The St. Louis Game Developer Co-op provides support, resources, and events for game creators in St. Louis, Missouri

VIDEO: IGDA STL Microtalks Series

July 27th, 2014

By: admin

We had 8 excellent speakers this year’s Microtalk Series, with topics ranging from the creative process to development tips to managing detail. No matter your interest and focus in game development, you’re guaranteed to come away with fresh insight and great inspiration.

List of Speakers:

1) George Lippert — Maintaining Orbit: managing the details without crashing into them
Regardless of the size of a project, maintaining a user’s-eye view is essential in detail management. Many designers get understandably bogged down in finer and finer details until progress halts almost completely. Using the model of everyone’s favorite sci-fi geek-dom (Star Trek), we’ll examine the idea of “maintaining orbit”– keeping a healthy distance from your project– managing the details via brief “beam-downs”, but always returning to the perspective most end users will view your project from.

2) Nathan Lucy — Storytelling
Learn a simple framework for telling a story that engages your audience. As human beings, we’re wired to respond to story. Stories are the backbone of good adventure games and compelling Kickstarter videos alike, and they’re perfect for both job interviews and social occasions. While we all know how to enjoy a good yarn, it’s quite another thing to craft one. In this MicroTalk, Nathan will share the simple framework he has learned for crafting engaging stories. You’ll leave with a handy tool for your next fundraiser, adventure game, job interview, or backyard barbecue with friends and family.

3) Ben Triola — Build the thing you want in two weeks, with no experience.
One (bad) programmer’s approach to building anything, while having little to no idea what the hell you’re actually doing.

4) Seth Coster — Wrangling Risk
As a game developer, everything you do is fraught with risks and potential negative outcomes, and the endless possibilities of failure can be paralyzing. In this talk, Seth Coster (Butterscotch Shenanigans) will discuss ways to think about, control, and mitigate risk as an independent game developer. By understanding and controlling risk, you will be able to more intelligently make decisions that move your studio and your craft forward. This talk will be primarily business and planning focused, tilted toward those who are thinking about striking out on their own and starting their own game studio.

5) Stuart Keating — Dealing with failure (or marginal success)
You’ve done everything right–the research, the timing, the product. And even then nothing goes your way–the kickstarter doesn’t fund, the press doesn’t bite, the reviewers don’t get it. What do you do? How do you cope? I don’t have definitive answers to these questions BUT I DO HAVE SOME RELEVANT AND RECENT EXPERIENCE.

6) Carol Mertz — Down to the Letter
Take a brief, high-level look at how typography and proper font use can make or break a game’s experience. We’ll look at reasoning, approach, and implementation, as well as some examples of thoughtful and thoughtless type design in games.

7) Rob Santos — “W.T.F.” Rob? – A Postmortem
A look back on the hardware, art, and development challenges during my latest game. The goal is to expose listeners to the unique creative and development constraints of an alternative platform and point them toward appropriate resources if they would like to attempt similar projects.

8) Sam Coster — Process
This session will be a high-level overview of a methodology I use to get more out of my time and achieve greater success in damn near everything. Attendees will walk away with a new lens to view their approach to game development and other aspects of their lives.

Many thanks to Riot Games for hosting, all of the talented speakers, and Adam Shaw for producing the video.

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The St. Louis Game Developer Co-op is a social and professional organization organized as a Missouri non-profit corporation under R.S.Mo., Chapter 355. We are not a legal cooperative.