All times subject to change; scroll down for workshops
(Streaming on www.youtube.com/GeorgiaGameDevs)
Will Wright Keynote 3 pm Nov. 13
Game Design, Players as Creators, and Soviet Tanks. The Sims creator will talk about the creative process, play, and his latest project. Will invented a genre of game that has lasted a generation, and is more about self-discovery and play than winning or blowing things up. In this talk, the Sims creator will talk about his creative process and idea to make a game that is entirely about the players themselves. His latest idea evolves the idea of player involvement to player / creator.
Erin Hoffman-John Keynote 5 pm Nov. 14
A Quest for Meaning in the Dark Age of Middle Information. How does a person find meaning in the chaos of 2020? As game developers, we are technologists, and we are also artists — we inhabit that liminal space between these two intense cultures. This session considers technology and entertainment through the lens of art and the humanities in an attempt to call out critical problems fueling the conflagration that is 2020, and suggest how to begin thinking — and acting — about them. We’ll posit how mathematics and technology can model and illustrate the social crisis, how this intersects with the rise of super-powerful AI, and what game development has to do with any of this.
Nick Laing Keynote 5 pm Nov. 15
Video Game Publishing Framework. Everyone needs a checklist for all the stuff it takes to publish a game. The giant “unsexy” list of things like lawyers and customer service and marketing, build processes qa validation, forecasting …. the things that spell the difference between a successful launch and the ones we try to avoid.
Friday, Nov. 13 Presentations
(Streaming on www.youtube.com/GeorgiaGameDevs)
4 pm Killing Floor 2: A UGC Case Study (Dave Amata, Tripwire Interactive)
The Killing Floor series has been a smash hit, and the addition of user-generated content helped expand that success. Join us for a brief look at workshop content with Killing Floor 2. We will analyze what did and didn’t work in terms of cosmetic content we integrated in-game as part of the seasonal quarterly updates.
5 pm Full Steam Ahead: Optimizing Your Steam Page (Mike Stumhofer, HOF Studios)
You’ve made a game and you want to put it on Steam. But should you spend time doing anything else before “pressing the button” to make it available on the largest PC game store? I’ll walk you through some best practices I’ve found for setting up your Steam page, creating store assets, writing copy and maximizing your launch window. We’ll also discuss other topics such as setting a price, estimating your day 1 and week 1 sales and answer any other questions you may have about launching your game.
6 pm Publishing Assets on the Unreal Engine Marketplace (Christian Allen, Epic Games)
Looking to build your portfolio? Generate extra revenue for your studio? Build an outsourcing business?
Christian Allen, Evangelist at Epic Games, will walk you through the pipeline for creating and publishing assets on the Unreal Engine Marketplace. If you are interested in selling your game-ready 3D models, materials, blueprint packages, code plugins, and more, this talk will give you the information you need to understand the publishing process, content guidelines, and best practices for getting your content up and generating revenue on the UE Marketplace.
7 pm New Markets for Mobile Games (Diego Rivera, Samsung)
Join our session on Friday November 13th at 7pm ET to learn how to start creating games with Samsung, how to implement Samsung In-App Purchase, and how to submit your game through our seller portal. We will also demonstrate the newly updated Galaxy Store client and discuss how to get your game discovered.
Saturday, Nov. 14 Presentations
(Streaming on www.youtube.com/GeorgiaGameDevs)
11 am Dynamic Data with Scriptable Objects in Unity (Ryan Kline, Lazer Bread Games)
Learn how to break down your games into hyper-tweakable data crunchers and decouple data from systems with a case study of Decide to Lead: Emergency Command by Army Game Studio.
12 pm How Fantasy Consoles Can Bring Out Your Best (Ben Burgh, Neuro Diversion)
Fantasy Consoles, such as PICO-8 and TIC-80, are special types of game engines inspired by 8-bit computers. This 30-minute talk explains how they can sharpen your skills as a developer and an artist, in addition to being super dang fun.
12:30 The Art of the Tweet Cart (Ben Burgh, Neuro Diversion)
A tweetcart is a little animation generated by a program, whose code fits within 280 characters or less. This 10 minute presentation will discuss how they work, show examples, and provide tips and tricks for making you own!
1 pm Neurodivergence in the Workplace (Michelle Menard, Oxide Games; Ben Burgh, Neuro Diversion, Catherine Ball)
Join our roundtable on neurodivergence in the workplace, since games do seem to be a very spectrum-friendly industry. Yeah, there are a lot of non-neurotypical people in games. Sometimes that can mean some real easy accommodations to make their lives easier, allowing them to be super employees. Don’t discount them for some odd quirks. Learn how to create a workplace that let’s everyone create great games.
2 pm Grow Your Creative Business In Good Times and Bad (Allyssa A Lewis, My Animation Life)
The events of 2020 have forced everyone to rethink their approach to the creative industry. Could this really be the best thing that happened to your business? Learn how to enhance your creative endeavors and leverage the hidden advantages of the restrictions set forth during this pandemic.
3 pm Intergenerational Game Design (Robin Koman, Story Tonic)
This year the oldest members of Gen-X, the first generation to grow up with video games, are turning 55. Many of these older adult gamers still play video games, but there are changes that happen with aging in areas such as motor control, cognition, hearing, and vision that might affect their performance in the games they love to play. For older adults, another major issue likely to arise is isolation. Loneliness is one of the most common problems that older adults report in day to day life. In Intergenerational Game Design, suggestions will be given as to how to design accessibly to accommodate those who are dealing with aging changes, as well as engaging those who aren’t, in hopes of combating loneliness by bringing players of different generations together to play competitively or cooperatively.
3:30 pm How to Run an Esports Tournament
4 pm Gameplay Design Tectonics: Mapping how we interact with (game) design (Simon Hoffiz, Numinous Cry Project)
Simon Hoffiz introduces the concept of Design Tectonics, a conceptual tool that permits the mapping of any designed experience, in this case: video games. With this new framework we can better document the independent components of a design, clearly establish their relationships and dynamics, recognize all interaction points between users and design, and further understand requirements for users to successfully interact with the design. This new framework permits designers and researchers to understand how we interact with any design in a more detailed, organized and structured manner, therefore providing a unique tool to design better games.
6 pm The 2020 Covid Positivity Indie Rants (Joe Cassavaugh, Puzzles by Joe; Michelle Menard, Oxide Games; Wes Wilson, Streamer; Karen Williams, Hiccup Interactive; Ben Burgh, NeuroDiversion; Nick Laing, Improbable; Tim Johnson, Gallium Studios; Michael Brown, Vicarious Games; Leah Causey Knighton; Mike Stumhofer, HOF Studios)
The Rants have always been one of our most popular SIEGE sessions. Join us virtually to enjoy our most uplifting rants ever.
7 pm Flashpoint Tournament
Flashpoint is an award-winning board game from Georgia designer Kevin Lanzing. Now try it online! Join us at SIEGE to save digital lives (and walls). Take on the roles of firefighters combating a blaze that threatens to consume a massive complex populated by trapped civilians. Emceed by designer Lanzing, teams will use the giant water cannon to extinguish hotspots or race directly in before the hotspot flares up again. You and your team will have one shot to complete this custom scenario based on the popular Fire Academy Challenge expansion included in the Kickstarter version. Sign up on Eventbrite with a team or as an individual and let matchmaking work its magic.
7:30 Networking and Gaming
Sunday, Nov. 15 Presentations
(Streaming on www.youtube.com/GeorgiaGameDevs)
12 pm Game Jam Blueprint for Success (Karik Kini, tastypill Games; Eric Cook)
Whether you’re a game jam pro or novice, all attendees will learn a tried-and-true methodology to ensure you are able to complete a game in 48hrs that you are proud of and feels complete.
12:30 pm Zero Trust Security for Game Developers (Christy Smith, Ken Lightner, Ionic Security)
Webkinz, Zynga, Xbox, PlayStation, Stalker, Nintendo…all have suffered data breaches over the past few years, and the frequency, severity, and fines associated to improper data handling only continue to increase.
Consumer demand for security and privacy is growing in response, yet of the top 40 computer science programs named by US News and World Report, none of them require security courses. (“Show, Don’t Tell, Your Developers How To Write Secure Code.” Amy DeMartine, Forrester Research.) This is a recipe for disaster.
Zero Trust is a security framework that has been gaining industry traction. It doesn’t mean nothing is trusted, but it does mean all trust must be earned, or in a more technical sense, authenticated and authorized.
Attendees will gain an awareness of the framework, plus practical suggestions for how to incorporate its concepts into application development.
1 pm Crisis Comms 101 for Game Devs – Tackling Sensitive Topics
Communications surrounding sensitive topics are challenging; therefore, preparation is critical to effectively manage a crisis situation. In this panel, we will cover strategies you can use to identify and get ahead of a challenging predicament before you lose control of the story. This includes planning communications around a game’s sensitive content, making meaningful statements on larger issues, and crafting reactive messaging around difficult circumstances.
2 pm Creating Depth in Small Games (Brad Merritt, Cartoon Network Game Studios)
How do you design small, manageable game projects but with deep systems? And all without breaking your scope and timeline? Attendees with will learn how to “design with adverbs” to create compelling, highly replayable game systems with minimal development cost.
3 pm Educating Today’s Youth Through Esports (Wes Byrd, Georgia Scholastic Esports Foundation)
In addition to being CEO of Skullz Inc, Wes is also co-founder of GSEF (Georgia Scholastic Esports Foundation). GSEF is a non-profit org that provides tools and curriculum to high schools and middle schools that empower schools to use what kids are excited about as a lure to provide STEM based education opportunities. This presentation shows some amazing statistics around education and discuss the tools that are offered on a local (Georgia) as well as national level (via NASEF) which are FREE for all schools and non-profit community centers.
4 PM The Economic Impact of the Georgia Game Development Industry (Dr. Jay O’Toole, Old Dominion University)
Join Dr. O’Toole for the release of the 2019 Georgia Game Industry Economic Contribution Report as well as a discussion of how the game industry has changed in Georgia and is continuing to change. Get ready for a look at the growing importance of this industry to our state.
(Require Registration at https://www.eventbrite.com/o/georgia-game-developers-association-31610597027 to get Zoom links)
5 pm Larry Elmore Drawing Workshop (Larry Elmore)
Larry Elmore is one of the best known figures in game art, with his drawings gracing numerous Dungeons & Dragons covers, as well as computer games like Everquest. His 2017 SIEGE workshops were some of our best attended, and now you get to join him online to delve into both character and environmental art. Check out one of his 2017 workshops HERE. You can follow his Patreon HERE.
6 pm Nov. 13 Loads of Dice (Ben Sandfelder; Games, Ink)
Interested in creating board games, RPGs or anything that involves dice or random number generators? Join us for this easy-to-understand workshop on the basics of dice math, review a variety of existing dice mechanics, and learn the effects they have on your gameplay.
Find out how to judge what is best for your board game, RPG or random number generator.
Presented by Ben Sandfelder, creator of Lightning Wars https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/316431/Lightning-War
7 pm Nov. 13 Game Design Improv (Ian Schreiber, RIT)
Free and open to everyone regardless of game design experience, sign up now to reserve your place!
No design? No problem! After 10 years as one of the most popular events at SIEGE, this fast-paced, challenging workshop now comes to you as a Zoom workshop. The value of a good designer is in his or her ability to turn anything into a game, and to take any problem and come up with a fun, viable solution. Participants will take on a variety of game design challenges based on various constraints. Game Design Improv gives you both practical advice and practice based on real-world situations. No experience necessary!
Run by Ian Schreiber, co-author of “Challenges for Game Designers” and the SIEGE master of Improv. The Zoom link will be sent to everyone who registers by Nov. 13. See a SIEGE Game Design Improv here: https://youtu.be/W56o0OHN7qg
11 am Nov. 14 Collaborative Character Drawing (Sandee Chamberlain, KSU)
Spark your creativity and improve your skills by painting with other artists on a shared canvas in real-time with Magma Studio. Hassle-free, no installation required. magmastudio.io
12 pm Nov. 14 Twine: Zero to First Playable (Dov Jacobson, GamesThatWork)
Can you write a text message? Then you have enough technical skill to make your first game or to prototype your next one. We will use TWINE, an interactive fiction engine that lets you use simple markup to create a handsome, functional choose-your-own adventure games. Bring your computer and a narrative game idea and we will hammer out a real game together.
1 pm Nov. 14 Intro to Unreal Engine Game Audio
In this session, audience members will have the chance to start from square zero with UE audio. How do you actually get a game to make some sound? This session starts with a brief overview of the difference between audio for games and audio for linear media, followed by the types of sound you can expect to implement for a given game. Finally, get your feet wet by exploring how to import an audio file into UE and tell the engine to modulate that audio with a Sound Cue.
2 pm Nov. 14 Excel at VBA’ing (Michelle Menard, Oxide Games)
Learn more simple VBA routines and cell math magic to make spreadsheets do more work for you with less work from you, and wow your friends with your spreadsheet skills. Will be something like a battle simulator or generic npc character creator. Attendees can access the xlsx files and all vba code and take it with them.
3 pm Nov. 14 Play “Boss Fight” & Learn to Pitch Your Game (Dov Jacobson, GamesThatWork)
4 pm Nov. 14 Story Structure for Game Developers (Sandee Chamberlain, KSU)
The classic story structure has been a cornerstone of many great video games. Learn how player decisions in-game can be influenced or affected by a pre-determined perception of a character’s motivations and an unfolding story arc delivered through in-game non-interactive cinematics.
1 pm Nov. 15
Make Something Great: Live demonstration and launch of Will Wright’s user-generated content tools
Timothy Johnson and Rebecca Harrison from Will Wright’s Gallium Studios provide a live demonstration of their Content Creator Tools that will be part of Will’s next game. The session includes a technical breakdown from start to finish of the tools and a live demonstration of creating 3D assets. They will also be announcing early access to the tool.
2 pm Sunday Nov. 15 Annual SIEGE Portfolio Review (Jesse Jacobson, GamesThatWork; Allyssa Lewis, MyAnimationLife;
The SIEGE Portfolio review has helped countless newcomers to the industry improve their portfolios and get jobs. The review will be in Discord this year, so join the SIEGE Discord and schedule time for experienced professionals to critique your work.
3 pm Nov. 15 Making Sound with Intonal (Andrew Beck, Elastic Audio)
4 pm What a Dev Can Learn from Clickteam Fusion (Kevin Dressel, Shiny Dolphin Games)
Clickteam Fusion is a robust but simple tool for both game dev and prototyping. See how it works beneath the hood, and how to apply its best ideas to other languages.
Join us in this Zoom workshop to learn how ideas from this handy tool that can help any game dev.
6 pm Annual GGDA/SIEGE Townhall
And memorial for SIEGE Registration director William Alonso
More to Come