hard work of our volunteers, the three talks presented at the June meeting in Dundee are now available. You can read an excellent recap of the whole event by Finlay Thewlis, or watch the sessions themselves below.
Thanks as always to everyone who made this an absolutely brilliant night, from the speakers, to the volunteers, the audience who packed out the venue – and of course not forgetting The University of Abertay, Dundee who provided the venue.
You can find the videos embedded below, or pay a visit to our Youtube page, where you can find recordings from this meeting as well as many of our others.
Bips! – David Thomson, Ludometrics
Bad Hotel – Yann Seznec, Lucky Frame
HTML 5 – Sandy Duncan, YoYo Games
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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.