49 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 - John JP Podlasek

    • Leisure
    • 5.0 • 45 Ratings

+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!

    Accountability, College Esports, Alto’s Odyssey, Gaming Culture, Winding Paths, Changing Behaviors, Bad Apples, and an Iceberg-Shaped Problem with Jae Lin of the Games and Online Harassment Hotline

    Accountability, College Esports, Alto’s Odyssey, Gaming Culture, Winding Paths, Changing Behaviors, Bad Apples, and an Iceberg-Shaped Problem with Jae Lin of the Games and Online Harassment Hotline

    I welcome Jae Lin, the Hotline Director of the ‘Games and Online Harassment Hotline’ who shares about their current role running the hotline, along with the new Culture Shift project. Learn about when they’re available, who it’s helping, and how you can text “support” to 23368 within the U.S. for help. Hear about the new Culture Shift program launched with Take this that goes into game studios and works with top leadership to create custom programs for companies. 

    We then discuss gender-based harm, why it keeps happening, and the culture around it. Hear ideas around accountability, changing behaviors, and how the program just launched in March of this year. Learn about Jae’s experience being pushed out of esports, doing volunteer work in Austin, and getting involved with the hotline, along with how they define gender-based harm.

    Towards the end we discuss Signs of the Sojourner, Alto’s Odyssey, where to find these services online, and advice about practicing accountability, even in the smallest ways. 

    Bio:
    My guest is Jae Lin, the Hotline Director of the ‘Games and Online Harassment Hotline’ and a mental health advocate for video game spaces. They have a background in queer community health and suicide prevention, with roots in collegiate esports. Jae is also a Community Organizer around trans liberation, queer arts, and racial justice based in Austin, TX.

    Show Links:
    * GameIndustry.biz article
    * Take this. website
    * Signs of the Sojourner Steam
    * Alto’s Odyssey website
    * Text “support” to 23368
     
    Connect Links:
    * Gameshotline website  
    * Gameshotline on Twitter
    * Gameshotline YouTube
    * FemFreq website
    * FemFreq Twitter
    * FemFreq YouTube

    Game Dev Advice Links: 
    * Game Dev Advice Patreon - please help support the show if you find it useful
    * Game Dev Advice Twitter
    * Game Dev Advice email: info@gamedevadvice.com
    * Game Dev Advice website
    * Level Ex Careers page - we’re hiring for engineers and other roles
    * Game Dev Advice Hotline: (224) 484-7733
    * Subscribe and go to the website for full show notes with links
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 44 min
    Speeding Up Development, Interviewing Strategies, Game of Thrones, Beginner's Mind, Open Economy Games, The Metaverse, Humility, and Guilty Pleasure Games with Jon Radoff, CEO of Beamable

    Speeding Up Development, Interviewing Strategies, Game of Thrones, Beginner's Mind, Open Economy Games, The Metaverse, Humility, and Guilty Pleasure Games with Jon Radoff, CEO of Beamable

    I welcome Jon Radoff, CEO of Beamable who shares his inspiration behind starting the company. Hear how D&D and computer programming got him hooked on games, and the companies he’s created along the way. Learn how he began his entrepreneurial journey as a kid, along with advice for others who love games and have a passion to create. 

    We then discuss his thoughts around entrepreneurship, who to listen to, and who not to listen to. Hear why it’s important to have a portfolio, along with strategies for interviewing. Learn the value of having humility, a beginner's mind, not being afraid to throw things away, and getting player feedback. 

    Hear stories on the development of huge IP games like Star Trek Timelines, Game of Thrones Ascent, and his very first game, Legends of Future Past. Learn about his passion for understanding what makes shipping games so hard, different business models, and how big and diverse the industry really is. 

    Towards the end we discuss the lack of skilled people to fill roles, optimizing around creativity and reducing complexity, his broad definition of the metaverse, VR, AR, and making things more accessible. Hear a funny story about a party, his current favorite games, and wanting to hear from other developers. We then wrap up talking about how to reach out online, and doing research on new business models instead of being too cynical. 

    Bio:
    Jon Radoff is CEO of Beamable, a Live Services platform for game developers. He is also the author of the "Building the Metaverse" blog, where he open-sources his thinking about the future of the internet. Jon is a lifelong entrepreneur who started making online games as a teenager before going on to build one of the first multiplayer commercial games on the Internet: Legends of Future Past. Since then, he's built businesses in Web publishing, ad networking and mobile games reaching tens of millions of consumers.

    Show Links:
    * Beamable
    * Disruptor Beam
    * Legends of Future Past
    * Star Trek Timelines
    * Game of Thrones Ascent
    * Building the Metaverse 
    * Omni (Magazine)
    * Stellaris
    * The Office Somehow We Manage

    Connect Links:
    * Jon Radoff Twitter
    * Jon Radoff YouTube
    * Jon Radoff LinkedIn

    Game Dev Advice Links: 
    * Game Dev Advice Patreon - please help support the show if you find it useful
    * Game Dev Advice Twitter
    * Game Dev Advice email: info@gamedevadvice.com
    * Game Dev Advice website
    * Level Ex Careers page - we’re hiring for engineers and other roles
    * Game Dev Advice Hotline: (224) 484-7733
    * Subscribe and go to the website for full show notes with links
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 56 min
    Giving Back, Diversity, Self-Promotion, Cultural Revolution, People Skills, Immersive Experiences, and Game Jams with Renee Gittins of the IGDA

    Giving Back, Diversity, Self-Promotion, Cultural Revolution, People Skills, Immersive Experiences, and Game Jams with Renee Gittins of the IGDA

    I welcome Renee Gittins who shares about her role as the Executive Director of the IGDA, along with her new position at Phoenix Labs. Learn about how Renee transitioned from biotech into game development, the various roles she’s had, along with making lifelong friends at Riot Games. Hear the importance of having confidence, starting your projects sooner, building a portfolio, and making connections. 

    We then discuss the importance of self-promotion and mentorship as keys to advancing your career, especially working with cross-discipline. Learn the importance of people skills, especially self-reflection and empathy, along with her favorite project, Potions: A Curious Tale. Hear about the cultural revolution going on in the industry, thoughts on the Metaverse, and an inspiring story.

    Hear opinions on AR & VR, a surprising audience for her game project, and a wonderful story about her game’s impact. We wrap up talking about the importance of newer developers sharing and helping others, finding her online, and being kind to yourself during times like these.

    Bio:
    Renee Gittins is the Executive Director of the IGDA, and a multi-disciplinary leader with expertise in software engineering and creative direction. She is a passionate advocate and connector for developers and diversity in the game industry, with a background that spans across engineering, design, and production. She is outspoken about initiatives to increase diversity both within the game industry and gaming overall to help the game industry grow and improve for everyone.

    Show Links:
    * IGDA website
    * IGDA Discord
    * Creativity, Inc. book
    * Crucial Conversations book
    * Potions: A Curious Tale Steam
    * Guide For Game Companies whitepaper
    * Geek Girl Con website
    * Dauntless website
    * Dishonored wikipedia

    Connect Links:
    * Renee Gittins Twitter
    * Renee Gittins LinkedIn

    Game Dev Advice Links: 
    * Game Dev Advice Patreon - please help support the show if you find it useful
    * Game Dev Advice Twitter
    * Game Dev Advice email: info@gamedevadvice.com
    * Game Dev Advice website
    * Level Ex Careers page - we’re hiring for tons of roles
    * Game Dev Advice Hotline: (224) 484-7733
    * Subscribe and go to the website for full show notes with links
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 35 min
    Work with Meaning, Unity, Treating PTSD, Magic Leap, AI, Healthcare Heroes, GDC, and the Future with Skip Rizzo from the USC Institute for Creative Technologies

    Work with Meaning, Unity, Treating PTSD, Magic Leap, AI, Healthcare Heroes, GDC, and the Future with Skip Rizzo from the USC Institute for Creative Technologies

    I welcome Albert “Skip” Rizzo, a clinical psychologist and 25 year veteran of gaming technology and VR for clinical uses. Learn how a patient playing Tetris sparked his interest in gaming, and years later he joined USC to use VR to help kids with ADHD. Hear the critical importance of building content that engages and motivates patients, along with the differences between games and film. 

    We then dive into the Bravemind program to help vets suffering from PTSD, how he's rebuilt their technology, added new locations, and created a pre-deployment program for soldiers. Learn how he expanded into helping with sexual trama around a civilian context and working on different types of civilian PTSD, along with teenagers who’ve grown up with abuse and difficult living conditions.   

    Learn Skip’s mission is to get the content into the hands of people who can benefit with ADHD, stroke rehab, pain management, and other areas. We then discuss the importance of mutual respect, a shared purpose, and curiosity. Hear about the need for meaning in one’s work, the heroes who work in healthcare, and the enormous stress they’re under in this COVID world. He then shares a new project for helping healthcare professionals dealing with stress using questions and dialogue. 

    Hear about his favorite projects around work for autism, ADHD, disadvantaged youth, resilience training for pre-deployment, the importance of narrative, and one of my favorite games I worked on. We then talk about technology, the future, metaverse concerns, and companies investing in VR. Learn how Brainlab is using AR to help neurosurgeons prepare for difficult surgeries and the value of the Magic Leap.

    We wrap up with him sharing how he and others worked with a young Palmer Lucky, how he’s getting back into moderate gaming through VR, the challenges he’s had to overcome to gain acceptance in the traditional clinical psychology field, how AI is the next big frontier, and where to find him online. 

    Bio:
    Albert “Skip” Rizzo is a clinical psychologist and Director of Medical Virtual Reality at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies. He is also a Research Professor with the USC Dept. of Psychiatry and at the USC Davis School of Gerontology. 

    His career began as a clinician providing rehabilitative services for persons with traumatic brain injuries and stroke. Over the last 25 years, Skip has conducted research on the design, development and evaluation of VR targeting the areas of clinical assessment, treatment and rehabilitation across the domains of psychological, cognitive and motor functioning in both healthy and clinical populations.

    This work has focused on PTSD, TBI, Autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and other clinical conditions. Some of his recent work has involved the creation of artificially intelligent virtual human (VH) patients that novice clinicians can use to practice skills required for challenging diagnostic interviews and for creating online virtual human healthcare guides, and clinical interviewers with automated sensing of facial, gestural, and vocal behaviors useful for inferring the state of the user interacting with these virtual human entities. 

    Show Links:
    * How Video Games Are Saving Those Who Served article
    * Full Spectrum Warrior Wikipedia
    * My You’re Not Getting Any Younger; Learn How To Ride a Motorcycle article
    * Level Ex website
    * Brainlab website

    Connect Links:
    * Skip Rizzo YouTube 
    * Skip Rizzo Twitter
    * Skip Rizzo website
    * Skip Rizzo email - rizzo@ict.usc.edu

    Game Dev Advice Links: 
    * Game Dev Advice Patreon - please help support the show if you find it entertaining/useful
    * Game Dev Advice Twitter
    * Game Dev Advice email (info@gamedevadvice.com)
    * Game Dev Advice website
    * Level Ex Careers page - we’re hiring for tons of roles!
    * Game Dev Advice Hotline: (224) 484-7733
    * Subscribe and go to the website for full show notes with links
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Game Dev People, Starting a Studio, Discord’s Power, Send the Resume, Steam’s Dead for Indies, and Dota 2 with Dan Nikolaides from Studio369

    Game Dev People, Starting a Studio, Discord’s Power, Send the Resume, Steam’s Dead for Indies, and Dota 2 with Dan Nikolaides from Studio369

    I welcome Dan Nikolaides, CEO of Symmetric Games and the CTO of Studio369 on this episode. We begin discussing his current role leading development efforts on their game MetalCore, along with the studio’s first game, Rune II. Learn about the concepts in MetalCore, how they found investors, and how he started in the industry.
    We then dive into switching over to game teams, having projects canceled, and leaving to join Phosphor. Hear about shipping a bunch of games, then starting his studio in 2016. Learn about not being intimidated by hard problems along with the importance of a growth mindset. We then talk about the importance of new engineers knowing a game engine, the preferred language behind it, and having a strong engineering foundation.
    Learn Dan’s advice for current engineers who want to grow and have more responsibilities, along with the kind of work most working leads actually do. Hear about the importance of being a good listener, rubber ducking, and what kills a person’s morale. We then discuss some of his favorite old projects, blockchain gaming, NFTs, and the Metaverse, and how different companies are approaching this space.
    Hear about the industry’s challenge around content overload, Steam being dead for indies, and why it’s better to partner with a console. We then pivot into VR, their VR game in development, and how it’s a few years away from being a breakout platform. Towards the end we discuss working from home, game industry people, Dota 2, the struggles of starting a studio, how to contact Dan, and why now is the best time ever to be looking for a new job. 

    Bio:
    Dan Nikolaides graduated from the University of Illinois in Computer Science, 
    and has been in the gaming industry for over 15 years. He’s well known for being an Unreal Engine guru, and has worked for companies like - Midway Games, Warner Brothers, Day 1 Studios, Phosphor Studios, and Symmetric Games.
    His game credits include - Mortal Kombat, Stranglehold, Man of Steel, Gears of War, NBC’s Heroes, World War Z, WWE Immortals, Nether, Outpost Zero, and more. Dan’s currently the CEO of Symmetric Games and the CTO of Studio369 where he’s leading the technical and design direction of the studio’s game production for MetalCore, their upcoming release.

    Show Links:
    * Rune II Steam
    * PlanetSide 2 Steam
    * BattleTech Centers wikipedia
    * Phosphor Studios website
    * Unreal Engine website
    * Simon Sinek YouTube

    Connect Links:
    * Dan Nikolaides Twitter
    * MetalCore website
    * MetalCore Discord
    * MetalCore Trailer YouTube 

    Game Dev Advice Links: 
    * Game Dev Advice Patreon - please help support the show if you find it entertaining/useful
    * Game Dev Advice Twitter
    * Game Dev Advice email (info@gamedevadvice.com)
    * Game Dev Advice website
    * Level Ex Careers page - we’re hiring for tons of roles!
    * Game Dev Advice Hotline: (224) 484-7733
    * Subscribe and go to the website for full show notes with links
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 49 min
    Working on Uncharted, 4-Day Work Week, Crunch, XTC, Psychology in Design, Sustainable Game Development, and the USC Games Program with Richard Lemarchand

    Working on Uncharted, 4-Day Work Week, Crunch, XTC, Psychology in Design, Sustainable Game Development, and the USC Games Program with Richard Lemarchand

    I welcome Richard Lemarchand from the USC Games program tonight. We begin by discussing his Associate Professor role in the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the recent release of his book, A Playful Production Process, for Game Designers (and Everyone). Hear about how he got his first job at MicroProse, the importance of psychology in game design, along with wishing he’d known how to manage projects better when starting. We discuss the effects of crunch, the importance of managing projects, and how his book is a textbook of his class covering intermediate level design and production. 
    We then share stories of outdated GDDs, Mark Cerny’s Game Design Macro format, and moving over to Crystal Dynamics in the mid-90s to work on the Gex and Soul Reaver series. Hear about going over to Naughty Dog to work on Jax, the critically acclaimed Uncharted series, and how the game industry is really more like a dozen industries.
    Learn Rich’s advice for game designers to understand psychology, systems dynamics, along with having T-shaped skills. Hear how soft skills were taught back at Crystal Dynamics, cultivating empathy, and treating others with respect. We then discuss Uncharted 2, his favorite game to work on, how well the team worked together, and the quality of the storytelling and the cast. 
    Hear about his interests in VR, immersive design, narrative design, and storytelling that doesn’t involve violence as a core mechanic. We then discuss how crunch is the biggest threat to the industry, how it’s getting better, and studios moving to the 4-day work week. Towards the end we get into a great story about promoting Uncharted 3, trivia about Jake’s journal, and his recommended games - Subnautica, Boyfriend Dungeon, Beast Breaker, Jett, and Ring Fit Adventure. At the end we discuss music, the band XTC, the importance of audio, his book, how to get in contact with him, along with his parting advice. 

    Bio:
    Richard Lemarchand is an Associate Professor in the USC Games program at the University of Southern California, where he teaches game design, development, and production, and is working on a series of experimental virtual reality game design research projects as part of the USC Game Innovation Lab.
    Previously he was a lead game designer at Naughty Dog and led the design of all three PlayStation 3 games in the Uncharted series, including Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, winner of ten AIAS Interactive Achievement Awards, five Game Developers Choice Awards, four BAFTAs, and over 200 Game of the Year awards. He also worked on Jak 3 and Jak X: Combat Racing for Naughty Dog, and helped to create the game series Gex, Pandemonium, and Soul Reaver at Crystal Dynamics. He is also the author of a new book, A Playful Production Process, for Game Designers (and Everyone), published by the MIT Press in October 2021.

    Show Links:
    * A Playful Production Process, for Game Designers (and Everyone) MIT Press
    * USC Games program website
    * Jason VandenBerghe’s 2013 GDC Talk YouTube 
    *Soul Reaver 2 wikipedia
    * Game Design Workshop Amazon
    * Mark Cerny wikipedia
    * Naughty Dog website
    * Jax X: Combat Racing wikipedia
    * Uncharted wikipedia
    * Thinking in Systems Amazon
    * T-Shaped Skills wikipedia
    * Young Horses website
    * The Well-Played Game Amazon
    * Subnautica website
    * Boyfriend Dungeon website
    * Beast Breaker Nintendo
    * Jett: The Far Shore website
    * Ring Fit Adventure Nintendo
    * XTC Spotify

    Connect Links:
    * Richard Lemarchand Twitter
    * Richard Lemarchand email
    * Richard Lemarchand website
    * Richard Lemarchand LinkedIn

    Game Dev Advice Links: 
    * New: Game Dev Advice Patreon - help support the show if you find it entertaining or useful
    * Game Dev Advice Twitter
    * Game Dev Advice email (info@gamedevadvice.com)
    * 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
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 22 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
45 Ratings

45 Ratings

Portia JHW ,

A Great Listen

I don’t work in gaming, but I was always curious about the industry and this is a really wonderful way to learn about the major players, career trajectories, and all sorts of interesting behind the scenes happenings. John is a very generous host, giving lots of space to his guests to tell their favorite stories from their careers and guiding the conversation to make sure you get something unique out of every episode. Top of the list for anyone with any interest in the gaming industry for sure!

Shoney92 ,

Do yourself a favor and listen to this podcast!

Super long story short - I graduated from college about 6 years ago and eventually realized that I’m not doing what I love with my career. Listening to this podcast inspired me to really shift gears and head in the direction of game development and software development. Now I’m taking a bunch of courses, building some pretty basic, but pretty cool stuff, and really enjoying the ride. Who would have thought “work” could be fun?!

JP has such a great perspective on everything and the conversations between him and the guests on the show really seem to bring this idea to my mind that I could do this. I could be a part of this world and love it.

The podcast has a real “human” feel to it and offers up a bunch of food for thought. Like I said in the title, do yourself a favor and give this a listen!

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