“Shipping the Empty Box” Confirmed for PAX Dev!

I will be presenting a lecture at PAX Dev!

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Shipping the Empty Box
Releasing [string:titleOfGame] on [array:platforms]

Working on [string:titleOfGame], you need to release it on [array:platforms-0] and perhaps on [array:platforms-1] in the future. You have [int:NULL] time till release. Build engineer and programmer John “Seg” Seggerson (Telltale Games, John McNeil Studio, Dominique Pamplemousse) will help smooth the multi-platform release by outlining build engineering tips for platforms on desktop, mobile, console, and beyond. Increase artist, writer, and programmer efficiency with a set of core specifications and planning applied to existing platforms and future platforms. Skills and knowledge that will reduce release headaches for your [int:sizeOfTeam] team!

This is the build engineering panel I’ve always wanted to do and finally getting to do it. My experience with Dominique Pamplemousse was releasing a game without having to worry about making the game. I needed to create the empty box to ship to Steam & Humble. This clean-room process made me think about the build process in this perspective, and finally got me to apply for this lecture.

Talking with my game industry friends, we couldn’t think of ever seeing a build engineering panel offered. Not just PAX Dev, but GDC as well. My hope was to get accepted to PAX Dev to focus getting the content together in time to apply for GDC. I got my wish!

The lecture will be in two acts. The first act will be guidelines for a build system from my experience. Going into specifics isn’t helpful because game engines are too different for me to cover. Instead I’ll be going to broad guidelines. The second act will be releasing my master asset list, a core asset list, and the philosophy behind it. This list will contain all assets for every platform I can talk about. Then another core assets needed to convert over to these targets. If I have time, I may make a NPM/Bower app to do these conversations.

Over the summer I’ll be working on the details of the lecture and have everything ready for submitting for GDC 2015. I’m super excited to work on this and get to attend PAX Dev & PAX Prime!

Games and Academics

For years as I was going through my undergraduate work at Emerson College, the weekly tradition of watching [adult swim] as my weekly fill of television would occasionally be tainted with a certain advertisement. A certain school with a ‘gaming degree program’ spot starts out with the question about why ‘you’ haven’t made your video game yet. Every time this commercial would show up, I would flip off the screen and think to myself “I’M WORKING ON IT!!!”

Academia for the video game industry is a topic rather close to me. It’s safe for me to say that I created a good chunk of Emerson’s program on game design and writing for I had to make it from scratch. I had a make-your-own major that happened to be degree on the books. Course, I was the first to actually go for a BFA in New Media and to create a curriculum based on design and writing of interactive storytelling. At the time, there wasn’t a convincing curriculum that attracted to me, so making my own program was the only way I could be satisfied.

As to why I’m taking education as my first major post on my Media Blog, it’s the way in which one creates media, in this case video games, that makes my connection. Yea justification!There are many issues college with the in interactive electronic entertainment. These problems are shared between the educational institutions, the commercial electronic games industry, the students, and academic/admission counselors. It takes years for academia to figure out good methods of teaching any subject matter. Only with a careful dance between the industry itself and the academic world can a solid curriculums be formed. Without some form of industry involvement, students will not be properly prepared for the industry. Too much industry involvement and the school produces one-trick ponies.

But what defines the difference? There are obvious bad programs (hint: they air TV ads), but how can we begin to calculate a quality school? No school will be perfect, but what model should students be looking for? The first thing that comes to mine is the scope of the program:

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