Gaming On The Surface 2013 Fall Event

Gaming On The Surface 2013 Fall Event

I am proud to say that my Gaming On The Surface event, which took place last weekend, was a great success! It wouldn’t have been possible without the generous sponsorship we received from Intel, our morning Unity workshop, the New York Game Forum and the incredible lineup of speakers plus their games. With over 180 attendees we had a completely packed room full of eager people playtesting some of the best indie games being made right here in NYC. I can hardly believe we were able to pull this large of an event off with only a month of lead time. But above everything else, the thing I am most proud of is the following message I was pushing at the event. In order to convince so many people that Windows 8 is the best platform for playing and making games on I handpicked speakers who are on the Windows Store, in the process of publishing to it or have it in their road map to show off the best of what the platform can do. Also Bob Duffy, from Intel, sent me a wide collection of computers I preloaded with over 90 Windows Store games. If you read the bad press around Windows 8, you would have no idea that these games even existed on the platform but the truth is that Windows 8 Gaming is growing and even without the influx of new games to the Windows Store, the fact that a $300 iPad mini sized Dell Venue 8 Pro can still play desktop games and use a controller makes it one of the most appealing devices...
Game Dev Studio Time: The Start Of Something Amazing!

Game Dev Studio Time: The Start Of Something Amazing!

Over the past year I have been running weekend workshops seeing over 100 budding game developers each Saturday. As summer started and attendance was slowing down I decided to take a little break from the hands-on workshops to focus on a smaller event I ran alongside my workshops called Studio Time. Last night was my most successful one and I figured I would take some time to talk about these events and some of the things I am trying to do to help grow the local indie game development community. Game Developer Studio Time is a small event I run out of the Microsoft office which is open to anyone making games looking for a space to work. It’s not very hard to pack a room full of people interested in making games but what makes this special is that I keep the attendance limit very low, around 20 people and it’s strictly for devs who want to work on an existing game or start a new one. I don’t give a talk, there are no lessons to follow, it’s simply about getting a bunch of game devs into a room and letting them work! As I mentioned in the beginning, last night’s event was my most successful one yet but the reason may not be as clearly cut as simply packing the room. Something amazing happened last night, for the first time running these events I actually wasn’t being pulled in multiple direction helping people because everyone was helping each other. From play testing to bouncing ideas off each other to discussing which Zelda game was the best...
ECGC, NY Game Makers and Ludum Dare 26

ECGC, NY Game Makers and
Ludum Dare 26

Last week was a busy one for me. I was away most of it in North Carolina at a great event called East Coast Game Conference. When I returned I ran another great NY Game Makers meetup with two guest speakers, Betsy Aoki and Michael Pugliese, on Saturday. Finally I had just enough time over the weekend to also knock out a quick game for Ludum Dare. Here is a little summary of my week’s events. Microsoft was a sponsor of ECGC and I was asked to speak about gaming. I chose to do talk about something that has been on my mind for a long time, casual gaming. The topic of my talk was called “Are We Casual Enough Yet?” and I walked through some of the top casual games on the Windows Store as well as my own games that are becoming increasingly more casual (whether I like it or not). If you missed the talk I will be doing a live webcast of it for O’Reilly on Friday, May 10th at 4pm Eastern and you can register for it here. I also uploaded my slides if you like that sort of thing: In addition to my scheduled talk, Microsoft also ran hands on workshops In the back of the expo hall where each of the game evangelist were able to meet with people, present the work we have been doing for the community and answer any questions people may have around building games for Windows Store. I did my talk called “Deep Dive Into HTML5 Games” and walked people through my Super Jetroid Starterkit. I had...
Making Games With GameMaker In NYC

Making Games With
GameMaker In NYC

Last weekend I had another great turnout for my weekend NYC game Makers workshops. This one was special for a few reasons. First off it was the one month anniversary, I have opened up a new studio room, our capacity is now 150 people and I had my first guest speaker, Michael Pugliese, who covered GameMaker. I have talked about GameMaker before and it’s a great way for people to make games with very little coding. Not only was last weekend’s workshop a great success at getting people new to game development up and running but I’m also seeing an increase in the number of people ready to submit their games to OneGameAMonth and the Windows Store. Mike did an excellent job presenting GameMaker to the group! It’s always a little daunting running a workshop for 50+ people, especially an all-day event like what I hold in our Microsoft office on Saturdays but he has lots of experience teaching game development. Mike runs a company called Game Builders Academy which specializes in teaching students and kids how to make games. His primary tool for doing this is GameMaker which is why I invited him to come out and speak. Mike walked the group through how to make a simple platformer, using GameMaker’s drag and drop event system and also showed off his own games plus others made with the platform. For those of you interested in learning how to make games but don’t have much programming experience, I highly suggest checking out GameMaker. In addition to the recently announce Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 support YoYo Games announced...
NY Game Makers Learn How To Publish To Windows Store

NY Game Makers Learn How To Publish To Windows Store

Last weekend I had one of my best NY Game Maker meetups yet. The morning session was totally packed and I have been ramping up to our final meetup for the month where I help get everyone to publish something either online or to the Windows Store. The goal of this is help new developers that have never published anything before get use to the process of finishing a game, packaging it up, thinking through the submission process and working through certification. Whether it’s the Windows Store, iOS or Android, going through this process is a key skill any game developer should have in their back pocket. To help, I put together a short deck highlighting the Windows Store publishing process: While this deck simply summarizes the high level items you will need to do, I also spend a great deal of time going through the actual details plus showing off my own games in the Developer Dashboard and how approval, failing approval and reporting actually worked. Up until this point I have been having people use Impact JS to make a game. In the beginning I covered the demo game from my book and more recently I gave everyone a striped down version of my Super Jetroid game as a starter kit for them to build off of. The goal for next week is to have everyone publish something to get them into One Game A Month and hopefully into the Windows Store. Now the one thing I do have reservations over is the fact that with over 80 people a weekend attending my workshops there is going...
A Week Of HTML5 Gaming In NYC

A Week Of HTML5 Gaming In NYC

Last week was a great time for HTML5 gaming here in NYC. After speaking on the HTML5 Game monetization panel, I hung out with Ludei to hear about CocoonJS, then I spoke at OnGameStart and finally wrapped it up with my two NYGameMaker workshops. This doesn’t include the NYC Games Forum’s meetup I was at on Monday covering How to Master Story Telling for Games. New York is quickly becoming a hot spot of activity for game related events and we are just getting warmed up. I wanted to sum up my last week for those of you who couldn’t make it out any of these amazing events. People showing up early for the NYC Game Forum’s Deep Dive: How to Master Story Telling For Games. The NYC Game Forum keeps putting on some amazing events. In addition to their monthly demo night, which I will be presenting at for the 3rd time, they do deep dive sessions. These talks are amazing and attendance is always high, even with the small fee to register. This week was on story telling in gaming which has been a hot topic lately given the amount of casual games flooding the mobile space. If you are in NYC you should check out these events, they are worth the price of admission and I am happy to be offering them a space at Microsoft’s office so they can have these events in the same place on a regular basis. A great presentation by Ibon of Ludei on how CocoonJS works. I already did a post about the panel I was on talking about monetizing...

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