IGDA Insider
Jul. 2, 2014

IGDA Board Talk — Ed Fries on Community and Change
This month’s IGDA Board talk features Ed Fries talking about how the industry has changed since his industry career began in 1982. The post discusses why you should join groups like the IGDA and how exactly change happens. He also talks about what the benefits are in a community when things change.

“In the decades I’ve been involved in games I’ve seen everything you can imagine,” he writes. “I’ve seen the fall of a huge part of our industry as happened in 1984. I’ve seen the rise of regions like China to become incredibly influential. I’ve seen young testers grow up to become famous game designers. More recently I’ve seen Free To Play, digital distribution, and mobile devices rewrite the rules for our business entirely. In short, what I’ve seen is change, and if anything, the pace of change is accelerating.” Read the full Board Talk article here.More

Next IGDA Webinar Wednesday Discussing Artificial Intelligence in Games
The next Webinar Wednesday will focus on game AI. It will be hosted on 9 July at 0900 PT/1200 ET/1600 GMT. Register for the event here. More information will be available soon.

The IGDA hosts weekly webinars surrounding topics in the game industry. The topic will rotate every week. To know about future webinar topics, a calendar is kept right here.More

IGDA Developer Satisfaction Survey — Summary Report now available
The IGDA is pleased to announce the availability of the Summary Report for the 2014 Developer Satisfaction Survey. The report (in PDF form) can be found here on the IGDA website.

The Developer Satisfaction Survey is the IGDA's core annual method by which we inform ourselves and the industry about the critical questions around developers’ satisfaction. For the sake of the long-term health of our industry, we continue to strive to discern the demographic composition of game developers worldwide and tap into their knowledge, experiences and opinions on their well-being and on the state of the industry. The IGDA aims to leverage these insights to help the organization focus its energies on key issues that can be improved for the sake of individual developers as well as for the overall health of the industry. In subsequent months, the IGDA will release more detailed reports on key thematic areas of the survey, including the topics of Diversity, Employment Practices and Compensation/Benefits.

Thus far, the Developer Satifaction Survey has received press coverage from Polygon, Gamespot, Games Industry International, Gamasutra and Joystiq.More

Upcoming events

Click here for discount information (requires log in).
To view all upcoming IGDA and IGDA Partner events, click here.


How YouTube, Steam deals and player support can drive a game's success
Howard Tsao of indie developer Muse Games writes about how things like Steam and YouTube videos have helped his game “Guns of Icarus Online” achieve sales of $4.3 million and 430,000 units sold so far.More

Why game developers keep getting laid off
Over the past few years, there have been a litany of gloomy stories about layoffs. Yet, paradoxically, the video game industry is booming. Americans spent $21.53 billion on games and hardware last year, according to the Entertainment Software Association.More

IGDA Developer Satisfaction Survey — Summary Report now available
The IGDA is pleased to announce the availability of the Summary Report for the 2014 Developer Satisfaction Survey. The report (in PDF form) can be found here on the IGDA website.More

NPD Data Posted on Gamer Segmentation
A new study from the NPD group examines the amount of time people spend playing games on which platform. This data expands on a study done in 2012 that suggested the average gamer spends 14 hours a week playing.

“At 29% of the total U.S. audience for gaming, Free/Mobile gamers comprise the largest segment of gamers profiled. At 9% of the total U.S. audience for gaming, Core Console Gamers spend the most time playing games on any device in a given week.” Read the whole study here.More

Congrats to our 2014 GDCE & Gamescom Scholars! CEDEC/TGS scholar deadline extended
We are excited to reveal the newest IGDA scholarship recipients! The IGDA scholarship committee welcomes and congratulates 8 bright students to attend GDC Europe (11-13 August) and Gamescom (13-17 August) this year in Cologne, Germany. See the list of winners here. Each year we award select scholars with passes to GDC Europe & Gamescom, schedule booth tours and exclusive Q&A sessions, and match each of them with industry veterans as mentors.

Tokyo Games Show & CEDEC in Japan are the last stops for IGDA scholarships in 2014. If you would like to attend as an IGDA Scholar, visit http://ifigdaj.blogspot.jp/ to apply. The deadline for submission has been extended to 10 July. If you missed out on receiving a 2014 scholarship to GDC Europe or Gamescom and want to be a part of this great experience, look for applications to open in the fall for GDC 2015. You can find out when applications will open by following us on twitter @igda_scholars!More

Perspective Highlight: Arizona Developers Present Games for Education Hackathon
"Local developers demonstrated the educational potential of games 16 May at a Game CoLab Education Hackathon pitch event. The hackathon began 22 April and asked participants to create an educational game over the course of about three weeks and then present it to a panel of judges. Four judges evaluated the eight games on four factors: fun, creativity, marketability and assessment. The winning game would be fun, feature original design, have a marketable concept and be able to measure a student’s progress and achievement..." Read the entire IGDA Perspectives article here.

If you feel that you have a topic for IGDA Perspectives, send us an email and pitch a story. The next theme is "Designers Unite!" Topics can include anything that you feel are important to the game industry and the theme. Email 500 words stories to beth@igda.org. More information can be found here.More

Event Highlight: SIGGRAPH — IGDA Members Save 10%
The SIGGRAPH conference and exhibition is a five-day interdisciplinary educational experience including a three-day commercial exhibition that attracts hundreds of exhibitors from around the world. SIGGRAPH is widely recognized as the most prestigious forum for the publication of computer graphics research. In addition to SIGGRAPH's leading-edge technical program, the conference's installations provide close-up views of the latest in digital art, emerging technologies, and hands-on opportunities for creative collaboration.

The 41st Siggraph will be held held in Vancouver, Canada on 10-14 August. Learn more about the event here. Click here for IGDA member discount information.More

Event Highlight: Gaming World at Apps World Europe
Apps World has announced their first gaming track for their London conference. The track will discuss monetization and game design on mobile platforms. The event is free and will be held this November in London.

“The Gaming track at Apps World Europe will examine how developers can take advantage of the continued rise in mobile gaming. With sessions exploring mobile’s disruption of the digital entertainment industry and what this means for developers, gaming houses, console and device manufacturers, digital marketers, publishers and broadcasters looking to maximise their returns. As well as looking at how the demands of gamers themselves are evolving and how developers can hope to attract them to their products.” Learn more about the event here.More

IGDA Member Benefit: IGDA Forums Now Active
The IGDA has been working to add additional community features to its website and is ready to announce the return of the official IGDA forums. The forums intend to be the premier place for game industry professional discourse and will serve as a hub for game related conversations. The IGDA forums are currently available only to IGDA members.

Join the conversation here.More

How YouTube, Steam deals and player support can drive a game's success
Howard Tsao of indie developer Muse Games writes about how things like Steam and YouTube videos have helped his game “Guns of Icarus Online” achieve sales of $4.3 million and 430,000 units sold so far.More

Can an artist use video games to answer life's biggest questions?
In the ongoing debate about whether or not video games can be art, there’s little doubt as to where Jonathan Blow stands on the issue. He first started turning heads with his 2008 indie sensation “Braid,” and since then he’s been vocal in sharing his philosophies about how games can and should be made. After her hands-on time at E3 with Blow’s new game, “The Witness,” Anna Washenko asked him about the process of making his sophomore title. More

What if 'he' and 'she' were interchangeable in a game's story?
Comments made by “Assassin's Creed Unity” developers during E3 kicked off a conversation about the gender of playable video game characters, and one game writer recently pondered whether it would matter if a character's gender were simply made interchangeable. In response to Ubisoft's statement that more than 8,000 animations would have to be redone in order for "Assassin's Creed Unity" to offer female avatars in its co-op mode, an animator who worked on "Assassin's Creed 3" told Polygon that developers could just "replace a handful of animations" since male and female skeletons aren't usually very different — although he admitted that would be a "compromise in quality."More

The legal loophole of advergames: How ads disguised as video games are impacting today's youth
The Next Web
Last fall, The Next Web witnessed what select tech press called “one of the most successful marketing campaigns in history.” To promote its Food with Integrity campaign, Mexican fast food giant Chipotle developed an arcade-style mobile game that guided users through 4 worlds and 20 levels. Users who unlocked all game worlds with at least one star at each level gained entry into Chipotle’s buy-one-get-one offer at one of 1,500 international locations. But some beyond the marketing realm remain less enchanted.More

Research: Bad behavior in games can lead to pro-social behavior in real life
Game Politics
New research from the University at Buffalo Department of Communication, Michigan State University and the University of Texas at Austin, suggests that playing out "heinous behavior" in video games can lead to players being more sensitive to the moral codes in the real world that they violated in the virtual one. The findings come from a study led by Matthew Grizzard, assistant professor in the University at Buffalo Department of Communication, and co-authored by researchers at Michigan State University and the University of Texas at Austin.More