//Game U: IndieCade's Gamemaker 101

Game U
Join us during IndieCade East for Game U
Gamemaker U is a set of sessions for folks interested in learning about the game development process, how to start developing on their own, and what making a game is about and alike.

Game U is a special program from IndieCade that focuses on pulling back the curtain on the game development process, and the work that game designers do. Specially designed for a diverse audience from entertainment and media professionals who want to learn about the game development process to amateur game creators who are considering trying to become professional.

IndieCade's Game U sessions will take place during IndieCade East (February 15 - 17, 2012, in New York City), and will cover an introduction to game development tools, processes, and roles, as well as opportunities to meet working professionals in the game industry.

All sessions at IndieCade East are appropriate for GameU and below we have identified a track of sessions that would be of special interest.

//Games as Commentary

Saturday, February 16 from 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Games are built from mechanics and aesthetics for many reasons, by many different people, for many different reasons and ideas. The unique interplay between the game state, its aesthetics, and its mechanical rules allow developers who wish to craft pointed commentary and meditations on the ideas behind these games. A conversation between independent gamemakers Paolo Pedercini, Richard Hofmeister, and Ian Bogost discuss crafting games for the purpose of commentary, documentary, and the communication of ideas.

Paolo Pedercini, Richard Hofmeier, and Ian Bogost, Moderated by Simon Ferrari.

Dr. Ian Bogost is a scholar, author, and game designer. He is Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC. As an author, he writes about videogames as a medium with many uses. As a game designer, he makes games for political, social, educational, and artistic uses. Bogost is author or co-author of seven books: Unit Operations,Persuasive Games, Racing the Beam, Newsgames, How To Do Things with Videogames, Alien Phenomenology, and the forthcoming 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10. Bogost's videogames cover topics as varied as airport security, disaffected workers, the petroleum industry, suburban errands, and tort reform. His games have been played by millions of people and exhibited internationally. His game A Slow Year, a collection of game poems for Atari, won the Vanguard and Virtuoso awards at the 2010 Indiecade Festival.

Simon Ferrari is a PhD student in the Digital Media department at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He worked on the Knight Foundation-funded ""Games and Journalism"" research project for four years, which culminated in the publication of Newsgames: Journalism at Play (MIT Press, 2010) and the beta release of Game-o-matic, a tool for generating and customizing journalistic videogames. Simon is a freelance game critic with publications at Paste magazine, Kill Screen, and PBS IdeaLab. He is currently teaching in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication while writing a dissertation on the philosophy of electronic sport."

Paolo Pedercini is an Italian game developer, artist and educator. He teaches digital media production and experimental game design at the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University. Since 2003 he works under the project name “Molleindustria” producing provocative games addressing issues of social and environmental justice (McDonald's videogame, Oiligarchy, Phone Story), religion (Faith Fighter) and labor and alienation (Every Day the Same Dream, Unmanned).

Richard Hofmeier is a Seattle artist. His retail simulation Cart Life is a 2012 Indiecade nominee and currently nominated for three awards in the 2013 Independent Games Festival, including the Seamus McNally Grand Prize.

//Why We Make Games Panel

Saturday, February 16th from 2:00 - 3:00 PM
Vlambeer's Rami Ismail has been making videogames since he was six years old, before he started making them professionally two and a half years ago. A talk about the history of videogames, the reach of the medium, the powers of interactivity and some games that frankly, you shouldn't be missing and why not.

Presented by Rami Ismail
Rami Ismail is the business & development guy at Vlambeer, the award-winning Dutch independent studio best known for Super Crate Box, GUN GODZ, Ridiculous Fishing, LUFTRAUSERS, Yeti Hunter and many more games. Rami also created presskit(), a tool that allows indie developers around the world to reach out to press and market their games. Rami exclusively drinks cane sugar coke.

//Bedroom Developments: Making PlayStation Games in Your Underwear

Sunday, February 17 from 12 Noon - 1:00 PM
PlayStation Mobile is democratizing the publishing ecosystem on consoles, tablets, and smartphones by allowing independent developers to create and sell their games across an array of certified devices, including the PS Vita handheld console. By eliminating the need for special development hardware and creating a simple portal for publishing, it is now easier for smaller teams to create compelling experiences that reach hardcore console gamers. And although the PlayStation Mobile platform has only recently launched, it is already attracting a diverse crowd of gamemakers, including established independent teams like Vlambeer and up-and-coming talent like Anuchallenger, Inc. Panelists talk about their personal journeys in independent game development, and their experience with PlayStation Mobile..

Presented by Rami Ismail, Shawn Alexander Allen, and Manual Marcano
Rami Ismail is the business & development guy at Vlambeer, the award-winning Dutch independent studio best known for Super Crate Box, GUN GODZ, Ridiculous Fishing, LUFTRAUSERS, Yeti Hunter and many more games. Rami also created presskit(), a tool that allows indie developers around the world to reach out to press and market their games. Rami exclusively drinks cane sugar coke.

Shawn Alexander Allen's late dad was a black New York based rocker who dressed as and went by the pseudonym “Dracula”. Shawn was raised by his white English major mom from Farmville, NC who moved to New York and became a gardener/environmental activist/poet/taxi driver/repo person/mother. Somehow this union created a child obsessed with digital games from the time he was a baby who is now creating games under his company, NuChallenger. Shawn’s aim is to make games based around interesting combat interactions that are steeped in dark and humorous takes on themes that are politically and ideologically driven such as gentrification, the war on terror, and humanity’s inevitable self-destruction. Games that reflect these themes are the future Playstation Mobile game, Treachery in Beatdown City, and "the universe within..." a game that Shawn was a designer and artist on working with 4 talented individuals for the 48 hour Global Game Jam 2012. The game won “Best Overall” at the NYU Game Center.

Manual “Manny” “Were Jesus” Marcano wants to create the greatest RPGs on the face of the planet. Having learned to read as a young child from playing Dragon Warrior, Manny feels a kinship with the genre at a very deep level. Living in New York, he has worked on games such as The Darkness, Bioshock and Max Payne 3. Manny is the coding brain and a co-conspirator behind the future Playstation Mobile game Treachery in Beatdown City and a secret project code named “Conqueror.

//Gamemaker 101: Game Design Workshop

Sunday, February 17 from 1:00 - 3:00 PM
The Game Design Workshop is an hour and half session where students will learn the fundamentals of game design by creating small, tabletop games. After a brief introduction to the common characteristics of games, students will form into groups and rapidly prototype a game. At the end there will be testing and feedback of the work.

Presented by Charles Pratt
Charles J. Pratt is a freelance game designer and researcher at NYU's Game Center, where he teaches game studies and game design. In his freelance career he has worked on games for a variety of platforms, from street games to browser games to Kinect games. He interviews other game designers on their craft at Another Castle.

//Game U Chair: Sam Roberts

Sam Roberts is the former director of the Slamdance Guerilla Gamemaker Competition. Roberts has unique hands-on expertise in building and operating an independent game festival, developing guidelines, creating a structured submission and evaluation process, working with a diverse jury, and holding a position of great respect within the independent game making community. He earned a B.S degree from Northwestern University, where he studied theater and cognitive science. He has worked in the entertainment industry as a writer, producer, director and designer in several media. He has also served on the managing board of several production companies, including the Sight Unseen Theater Group, of which he is currently a member.