21 episodes

30-year game industry veteran John "JP" Podlasek interviews game designers, programmers, producers, artists, arcade owners, writers, CEOs and others about game development. Experienced or aspiring game developers alike will find useful, thought-provoking, and sometimes funny advice from others in the game industry. Find info at gamedevadvice.com and subscribe now!

Game Dev Advice: The Game Developer's Podcast The HP Video Game Podcast Network

    • Video Games

30-year game industry veteran John "JP" Podlasek interviews game designers, programmers, producers, artists, arcade owners, writers, CEOs and others about game development. Experienced or aspiring game developers alike will find useful, thought-provoking, and sometimes funny advice from others in the game industry. Find info at gamedevadvice.com and subscribe now!

    Indie Dev Challenges, AI, Spatial Computing, Fortnite, New Platforms, and Predator VR with David Turkiewicz

    Indie Dev Challenges, AI, Spatial Computing, Fortnite, New Platforms, and Predator VR with David Turkiewicz

    Lead Game Designer David Turkiewicz talks about his current role at Phosphor Games, starting in QA, immigrating from Poland as a kid, and how the NES changed his life. Learn how his love for gaming, comics and animation steered him to The American Academy of Art in Chicago. Hear about his lack of confidence held him back from a UI job and decided to start in QA instead. 
    Learn the advice he’d give himself in hindsight with 15 years of experience, along with the initiative he took in QA to use Midway Games’s wiki to learn about game development. His thoughts on the importance of learning and developing games, even if they’re small, and about having passion. Hear advice for mid or senior-level designers, why you need to challenge yourself, and the power of YouTube.
    Hear about his first designer project on Stranglehold, his indie release SARCOPH, and the challenges of the game market. Learn why he loves the Switch, concerns about the industry, along with what he’s excited about. Learn from his experience in the AR/VR space and working on location-based games, like Predator VR. 
    Hear how I gave him advice which helped him focus on being a designer, later working at a studio on a Facebook world builder that pivoted to social casinos. Learn what it was like during the shift from Facebook gaming to mobile, what games he’s playing now, and how he got his nickname. Hear their thoughts about the importance of creating content, putting it out for the world, getting feedback, and doing it again. 

    Resources:
    *Turk Twitter
    *Phosphor Studios website
    *Alex Ross website
    *IGDA website
    *Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks Wikipedia
    *Midway Games Wikipedia
    *Unity3D website
    *Unreal Engine website
    *John Woo Presents Stranglehold Wikipedia
    *Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy Eurogamer 
    *SARCOPH App Store
    *GameSpy Wikipedia
    *Predator VR Steam preview
    *Spooky Cool Labs VentureBeat
    *Discord website
    *Slack website
    *Top 15 Game Design Podcasts You Must Follow in 2019 website picked Game Dev Advice at no. 8!
    *Level Ex website - we’re hiring for all kinds of roles
    *Game Dev Advice Twitter
    *Game Dev Advice email
    *Game Dev Advice website
    *Game Dev Advice Hotline: (224) 484-7733
    *And thanks to Charles Dike Production podcast editing 
    *Don't forget to subscribe and go to www.gamedevadvice.com for full show notes with links

    About My Guest 
    David Turkiewicz is a Game Designer living in Chicago. He started as a QA tester at Midway Games, working on games like Mortal Kombat, NBA Ballers, and Blitz the League. He’s now a Lead Game Designer at Phosphor Studios helping other Designers, Programmers, and Artists work together to bring awesome game worlds to life. Over his career he’s contributed to a diverse list of game including: Predator VR (LBE), Damaged Core (Oculus Rift), Heroes Reborn: Gemini (PS4, XBOX One), Wizard of Oz (Facebook), The Dark Meadow (iOS), Tony Hawk Shred (PS3, XBOX 360), and John Woo Presents Stranglehold (XBOX 360, PS3, PC).

    • 54 min
    Mid-Tier Indie Vs. Triple-A Dev, Game Engines, Star Wars AR, VR Challenges, Going Viral, and Gender Diversity with Chip Sineni

    Mid-Tier Indie Vs. Triple-A Dev, Game Engines, Star Wars AR, VR Challenges, Going Viral, and Gender Diversity with Chip Sineni

    Game Director Chip Sineni talks about the project he’s working on that dates back 20 years and how he got into the industry back in 1994 starting in QA. Learn about odd arrangement of the Beavis and Butt-Head console games each done by different developers. Hear his thoughts about the industry now with tools like Unity3D and Unreal Engine letting developers explore game ideas without publishers, along with challenges to get market attention. Learn thoughts on Twitter’s evolution, how to get into the industry now, and the differences around the type of work and mindsets in Triple-A vs Indie development.

    Hear a deeper dive on the game engine differences, pros and cons, between Unreal and Unity. Learn about some parallels between his game Corpse of Discovery and Death Stranding. Hear about key lessons he learned working with industry legends like George Gomez, Mark Turmell, Sal Divita, and Ed Boon at Midway Games, including the importance of 60FPS. Learn about the Japanese RPG-inspired game Septerra Core that never found an audience, thoughts about streaming services, and how the industry market leaders and genres are always changing. 

    Learn the challenges of big publishers to figure out what the next breakout game will be, and how ones like Ubisoft have been hammered recently in the marketplace. Hear thoughts on the interesting state of VR, his AR projects, along with difficulties on the platforms. Learn about his A-ha video that went viral, and the Star Wars AR video he created that got covered by the press and upset ILM. Hear thoughts about the slow pace of gender diversity in the industry, his love for Untitled Goose Game, and how genres get resurrected. 

    Resources:
    *Chip Sineni Twitter
    *Chip Sineni LinkedIn
    *Phosphor Studios website
    *Trixi Studios website
    *Beavis and Butt-Head Wikipedia
    *Unity3D website
    *Unreal Engine website
    *Corpse of Discovery Kill Screen
    *Septerra Core Wikipedia
    *Viacom New Media MobyGames
    *Grand Theft Auto Online website
    *Death Stranding Wikipedia
    *Ubisoft Entertainment Bloomberg
    *Fragments Asobo Studio website
    *A-ha AR video Verge
    *Star Wars AR Mashable
    *Untitled Goose Game Wikipedia
    *Goat Simulator website
    *Top 15 Game Design Podcasts You Must Follow in 2019 website picked Game Dev Advice at no. 8!
    *Level Ex website - we’re hiring for all kinds of roles
    *Game Dev Advice Twitter
    *Game Dev Advice email
    *Game Dev Advice website
    *Game Dev Advice Hotline: (224) 484-7733
    *And thanks to Charles Dike Production podcast editing 
    *Don't forget to subscribe and go to www.gamedevadvice.com for full show notes with links

    About My Guest 
    Chip Sineni has been professionally making games for over 25 years in Console, PC, Mobile, VR, and AR. Midway and Viacom alumni, currently co-founder of two development studios; PHOSPHOR STUDIOS and TRIXI STUDIOS. Notable titles he’s had significant roles in: Corpse of Discovery, HORN, The Dark Meadow, NETHER, Kinect Adventures, The Brookhaven Experiment, NBC Heroes, Psi-Ops, NFL Blitz, NBA Ballers, MLB Slugfest, Beavis and Butt-Head Virtual Stupidity, and Septerra Core.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    When Coin-Op was King, NBA Jam, the ‘90s, Pakistan, Sega, Shaq, and Book Publishing with Reyan Ali

    When Coin-Op was King, NBA Jam, the ‘90s, Pakistan, Sega, Shaq, and Book Publishing with Reyan Ali

    NBA Jam writer Reyan Ali talks about being born in the U.S., moving to Pakistan when he was young, and how the NES and Sega Mega Drive II video games influenced him. How the release of NBA Jam got him interested in the NBA, along with getting into Mortal Kombat and working on website in Pakistan. Learn how he wrote a FAQ for the team’s arcade classic The Grid without having actually having played the game by emailing the dev team member John Vogel.
    Hear how he decided to write a book about NBA Jam after being a longtime freelance journalist writing and interviewing for Rolling Stone, Wired, Spin and other publications. Learn how his extensive pitch to Boss Fight Books helped him land the book deal before having talked to anyone who’d actually worked on the game. Hear about the interview process researching the book, including the CEO of Acclaim, Shaq, John Romero, Nolan Buschnell, musician George Clinton and many others. Learn how the book evolved from just NBA Jam into being a more detailed account of Midway Games, and the fall of arcade games from their peak.
    Hear how the process created strong relationships with key developers, like Mark Turmell and others. Learn about the surreal process of tracking down and interviewing Shaq. Hear about how much money NBA Jam earned and later ended up being owned by Acclaim. Learn his dream about arcades and companies like Two Bit Circus working to bring them back. 
    Hear what Reyan’s doing now, favorite current games, and plans for the future. Hear him ask me about the challenges at Midway Games during the transition from arcade games to console-only, the resurgence of Mortal Kombat, and thoughts on the company filing for bankruptcy. 
    Resources:
    *Buy NBA Jam (the book) in print and digital at Boss Fight Books
    *Order NBA Jam (the book) on Amazon Kindle
    *Follow NBA Jam (the book) on Twitter
    *DJ Jazzy Jeff and George Clinton Recall Becoming NBA Jam Hidden Characters Polygon
    *Sega Mega II (and Genesis) Wikipedia
    *The Grid Wikipedia
    *NBA Jam Wikipedia
    *Two Bit Circus website
    *RenderWare Wikipedia
    *Insert Coin YouTube trailer
    *Raw Thrills website
    *Level Ex website - we’re hiring for all kinds of roles
    *Game Dev Advice Twitter
    *Game Dev Advice email
    *Game Dev Advice website
    *Game Dev Advice Hotline: (224) 484-7733
    *And thanks to Charles Dike Production podcast editing 
    *Don't forget to subscribe and go to www.gamedevadvice.com for full show notes with links
    About My Guest 
    Reyan Ali is a writer from Columbus, Ohio. His work has been published by Wired, Spin, The Atlantic, The A.V. Club, and alt-weekly papers across the country. Born in Dallas, he grew up in Karachi, Pakistan, where he devoured '90s NBA action almost exclusively through trading cards, Beckett Basketball magazine, and NBA Jam: Tournament Edition on the Sega Mega Drive II.

    • 40 min
    Skywalker Ranch, Making Toys, Crunch Culture, Hong Kong Concerns, EA, Being an Expat in Bangkok with Chris Nicolella

    Skywalker Ranch, Making Toys, Crunch Culture, Hong Kong Concerns, EA, Being an Expat in Bangkok with Chris Nicolella

    28-year video game and toy industry veteran Chris Nicolella talks about moving from the U.S. to living in Bangkok as an expat that included some initial challenges. How he started in the video game industry working at NEC’s TurboGrafx-16, then transitioning to NuFX, which was later acquired by Electronic Arts turning into EA Chicago. Hear the challenges of game industry crunching and what it was like in the early 2000s, along with breaking into making iPhone apps on the side.
    Learn how he transitioned into video game publishing to get his first job at Electronic Gaming Monthly that was like a frat house, then transitioning to the more professionally run GamePro magazine. Hear why he left the publishing business, worked briefly in Florida, plus how we worked together on projects back for Turbo Technologies Inc. and the TurboGrafx-16 consoles.
    Hear what he wished he’d done earlier in his career and how it might be useful advice for you. How Nintendo was very protective of their games out for reviews and a story about Lebron James and NBA Street Vol. 2. Learn about working on best-selling toys like Giga Pet and the late ‘90s cultural phenomenon that sold 40 million units, Furby. Hear about working on toys for Star Wars: Episode I, II, and III, that included flying out on Hasbro’s jet to Skywalker Ranch and the Halo movie that never came out but had content repurposed for another movie.
    Learn how in 2006 Marvel launched their own movie studio to create Iron Man film in 2008, which was controversial in some ways. Hear about traveling throughout SE Asia, sobering thoughts on the Hong Kong crisis, advice for breaking into the toy or game development industry, and how to get in touch with him, hosted by John ‘JP’ Podlasek. (See gamedevadvice.com for show links and details.)

    Resources:
    *@Ultimatetoy Twitter
    *chris@set-to-stun.com email
    *chris-nicolella: Skype
    *Chris Nicolella LinkedIn
    *TurboGrafx-16 Wikipedia
    *NuFX Wikipedia
    *Electronic Gaming Monthly Wikipedia
    *GamePro Wikipedia
    *n-Space Wikipedia
    *Turbo Technologies Inc. Giant Bomb
    *Donkey Kong Country Wikipedia
    *NBA Street Vol 2 Wikipedia
    *Giga Pet Wikipedia
    *The History of Furby, the Electronic Pet That Took the Late ‘90s by Storm Bustle
    *Furby a Threat to National Security? CNN
    *Why the Halo Movie Failed to Launch WIRED
    *Iron Man (2008 film) Wikipedia
    *A Troubled Actor’s Rude Awakening L.A. Times
    *Giga Pets Amazon
    *Hong Kong’s Troubles Are Just Beginning Forbes 
    *Expat Guide to Living in Bangkok, Thailand Expatolife
    *Level Ex website - we’re hiring for all kind of roles!
    *Game Dev Advice Twitter
    *Game Dev Advice email
    *Game Dev Advice website
    *Game Dev Advice Hotline: (224) 484-7733
    *And thanks to Charles Dike Production podcast editing 
    *Don't forget to subscribe and go to www.gamedevadvice.com for full show notes with links

    • 1 hr 13 min
    The World’s Biggest Arcade and More with Doc Mack of Galloping Ghost

    The World’s Biggest Arcade and More with Doc Mack of Galloping Ghost

    25-year industry entrepreneur and designer Doc Mack of Galloping Ghost Productions talks about his game production company and working on his arcade fighting game, “Dark Presence”. How the company has mushroomed into creating the biggest arcade in the world (731 games and counting!), a reproductions company, gym and martial arts studio, automotive repair shop, and a pinball arcade. Learn about his desire to work in video games growing up and a chance encounter with a game industry legend spurred him to start the company, plus how the Galloping Ghost arcade opened in 2010 after frustration while researching the arcade market.
    Hear about what he wishes he’d known when he started, along with how they’ve helped open 29 arcades. Learn how 80,000 people a year go through the arcade and how their passion for arcade records lead them to purchase the scoring house, Aurcade. Learn how he’s able to get rare games that were never commercially released, some current arcade and indie companies, and the resurgence of pinball.
    Learn thoughts on the current state of arcades and how open play has changed things. Hear about outdated laws he had to overcome and ignorant perceptions proven wrong about violence and video games from examples like the Mortal Kombat “Kombat Kon” 25th anniversary event. Hear how arcades can help people with anxiety or struggling with personal challenges, plus bond as families. 
    Hear about the challenges for opening an arcade the right way, how location isn’t critical, along with the satisfaction of sharing player excitement for classic games with the original designers. Learn thoughts on mobile and VR games going into arcades, why arcades died off, and what game caused a couple to hitchhike from Oregon. Hear about his passion for shining a spotlight on industry people giving them credit like movies and other forms of media and how to get in touch with him, hosted by John ‘JP’ Podlasek. (See gamedevadvice.com for all the details.)
    Resources:
    *Galloping Ghost Productions website
    *Galloping Ghost Arcade website
    *Galloping Ghost Arcade Facebook
    *Galloping Ghost Arcade Twitter
    *Dark Presence website
    *Aurcade website
    *King of Kong Wikipedia
    *The Spectre Files: Deathstalker YouTube
    *Beavis & Butt-head Polygon
    *Raw Thrills website
    *Killer Queen website
    *Stern Pinball website
    *Kombat Kon YouTube
    *The Grid YouTube
    *Toru Iwatani Wikipedia
    *Level Ex website - we’re hiring
    *Game Dev Advice Twitter
    *Game Dev Advice email
    *Game Dev Advice website
    *Game Dev Advice Hotline (224) 484-7733*And thanks to Charles Dike Production podcast editing
    *Don't forget to subscribe and go to www.gamedevadvice.com for full show notes with links

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Headhunter To Designer, Layoffs, Self Publishing, and Scapegoating Games with John (JJ) Williams of NetherRealm Studios

    Headhunter To Designer, Layoffs, Self Publishing, and Scapegoating Games with John (JJ) Williams of NetherRealm Studios

    +15-year industry veteran John (JJ) Williams of NetherRealm Studios talks about his current role as Advanced Designer at NetherRealm Studios and the challenges we had working on a Disney IP. Learn how he decided to get out of a career as a headhunter with a business degree and into game development. Hear about going back to school for an art degree and getting his first job as a freelance animator on WrestleMania 21.
    Learn about his first role at Studio Gigante, then Stainless Steel Studios, and missing a job email from Harmonix because of a spam filter. How he got a job at Midway in the QA dept and all the Mortal Kombat games he tested plus working on NBA Ballers 2. How he worked in Unreal Engine building levels showed him his true passion and calling in the industry.
    Hear how he got his first design role on Midway’s John Woo’s Stranglehold, then went to Vogster Entertainment, saw that close, and went to Disney Interactive’s Wideload Games. Hear about the projects he worked on at Disney including Kingdom Hearts Mobile, and another (well-handled) studio closure.
    Learn about him branching out to create his own game, Pirate Blitz, with some money from a motorcycle accident, then joined the mobile team at NetherRealm Studios 5 year ago. Hear what he wished he’d known when he started and advice he shares. About the importance of getting that first job and the value of getting into QA, plus stories of working together shipping games. Hear about him branching into narrative design enjoying it. Learn ideas around game design, where to get inspiration from, and the hidden value of GDC.
    Hear about his favorite projects, which include making his own indie game and the work he’s doing now at NetherRealm. Discussion about games being scapegoated for gun violence since an easy target for politicians. Learn about how the ESRB started and what it looked like from the inside. Hear funny stories about a game industry closures and them getting into an argument that broke out into laughter. Hear thoughts on VR games, the industry, and what’s lacking with AR right now. Learn what future game he’s excited about, plus the ones he’s playing now, along with how to follow him. 
    Resources:
    *J.J. Williams Twitter
    *J.J. Williams website
    *Mortal Kombat: Armageddon Wikipedia
    *John Woo’s Stranglehold Wikipedia
    *Pirate Blitz Polygon
    *Call of Cthulhu Wikipedia
    *Pirate Blitz YouTube
    *Cyberpunk 2077 website
    *Oxygen Not Included Steam
    *Level Ex website - we’re hiring
    *Game Dev Advice Twitter
    *Game Dev Advice email
    *Game Dev Advice website
    *Game Dev Advice Hotline (224) 484-7733 - give a call
    *And thanks to Charles Dike Production podcast editing
    *Don't forget to subscribe and go to www.gamedevadvice.com for full show notes with links

    • 57 min

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