Gamesmith Community!

So it’s been a while since I last posted and I’ve been busy helping out with the launch of a new games community aimed at game devs, Gamesmith.

What makes this different from all the other communities?

Anyone who joins are vetted to be verified game dev before they get access to the full features.

So what’s there? 


The community forum, a place to discuss the industry knowing you’re talking to your industry peers. If you want to discuss something that you don’t want tied to your name, there’s the ability to post anonymously with the click of a button, so you can talk about company work life balance, or ask about a new job opportunity without anyone else knowing etc. We have had a thousand developers sign up and get access in the last few weeks and growing quickly!

We do have a open part of the forum for general chit chat called “Game Chat“, anyone can post here but unless you’re a verified dev, they can’t see other parts of the community forums.

There is also the Jobs Board, which is also growing and has around 200 jobs listed currently, from over 20 different companies across the US and Europe. Applying for a job goes direct to the hiring manager. They like it because they know they’re getting a verified, vetted developer, which has already weeded out a lot of the noise from the wannabe’s.

Who’s allowed in?

Part of the requirements is that someone has released a title, whether it be a big time game from a large studio or publisher, to a small indie studio through iOS or Google Play etc. We also know that some people may have worked on countless projects that may never have seen gold, so if we can verify you have contributed significantly to a project, you’re in too!

Students and interns aren’t allowed in, but come back with some experience and you’ll be welcomed, until then, you can enjoy our open chat part of the community here.

A former dev that has moved into another industry or gone into education? You’re allowed in too. Your experience is just as relevant.

Come and follow us on:

Gamesmith Website

LinkedIn

Twitter

Facebook

Gamesmith Blog

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Steve Meretzky

>Steve Meretzky is a great character and designer in the Boston dev scene who has produced some great games in the past, especially The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

He gave a really interesting talk about fun in games called “Bring Back the Fun” at the Boston Post Mortem. This wasn’t about how to make games fun, but about how to help make making games more enjoyable looking at past trends and how other industries have done things to change a slump.

The whole talk was filmed, but it wasn’t very long so it would certainly be worth taking the time to watch it when it comes online, probably later in the week, a link will probably show on the BPM site and on Steve’s.

It was a very inspiring talk too and certainly one of the most amusing events held for quite a while.

It’s just a shame that the area will be losing Steve as he is moving on to the west coast for a new adventure.

January Boston Post Mortem

>This months talk was given by Randy Smith who was the designer that helped shape the Thief series of games for Looking Glass and recently of EALA.

This was a talk he gave at the Montreal International Game Summit, called “Games Are Art, and What To Do About It.”

It was interesting and to summarise the talk, he went into how game mechanics have progressed over the years talking of the parallel of how peoples comprehension of movies have grown, so you don’t necessarily have to be blatantly obvious with every detail to show emotion or the progression of time, people know a day shot followed by a night shot in a movie means that time has progressed, even though they didn’t when film first came about. This kind of evolution is happening and how it needs to continue so that the game users experience can be more engaging. The slap in the face uninteractive cut scenes, overly forced sound and facial animations to show emotion fail because they aren’t engaging, they break the flow of the experience that takes the game player out of the continuity of the expeirence much like if a movie director had a statue roll up in the middle of the cinema at a particular moment to show an emotion would be breaking of the flow and feeling of the movie.

He also talked about design decisions and different genres of games, how best to engage emotion out of the game player so that they have a feeling of accomplishment, how they can care about an outcome so that they have the desire to replay the game in to see a different outcome. It all comes about asking the question “Why?” at every stage of the design process. What you think will be a good idea, question why. What way of having a game mechanic do such and such, question why. Continually questioning these decisions brings about a more layered mechanic to the game so that you can see and show how engaging and what responses you are looking for. It also can lead to interesting spin off thoughts that could lead to new avenues to explore.