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MS in Computer Game Development

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IGDA Perspectives Says Farewell — Final Issue
"The IGDA Perspectives newsletter has been a highlighted feature for IGDA members and I’m honored to have been involved," writes Perspectives Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth LaPensée. "The newsletter is really thanks to the work of Wendy Despain, who saw the incredible talents of Cat Wendt and the potential in me. In the beginning, we were game writers who couldn’t stop talking about game writing. Ha ha! So we began the IGDA Game Writers Quarterly with the help of John Hendersen. It was such a hit that we expanded to print issues for the Game Developers Conference. And it’s been going ever since with a new theme every month. Along the way, we’ve kept the heart and warmth of that inspiration thanks to all of the contributors over the years."

This issue marks the final edition of IGDA Perspectives. There’s a lot of new things coming from the IGDA in terms of editorial content, but Perspectives was our highlight for the last five years. We still have great new content for this issue, but we also have a section highlighting some of the best content over the years. Thanks to Beth and Cat for working on the newsletter for the last five years. You’ve been incredible!
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Webinar Wednesday Features The Evolution of Game Design
Are modern games such as Destiny more than just a gazillion polygons worth of Mario? Join host Chris 'Wombat' Crowell as special guests Patrick Holleman and Mike Breault present The Evolution of Videogame Design. The webinar reveals that games grew through gradual evolution as well as through breakthrough ideas by designers like Shigeru Miyamoto. The history breaks down into three major periods in the history of game design: the arcade era, the composite era, and the set piece era. We'll even look at how design ideas creep in on goblin feet from outside videogames from such sources as Dungeons & Dragons, changing the landscape of videogame design. As Spock says "Fascinating."

The IGDA hosts weekly webinars surrounding topics in the game industry. Topics rotate every week. To know about or register for future Webinar topics, a calendar is kept here and recordings of past webinars can be found here.

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Webinar Wednesday Correction
Last week, we misreported that the Webinar Wednesday would be hosted by Jack Tyer. The webinar was hosted wonderfully by programmer, game designer, and CEO Judy Tyrer. We are deeply sorry for this mistake.
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GDC 2015 Scholars Application Open — AI Scholarship announced!
The IGDA and the IGDA Scholarship Committee are delighted to announce that the 2015 IGDA Scholarship Program is now accepting applications for the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in 2015. The program is open to all students and recent graduates in fields related to game development. Applications should be submitted by 2 December 2014, please see here for further information. The application itself can be found here.

One of the more prominent scholarships form the Foundation is the Eric Dybsand Memorial Scholarship for people working in AI for games. Applicants who apply to attend GDC 2015 as an IGDA Scholar qualify automatically if they show excellence in, significant interest in, and commitment to the field of artificial intelligence in their applications.

Eric Dybsand was a pillar of the development community, warm and welcoming to all and in his honor each year, the IGDA Scholarship Program awards one student attending GDC with an interest in AI to be the recipient of the Eric Dybsand Memorial AI Scholarship. The Dybsand Scholar receives all of the benefits of the core IGDA Scholarship program, studio tours, VIP opportunities and so forth. In addition, they also receive:
  • Mentoring from a range of AI professionals
  • Honored guest at the AI Programmers Dinner
  • Invitation to join the AI Game Programmers Guild
  • Featured during the annual AI Summit at GDC
  • Travel stipend to attend GDC
You can learn more about the IGDA Scholars program, its history and find out how to apply here. Please help us spread the word about this excellent opportunity for students from around the world by following and retweeting us on Twitter.

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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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Art of Game Design - New Edition!

This new edition presents the fundamentals of game design from one of the world’s top game designers, Jesse Schell. It demonstrates how the principles of psychology used in board games and athletic games also work in video games. The author provides 100+ sets of questions to ask in order to improve your game design.

Event Highlight: Pocket Gamer
Created and curated by the team behind Pocket Gamer and Pocket Gamer Biz, over 100 speakers from the leading mobile gaming companies will be coming along to share their wisdom. Held on 13-14 January in London, attendees will be able to listen to industry leaders like Rami Ishmail (Vlambeer) and Barry Meade (Fireproof Studios).

For more information and for a 20 percent IGDA Member discount, click here.

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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: SMITE Championship — Proceeds go to the IGDA Foundation!
The SMITE North American Regional Championships will be taking place at the Cobb Energy Center's Kessel D Stelling Ballroom in Atlanta, Georgia on 22-23 November. This event will feature four of the top 4 North American SMITE teams battling it out in front of a live audience to determine which 2 teams will advance to the SMITE World Championships. The SMITE World Championships will be taking place in January and will feature professional SMITE teams from around the world playing for a prize pool of over $1,000,000 dollars.

Hi-Rez Studios would like to invite the IGDA community to experience the SMITE North American Regional Championships live. Any ticket purchased with the IGDA Discount code gives 10 percent to the IGDA Foundation, which manages things like the IGDA Scholars program. Not only do you save 25 percent, but you’ll also be helping the IGDA! To hear about this and other member benefits, click here. To hear more about SMITE, click here.

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Miss an issue of IGDA Insider? Click here to visit the Insider archive page.

Monumental Music - Royalty Free

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- Crysis 2
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Download the tracks for free, test them and license them only when the game is published. Get 25% off with the discount-code IGDA25
Level Up in Game Design

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FRIMA goes Procedural with Houdini

FRIMA recently brought procedural generation of game content into their production pipeline by using Houdini to generate geometry, animation, game assets and game levels. Houdini’s node-based workflow has given them the tools to work through a wide range of game production challenges.

Please Contribute to the Developer Economic Survey from VisionMobile
Developer Economics is VisionMobile's leading research program, tracking global trends on the app economy and mobile developers. The group just launched a new Developer Economics survey, aimed at mobile and IoT developers. We'd like to invite you to take part in this 10-minute survey and contribute to this freely available knowledge base. Respondents can also enter a draw for some cool prizes, including handsets and some cool gadgets.

The survey tracks the most important metrics for mobile developers, including platform mindshare, app categories and tools, revenues and revenue models — and many more. The key findings from each survey are published in the form of freely available research reports.

You can access the survey here. The key findings from the survey will become available as a free research report in February 2015.

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Preparations For GDC are Underway! Call for Sponsorships
This year’s Game Developers Conference tickets are on sale, which means the IGDA is working as hard as possible to make sure they deliver the best content possible for industry members. On top of created top-notch panels and roundtables, they’re also offering a $75* registration discount. Additionally, the IGDA Foundation has the Scholars program to send students to the conference.

The IGDA is currently looking for sponsors for this year’s GDC. Sponsors help fund things like the annual IGDA party and developer lounge. These are all important things to keep the association strong. To learn more about the IGDA’s sponsorship packages, click here. Previous sponsors include Microsoft, Sony and many more.

*The IGDA discount code cannot be combined with other discount promotions, including group discounts, alumni rates, exhibitor discounts, other special discount offers or previously purchased or registered passes.

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Meet the world's biggest indie video game museum exhibit
Ars Technica
Up until recently, the most notable video game exhibit at an American museum was probably the Smithsonian Institute's "Art of Video Games," due largely to the Smithsonian's reputation. However, that 2012 production, which eventually traveled to multiple museums, had a surprising lack of playable stuff, along with a largely pedestrian look at gaming's history as categorized by console generations, as opposed to technological or artistic strides. Seattle's Experience Music Project was one of the Smithsonian exhibit's hosts and from the look of things, its staff had a similar inkling about how games exhibits could be done better. EMP debuted its own wildly different take on such an exhibit, and it's a stunner.
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3 reasons why video game review embargoes are particularly anti-consumer
The reasons why embargoed game reviews present a problem to the consumer are manifold, but Chris Morran has boiled it down to the following in this article.
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As definition of 'curator' evolves, traditional curation still crucial for games
The word "curate" is thrown around a lot lately, especially since Valve Software deemed its 100 million users "curators." But before the democratization of "curation" in video games, there were the traditional curators; the ones who primarily curate for the sake of art, not commerce. Today, a "curator" of video games might be thought as a person who digs up interesting games with the purpose of putting them in front of people who would like to try or buy them. That's a useful practice, especially with the amount of video games released every day, but it's not exactly the purpose of the curator in the traditional sense. The "true" video game curators have the crucial task of preserving video games, and making them relevant to society at large.
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Twitter is going WAM to curb online harassment against women
Tech Times
Harassment rises from the annals of the Internet and spews from those cloaked by pseudonyms, but a women's advocacy group is launching a Twitter initiative to combat the verbal abused hurled at females on social networking sites. Women, Action and the Media, a nonprofit organization, has created a form on its website with which women can report cases of Twitter users harassing females.
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Study: Action-packed video games really do help us learn faster
Popular Mechanics
Read enough scientific studies and you might become convinced that everybody should be playing a few hours of "Halo" or "Call of Duty" each week to gain a mental edge. Over the past decade, study after study has shown that fast-paced video games bequeath a shocking range of small but measurable cognitive and perceptual benefits to gamers.
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