27 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!

    PR For Games, Influencers, Working With Nintendo, Metrics Vs. Impact, Value of Live Events, and Relationships Matter with Johner Riehl

    PR For Games, Influencers, Working With Nintendo, Metrics Vs. Impact, Value of Live Events, and Relationships Matter with Johner Riehl

    Johner Riehl, Vice President and PR Lebowski at Wonacott Communications joins me on this episode. Johner has been in the industry for over 23 years and shares about the Public Relations side of videogames. Hear about his PR experience doing launches for the Neo Geo Pocket Color, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Pokemon, Pikmin, working with Nintendo, Microsoft, and Midway, plus writing books and running a website. Learn how he got started in the industry, working at Wonacott, advice on getting PR for a game, working with influencers and streamers, and thoughts on future opportunities. Hosted by John ‘JP’ Podlasek (See gamedevadvice.com for in-depth show notes and links.)
    In This Episode We Discuss:
    [01:02] Introductions
    [01:10] Johner’s current role as Vice President and PR Lebowski
    [02:44] Working on PR for Polyarc
    [03:41] How to reach out for PR and spread the word on new games
    [05:31] Adjustments and challenges of work during COVID-19
    [06:30] The impact of GDC, E3, and the PAXs cancelations on indie developers
    [07:11] Johner’s start in the industry and moving out west
    [11:25] What he wishes he’d known before getting in the industry
    [12:38] Advice for someone wanting game exposure and PR
    [14:37] The price of User Acquisition going through the roof
    [19:26] Working on console launches, Pokemon, Pikmin, and other games
    [23:12] What Johner is curious about right now in the industry
    [29:12] Opportunities around streamers and influencers
    [30:15] Positive effects of videogames during COVID-19
    [31:51] Johner’s thoughts on VR and working on Moss
    [34:50] The importance of frame rate in games and VR
    [35:59] Funny stories from working in PR and live events
    [38:20] The games Johner is playing now
    [39:36] What it takes to make a podcast and run an editorial website
    [40:30] Supporting small game sites and treating people with respect
    [42:30] Finding Johner online and reaching out
    Resources:
    *Johner Riehl Twitter
    *Wonacott Communications Website
    *Wonacott Communications Email
    *Johner Riehl Hats
    *LA Times VR Article Mentioned
    Game Dev:
    *New: Game Dev Advice Patreon
    *Game Dev Advice Twitter
    *Game Dev Advice Email
    *Game Dev Advice Website
    *Game Dev Advice Hotline: (224) 484-7733 – give a call!
    *Level Ex Website - hiring for all kinds of roles
    *Don't forget to subscribe and go to www.gamedevadvice.com for full show notes with links

    • 46 min
    Going Indie, Changing Crunch, Mocap SWAT, Bungie, Wild West Days, Management Lessons, and VR with Richard Lico

    Going Indie, Changing Crunch, Mocap SWAT, Bungie, Wild West Days, Management Lessons, and VR with Richard Lico

    Game industry veteran Richard Lico joins me on this episode to discuss his career. Hear how he got started in the industry going from SCAD’s 3D Computer Art program to now being the Studio Animation Director at Polyarc 20 years later. Richard talks about working on Triple-A games like Halo, Destiny, and more recently, the indie VR hit, Moss. Learn about working at Bungie, advice to fellow animators and artists, his excitement around VR, a few wild stories, and his online animation school. Hosted by John ‘JP’ Podlasek (See gamedevadvice.com for in-depth show notes and links.)
    In This Episode We Discuss:
    [01:07] Introductions
    [02:19] Richard’s current role as the Studio Animation Director
    [03:41] How Polyarc started and evolved
    [04:12] His story getting into the industry
    [07:47] What he wishes he’d known before getting started
    [10:47] Advice for someone looking to get a first job
    [14:42] Career advice for fellow animators on how to bring characters to life
    [18:11] Richard’s favorite project so far
    [19:16] What Richard’s curious about right now in the industry
    [19:44] Concerns around the industry and crunch culture
    [25:59] Thoughts on opportunities for the game industry
    [29:40] Glimpse into the VR creation process
    [32:34] Wild West game development and SWAT teams
    [37:38] Discussion about Final Fantasy 7, and the nostalgia that follows
    [38:16] The secret weapon of AR and VR, including Half-Life
    [40:40] Finding Richard online, including Animation Sherpa
    Full Bio:
    Annie and D.I.C.E nominated animation director at Polyarc with 20 years of experience making games. Previously animation lead at Bungie and Monolith Productions. Richard's latest adventures have been in VR, animating Moss. As well as opening an animation school, "Animation Sherpa".
    Resources:
    *Richard Lico Twitter
    *Richard Lico Vimeo portfolio
    *Animation Sherpa website
    *Polyarc website
    *Polyarc Twitter
    Game Dev:
    *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 me a call and ask a question for the show
    *Don't forget to subscribe and go to www.gamedevadvice.com for full show notes with links

    • 44 min
    Triple-A to Indie, Lessons From Blizzard, Growing Remote Teams, Future Game Trends, Animal Crossing, and Magehunter with Richard Khoo

    Triple-A to Indie, Lessons From Blizzard, Growing Remote Teams, Future Game Trends, Animal Crossing, and Magehunter with Richard Khoo

    Richard Khoo, Co-Founder and Game Director of indie studio Khookey joins me on this episode. He shares how he went from a Modder to Designer to Co-Founder working at places like Blizzard, Riot Games, Wargaming, and Pocket Gems. We talk about being recruited by Blizzard in 2004, advice for getting into the industry, furthering your career after you’re in, favorite projects, a few funny stories, growing remote teams, COVID-19 and mental health, along with his upcoming game, Magehunter. Hosted by John ‘JP’ Podlasek (See gamedevadvice.com for in-depth show notes and links.)

    In This Episode We Discuss:
    [01:11] Introductions
    [02:11] Richard’s current role as Co-Founder and Game Director
    [03:47] Advantages of developing in Unity
    [04:30] Getting started in the industry
    [08:35] What he wishes he’d known before getting in the industry
    [10:44] Advice for someone looking to get a first job
    [13:34] The three tracks for advancing your current career
    [19:28] Richard’s favorite project so far
    [21:56] Thoughts on nostalgia and the game industry
    [23:54] Advantages around building remote teams
    [27:31] Concerns around the Free-to-play model and what can replace it
    [29:42] Thoughts on opportunities in the market
    [33:56] Working on Heroes of the Storm at Blizzard
    [39:35] Discussion about Animal Crossing, especially during times like now
    [43:02] Streaming recommendations
    [46:00] Mental health and personal development during COVID-19
    [50:43] Finding Richard online

    Resources:
    *Khookey website
    *Magehunter website
    *Richard Khoo LinkedIn
    *Magehunter Twitter
    *Magehunter Discord

    Game Dev:
    *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
    *Don't forget to subscribe and go to www.gamedevadvice.com for full show notes with links

    • 53 min
    COVID-19, VR Meditation, Rubber Duck Debugging, Judas Priest, and Breaking into the Game Industry with Andreja Djokovic

    COVID-19, VR Meditation, Rubber Duck Debugging, Judas Priest, and Breaking into the Game Industry with Andreja Djokovic

    GDA24 Timestamps:
    [01:11] Introductions
    [01:20] COVID-19
    [02:50] What Are Your Current Roles in the Game Industry?
    [04:30] Pursuing VR
    [06:25] Immersive Meditation Experience Through VR
    [07:40] Babaroga
    [09:18] How Did You Get Started?
    [11:30] Video Game QA in the 90s
    [14:34] What Would You Have Liked to Have Known When You Started?
    [16:20] Imposter Syndrome as a Newbie Engineer
    [18:20] What Advice Would You Give to Someone Looking to Get Their First Job?
    [19:00] Rubber Duck Debugging
    [19:40] Any Advice for Someone Furthering Their Career?
    [21:36] Gaming Industry Always on The Edge of Innovation
    [22:48] What Has Been Your Favorite Project to Work On?
    [24:00] Working with Judas Priest
    [26:42] What Are You Curious About Right Now?
    [27:30] Concerns About the Industry
    [30:03] Any Funny Stories?
    [31:38] What Games Are You Playing Right Now?
    [32:05] Anything That I Should Have Asked You About That I Didn’t?
    [36:18] Where Can People Find You?
    [37:15] Meditation As a Tool For Stress
    [45:08] Closing Thoughts
     
    Description: 
    Founder & CEO of Andreja Djokovic speaks on the recent events happening and the impacts it has on the gaming industry. Andreja talks about his current roles as the founder of Babaroga, and his newest project, Third Eye Center. Starting in QA, Andreja has worked his way through the industry and has shown his success with countless collaborations and whole project developments as well as running his company, Babaroga for over 18 years.
    Hear how Andreja believes that VR is worth pursuing. Even though VR has not seen the adaptation that was expected, he feels that it’s just a matter of time that a tremendous shift will be seen. With Third Eye Center, Andreja has brought meditation to VR. Third Eye Center is a live feed, VR experience that is described as being transformative and immersive.
    Learn how Andreja was able to get his start in the video game industry. From a witty newspaper ad starting out as a QA and what his first interview question was. You get a peek into what QA in the 90s looked like and learn something that Andreja would tell his younger self. With resilience and persistence, you have the first characteristics needed to succeed in the industry. Hear how even a successful name in the game, had beginnings that started with insecurity and a life lesson he learned that changed how he approached problems.
    Andreja gives his own advice to those who are looking to get their first job and those who are already in the industry who are wanting to further advance their career. Mentions of the Rubber Duck Debugging Method are explained and how the constant shift in innovation of the industry can excite you.
    Hear some of Andreja’s favorite games and projects, including working with the band Judas Priest. Talks of what he’s curious about and what concerns he has about the industry is discussed. See how working in the game industry has changed Andreja’s perspective on gaming over the years and his favorite interview question for potential candidates.
    Lastly, the discussion turns back to the importance of meditation as a tool to allow yourself to process situations and build a space between the stimulus and response in a challenging world.

    Resources:
    Guest:
    *Andreja Djokovic Babaroga website
    *Andreja Djokovic Twitter
    *Andreja Djokovic LinkedIn
    *Third Eye Center Website

    Game Dev:
    *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

    In the News:
    *The Many Ways the Video Game Community is Helping Coronavirus Relief Efforts GamesRadar+ 
    *Gaming Companies Launch ‘Play Apart Together’ to Push WHO Messaging Insider
    *COVID-19 Global Case Map Johns Hopkins
    *XR Association Releases Results of Fourth Augmented and Virtual Reality Survey MarTech Series

    Book/Stories:
    *The Pragmatic Progr

    • 47 min
    Indie and Mid-Level Narrative Design, Post-Apocalyptic Worlds, Toxic Gamer Culture, AR/VR, and Online Testing with Edwin McRae

    Indie and Mid-Level Narrative Design, Post-Apocalyptic Worlds, Toxic Gamer Culture, AR/VR, and Online Testing with Edwin McRae

    Edwin McRae talks about his role as a narrative designer and the various projects he’s working on. Hear how housesitting in New Zealand allows him to move around and work remotely with clients in the U.S., Poland, Denmark, Germany, and locally. Learn how he was a writer for the #1 soap opera in New Zealand and how he made the jump into game development.

    Hear what he’d wished he’d know when starting in the industry and what it was like working on hugely popular Diablo II-style Path of Exile game. Learn how being a narrative designer is very different than writing for TV or film along with advice for someone trying to get into games. Learn about procedural generation and the with favorite projects he's worked on. 

    Hear his thoughts on interactive fiction including some of his favorite games like A Dark Room, plus discussion on game engines and a book he’s written. Hear concerns about the ongoing toxic gamer culture and the potential backlash to shady engagement tactics. Learn a controversial opinion on AR, along with accolades for VR. Hear how designers are obsessed with post-apocalyptic storylines and sometimes break the 4th wall of design with continuity issues. Learn now quality TV shows are an inspiration for his narrative design work and what games he’s playing now that influence him.

    Hear how user experience is one of the most important aspects of narrative design, the importance of online beta play testing, and what happens in focus tests. Learn where to find Edwin online, thoughts on being in the industry now, along with how SIGGRAPH-winning Level Ex is excelling in a unique genre.

    Resources:
    *New: Game Dev Advice Patreon

    *Edwin McRae website

    *Narrative Design For Indies website

    *Books website

    *Facebook site

    *Game Writer Discord

    *Path of Exile website

    *Tencent Wikipedia

    *80 Days website

    *Guardian Maia YouTube

    *Ink Script from Inkle Studios

    *Project Haven Steam

    *Drugwars Wikipedia

    *A Dark Room Wikipedia

    *Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light Wikipedia

    *Mad Max Wikipedia

    *Level Ex website

    *Top 15 Game Design Podcasts You Must Follow in 2019 website picked Game Dev Advice at no. 8!

    *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 
    Edwin McRae has been working as a writer and narrative designer in the games industry for ten years. He helps indie and mid-level developers create in-game narratives that work in harmony with game mechanics. More recently, Edwin has written three GameLit novels and a couple of non-fiction books on Narrative Design, the latest of which is coming out in March of 2020.

    • 41 min
    Console Wars, Oculus, SXSW, Palmer Luckey, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Facebook Concerns with Blake J. Harris

    Console Wars, Oculus, SXSW, Palmer Luckey, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Facebook Concerns with Blake J. Harris

    Bestselling author Blake J. Harris talks about the Console Wars documentary premiering at SXSW after 7 long years in the making, along with it being adapted into an upcoming TV series. Hear how all the key people from that era of the SEGA vs Nintendo battle is part of the documentary to capture what it was really like. Learn my perspective from working for the TurbGrafx-16 and going head-to-head with the SEGA Genesis, along with how surprising it was when they started beating Nintendo after losing the 8-bit battle.

    Hear how Console Wars changed his life after working as a commodities broker through his 20s while also writing the book until getting picked up by a publisher. Learn how he met the former CEO of SEGA and his unorthodox way of recruiting Tom Kalinske to the company. Learn how CBS All Access will release the documentary along with working on the TV series.

    Learn how unusual it was writing The History of the Future and the meteoric rise of the Palmer Luckey and the Oculus VR platform. How the controversy around Luckey caused his firing at Facebook after the Oculus buyout, along with our concerns about Facebook. Hear how he spent 3.5 years writing the book and had access to 25,000 emails to verify people’s stories. Learn how his opinion of VR is tainted, hopes for Nintendo and Apple in the mixed reality space, and the privacy risks around VR.  

    Hear how he unwinds with the Nintendo Switch and thoughts about the Sonic the Hedgehog movie listening to fan feedback. Learn thoughts on breaking the stereotype around videogame based movies and books’ not being commercially successful and plans to be on a panel at SXSW along with another anticipated documentary, Josh Tsui’s Insert Coin. 

    Resources:
    *Blake J. Harris website
    *Blake J. Harris Twitter
    *Tom Kalinske Twitter
    *Al Nilsen Twitter
    *Hayao Nakayama (former CEO of SEGA) Wikipedia
    *Jordan Vogt-Roberts IMDb
    *Mike Rosolio IMDb
    *Palmer Luckey Wikipedia
    *Third Eye Center website
    *Industry Review Boards are Needed to Protect VR User Privacy World Economic Forum
    *Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Design To Be Changed Following Criticism Kotaku
    *Nintendo vs SEGA Console Wars Movie Premieres in March Game Rant
    *Insert Coin trailer SXSW
    *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
    *New: Game Dev Advice Patreon
    *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 
    Blake J. Harris is the bestselling author of Console Wars: SEGA, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation, which is currently being adapted for television by Legendary Entertainment, and producers Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg and Scott Rudin. Harris has written for ESPN, IGN, Fast Company, /Film and The AV Club and appears regularly on Paul Scheer’s How Did This Get Made? podcast (where he interviews the biggest names responsible for the worst movies ever made). His latest book The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook and the Revolution that swept Virtual Reality was published by HarperCollins in 2019.

    • 43 min

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