Jimmy Chattin - I make better games.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Question Etiquette

Going to conferences or conventions can be some of the best times of your life.  You see old acquaintances, make new friends, improve your network of connections, learn a lot, and hopefully come away with some sweet schwag.

When attending sessions, there's usually time for Q&A, which can be a great opportunity for being rude and embarrassing everyone in the room.  To save yourself, here are a few things that I've learned can make the most of your experience:

  • Turn off phones/other noise-makers.

    • Is a Facebook update or robo caller more important than where you're at right now?  Then leave.

  • Move to the middle.

    • Defragging, saving space, making friends, or merely moving to the middle of the row, save the chairs at the end of a row of seats for those that are coming in late to a presentation.  If you have to leave early, stand at the back (if allowed) and take the most unobtrusive place possible.

  • Use mics for questions.

    • If the room as a microphone or mic runner, use them (remember, walk, don't run) versus merely yelling from the seats.  When one's not available, standing and speaking in a clear, concise tone is the next best bet.

  • ... But only if you've thought through the question.  Twice.

    • Save the life-story for a biography.  Multiple questions?  Go to the back of the line to give someone else a chance.  Deliver these questions in 1-2 quick sentences (this is tough to do if you don't think about it first).

  • In the end, know the rules and respect those helping run the event.

    • Taking pictures/videos, necessary identification, restricted hours/places, and other caveats are usually outlined when you register for the conference/convention - breaking the rules could seriously harm a lot of people at worst, make you a jerk at best.  Additionally, if someone who's clearly marked as a volunteer for the event is asking for attention or is giving directions, following their lead will help ensure you have and help deliver the best time possible for everyone.
I'm sure other opinions are out there, so feel free to share.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Question: Keeping it Fresh

The question that starts the week is this: What can you do to keep players directed to the most recent version of a mod if older versions have been shared out?

I was contacted yesterday about getting access to an old version of a Risk mod from back in ’13.  It was found by a player looking for adding zombies to their Risk play on Google’s front page, but it was for a file long since moved to an unshared folder for old game design docs.

It was a simple matter to get a link for the player while also directing them to the newest version, but having to do this for the mod could definitely be optimized.  Any ideas?

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Return of the Blog and to the Industry

Wow – long time, no see since I moved to Wisconsin.  Let’s blow some dust off of this!

To business: any good game dev knows that this week is host to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.  For the third year in a row, I’ll be returning as a Conference Associate to help serve the attendees of GDC, taking the opportunity to work with the best group of people I’ve ever had the pleasure to know: my fellow CAs.

Goals for this trip:

  1. Ensure that no-attendee feels unattended.
  2. Catch-up with the friends and professional associates that will be attending GDC.
  3. Prove my technical strengths in design, development, quality, and team-based game projects.

Lofty goals?  Not so – how these will be met:
  1. Be more than a passive observer or a ‘yes-man’; actively find those at GDC and do those things that will make this Conference a fantastic experience (just like the other five GDC-related events I’ve volunteered at).
  2. Simple – display the friendliness, helpfulness, and entertainment prowess that is my charisma.  (Oh, and play a few games, too!)
  3. Network with the fantastic CA family to see what their teams are looking for (development, design, personality, etc.), explore the Expo floor for those companies whose products I enjoy and could see myself making, and introducing my skillset at the many after-hours professional gatherings.

Going forward, this blog will get more attention.  Several mods and projects have been completed since the last post with new ones underway, so stay tuned for a look into how I work to make better games.