37 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
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

+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!

    Halo 2, Steve Ballmer, IGDA, Gamergate, Star Wars, Diversity and Inclusion, Networking, Going Solo, Cloudpunk, and Developer Leverage with Kate Edwards of Geogrify and the Global Game Jam

    Halo 2, Steve Ballmer, IGDA, Gamergate, Star Wars, Diversity and Inclusion, Networking, Going Solo, Cloudpunk, and Developer Leverage with Kate Edwards of Geogrify and the Global Game Jam

    I welcome Kate Edwards, game industry pioneer at Geogrify and Executive Director of the Global Game Jam. We start by discussing COVID-19 totally changing everything for her speaking and traveling work along with the Global Game Jam (recorded before the event). We then talk about her culturalization consulting and public speaking projects keeping her even busier now. 
    Listen to her origin story about arcades, wanting to be an astronaut, Star Wars, going into Industrial Design, and grad school at the HITLab in Seattle. Hear how being a Cartographer started her career at Microsoft and translated into a new role as a Geopolitical Specialist. We then talk about consulting for Google, joining then leading the IGDA, Gamergate threats, 50 over 50 list, and mental health advocacy. 
    We reflect on lessons learned over time, marketing yourself, imposter syndrome, networking, finding a mentor strategy, and future meetups. Listen to ideas for those working now, parallel career paths, autonomy, bad managers, and her love for Halo. Hear about working on Age of Empires, BioWare projects, the long road left with Diversity and Inclusion, and developer leverage against being exploited. We then explore games as human narrative, VR’s challenges, democratized dev tools, Tehran game dev, and the global game community. 
    We then wrap up with a challenging situation back on Halo 2, games she’s playing now, how to find online, Mark Twain, not always comparing yourself to others, mentors, and having that creative drive to always get better.

    Bio:
    Kate Edwards is a 27+ year veteran and an outspoken, award-winning advocate of the game industry and the Executive Director of the Global Game Jam, as well as the former Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). She is also a professional geographer and corporate strategist who pioneered and specializes in content culturalization. Following 13 years at Microsoft, she has consulted on many game and non-game projects for BioWare, Ubisoft, LEGO, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and other companies. She was also profiled in the December 2018 publication Women in Gaming: 100 Professionals of Play, and was most recently honored with the Ambassador Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards at GDC 2020 

    Show Links:
    Global Game Jam
    IGDA
    Thomas Furness interview
    Cartography
    Encarta
    Steve Baller “Developers!”
    Gamergate 
    ‘50 Over 50’
    Take This
    Safe In Our World
    Age of Empires
    Google’s Union
    Tehran Game Event
    Halo 2
    Whirling Dervish
    Cloudpunk

    Connect Links:
    Kate on Twitter 
    Kate on LinkedIn
    Geogrify website

    Game Dev Advice: 
    *New: Game Dev Advice Patreon
    *Game Dev Advice Twitter
    *Game Dev Advice email
    *Game Dev Advice website
    *Level Ex website - we’re hiring
    *Game Dev Advice Hotline: (224) 484-7733, give a call!
    *Subscribe and go to the website full show notes with links
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 25 min
    Stack the Job Deck, Canada, Iron Galaxy, PSX Conference, Recruiter Horror Stories, Dot-com Bubble, LT, and Wisdom From Perspective with Adam Boyes of Iron Galaxy Studios

    Stack the Job Deck, Canada, Iron Galaxy, PSX Conference, Recruiter Horror Stories, Dot-com Bubble, LT, and Wisdom From Perspective with Adam Boyes of Iron Galaxy Studios

    I welcome Adam Boyes, game industry veteran and Co-CEO of Iron Galaxy Studios. We start by discussing COVID-19 and thoughts on staying mentally healthy along with his current position. Adam then shares his passion for games and journey for getting in through QA. Learn how Canada’s grown their game industry through tax incentives, plus Adam’s perspective and advice on building a career. 
    We then discuss him leaving the industry for entrepreneurial pursuits, moving overseas, coming back to Vancouver for Next Level Games, then going to Midway Games. Learn about his inspiration from an EVE Online event to create the PlayStation Experience, plus working on Blitz: The League.   
    Adam shares about working with linebacker Lawrence Taylor, what he’s excited about, and the value of games for kids. Learn how mobile games have grown the industry and his inspiration for the infamous Red Shirt Gang. Learn what he’s playing right now and tips to help your odds for getting in the industry. 
    We then wrap up with recruiter horror stories, how to connect with Adam, and parting thoughts about how to treat others - be present and pleasant. 

    Bio:
    As Co-CEO of Iron Galaxy Studios, Adam Boyes is responsible for the Company’s finances, strategic development, partnerships and alliances. Most recently, Boyes was Vice President of Third Party Relations & Developer Technology Group at Sony Interactive Entertainment America where he oversaw Publisher & Developer Relations, Portfolio Strategy, Financial Strategy, Partner Alliance, Technical Account Management, Developer Technology Group and the 3rd Party Production team - driving them to record revenue and profitability numbers consistently year over year. Previously, Boyes was Executive Producer and Director of Product Development at Midway Games and Capcom respectively.

    Timeline:
    [02:05] Discussion about COVID-19’s impact
    [04:10] Hear how Adam got started in the industry
    [07:15] Learn the tax advantages for Canadian game dev
    [08:15] Thoughts on getting started in the industry then leaving
    [15:25] Hear about going to Next Level Games then Midway Games
    [20:40] Learn about EVE Online inspiring PSX conference
    [25:00] Hear about working on Blitz: The League and Lawrence Taylor
    [32:00] Discussion about new games, tech, and the value of play
    [40:15] Shares a favorite industry inspired story, the Red Shirt Gang
    [46:30] Learn about some of his favorite games right now
    [48:20] Hear tips for getting a first job and stacking the deck in your favor
    [52:45] Cold solicitors and recruiter horror stories
    [55:00] Learn how to find him online and final thoughts on how to treat people

    Show Links To Check Out:
    EA Vancouver 
    Dot-com Bubble  
    Next Level Games  
    PlayStation Experience  
    Blitz: The League  
    Lawrence Taylor 
    Sahara 
    Level Ex 
    Castaways Chicago
    Grackle HQ 

    Connect With:
    Adam on Twitter https://twitter.com/amboyes 
    Iron Galaxy on Twitter https://twitter.com/IronGalaxy 

    Game Dev Advice: 
    *New: Game Dev Advice Patreon
    *Game Dev Advice Twitter
    *Game Dev Advice email
    *Game Dev Advice website
    *Level Ex website - we’re hiring
    *Game Dev Advice Hotline: (224) 484-7733, give a call!
    *Subscribe and go to the website full show notes with links
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Interviewing Tips, Global Teams, NY Comic Con, Running LiveOps, Crunching, Mentors, Mass Effect, Austin Game Dev, QA Life, and Relationships Matter with Patrick Moran of Kongregate

    Interviewing Tips, Global Teams, NY Comic Con, Running LiveOps, Crunching, Mentors, Mass Effect, Austin Game Dev, QA Life, and Relationships Matter with Patrick Moran of Kongregate

    I welcome Patrick Moran, game industry veteran and GM at Kongregate’s Tonic division on this episode. We start by discussing COVID-19 and his current role. Learn how his team’s spread over the globe, plus the unique business model he’s leading around LiveOps and buying games.
    Patrick then shares what it was like trying to break into the industry and the method used for getting his first job. Hear about life crunching in QA on Deus Ex, making mobile and DS games as a Designer, and the importance of patience.
    Learn what people to reach out to and how to get your first job, along with the importance of mentorship. Hear the culture challenge he faced at Wideload as it was coming to terms with being owned by Disney and later getting laid off.
    Hear thoughts on how Design is always changing and what to do for advancing your career. Patrick then shares about being resourceful, knowing your audience, working at Amazon, at BioWare, and the importance of boundaries.  
    Hear thoughts on the advantages of working remotely, how it’s been accelerated, and forced some people to change. Hear about LiveOps, metaverses and communities, how Garena grew into a massive company in SE Asia, plus growth markets like Latin America and Africa.
    Learn his opinion about the industry’s lack of mentorship being the root cause of crunch, sexism, burnout, and other huge issues. Patrick then shares about meeting an executive coach and learning how they help people in leadership roles, along with concerns around VR and excitement around AR.
    Hear a hilarious story about New York Comic Con, Deadpool, Stan Lee, and drinking. Thoughts on RimWorld, deep interest in A.I., and amazement for MS Flight Simulator. 
    We then wrap up with more thoughts around mentorship, final advice, and how to find online. 

    Bio:
    Patrick Moran is an award-winning video game business leader and entrepreneur, with developer and publisher experience across mobile, console, and PC platforms during his almost 20 years in the industry. He’s currently the General Manager of Kongregate’s Tonic division, and has held various roles at BioWare, Ion Storm Austin, Amazon Games, Disney Interactive, MobilityWare, and other studios.

    Timeline:
    [02:00] Discussion about COVID-19’s impact
    [03:30] Talk about his GM role at Kongregate and how they’re evolving
    [05:37] Patrick shares about his distributed global team and their business model
    [08:20] Hear about the game industry in 2000 and the unusual way he got his first job
    [15:40] Patrick shares about his first role as a Designer after working in QA
    [20:35] Learn his advice around patience and ambition
    [25:25] Who you should reach out to for getting a first job
    [31:35] How your career will evolve based on your network of peers
    [37:50] Learn about his favorite games worked on and the importance of your audience
    [41:00] How his career trajectory changed after working on Mass Effect
    [44:30] The advantages of working remotely and how games can have massive growth 
    [47:50] LiveOps, metaverses, and markets like SE Asia, Latin America, and Africa
    [55:40] Belief a lack of mentorship is the root cause of many ongoing industry issues
    [1:05:30] Hear concerns around VR and interest around AR
    [1:08:10] Funny story about New York Comic Con, Deadpool, and Stan Lee
    [1:18:25] Hear about Rimworld and Flight Simulator
    [1:21:50] Learn how to find him online and final thoughts

    Show Links:
    Wideload Games Wikipedia
    New World website
    Surviv.io website
    Garena Wikipedia
    Avengers Initiative YouTube
    Total MK Interview YouTube
    RimWorld website
    MS Flight Simulator Steam

    Connect:
    Patrick Moran Twitter

    Game Dev Advice: 
    *New: Game Dev Advice Patreon
    *Game Dev Advice Twitter
    *Game Dev Advice email
    *Game Dev Advice website
    *Level Ex website - we’re hiring
    *Game Dev Advice Hotline: (224) 484-7733 – give a call!
    *Subscribe and go to the website for full show notes

    • 1 hr 26 min
    SXSW, Keys to Kickstarter, Smash TV, Editing Challenges, Ready Player One, Games Are Harder Than Film, Persistence, Magic Leap, HoloLens, and Film Festivals with Joshua Tsui of Insert Coin

    SXSW, Keys to Kickstarter, Smash TV, Editing Challenges, Ready Player One, Games Are Harder Than Film, Persistence, Magic Leap, HoloLens, and Film Festivals with Joshua Tsui of Insert Coin

    On this episode, I welcome Joshua Tsui, game industry veteran and creator of the new documentary, Insert Coin. We start by discussing his current role in experiential design at Edge Experiential, then dive into his journey in developing Insert Coin, detailing his inspiration behind it, the research and interview process, and the many challenges he encountered along the way. Joshua describes working with Kenny Fedesna and others from Midway Games on the documentary, plus shares candid thoughts on whether or not he’s going to make a sequel of Insert Coin or even continue making films.
    Hear how much harder it is to make a game than a movie, SXSW, and Covid-19’s impact on film festivals. Learn how Midway Games changed in the 2000s and thoughts on the Oculus Quest, Nintendo Switch, Magic Leap, and the HoloLens platforms. Joshua then shares about how to connect with him and the movie through social media, and then I wrap up with a recommendation – go stream this movie.

    Bio:
    Joshua Tsui spent over two decades working in video game development as a director on key franchises such as Mortal Kombat, Fight Night, and Tony Hawk. Having studied film in college, he accidentally got into games development and put his Filmmaking career on hold to join Midway Games.
    His new documentary, Insert Coin, brings him back to his roots with a subject he holds dear. It was released on November 25th and is available for streaming and viewing at selected theaters right now.

    Timeline:
    [00:59] Introducing Joshua Tsui
    [02:23] About his role in Experiential Design
    [03:38] The inspiration behind Insert Coin
    [06:14] Joshua’s experience with Kickstarter
    [08:36] How he did the research for Insert Coin along with lessons learned creating a documentary
    [10:36] Working with Kenny from Midway on the documentary
    [15:10] Challenges Joshua had to overcome while making his film -- including his struggles with editing
    [20:51] How interviewing went easier than expected
    [23:09] A funny story about interviewing Ernest Cline, Author of Ready Player One
    [26:47] Discussions of a movie sequel and what’s easier -- making a game or a film?
    [29:45] The impact of Covid-19 on film distribution and film festivals
    [31:20] Joshua’s candid thoughts on continuing to make films
    [33:01] Rumors of Midway in the 2000s along with the weirdness of game development then
    [35:23] The most used gaming devices in his household, plus thoughts on AR and VR
    [40:08] How to connect with Joshua and stream Insert Coin
    [43:06] Outro

    Links:
    Insert Coin
    Edge Experiential
    Midway Games
    Polygon article
    Kickstarter
    WrestleMania
    Ready Player One
    SXSW
    Virtual Cinema at Alamo Drafthouse
    Viacom New Media
    Oculus
    Pokémon GO
    HoloLens 2

    Connect:
    Insert Coin Twitter
    Insert Coin Instagram
    Insert Coin Facebook
    Joshua’s Twitter
    Joshua’s Instagram

    Game Dev Advice:
    *New: Game Dev Advice Patreon – check it out
    *Game Dev Advice Twitter
    *Game Dev Advice email
    *Game Dev Advice website
    *Level Ex website - we’re hiring for all kinds of roles
    *Game Dev Advice Hotline: (224) 484-7733 – give me a call with a question!
    *Don't forget to subscribe and go to www.gamedevadvice.com for full show notes with links.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 45 min
    Artist Turned Indie Filmmaker, Layoff Transition, New Artist Tools, Actor Types, E3 Stories, Key Skills For Getting Hired, and LA Traffic, with Mehran Torgoley of Cult Cinema

    Artist Turned Indie Filmmaker, Layoff Transition, New Artist Tools, Actor Types, E3 Stories, Key Skills For Getting Hired, and LA Traffic, with Mehran Torgoley of Cult Cinema

    On this episode I welcome Mehran Torgoley, Director & Writer at Cult Cinema, LLC. We start by discussing a few projects he’s currently working on and how he began at a small game studio outside of Chicago. While sharing what he wishes he’d known when starting out in the industry, Mehran emphasizes the significance of commitment, pushing through hesitation, and passion. We reminisce on our days at Midway Games before diving into useful advice for people going into game development or film, as well as people looking to advance their careers. He touches on the importance of networking, having a great portfolio, being prepared, and keeping your skills current.
    Mehran speaks on the weirdness of auditions and why he doesn’t want to work on games he’d love to play, then shares how Unreal Engine’s being used in film and TV. He shares thoughts on the relevant threats to the game and film industries, such as massive game updates, COVID-19’s impact on theaters, thoughts on TV series, and the power shift in film. We conclude with some funny game and film industry stories, along with details on Mehran’s experience transitioning from an artist to a writer and filmmaker.
     
    Bio:
    Mehran Torgoley is a Director & Writer, originally from Chicago, IL. After over a decade working on AAA titles at Midway Games, Shiny Entertainment and Double Helix, Mehran transitioned to directing. His work includes feature films, music videos and commercial projects, including the award winning short film, Committed.
    He has contributed to projects for clients such as Justin Bieber, Fox Studios, and Image8nineteen. In 2019, he co-founded Cult Cinema, LLC. Curse of Aurore is Mehran’s feature film directorial debut, and is currently enjoying a successful theatrical release in Canada.
     
    Timeline:
    [1:00] Introducing Mehran Torgoley
    [2:04] How COVID-19 is impacting him
    [2:41] Mehran’s current role and projects plus pivoting from a game artist to film
    [4:43] How he got started in game development
    [9:16] What he wishes he’d known when starting out in the industry
    [13:02] Reminiscing on his times at Midway and making lifelong friends
    [14:48] Advice for someone looking to get a first job in game development or film
    [16:49] How he hires people for his films plus the challenges around auditions
    [21:27] Advice for someone looking to advance their career in game development or film
    [24:45] Using game engines to create hit TV series and how film and TV is now catching up with games
    [27:30] Mehran’s favorite games and movies
    [30:46] Thoughts on the success of Nintendo, the new consoles, and love for Ori and the Will of the Wisps
    [32:45] E3 and missing the “exhales” of the game industry
    [35:25] Frustration around massive game updates, COVID-19’s impact on theaters, thoughts on TV series, and power shift change
    [40:36] Mehran’s candid thoughts on AR, MR, and VR
    [41:26] A water bottle prank at Midway
    [43:00] One degree of separation from Bruce Willis meeting
    [45:05] Working on a mockumentary and a fun dinner with Rooster McConaughey
    [47:42] Star Wars, Quentin Tarantino’s influence, and his transition from an artist to a writer
    [56:07] How to connect with Mehran
    [56:35] Cut to outro
     
    Links:
    Terraglyph Interactive Studios
    MLB Slugfest
    Hash Animation:Master
    Softimage
    Curse of Aurore
    Unreal Engine
    Star Wars: The Mandalorian
    Metroid
    Psi-Ops
    Ori and the Will of the Wisps
    E3 Expo
    Prop Culture on Disney+
    Water Sort Puzzle
    Room Enough
    Blender
     
    Connect:
    Curse of Aurore
    Twitter
    Instagram 
    YouTube
     
    Game Dev Advice:
    *New: Game Dev Advice Patreon – check it out
    *Game Dev Advice Twitter
    *Game Dev Advice email
    *Game Dev Advice website
    *Level Ex website - we’re hiring for all kinds of roles
    *Game Dev Advice Hotline: (224) 484-7733 – give me a call with a question!
    *Don't forget to subscribe and go to www.gamedevadvice.com for full show notes with links

    • 58 min
    Creative Directors, Diversity and Inclusion, Level Ex, Your Mutant Ability, Van Halen, Making For Honor, Mythic Quest, Player Motivation, and Hades with Jason VandenBerghe of Level Ex

    Creative Directors, Diversity and Inclusion, Level Ex, Your Mutant Ability, Van Halen, Making For Honor, Mythic Quest, Player Motivation, and Hades with Jason VandenBerghe of Level Ex

    On this episode we welcome Jason VandenBerghe, VP Studio Creative Director at Level Ex. We start by discussing COVID-19, his excitement about making games for doctors, and thoughts about the future of game design. He shares his story of breaking into the industry with The X-Files Game and his transition from programmer to producer to creative director at EA. Jason then offers specific advice for people in the industry and those looking to break in while telling about the fastest hire ever made at Ubisoft.
    He shares intriguing stories on his favorite games so far, including the development of For Honor at Ubisoft and working with Van Halen on Guitar Hero. He speaks about his excitement for this golden age of design experimentation right now, along with threats that include a backlash to diversity and inclusion, engaging with players, and the dangers of self-defeating beliefs amongst developers.
    Before telling a few more hilarious industry stories Jason shares candid thoughts on AR & VR, and his love for Beat Saber. We wrap things up talking about his two current favorite games that include his must-play “Game of the Year”, along with parting advice to game designers.
    Jason VandenBerghe has led creative teams for over two decades, developing triple-A games for Ubisoft (For Honor), Activision (Call of Duty), and Electronic Arts (James Bond 007). At Level Ex, he employs game design methodologies, honed through extensive experience in the consumer games industry, to capture the greatest challenges of medical and surgical procedures as video game mechanics. 
     
    Discussion Details:
    [01:10] Introducing Jason VandenBerghe
    [02:00] Thoughts about pandemic life
    [03:40] His passion around game design
    [09:51] The challenges and excitement of working at Level Ex
    [13:39] What it’s like to work with medical professionals
    [15:37] How he started in the industry on The X-Files Game
    [22:00] Going from Programming into Production then Creative Director at EA
    [24:49] When his annual reviews changed, he knew he was in the right path
    [26:21] What he wishes he’d known when starting out
    [28:38] Quality vs. Sales - his NPD discovery
    [32:14] Key advice for getting your first job and the fastest hire ever made
    [37:46] How to advice your current career
    [44:29] Favorite projects so far – For Honor and Guitar Hero: Van Halen
    [54:51] Excitement around Diversity and Inclusion, which is long overdue in the industry
    [1:00:36] Threats including the backlash about Diversity and Inclusion, triple-A player engagement, and self-defeating beliefs
    [1:05:20] Thoughts on AR & VR and love for Beat Saber
    [1:07:55] Funny stories about Mythic Quest roots and Red Steel 2
    [1:16:57] Playing the game of spotting Creative Directors at GDC
    [1:18:36] His love for Spelunky 2 and obsession with Hades
    [1:21:18] Player psychology and motivation
    [1:23:19] Why he wanted to be a filmmaker
    [1:24:12] How to connect
    [1:24:49] Parting piece of advice – tear down the walls
    [1:26:28] Cut to outro
     
    Show Links:
    Noah Falstein Wikipedia
    Level Ex website
    Level Ex SIGGRAPH 2019 YouTube
    The X-Files Game Wikipedia
    James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing Wikipedia
    For Honor Wikipedia
    Playing Hard IMDb (on Steam)
    Guitar Hero: Van Halen IMDb
    Unity website
    Beat Saber website
    Red Steel 2 IGN
    Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet IMDb
    Spelunky 2 Steam
    Hades Steam
    GDC Engines of Play: Talk 3 YouTube
    Thoughts on Games for Change YouTube
     
    Connect with Jason:
    The_DarkLorde Twitter
    The_DarkLorde website
    Jason VandenBerghe Designing the Future at Level Ex
    Jason VandenBerghe YouTube videos
     
    Game Dev Advice:
    *New: Game Dev Advice Patreon
    *Game Dev Advice Twitter
    *Game Dev Advice email
    *Game Dev Advice website
    *Level Ex website - we’re hiring for all kinds of roles
    *Game Dev Advice Hotline: (224) 484-7733 – give a call and ask a question
    *www.gamedevadvice.com for full show notes with links
    Learn more

    • 1 hr 28 min

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