Digital Portsmouth, The Art of Video Games

I was lucky enough to be asked to present at the most recent Digital Portsmouth event. This time around the topic was The Art of the Video Game”. Here’s my recap of the event and the materials of my presentation.

This was my first visit to the Music Hall Loft. What a great venue. A cozy yet comfortable theatre and nice bar are the main features. I’ll be back for sure.

There were three other presentations that night. Such a nice range of topics and interesting presenters. Two of the other presenters are indy developers working in New Hampshire. The other was Josh Cyr of Alpha Loft who organized this event. His talk was a warm up that consisted of stats about games, gamers and the industry. Many of these statistics were surprising to me, a working game developer.

Alix, AKA Kitty of Robot Loves Kitty spoke about the Perceived Value of games. Is the industry heading for another crash ala 83? A game cost 50$ one day then go on sale for 15$ the next. How much is that game really worth? Alix’s talk was really good, fun and informative. I’d like to hear her opinion on the emergence of free to play games today. Free to play didn’t exist in 1983.

David Carrigg was the 3rd presenter. His talk was about why some games work, and others don’t. It was an interesting talk about how many games are similar, yet some hit and other’s don’t.

Have a look at Upsilon Circuit. It’s a game both Alix and David are involved with. There’s a real chance that this title takes off to a huge scale. What a great idea.

Also, check out Game Assembly. It’s is a co-working space in Manchester for Game Developers. They put on events and are the primary location for anything IGDA New Hampshire related.

The crowd was great and there were lot’s of kids, which was nice to see. The audience was engaged and asked some great questions during the QA. Brian Brady asked probably the greatest question I’ve heard at one of these kinds of events. I’m paraphrasing here, but he basically asked Off the top of your head, don’t think, just answer: what are each of your top concerns and biggest items on your wish list”. Now that was a great question.

Portsmouth is a technical and creatively charged city. There’s a lot of tech/startup/creative momentum and cultural events going on around town. Most folks seem helpful and inclusive. I’m proud to call it home.

Here’s my talk. I recorded it just now, so it’s lost some of the spontaneity of the event, but I hope you enjoy it. If you have any questions, find me on Twitter.

Samurai 3D model from Rigging Dojo.
Artwork from the Shader demo from
Photo’s modified from JD Hancock.