Last year, the first year of No Show, featured a phenomenal series of sessions from a diverse range of game developers. Session content was generously livestreamed and recorded by the MIT Game Lab.
- Opening Keynote – Games: What are they good for? Video streaming by Ustream
- Can You Write That Down? The Six Types of Game Design Documents and Finding the Right One(s) for You Six flavor of quarks, six colors of M&Ms, and six varieties of game design documents: coincidence? Almost certainly. But can you really take that chance? Whether you’re trying to record design decisions, refine project scope, or get investors on board, a good game design document can be critical factor in success. Get vital tips on choosing the right format and crafting the perfect document to lead to a more perfect game design. We’ll discuss document structure, defining goals, best tools for the job, place in a game’s lifecycle, pitfalls to avoid, and examples of both good and bad desi
- At Least Your Parents Have A Basement: Economic Class Dynamics In Game Production How poor is too poor for video games? Gone are the days where a quarter got you the same play as everyone else. Millions of dollars of capital are being sunk into games for phones and tablet devices costing $600 or more, and each generation of console games are costing more and more at launch than inflation can account for. Today's market prompts many questions. Are gamers being expected to earn more than in the past? How can we ensure our development process is profitable without gearing our design the highest earners? Does our current base of developers represent those we are selling ou
- Environmental Storytelling: All That You Can Leave Behind Whenever there is a talk about narrative design, it tends to end up being a laundry list of examples of how the environment can be used to communicate the backstory of the game world without cutscenes. This talk is different: rather than just focusing on the backstory, we are going to explore how environmental design creates opportunities for gameplay. The focus will be on leaving traces and indications in the space, both by the designers and the players. This is called “indexical storytelling,” because interpreting and engaging with these traces is the core of narrative gameplay. These traces
- Designing for Togetherness? Every year or so my mother and I sit down and watch The Joy Luck Club. It’s about a group of women who regularly meet up for a game of mahjong. They tell stories and share memories while they play. The game itself isn’t important (though their personalities are reflected through their playstyles). For them, the game is just an excuse to get together and socialize. I think about my family when I’m working on a project. I think about the idea of a family, and, more abstractly, I think about togetherness. Games are tools to connect you with the people you love (or those
- Men in Games In this satire-drenched and badly-photoshopped image-filled presentation, participants will be invited to imagine an alternate universe where women are people and men are… well, men. The videogame industry, as such, is heavily female-dominated, with “boy games” being a niche, low-budget genre mainly enjoyed by middle-aged househusbands. Most representations of men in mainstream, triple-A “female power fantasy” games are as little more than sex objects, and all of them promote a very narrow ideal of what a man’s body ought to look like. Men who play multiplayer games are continuously subjected
- Starting a Videogame Arts Organization “The Hand Eye Society both initiated and have consistently innovated in making videogames an integral and respectable part of our broader cultural fabric. Peerless community organizers, they set the stage for what I believe is one of the most important new movements in global games culture: showcasing achievements on a hyper-local level, making games part of civic pride, and helping independent and personally-driven development become a sustainable and flourishing business. All of us, everywhere else in the world, are still simply following the trails they’ve blazed.” — Brandon Boyer, IGF Chai
- The Importance of Game Audio (and How to Make Yours Better) In this talk, the importance of quality music and audio design in immersive game environments will be explored, while taking a look at some successful video game worlds. Building audio creation into development pipelines will also be discussed, including the typical lack of attention paid to quality music and audio design. Additionally, tips will be shared for effectively communicating with composers and audio contractors.
- Procedural Processes – Lessons Learnt From Automated Content Generation in “Easy Money?” Creating the number of levels that players are coming to expect from casual games can be a daunting task for small teams – especially when you factor in replayability and difficulty progression. In this session, Luke Dicken and Heather Decker-Davis detail the process of developing “Easy Money?”, a casual game that relies on procedural level generation. The goal of the session is to showcase some techniques that have been learnt across the whole development process. Not only will the mechanics of Artificial Intelligence system driving the generation of fun and engaging levels be explored, but a
- A People’s History of the First Person Shooter In his book “A People’s History of the United States,” Howard Zinn argues for an alternate (but just as valid) historical narrative that put common people at the core of its story rather than the powerful political / economic figures that “inevitably” wielded control in a historical trajectory. The truth, however, is that their power and legitimacy was disputed at every step. Much like US history, the history of game development is largely dominated by the powerful — large international publishers and industry developers dominate the conventional narrative and are its heroes. This talk will no
- How To Make A Card Game In 30 Easy Steps Have you ever played a strategy or trading card game and thought about making one yourself? Andrea Jennifer Shubert will walk you through the process of digitally and physically prototyping a game, from layouts and templates to wording and card art. Then comes the printing, cutting, sleeving, and collating physical cards, and eventually putting together sets for digital playtesting. In the presentation, Andrea will describe the four stages of her prototyping process, and how to avoid common mistakes in them: Design - What game are we making? What lessons can we learn from prior
- Closing Keynote – Game Jam Post-mortems Video streaming by Ustream