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IGDA NYC Holiday Party

December 11th, 2007 · No Comments · Personal

Transposed from Gaiiden’s Scroll

I hopped up to the city today to attend the NYC IGDA chapter’s annual holiday get-together. Which means game developers from all over the city and outlying suburbs converge in one location, take over a bar and party and drink. Good stuff. The bar we took over was the Hi-Fi on Avenue A, easily reachable by subway of course. When I got there a bit after 8 the place was pretty jam packed, which wasn’t a surprise as 257 people RSVP’d for the event, and the bar wasn’t that big. But that’s usually the case with parties like these anyways. Not to mention that these places are always loud, because you have the music and then everyone talking, so you’re talking over the music and other people while they try to talk over you and everyone else and what you end up with is a cacophony of noise. It was also so damn hot in there that I had to step outside twice to cool off.

Lotsa game developers!

Okay enough of my whining right? Really I just wanted to give an idea of what these kind of parties are like, since it’s just the same at GDC and other conferences. So I’m actually used to it by now. Anyways I got to see a lot of people I don’t get to see often, which is always great. Got caught up on a lot of goings on and met up with several interesting people. One guy was talking about using Torque to build a computer board game from a real board game and when he found out I used Torque he was like “we need to talk!”. Then there’s another developer I was introduced to that was working on some really cool tech he said he’d be happy to write up about for the site – so I gave him my card and hopefully I’ll hear from him after GDC. Talked to the folk from Heavy Melody about audio content, and met an artist who said he might be interested in doing some content as well.

GDC Game Preview!!

The highlight of the evening however was Gamelab’s beta test of their GDC conference game – Destroy All Developers!. Now this is finally a game I can play at GDC because it involves networking, which is something I love to do anyway! The way the game played out tonight was you pick a team to be on – programmer, designer, musician, artist, production, business (I think that’s it) – and are handed a card with a mission. My mission was Phone Digits: bugging communications. I had three missions I could do:

  • Casual Mission (20pts) – collect 3 business cards with a phone number that ends in even digits
  • Gamer Mission (50pts) – collect 2 business cards with a phone number that ends in 0
  • Hardcore Mission (100pts) – collect 10 cards, each with a phone number that ends in a different digit

Once you complete one of the missions, you turn the card in for points and are assigned a new mission. You can “level up” by earning enough points to reach Gamer and Hardcore levels. Hardcore players get special assassination missions, where they’re assigned a random participant to seek out. I got there too late and was too busy chatting with people to bother to take the time and learn how to play, but now that I know I’m definitely playing at GDC.

Mark Kauffman (Heavy Melody) celebrates his win for the Audio team, and Eric Zimmerman (Gamelab) thanks everyone for participating

So it was a good night of hanging out with great people. I love the NYC development scene. It’s still small enough that you can know pretty much everyone, but big enough to be considered a serious development community in its own right. If you’re in the greater NYC area I’d definitely recommend you look to attend these gatherings if you can. Ride a train into the city and the subway will take you wherever you need to go from Penn Station. Heck if you’re a bit unsure ever just email me and I’d be glad to help you get out to one of these events.

Here’s the rest of the photo gallery:

Ben Serviss (game design consultant) chats with Sande Chen from the Writers Cabal / Nick Smolney (Crisp Wireless) and Karen Schrier (Scholastic)

Brad MacDonald and Wade Tinney from Large Animal Games minding the door / Tom Toyton (Bloomfield College, left) talking with some of the Heavy Melody guys

It’s a party!!! Robert Hura (Blinking Eye Media), Brian Robbins (Fuel Industries) and Brad MacDonald entertaining the ladies / Ben Serviss hanging out with fellow design consultant Roger Pedersen

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