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IGDA NEWS

FINAL DAY — Take the IGDA's 2015 Developer Satisfaction Survey
IGDA
The IGDA's Developer Satisfaction Survey for 2015 closes on 15 April! Please take the survey and then distribute far and wide to your communities.

For 2015, the survey has been localized into Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.

Take the survey: http://bit.ly/take-the-IGDADSS2015
Learn more about the IGDA’s DSS: http://www.igda.org/?page=surveys
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Partner Highlight: Time Management Webinars from DeVry
IGDA
IGDA Partner, DeVry University is offering a webinar on Time Management free to IGDA members. Time is one of the most important resources that an employee can possess. It must be managed with the same diligence as money.

This webinar will provide several tools and strategies to help recapture your day and get the job done more efficiently! Topics covered will include:
  • Identifying your 3 time bandits
  • 3 time management methods to help you win back your day
  • Simple tools to help overcome stress and procrastination
Join DeVry University as we discuss the "Ins-and-Outs" of effective time management.

Register for the:

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Event Highlight: GamesBeat Summit 2015
IGDA
IGDA Executive Director Kate Edwards will be speaking at the first GamesBeat Summit, to be held 5-6 May 2015 at the scenic Cavallo Point Resort in Sausalito, California, US. Kate as well as the event creator Dean Takahashi invite you to participate in this exclusive invitation-only event that gathers 180 top game publishers, platforms, game marketing and tech companies, game developers, investment firms and the hottest game startups. For more information, visit the GamesBeat Summit website.
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SPONSORED CONTENT


Upcoming Events

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


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Event Highlight: IGDA Members Save US$25 on Power of Play Registration — Early Bird Pricing Ends Friday!
IGDA
Power of Play is an annual 2-day conference on 15-16 May 2015 in Seattle, US, dedicated to celebrating the game and interactive media industry.

Hosted by Washington Interactive Network, Power of Play brings together the brightest minds behind games to assemble powerhouse industry speakers as well as numerous networking opportunities at our International Business to Business networking and evening reception.

Demo and interact with indie games and virtual reality throughout the day. Watch indie game finalists battle for the title of the 2015 Seattle Independent Game Competition and US$2,500.00 as our industry judges from crown the winner that evening!

Visit the Power of Play website for more information on speakers and details!
Click here for IGDA member discount information (requires log in).

If you're an indie developer, see Eventbrite listing for information on special pricing.

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IGF China Call for Submissions
IGDA

The Game Developers™ Conference China (GDC China), the premier professional conference for creators of video games and interactive entertainment in Asia, will be returning to Shanghai, China on 25-27 October at the Shanghai International Convention Center.

Along with GDC China comes the Independent Games Festival (IGF) which encourages innovation in game development and recognizes the best independent game developers. Act fast and submit your game before 20 July to be considered for the 7th annual IGF China.

Learn more & review submission guidelines prior to submitting, please click here.

Submit an entry in English
Submit an entry in Mandarin

For more information, please visit GDC China or email Echo.Li@ubm.com.

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Apply for an IGDA Scholarship to GDC Europe!
IGDA
There's less than 3 weeks left to apply for an IGDA Scholarship to attend GDC Europe in 2015! If you're a student or recent graduate, make sure to apply before 5 May 2015 at: http://bit.ly/P7iCNO

GDC Europe will take place 3-4 August and Gamescom from 5-9 August, 2015. The events are colocated at the Congress-Centrum Ost Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany. Together, they are the largest professional conference and trade show experience in Europe. Educators please let your students know they cannot miss this opportunity for a pass to GDC Europe, mentorship, private booth tours, and studio tours! http://bit.ly/P7iCNO

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NXA Studios Presents... A Focus on Character(s)
Dwayne Mason, NXA Studios
Some things we do fairly well - Characters are not one of those things...

Everybody is good at something... Well, most everyone. Some are good at several different things, while others become truly great at one thing in particular.

Rarely does this happen by accident - typically it is the result of a determined effort combined with drive, practice, patience - and a desire to become the best.

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Promoted by Dwayne Mason, NXA Studios


Event Highlight: SIGGRAPH 2015
IGDA
The annual SIGGRAPH conference is a five-day interdisciplinary educational experience in the latest computer graphics and interactive techniques, including a three-day commercial exhibition that attracts hundreds of exhibitors from around the globe. 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.

SIGGRAPH 2015 will be returning to Los Angeles, California, 9-13 August 2015, and will celebrate the theme "Xroads of Discovery" -- like the thread that connects the pieces of a quilt, SIGGRAPH provides the opportunity for discovery across its many areas. This year, SIGGRAPH is honored to have MIT Media Lab Director Joichi "Joi" Ito as our keynote speaker. Mirroring the 2015 theme, Mr. Ito's body of work and experience spans the science, academic, and business worlds. He's an activist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and advocate of emergent democracy, privacy, and Internet freedom.

The conference also hosts the international SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival, showcasing works from the most innovative and accomplished digital film and video creators. Juried and curated content includes outstanding achievements in time-based art, scientific visualization, visual effects, real-time graphics, and narrative shorts.

Don't miss THE must-attend event of the year. Join thousands of your peers at SIGGRAPH 2015!

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INDUSTRY NEWS


Video games' place in American culture
The Huffington Post
Video games are one of the largest entertainment industries in America. The question is not who plays, but what games, on what device and with whom. In fact, nearly half of the U.S. population — 155 million people — play video games, and 4 out of 5 households own a game-playing device. Overall, video games are a $22.4 billion dollar industry.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
 
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What can game designers learn about balance from other games?
Gamasutra
Balance is a buzzword among strategy gamers. What does balance mean to the gaming world? It means for a game to be balanced, it should include multiple viable strategies for victory. No one wants to play a game where there are 10 strategies, but only one is able to produce a victory; that's boring.
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Automated deployment of your game
GameDev.net
Most of the time, when creating a game as a hobby or in an indie setting, creating the installer and making it available on your website is a last minute decision or an afterthought, once the game is finished and ready for release. It is normal to bundle the game and its assets within a simple zip file, or worse, a "WinRAR" file, requiring the player to possibly install extra third-party software to even start to play your game. Generally, this is acceptable during initial testing, but as the game becomes more popular, or you just want to appeal to a wider audience, wrapping your game in a friendly installer can make the difference between a download or a drive-by visitor.
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   PRODUCT SHOWCASES
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Procedural: A Better Way

With each new generation of gaming hardware, the pressure to build bigger worlds populated by highly detailed content is reaching a boiling point. Studios are struggling to meet deadlines and contain costs. There must be a better, smarter way that makes it easier to create game art with the team you have.
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Video games can power up from merely fun to meaningful experiences
Pennslyvania State University
It may be game over for critics who claim that video games are nothing more than a fun diversion. A team of researchers suggests that many games can be meaningful entertainment experiences for players. In a study of people's experiences with video games, players indicated that they not only enjoyed playing games, but that they also frequently appreciated them at a deeper, more meaningful level. These findings should be encouraging to video game developers who want to invest in producing games that examine more meaningful, poignant or contemplative topics.
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Storytelling in video games may help kids with autism
Medical Daily
Video games have been blamed for fostering antisocial behavior and an early sedentary lifestyle in children, but a new perspective on the games may shine a light on some key benefits. A combined research effort from Germany and Austria investigated why people enjoy playing video games and what benefits they may be providing the autism community. The study, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, found non-violent storytelling games could actually be helpful in curbing certain social aspects of autism.
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FEATURED COMPANIES
New Adaptive Game Music Engine

Render adaptive music for your next title using the Elias engine.

Free to try, with some ready-made production tracks to get you started.
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Playphone's Gaming Network
PlayPhone® is a global leader in mobile social gaming. PlayPhone’s mobile gaming platform enables players to login with their existing Facebook and Twitter accounts to connect and play social games with friends, discover popular new games, and share mobile gaming experiences. MORE


How a small game studio almost made it big
Kotaku
One week in early February, three top employees from the independent game studio Darkside Games flew to Redmond, Washington for a secret meeting with Microsoft. Over the course of the meeting, which lasted two days, Darkside's leadership tried to convince the mega-corporation to give them a few more million dollars, but Microsoft wouldn't budge. As they flew back to Florida, Darkside's leads were pessimistic about the negotiations working out, and sure enough, the next week, they got a phone call: it was all over. Shortly afterward, Darkside laid off all of its staff. So just what happened? How does a successful independent studio go from working on top AAA games to laying off its staff in just under a year?
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How a business plan can help your mobile game business
Gamasutra
Mobile gaming is hot right now and as the most accessible vertical within gaming, it is the perfect venue for new games and for new game companies. Though there are many new mobile game businesses springing up, not all of them actually take the time to write a business plan. Traditional wisdom dictates that a business plan's only purpose is to show potential investors or lenders that you do have a direction you intend to follow. However, the truth is that every mobile game business can benefit from a business plan.
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