This page contains an archive of all entries posted to GAMBIT in the Guests category. They are listed from oldest to newest.
GotW is the previous category.
Indies is the next category.
Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.
Friday Games at GAMBIT 5/11: Step up to the Gayme Bar
Friday Games is going to get a little meta -- and a little fabulous -- this week as we prepare for Saturday's Gayme Jam. Normally, we talk about games, but this week, we're going to talk about people who talk about games. This totally recursive edition of Friday Games features two special guests: Jason Toups and Jeremiah Bratton, hosts of the wonderful podcast Gayme Bar, your "weekly dose of gay gaming geekiness." These two Southern belles grace the world every week with their insightful, snarky, and fabulously funny critiques of games, the game industry, and game culture (amongst many other things) and now they'll be here at GAMBIT to talk about their podcast, games, and anything else that comes to mind.
Drop by GAMBIT at 4pm this Friday to join in the fun, ask questions, and probably get made fun of (but in a loving way!)... and if you can't join us in person, you can always catch the festivities on our livestream!
Flat Stanley visits GAMBIT
A few weeks ago, international adventurer Flat Stanley took time out of his busy schedule to visit GAMBIT. He kindly agreed to be a guest blogger and write up his impressions of the lab. Take it away, Stanley!
May 24, 2010
Today, I went to go visit Marleigh in Boston. She's my friend Maddie's cousin. Marleigh took me to work with her, which I thought would be kind of boring, but it turns out her work is a really cool place! She works at the GAMBIT Game Lab and studies and makes video games for a living. I took pictures at her office.
|This is Marleigh. Except I'm hanging from her hat, so you can't see her very well. She's the Lead Interaction Designer at GAMBIT. I don't really understand what that means. She said that's ok, no one else does either, but to trust her because it's very important.|
|Marleigh let me sit in her office chair. I guess she likes pirates.|
|Studying video games means they play them too. Some people were playing games from a really old computer called a TI-99. I liked Q*bert. It was fun.|
|Across the street, they're making a new building for curing cancer. One of Marleigh's projects is to make video games to help people understand how cancer works. When the games are done, people will play them in the new building.|
|This is Sara. She does lots of things at GAMBIT, but one is Quality Assurance, which means making sure the games all work and are fun. Her office is cleaner than Marleigh's, but she says that's only because it's a new office and her daughters haven't visited much yet.|
|College students work at GAMBIT too. Sometimes after work, they all play Rock Band. If you get a high score, they take a picture and put it on the wall. The company that makes Rock Band is called Harmonix and is a few blocks from GAMBIT. They send GAMBIT a new drum set every year, because the drums get worn out so fast with all the people playing them.|
|They have a really fancy copier! I tried to copy myself...|
|...but it didn't really work.|
|This is Mike! He was setting up computers for when the summer students come to work. He's also an artist and draws pictures of video game people and an old scientist named Nikola Tesla.|
|They have a lot of video games at GAMBIT. A loooooooooooooooooot of video games. This is only one of the cabinets.|
|Jason was on vacation, but he's the art person. He painted this picture of Mario. Look, Mario is jumping over me!|
|Clara is a researcher at GAMBIT. Researchers are people who write papers and drink a lot of coffee. But Clara drinks tea instead of coffee because she's from Europe.|
|Rik was the one person who had heard of me before Marleigh explained it! He's very cool. He has lots of great toys in his office.|
|Abe is the sound guy at GAMBIT. He played me some of the music he wrote for video games. He is working on video games about a Greek person named Sophocles. He said I'd probably learn about Sophocles in high school.|
|Philip is the boss of everyone at GAMBIT. You're supposed to push the panic button if you need to talk to him. I didn't push it, even though I kind of wanted to. Philip was in Singapore, which is a small island about as far away from Boston as you can be. GAMBIT has another office there.|
|Drew is the computer programmer. We played a game called Dark Tower. He won, but it was ok.|
|This is Gene. He makes movies about GAMBIT and puts them on YouTube. He really likes Jamaican music, and made a movie about it that's going to be in movie festivals.|
|Matt wasn't there either, but he makes the rules for games so that they're fun to play. Marleigh says he's written about James Bond, zombies, and Metal Gear Solid, but not in the same paper.|
|Claudia handles the money, like when people go to conferences. A conference is when a lot of people interested in the same thing get together to talk about it. Her window has words from Zork, which is a video game from back before video games had pictures.|
|I like this sign.|
Thanks, GAMBIT! See you soon!
Richard Rouse audio podcast now available
The audio podcast of Richard Rouse III's presentation on "Cinematic Games" is now available on the Comparative Media Studies Website. Click here to subscribe or enter http://feeds.feedburner.com/mitcms/podcast into your podcast client or RSS reader of choice. If you use iTunes, just click this link. You can also subscribe to the CMS email notification service.
Many people talk about "cinematic" games, but what does this really mean? Over their century of existence, films have been using a range of techniques to create specific emotional responses in their audience. Instead of simply using more cut-scenes, better script writers, or making more heavily scripted game experiences, game designers can look to film techniques as an inspiration for new techniques that accentuate what games do well. This lecture presents film clips from a number of classic movies, analyzes how they work from a cinematic standpoint, and then suggests ways these techniques can be used in gameplay to create even more stimulating experiences for gamers, including examples from games that have successfully bridged the gap.
Richard Rouse III is a game designer and writer, best known for The Suffering horror games and his book Game Design: Theory & Practice. He is currently the Lead Single Player Designer on the story-driven first-person shooter Homefront at Kaos Studios in New York City.
10/29/09: Richard Rouse III - "Cinematic Games"
Thursday October 29, 2009
5-7 PM | MIT Room 4-231
Many people talk about "cinematic" games, but what does this really mean? Over their century of existence, films have been using a range of techniques to create specific emotional responses in their audience. Instead of simply using more cut-scenes, better script writers, or making more heavily scripted game experiences, game designers can look to film techniques as an inspiration for new techniques that accentuate what games do well. This lecture will present film clips from a number of classic movies, analyze how they work from a cinematic standpoint, and then suggest ways these techniques can be used in gameplay to create even more stimulating experiences for gamers, including examples from games that have successfully bridged the gap.
Richard Rouse III is a game designer and writer, best known for The Suffering horror games and his book Game Design: Theory & Practice. He is currently the Lead Single Player Designer on the story-driven FPS Homefront at Kaos Studios in New York City.
The CMS colloquium series is intended to provide an intimate and informal exchange between a visiting speaker and CMS faculty, students, visiting scholars and friends. Each week during the term, we host a figure from academia, industry, or the art world to speak about their work and its relation to our studies. These sessions are free, open to the public, and serve as an excellent introduction to our program.
We also record these and broadcast them to the world-at-large via our Podcast. You can also download the individual files by clicking the links from each entry.
10/28/09: Clint Hocking speaks at GAMBIT
The Territory is not the Map: Hyper Realism and the New Immersion Paradigm
Wednesday October 28, 2009
4-5 PM | Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab
The games of today unsurprisingly strive to mimic the linear, authored structures of previous generations of media largely because gamers and game developers have grown up in a world where those media are culturally dominant. That is changing. As our media become more richly interactive and as our experience of the world becomes increasingly fragmented and parallelized, a new media culture is disintegrating the old. Games of the future will reflect this cultural shift by themselves becoming more fragmentary, more parallelized, and less focused on rich simulation and traditional notions of immersion.
This talk examines the potential long-term future of gaming by looking at the accelerating convergence between rising technologies and competing media from the internet, games, music and narrative media to augmented reality and the prominence of portable wireless devices.
This talk is free to the the MIT community and the public. If you are planning on attending, please email email@example.com so we can ensure enough seating for everybody. The location of the talk may change; please check updates on the GAMBIT blog.
Clint Hocking has been working at Ubisoft Montreal since July of 2001, when he began his career in the game industry as a Level Designer on the original SPLINTER CELL. During development he also took on the roles of Game Designer and Scriptwriter. Splinter Cell was nominated for seven Game Developer's Choice Awards (including nominations for Excellence in Level Design, Game Design and Scriptwriting). Along with writer JT Petty, Clint was honored for his writing work on the title with the first-ever Game Developer's Choice Award for Excellence in Scriptwriting.
Clint continued to develop the Splinter Cell franchise as Lead Level Designer, Scriptwriter, and Creative Director on SPLINTER CELL: CHAOS THEORY - the highest rated Splinter Cell to date with an aggregate review score of 94%. Clint next took on the role of Creative Director on FAR CRY 2, a controversial title that took players into the 'Heart of Darkness' of a fully realized African state torn apart by civil war. Both innovative and acclaimed, Far Cry 2 was another hit for Ubisoft.
In addition to working as a game developer, Clint is also active in the game development community, and is a vocal proponent of games as an emerging medium and art form. Clint is on the Advisory Board of the Montreal IGDA Chapter, and is a frequent speaker at the Game Developers Conference and other conferences around the world. He maintains a blog at www.clicknothing.com.
Clint Hocking sits on the advisory board of the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab.
Podcast of Pearce Lecture Now Available
In case you missed it, a podcast of last week's lecture by Georgia Tech's Dr. Celia Pearce is now available at the Comparative Media Studies website. The synopsis of the lecture is as follows:
This talk by Celia Pearce, Assistant Professor of Digital Media at Georgia Tech and Director and the Emergent Game Group and Experimental Game Lab, explored the connection of identity to virtual place, referencing in particular anthropology, humanist and socio-geography and Internet studies to look at the construction and performance of "fictive ethnicity" tied to a specific, though virtual and fictional, locality. To illustrate, Pearce used the example of the "Uru Diaspora," a game community from the defunct massively multiplayer game Uru: Ages Beyond Myst (based on the Myst series), which emigrated into other games and virtual worlds, adopting the collective fictive ethnicity of "Uru Refugees," and referring to Uru as their "homeland."
A few pictures from Dr. Pearce's lecture are now available in our Flickr pool (one, two, three, four). For more podcasts from the CMS Colloquium Lecture Series (including other GAMBIT guests such as Michael Mateas and Denis Dyack, check out http://cms.mit.edu/news/podcast.A subscribable RSS feed is available at http://feeds.feedburner.com/mitcms/podcast or via iTunes. To subscribe to the CMS podcast e-mail notification list, click here.
Now guest-starring Celia Pearce!
One of the awesome things about GAMBIT is the never-ending stream of fascinating folks that stop by our lab for a visit. Such previous guest-stars have included Mia Consalvo, Denis Dyack, Jason Rohrer, Warren Spector and Chris Swain, and this week our lab is pleased to welcome the brilliant and inestimable Dr. Celia Pearce.
Readers of this blog may know Dr. Pearce from her work as the director of the Experimental Game Lab at Georgia Tech; from her work as the Festival Chair for the independent games festival IndieCade; from her 1997 book The Interactive Book: A Guide to the Interactive Revolution; or from her many other projects as outlined on her website Celia Pearce and Friends.
GAMBIT is pleased to invite anyone within traveling distance to a public talk by Dr. Pearce this Thursday evening here on the MIT campus. The talk, part of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Spring 2009 Colloquium Lecture Series, will be held on Feb. 5, 2009 from 5-7PM in Room 2-105. Here's the description:
Identity-as-Place: Fictive Ethnicities in Online Games & Virtual Worlds
This talk explores the connection of identity to virtual place, referencing in particular anthropology, humanist and socio-geography and Internet studies to look at the construction and performance of "fictive ethnicity" tied to a specific, though virtual and fictional, locality. To illustrate, Pearce will use the example of the "Uru Diaspora," a game community from the defunct massively multiplayer game Uru: Ages Beyond Myst (based on the Myst series), which immigrated into other games and virtual worlds, adopting the collective fictive ethnicity of "Uru Refugees," and referring to Uru as their "homeland." The study referenced concerns the largest group of Uru refugees, who immigrated into the virtual world There.com. These players developed unique hybrid cultures other games, including the creation of Uru-inspired digital artifacts, and through an eventual process of "transculturation" (Ortiz 1947) eventually transformed from "Uruvians" into "Uru-Thereians," integrating both virtual places into their collective identity. Through this example, Pearce will argue that in the current historical moment, in which connections between identity, community and place are being supplanted by the generic placenessness and identilessness of "global markets," the tendency of players in the Uru Diaspora to construct a shared, place-based identity may reflect a larger need by individuals to associate themselves with affinity groups and reclaim a sense of connection between a specific locality (place), community and identity.
Celia Pearce is a game designer, author, researcher, teacher, curator and artist, specializing in multiplayer gaming and virtual worlds, independent, art, and alternative game genres, as well as games and gender. She began designing interactive attractions and exhibitions in 1983, and has held academic appointments since 1998. Her game designs include the award-winning virtual reality attraction Virtual Adventures (for Iwerks and Evans & Sutherland) and the Purple Moon Friendship Adventure Cards for Girls. She received her Ph.D. in 2006 from SMARTLab Centre, then at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London. She currently is Assistant Professor of Digital Media in the School of Literature, Communication and Culture at Georgia Tech, where she also directs the Experimental Game Lab and the Emergent Game Group. She is the author or co-author of numerous papers and book chapters, as well as The Interactive Book (Macmillan 1997) and the forthcoming Communities of Play: Emergent Cultures in Multiplayer Games and Virtual Worlds (MIT 2009). She has also curated new media, virtual reality, and game exhibitions and is currently Festival Chair for IndieCade, an international independent games festival and showcase series. She is a co-founder of the Ludica women's game collective.
We would like to extend the warmest of welcomes to Dr. Pearce, and we hope to see you all on Thursday evening!
Chris Swain presents at MIT
Chris Swain, assistant professor from USC, gave a presentation at MIT on "The Future of Games" last night. GAMBIT alum Eitan Glinert has blogged some of the takeaways from Chris' talk, as well as some opinions and reactions:
Touching on myriad subjects, Chris hopped from how we came to our current state of game development, what areas/genres of game development are still ripe for exploration, and what trends he has been observing in the games industry. He ended with a quick piece on how he believes development will change over the next few years to remain sustainable.
Read the full article here.
Podcasting Facade's Michael Mateas
On November 20th Michael Mateas, associate professor of computer science and head of the Expressive Intelligence Studio at UC Santa Cruz, visited MIT as a part of CMS' Colloquium lecture series. As Mateas is perhaps best known as the co-creator of the groundbreaking interactive drama Façade, readers of this blog might be interested in knowing that the podcast of his lecture, "The Authoring Challenge for Interactive Storytelling", is now available from the CMS website.
From the event description:
Michael Mateas is an associate professor of computer science at the University of California, Santa Cruz where his research focuses on artificial intelligence (AI)-based art and entertainment. As head of the Expressive Intelligence Studio at Santa Cruz, he is involved in such projects as automated support for game generation, automatic generation of autonomous character conversations, story management, and authoring tools for interactive storytelling. Mateas is a collaborator on the interactive drama Façade (see interactivestory.net).
Although the autumn 2008 lecture series is coming to a close this week (scholar Christina Klein will be discussing globalization and anime in her talk "Transnational, U.S.-Asian Cinema: The Case of Tekkon Kinkreet"), be sure to bookmark the Colloquia and Forums page on the CMS website and check back in January for the announcement of the spring 2009 lineup. All lectures are free, open to the public, and serve as an excellent introduction to the MIT Comparative Media Studies program. Podcasts of previous lectures in the series can be found at http://cms.mit.edu/news/podcast.
Live tonight at GAMBIT US: Denis Dyack
This afternoon the US GAMBIT lab is playing host to Denis Dyack, the founder and president of Silicon Knights (Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, Too Human). In addition to guest-lecturing in a game design course or two, Dyack will also be giving a presentation on Games as the Eighth Art and Engagement Theory for the MIT CMS Colloquium series. The Colloquium lecture is free and open to the public, and runs from 5-7 PM this evening in building 2-105.
Continue reading "Live tonight at GAMBIT US: Denis Dyack" »
10 Things You Will Not Like About Professional Game Development
Matt Weise gave a great presentation to a packed room at MIT last week, peppered with war stories and so-horrible-it's-funny anecdotes from his experiences in the game industry. For those of you who missed it, here's his list of awful things about professional game development, and each point was greeted with doleful grins and nods of agreement from the other industry members in the audience. Forewarned is forearmed, so here's my recommendation: everybody preparing to enter a game industry career should stop believing that anyone can avoid these pitfalls, but start anticipating and preparing for them instead.
10. Working with people who don't play games
9. Dealing with people who think "fun" is objective
8. Working on games and/or genres you don't like
7. Dealing with people who do not understand the design process
6. Being told you must kiss a publisher's ass
5. Having a design dictated to you over the phone
4. People who cannot communicate to save their life
3. Overtime (Matt actually skipped this one in the presentation because it's pretty obvious)
2. Dealing with people who can't work on a team
1. Realizing that no one has ever unknowingly made a bad game (That'll be you one day)
Doug Church visits GAMBIT
The GAMBIT undergraduate team had a visitor today! Doug Church, Executive Producer from Electronic Arts Los Angeles (to us Bostonians, he'll always be "of Looking Glass fame") dropped by the team's second sprint review session to lend his analytical skills to their current project.
The UROP team is currently two months into the development of their puzzle game, which we hope to put up on the GAMBIT web site soon. Doug reminded the team to always keep in mind what they wanted the player to feel, examining each game mechanic to see how it contributed or detracted from the desired user experience. He highlighted some fundamentals of good casual games: the rhythm of learning new tricks and strategies, the peaks and troughs of the difficulty curve, and the "potential extra achievements" that will keep players coming back.
Doug was extremely generous with his time, spending an extra half-hour after the sprint review to chat with the students about the realities of working in game development. A great day for the team with a great gamesmith! Thanks Doug!