Game Developers Conference 2016 – turned out nice again?

gdc2016

Following on from my last post – yes, GDC 2016 ended up being – in my obviously biased opinion – an amazing celebration of the state of video games.

We had over 27,000 attendees this year in San Francisco (dodging some stormy weather that quit the day before the show), and people seemed super-energized by the week as a whole!

Rather than go on at length about this year’s GDC in the abstract, let me just refer you to the following: Continue reading

Game Developers Conference 2016 – Reasons To Be Cheerful

gdc30thSo, it’s 2016 already, and the 30th (how did that happen?!) edition of Game Developers Conference is almost upon us, rolling towards us pleasantly, imposingly, but inexorably.

GDC 2016, which I help to organize, takes place in San Francisco next week (March 14th-18th). It features dedicated Summits and Bootcamps on Monday and Tuesday, with the Expo running Wednesday to Friday alongside the Main Conference, as per usual.

You’ve probably already had plenty of people (maybe including us!) social media-ing or emailing you with a whole BUNCH of things to see and do at the show. I wanted to take some time to highlight some of the things I’m excited to see at this year’s GDC, as follows: Continue reading

Welcoming The Mega Game Storybundle

bundle_93_cover-d296f9f2d548de05576fceaae6d0cabc [The first Storybundle I curated for 2016 is a special one – definitely my favorite for a while, and featuring some killer books – from the awesome Second Quest graphic novel through Nick Suttner’s lyrical Shadow Of The Colossus book and even two books made _just_ for this bundle. Go grab it! See below for announce, also my ‘curator comments’ on each book.]

Continuing its popular “pay what you want” ebook bundles, StoryBundle is very proud to present the Mega Game StoryBundle – the latest in the series of its acclaimed ebook bundles. This specially picked set of 9 fascinating game culture & history books once again features a multitude of great titles for a fraction of their retail price.

Continue reading

Monotonik: the re-distribution (& musings on platforms)

mono-logoSo, firstly, the announcement – if you haven’t spotted it already on my social media feeds.

I’ve just kicked off a multi-year project (!) to resurface _all_ of the music ever released on Monotonik (aka Mono/Mono211), the free electronica net.label that I ran from 1996 to 2009, on modern distribution platforms.

What I mean by ‘modern distribution platforms’ is a brand new YouTube channel (streaming) and a SoundCloud page (streaming/downloadable), making it even easier to listen to all the music.

Uploads are going up regularly – about 30+ so far, all early MP3 releases. But will take a VERY long time – possibly a year or two – to complete due to the massive number of releases. Continue reading

My Top 5 ‘Underappreciated’ Games Of 2015

Following my top 5 games of the year list, and in the vast expense of holiday 2015 time with room to chill out and actually _think_, I had the opportunity to explore some video games released this year that – maybe – didn’t get the kudos that they deserved.

What does ‘underappreciated’ mean here, in context of the title of this post? For the purposes of this (highly subjective) list, let’s just say: ‘doesn’t appear on a majority of the other Top 10/20 lists, and you might have missed it or just not got around to playing it’.

So, without further ado, here’s the games that I think everyone should have cared a bit more about this year (alphabetical order): Continue reading

Best Of 2015: My Top 5 Games

smmOnce again, my colleagues at Gamasutra are rolling out their personal Top 5 video games of the year over the next few days. While I don’t write day to day, I still hang out in the site’s Slack channel, play games, and HAVE OPINIONS. So whether you like it or not, I’ll be imposing these ideas on you, re: my favorite games of 2015 – a remarkably fertile year for gaming.

As per usual, I freely admit that I don’t play a lot of longform games – titles that take >20 hours to play through. With my relatively short attention span – and plenty to do at work and elsewhere – I tend to favor shorter, sharper repeatable experiences. (Of course, I end up playing them for >20 hours, in many cases! There-in lies the irony…)

So, here we go (picks in alphabetical order): Continue reading

Prisoners Literature Project – a cause worth supporting.

plpgo
Over the past two or three months, I’ve become increasingly involved with a charity that I wanted to talk to you all about – and ask that you consider contributing to, if you believe in its cause.

In fact, I’ve just finished redesigning the official website for the non-profit in question, the Prisoners Literature Project, which is “an all-volunteer grassroots group that sends hundreds of free book packages to needy prisoners in the United States every month.”

Continue reading

The Magnificent Seventh Video Game Storybundle Debuts!

bundle_80_cover-59ae5b5c14b57dc81d76e57c9bb735d2[We’re back again with another super-cool PWYW video game eBook Storybundle – one that has been percolating for the last four months or so! This particular one – the seventh in the series so far – includes a bunch of gems I’m super happy to be bundling up for your reading pleasure. See below for announce, also my ‘curator comments’ on each book.]

Continuing its popular “pay what you want” ebook bundles, StoryBundle is very proud to present the Video Game StoryBundle 7.0 – the latest in the series of its acclaimed ebook bundles. Curated over the past 4 months, this specially picked set of 8 fascinating game culture & history books once again features a multitude of great titles for a fraction of their retail price. Continue reading

How To Not Have Horrible Conference Sessions, Hopefully?

gdctalk[Through our company’s London office, I was asked by the Chartered Institute Of Marketing to write something on how events might pick good speakers for events. An edited version – because I got a bit overenthusiastic with word count – is available now on CIM’s website – and here’s the full version I originally wrote, hurray.]

One of the most infuriating experiences when attending a conference is to sit through half an hour – or an hour – of a tedious, scattershot panel, or a barely prepared, droning lecture with no takeaway. This experience is universal no matter what industry you’re in – bad content is bad content.

But it doesn’t need to happen on your watch! Some of UBM Tech’s notable shows in the United States (particularly Game Developers Conference – about video game development, and Black Hat – about information security) are known for the non-horrid quality of their conference talks. (You can see some of our top talks on GDC’s YouTube channel, if you’re interested.)

We’re not claiming we have it right – or anywhere close to perfect. But we have thought a lot about how we approach content. This is particularly because our shows are largely paid conferences where people are shelling out a fair amount of money to learn and be inspired. So here’s some of the things we’ve discovered along the way: Continue reading