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  ‘GameON: Finance’ Inhospitable to Small Indie Developers  
 
 
Posted 2007-11-23 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
"GameON: Finance," a just-announced Canadian event described by its organizers as an exploration of "financial models for independent games companies," has been scheduled during the same two days as the Toronto Independent Games Conference. The events will overlap on January 17 and 18, 2008.

GameOn:Finance is operated by industry group InteractiveOntario, and will be hosted at a swank downtown Toronto location. Registration starts at nearly $500 CAD. The Toronto Independent Games Conference is operated by a handful of dedicated indie gamers, and will likely be hosted at a local college. Registration starts at $50 for students.

Continue reading: ‘GameON: Finance’ Inhospitable to Small Indie Developers
 
     
 
   
 
  2 comments  
  ‘Tale of Tales’ Interviews CMP’s Simon Carless  
 
 
Posted 2007-11-12 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Simon Carless, editor and publisher with the CMP Game Group (Game Developer Magazine, Gamasutra, GameSetWatch and more) was cornered by independent art-game maker Tale of Tales earlier this year. Tale of Tales published the interview over this past weekend, touching on Carless' background, his shift towards business/product management of CMP's many game-related initiatives, and discussing today's independent game scene.

As Chairman of the Independent Games Festival, Carless helps to shape the future of indie gaming. He told Tale of Tales that the rise of independent developers is due both to game-industry veterans forming their own teams, and "bedroom programmers" publishing on the web and making money by running ads. Although not business-focused, Tale of Tales is a very strong artistic contender in the indie arena, having launched the acclaimed Endless Forest microworld in 2005 and The Path, its entry into the 2008 Independent Games Festival.
 
     
 
   
 
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  Quick Links for 2007-10-31  
 
 
Posted 2007-10-31 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
 
     
 
   
 
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  ‘CSI:NY’ Meets ‘Second Life’  
 
 
Posted 2007-10-26 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
I wasn't able to catch the recent CSI:NY / Second Life crossover, but thankfully other bloggers were on the case. Here's a link-dump from around the blogosphere about this TV / virtual-world mashup...

  • Good, short review of CSI:NY's Second Life crossover episode. Sounds like the TV episode was solid. How will the Second Life side measure up?
  • Virtually Blind reviews the recent CSI:NY / Second Life crossover, including the in-world experience: "While it has flaws, it is head and shoulders above any mainstream virtual world tie-ins we've seen so far."
  • The Second Life Herald's Pixeleen Mistral notes that some Second Life merchants attempted to game-jack incoming CSI:NY viewers by adding CSI-style search terms to their store descriptions. Clever!
  • Roundup of some mini-reviews of the CSI:NY / Second Life crossover. Mixed results, still expecting more discussion of this over the next month or so. How many people signed up to play the Second Life experience?
  • About CSI:NY / Second Life crossover, Tateru Nino says "large numbers" registered for SL, but the custom OnRez viewer download failed for many. "No flood" of newcomers to SL. "The Jury is still out as to whether the whole shebang will be a hit or or a miss.
  • Prokofy Neva muses about the aftermath, noting SL signups log-ons [thanks for the correction, Prok] actually went down from 41k to 38k during "this supposed 'rush.'" Reportedly about 700 avatars in-world on the CSI islands.
 
     
 
   
 
  3 comments  
  A Little Toronto Gaming Action  
 
 
Posted 2007-10-19 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Here's a handful of local gaming items for my fellow Torontonians:

1) Three former students of mine have formed their own game development company, chiefly using Flash and Virtools as development platforms. They have recently finished two edugames and are looking for a business manager to help their startup get a foothold in the services market:
The ideal business manager will be an enterprising visionary with a strong desire to make a name for his or her self in the video game industry, be a rain maker able to develop business, and be a project manager able to coach a highly creative team toward on-time completion. On top of all of these hard skills, the right business manager will be an individual of superior character with a heart of gold.
This team is creative, hard-working, and driven--if you can help them, please send an email to photius at shannonware dot com.

2) Every Wednesday at the College St. Diner / Tiger Bar: Show off your Guitar Hero II skillz. "Super Cheap Pabst Blue Ribbon" and no cover. Scary.

Continue reading: A Little Toronto Gaming Action
 
     
 
   
 
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  links for 2007-10-19  
 
 
Posted 2007-10-19 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
 
     
 
   
 
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  links for 2007-10-04  
 
 
Posted 2007-10-04 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
 
     
 
   
 
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  Embrace the Chaos  
 
 
Posted 2007-09-24 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Brooke Thompson sent in a heads-up on Embrace the Chaos, a 1-day seminar by the intrepid "Unfiction" Alternate Reality Game player community intended to get marketers up to speed on this constantly-evolving game genre. The result will hopefully be better commercial ARGs. According to Brooke, proceeds from the event will support Unfiction (a fantastic player and developer resource) and ARGfest, an annual ARG meetup.

Topics to be covered at Embrace the Chaos include:
  • Alternate Reality Game 101: what they are, who plays them, why to use them in marketing
  • Design for Marketing media
  • Design for Marketing Products
  • Metrics: How to measure results
  • Risk: How to manage
  • One minute case studies submitted to the experts from the audience
Get informed on November 2, 8:30am (bleh!) to 5pm at the Baisley Powell Elebash Recital Hall in NYC. No doubt the best discussions will be over booze after 5pm. Wish I could be there.
 
     
 
   
 
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  Virtual World Meetings As Replacements For Real Ones  
 
 
Posted 2007-09-10 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Cisco's Christian Renaud thinks that virtual worlds exemplify collaboration technology capable of "drastically [reducing] the need for travel and the resultant emissions." While I agree that virtual worlds could reduce or eliminate travel emissions, I'm not as enthusiastic as Renaud. Leaving aside the environmental impact of actually operating a virtual world, any "drastic" reduction in travel emissions could only result from a "drastic" increase in virtual-world meetings as a replacement for real-world ones. And I don't see that happening in the short term. Longer term, perhaps, depending not only on the quality of the virtual world experience, but on public and private demand.

Replacing real-world meetings with virtual ones--whether via a "world," or some other telepresence environment--is going to take an effort. Meeting attendees will need to demand it, and meeting organizers will need to facilitate and promote it. I don't see any indication this is happening today, having flown via jet plane to Austin, NYC, San Francisco, Sydney, and Tasmania this year--primarily to discuss new technology such as virtual worlds. In particular, I find it mind-boggling that conferences about virtual worlds are not held in virtual space. The "Virtual Worlds" conference slated for this October actually features Cisco's Christian Renaud as a keynote speaker. This would be a great opportunity for Renaud to walk the talk and show up via an avatar instead of in the flesh.
 
     
 
   
 
  5 comments  
  What Can Video Games Learn From Alternate Reality Games?  
 
 
Posted 2007-09-07 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
What can the video game industry learn from Alternate Reality Games? Lots, I wager. And so I put together a SXSW panel proposal on the topic. The challenge now, aside from getting people to vote the panel into existence, is finding a particular kind of ARG expert (could be designers, producers, community leaders) who has an informed opinion about improving the way video games are made, distributed, marketed, and played. I've already sent a few notes out to the usual suspects, but I figured I'd cast a wider net by posting a call-out here. Never know who you're going to catch.

Drop me a line [tony at secretlair dot com] if you'd like to be added to the list of prospective panelists (looking for about 4 people on the panel), or if you have any specific questions about the panel thanks!
 
     
 
   
 
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Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


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