Scotts Personal Blog
My thoughts and ramblings
GDC 2013 Day one notes
Categories: Game Stuff

Raw form notes (non-edited, and typed on a mobile device, so don’t expect much sense from these) from the sessions I attended today:

 Play make appreciate- Colleen Macklin and John Sharp

  1. Pet lab
  2. She design curriculum
  3. Boys and girls clubs
  4. Activate games .org
  5. Scad ties-john sharp
  1. Problems
    1. Sustainable?
    2. Creative writing similar problems fiction futures
    3. Game education Is fundamentalist engineering model and studio
    4. Focused on craft not on holistic
    5. Art only focused on painting
    6. Aesthetic form of play and interactivity
    7. Have a more holistic approach- duh
    8. It’s not looking out
    9. Need more diversity
    10. The major limits the students who are attracted to it
    11. Play = experience
    12. Make = create
    13. Appreciate = respond
    14. K-12 game based education
    15. The manifesto
      1. Open pathway
      2. Expanding past games
      3. Redfinfin the definition of games
        1. Play is a point of view, primary output is play
        2. We are what we play think in a deeper way beyond games, media diet diversify
        3. Play everything- outside digital, sports, music, dance, etc, culture
        4. Making is understanding- STEM Learning, deep investigations, play test, open minds, iterate, “playing it wrong!”, understand failure as part of the journey
        5. Explore new ways of making- learn to be more honest in postmortem, how do other trades create? Iterative methods and research
        6. Make for people not markets, duh.- what does the game enable and what experiences does it create? Focused too much on genre, assuming there will be a market, tenth clone, genre= market?
        7. Games and play are liberal arts- socially and culturally, get away from product focus, have appreciation like film and music appreciation
        8. Games are not an object-
        9. Be constructively critical
        10. Connect games to life- they are creators of culture make people understand that play is a part of life
      4. Competency based education, from traditional education.
    16. Graviton and journey
Games for impact R&D center
  1. The gls center games learning society
  2. Learning is dull, uninspiring and sometimes repressive
  3. Video games is new ways of learning
  4. Teaching. With tech
  5. Media deve process
  6. Distribution
  7. New ways of assessment
  8. Basic four course grad
  9. From basement to center
  10. Spread out like wilmu
    1. Boring
    2. Not looking forward
    3. Stuck in boundaries
    4. Inadequate space
    5. Good luck getting peopl
    6. Culture of no
    7. Universities don’t trust students
  11. For profit partners- holy crap this guy is cruising through these!!
    1. Legally bound
    2. Obligated to chase other opporutunities
    3. Their own timelines, project velocities
    4. Different ways of doing things
    5. Select and manage their staff
    6. Strategic decisions
    7. Not set up for students
  12. R and d are separate
    1. Research not informed by dev
    2. Deve not informed by R&D
    3. Over the wall development
    4. No center of gravity
    5. Integrated, vibrant R&D
    6. Academic, nonprofit, for profit
  13. Serve the public
  14. Set up like a game studio
  15. Mixed use spaces
  16. Not enough art in education
  17. Make it our space
  18. Freaks out administrators
  19. How does it work
  20. This guy is MUCH slower……..
    1. The right mix of peopl
      1. Software engineers
      2. Programmers
      3. Artists
      4. Web devs
      5. Student game developers
    2. Technology team- one person for each
      1. Game eng tech
      2. Play programmer design scripter
      3. Web app dev and back end data stuff
      4. Data tech
    3. Artistic team
      1. Concept artis
      2. Modeler
      3. Aimator
      4. Graphic designer
    4. Balance
      1. Aaa games
      2. Independent
      3. Vs
      4. Seasoned veterans
      5. Entry level
    5. Art pipeline- measure twice, cut once
      1. Concept art
      2. Proxy art
      3. Design vetting
      4. Final art assets
      5. Final polish
    6. Importance of visuals looks like a retail game, it’s all the same but the art assets are so much more impact full
    7. Starting a project
      1. Initial conversations with outside resources
        1. Learning goals
        2. Game design concepts
        3. Timelines
        4. Project scope
      2. Education partner
        1. Game design around learning goals
        2. Cater to target audience
        3. Vetting on game concepts
        4. Game jams
          1. Academics
        5. Getting buy ins
    8. Foster collab truly
    9. Understanding roles
    10. Managing student flow
    11. Creating new culture and hr expectations
    12. Managing ip and
Student project to indie game 
Unfinished swan
 Holy crap this game looks AMAZING….and very much like an Alex/Jason/Yanni type of project
  1. First person painting game, discovery
  2. Every week make a prototype
  3. Sense of wonder night
  4. Why publish?
    1. Focus on game
    2. Make bigger, better, prettier game
    3. Publisher had goals
    4. Track record
  5. What was helpful in school
    1. Fluency in core tools, maya, visual studio, illustrator. Push the tools past their limitations
      1. Helps experimentation
      2. Communicate your ideas
      3. Builds empathy and understanding-what time requirements and budgeting, and delegation
      4. Most of your time is spent in debugging
    2. What he learned at school:
    3. Exposure to misc tools- GMD 105 HE TOTALLY CONFIRMED THE NEED FOR THIS COURSE!!!!
      1. After effects
      2. Protocols
      3. Video editing
    4. Using prototypes as tools
      1. Ways for us to think about the problem
      2. Abstract to concrete frame
      3. ” how do you invoke a sense of wonder?”
    5. John hights game about game publishing
      1. Different valuations of the same thing
      2. Publishers vs developers
    6. The value of peer support
      1. Resources
      2. Support group
    7. Showing at festivals
      1. Fixable on the floor- there will be problems
      2. Save your voice
      3. Edit it while its running on the floor!!!!
    8. What I learned on the job
      1. Why we have producers (to jump on the grenades)
        1. Hugely valuable
        2. They fight the smaller fires that distract the team
      2. Weekly play tests
        1. Valuable for team for a steak in the ground
        2. Rally points
        3. Gut checks
        4. Marathon feedback
        5. Gentle fail points
      3. Simple processes are great
        1. Task tracking, use google docs
        2. Daily stand up meetings
        3. Weekly team lunch – monthly GMD lunches?
        4. Frictionless tools
      4. Team dynamics change after 7 people
        1. You need additional levels
        2. Lead meetings
        3. Sub team meetings
      5. Huge improvements can come late in development
        1. You know better
        2. Better tools development
        3. You have all this stuff that you’ve created, that you built for other reasons
    9. Hindsight
      1. Hiring is hard!
      2. Fire people early
      3. Some people LIKE being told what to do
      4. Communicating change is hard
      5. AND important
      6. Keep people rested
      7. TRACK CHANGES!!
    10. Over budget how?
      1. Communication is key!
Curriculum death match – Mary Flanagan, Dartmouth I was trying to remember her name….
  1. Noah masters, Eric Zimmerman- masters program order is erick, Noah, Tracy, Mary
  2. Learning objectives
    1. Iteration, teamwork, know yourself
    2. Technical mastery, teamwork, pushing creativity
    3. Collaborative process, iterative design, aesthetic expression
    4. Critical thinking, risk taking, original concepts via design methods
  3. Three most important skills a gd should have-mtne
    1. Modeling abstraction, risk being wrong, listen
    2. Systems thinking, communication, collaboration-erick has the same
    3. Imagination, systems understanding, interdisciplinary communication
  4. How do you teach communication?
    1. Teams of two, then teams of larger models
    2. Design is 50 percent  communication
    3. Explain the rules of a game without words
    4. Cross disciplines
    5. Shared vocab
    6. Listening, play testing a lot at every iteration outside the classroom
  5. Systems thinking
    1. Design challenges at existing systems
    2. What motivates people to engage in systems
    3. Game journals analysis and experiences
    4. Learning how to think systemically
    5. Game theory
  6. What are three games that you reference when you teach game design
    1. Tracy, chess, the sims, halo
    2. Mary, chess, the sims, flower
    3. Noah, space war, sept 12, knights of the old republic
    4. Erik, chess, mafia werewolf, four square (ball) magic the gathering
  7. Books
    1. Rules of play, Tracy’s book,
    2. Game design reader, gdw
    3. Some paradoxes on the definition of play – Mary Flanagan references an article by the “Flow” author whose name is too long and too hard to pronounce, but she has it in that article.
  8. Single most important quality a game designer to have?
    1. Thinking systemically, communication
    2. Compassion, collaboration everything is inter-related, Buddhism type of thinking compassion
  9. Why do you teach game design
    1. Want to make the world a more playful and thereof a better place
    2. Because they make magic worlds, culture, engage ment, love,
    3. Noah, says, to empower intervention in social systems
    4. Mary games for social change
  10. Most common questions or problems that students don’t know they have
    1. Tracy, they aren’t playing it right, misunderstanding of their players, scope!!!!, team conflict
    2. Noah, team breakdown, technical approach, ideation derailment,
    3. Erik,” I just want to tell stories”, “my ideas are brilliant”, open to change, I want to boss others around- ie teamwork
    4. Mary, scope, why isn’t it fun?, balance
  11. Three key mistakes when they start a program
    1. Mary, focus on technology, no paper games- go offscreen, no iteration- due date and then it’s done.
    2. Noah, focus on technology, look at computer science as applied math, cs as a set of thinking about debugging and shaping technology, too much focus on triple a games, look at history and breadth, throwing together the courses you have, limiting your resources (GMD 105 as marcel taught it),
    3. Erik, don’t really make the effort to connect locally, try and do everything- unique vision for your program, to concerned with learning tech (vocational) specific tech skills are less important than systems thinking.
    4. Tracy, no one who loves games-passionate about the games of play advancing the field, assumption that it lives in the cs department or media, rather than like medical or something, don’t cater to the gamer culture!  Or do it in a critical, analytic way
    5. Literacy is important, deep but narrow literacy, non-gamers bring out of the box thinking
    6. Diversity in the culture change that needs it.
  12. How to Get a job
    1. Internship
    2. Make games, what is meaningful to you (specialize), where is your passion? Have at least one or more games that you can present and finish
    3. Communicate as a designer
    4. Working with others!
    5. Portfolio
    6. Use the time to take the risks and learn to fail
    7. Meet people who know things that you don’t know, that can teach each other things, read!!!!!!! Then travel,
    8. Play outside of your audience and group, new point of view, document your progress and show steps, reflective, see as many unusual things as you can, outside of your comfort zone, understand people’s pleasure and experience, de-contextualize

Comments are closed.