42 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

    • Leisure
    • 5.0 • 42 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!

    Startup Principles, Working on StarCraft II and Fortnite, Burnout, Empathic Design, UI is Key, Tools Development, VC Ecosystem, Mental Health, and Crossplay with Matt Schembari

    Startup Principles, Working on StarCraft II and Fortnite, Burnout, Empathic Design, UI is Key, Tools Development, VC Ecosystem, Mental Health, and Crossplay with Matt Schembari

    I welcome Matt Schembari, CEO of Lightforge Games. We begin by discussing his lifelong love of games and how he got his first job in the industry, followed by the other studios he’s worked at. Our discussion pivots into burnout and the effects it has on a person, along with a crisis of identity, and thoughts on mental health. We then discuss the industry turnover rate and constant loss of talent that’s happening, along with the key principles Lightforge Games has been founded on. 
    Hear Matt’s thoughts on empathic design, targeting tool development as a career choice, the importance of UI, and ideas around focusing your career. We then discuss the need to be a team player, mentoring others, and developing as a leader. Listen to the most important skill he thinks people should have and the importance of learning and developing.
    We then pivot into his experience working on StarCraft II and FortNite, including the development of crossplay, along with the rise of Twitch players. Hear about threats to the industry around big companies needing to get their shit together, the rise of startup studios working together and sharing ideas collectively, and the VC ecosystem. Listen to his excitement around AR and a funny story about a trip to Korea to promote StarCraft II.
    Towards the end we discuss thoughts about being all-remote, how the studio was founded on not asking people to move, and working asynchronously with employees in different parts of the world. We then wrap up talking about the importance of empathy and the belief in it creating better games.

    Bio:
    Matt Schembari has spent his career in the video games industry with a resume that spans both Blizzard Entertainment and Epic Games. He is currently the CEO of Lightforge Games.

    Show Links:
    *Lightforge Games website
    *StarCraft II Wikipedia
    *FarSide Cartoon JPG
    *Crossplay Fortnite The Gamer
    *StarCraft II expansion pack Korean news
    *Miro website
    *Notion website
    *Tangle website

    Connect Links:
    *Lightforge Games Twitter
    *Lightforge Games website
    *Matt Schembari LinkedIn
    *Matt Schembari Twitter

    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
    *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

    • 46 min
    Creativity is a Business, LotR’s Inspiration, Toxic Workplace Cultures, Using Agents, Defining Your Terms, Twitter For Connecting, Asking For Advice, and Creating Friendships with Marta Svetek

    Creativity is a Business, LotR’s Inspiration, Toxic Workplace Cultures, Using Agents, Defining Your Terms, Twitter For Connecting, Asking For Advice, and Creating Friendships with Marta Svetek

    I welcome Marta Svetek, a London-based actor working in video games, film and TV. We begin by discussing the state of COVID-19 in London and how her roles of acting and other work are centered around creating digital characters. Learn about her passion of playing games from a young age, Lord of the Rings, and how she landed her first game VO role working for Creative Assembly. 
    Hear about how her work has dramatically picked up over the last year, including as a lead character in the upcoming Battlefield 2042. We then discuss the actual process of doing VO in a recording studio, protecting your voice, along with what she’d wished she’d known when younger. We talk about a key mentor, the business of agents and talent representation, and working on her own terms.
    Learn the importance of asking advice, types of typical contracts, and how actors can work from anywhere now. We then get into the need of meeting people, why more work is moving to the UK because of buyouts, and sticking to your rate. Hear about the dicey world of talent agents, how to connect with people when networking, using Twitter as a resource, and how to connect with people.  
    Towards the end we talk about the importance of understanding the gaming medium if auditioning, what to never say during the casting, and her favorite projects to work on. Learn about the importance of the collaboration process, her thoughts on indie development, and what it’s like doing “efforts” for games. 
    Hear about our anger and frustration with the recent news, again, of toxic abuse in the industry, how crunch contributes to this, and a personal experience of hers. We then wrap up with the games she’s playing, how to connect online, parting advice on making friends, and the value of the Games Industry Gathering network.

    Bio:
    Marta Svetek is a London-based actor working in video games, film and TV. Specialising in Voice and Mocap work she has worked on a variety of popular titles, including lead roles in Total War: Warhammer 2 and the newly announced Battlefield 2042. She is represented globally by Audere Talent Management and The Mocap Agency.

    Show Links:
    *Will Tidman interview
    *Total War: Warhammer
    *Aranessa Saltspite character
    *Battlefield 2042
    *Beavis & Butt-Head’s Weiner Takes All
    *Tom Keegan
    *Audere Talent
    *The VoiceOver Network
    *Rokoko Mocap Suits
    *Activision Blizzard on GamesRadar
    *Valheim
    *Raft by Redbeet Interactive
    *Outriders
    *Mordhau
    *Games Industry Gathering
    *The Mess on Soundcloud (drums)

    Connect Links:
    *Marta Svetek on Twitter
    *Marta Svetek website
    *Marta Svetek on YouTube
    *Marta Svetek voice reels on Soundcloud

    Game Dev Advice: 
    *New: Game Dev Advice Patreon - help support the show if you find it entertaining or useful
    *Game Dev Advice Twitter
    *info@gamedevadvice.com
    *Game Dev Advice website
    *Game Dev Advice Hotline: (224) 484-7733, give a call!
    *Level Ex website - we’re hiring, check it out
    *Subscribe and go to the website full show notes with links
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Battlefield Mobile, Gratitude, Getting Sh*t Done, Marvel XP, Bad Interview, Pareto Principle, Game Dev Identity, and Surviving a Layoff with Justin Fischer of Industrial Toys/EA

    Battlefield Mobile, Gratitude, Getting Sh*t Done, Marvel XP, Bad Interview, Pareto Principle, Game Dev Identity, and Surviving a Layoff with Justin Fischer of Industrial Toys/EA

    I welcome Justin Fischer, Lead Development Director at Industrial Toys of EA. We begin by discussing the state of COVID-19 in LA and how his scrappiness landed him an internship at Chicago’s Wideload Games. Learn about how he cut his teeth at Wideload Games and Disney Interactive working on projects with tight budgets, like Hail to the Chimp, Guilty Party and Marvel XP.
    Hear about the challenges and life lessons of tieing too much of your identity into being a game developer, going through a layoff, and the hidden value shown over time. We then pivot into advice for aspiring designers, artists, engineers and producers, along with how to advance in production, and what it means to view it as a service role.  
    Learn about the value of seeking to understand before being understood, validating someone’s viewpoint, and his excitement around working on Battlefield Mobile. Hear about the other favorite game he's worked on, the industry’s challenge of so few mid-tier publishers, along with thoughts on AR.
    Towards the end we talk about the power of the mobile and tablet platforms, a challenging interview story, and the current games he's playing. We then wrap up sharing how to connect with Justin online, along with parting advice on working with others.

    Bio:
    Justin Fischer has worked in one form of production or another for almost 20 years - in music, television, software development and, primarily, games. He is currently the Lead Development Director for Industrial Toys, an EA studio in Pasadena currently working on Battlefield Mobile. He also holds an MBA from Northwestern University.

    Show Links:
    *Wideload Games
    *Marvel XP
    *Guilty Party
    *Stubbs the Zombie
    *Disney Interactive Layoff
    *Pareto Principle
    *Atlassian Jira
    *Metroid 3DS
    *Industrial Toys
    *Battlefield Mobile

    Connect Links:
    *Justin Fischer Twitter
    *Breaking The Wheel website
    *Better Development Through Science: How Aliens, Odysseus, and Toyota Can Help Improve Production GDC Talk on YouTube

    Game Dev Advice: 
    *New: Game Dev Advice Patreon - help support the show if you find it entertaining or useful
    *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

    • 56 min
    Horror Games, Career Strategies, What Publishers Want, Capital Is King, Poland and Israel’s Game Dev Scenes, and Finding Your Own Way with Scott Millard of Feardemic

    Horror Games, Career Strategies, What Publishers Want, Capital Is King, Poland and Israel’s Game Dev Scenes, and Finding Your Own Way with Scott Millard of Feardemic

    I welcome Scott Millard, Managing Director at Feardemic. We begin discussing his Krakow, Poland location, and the country’s forward-thinking and vibrant game development industry. We then shift to COVID-19’s impact, plus his current role as a Managing Director at Feardemic working on horror games.
    Listen to his origin story starting at Sega’s Oziesoft followed by lots of acquisitions, a controversial perspective on big companies, and his advice to finding your own way when starting out. Hear his idea on the most important skill to learn, what publishers are looking for in developers, and helping distribute classic games like DOOM II, Tomb Raider, and Command & Conquer. 
    We then talk about game classification ratings, a time-intensive mistake, and what’s happening with Stadia and Xbox in the console wars. Hear about Game Pass, niche markets, the music industry’s approach to streaming, plus the chip shortage.
    Towards the end we talk about the challenges around AR/VR, an AK-47 meeting room, current games he’s excited about, Israel’s game dev scene, where to find online, and the importance of being thankful. 

    Bio:
    Mr. Millard is Managing Director of FEARDEMIC sp. z o.o, a wholly owned subsidiary of BLOOBER TEAM S.A, a publisher of computer games and their related entertainment products.
    Previously Mr. Millard had held various positions in the games industry. Most notably the Asian distribution of Bethesda games including the Award winning Elder Scrolls Skyrim and Asia versions of The Elder Scrolls Online.
    Previously Mr. Millard served as Managing Director of Namco Bandai Partners Singapore Pte Ltd and Namco Bandai Partners Korea Ltd, a post he held for near 7 years that saw him oversee the releases of dozens of triple A titles.
    Mr. Millard was co-founder of a Korean Games Association that represents the interests of foreign and local publishers operating in the packaged games sector in the Korean domestic market. In 2005 Mr. Millard held the post of Vice President, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Committee, European Union Chamber of Commerce Korea. He consults for several games industry organisations and companies, and is a regular blogger and producer of opinion pieces for various publications.

    Show Links:
    Feardemic Games
    Bloober Team
    Unfold Games
    Dark Fracture
    DOOM II
    In Sound Mind
    Grim
    Deadhouse Sonata 

    Connect Links:
    Feardemic website
    Feardemic Twitter

    Game Dev Advice: 
    *New: Game Dev Advice Patreon - please help support if you find this useful
    *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

    • 48 min
    Self-Taught Coding, Importance of Tools, Crunch, NLP, Snow Crash, Ageism, GitHub, Toastmasters, and Quake’s Elegance with Norman Morse of Perforce Software

    Self-Taught Coding, Importance of Tools, Crunch, NLP, Snow Crash, Ageism, GitHub, Toastmasters, and Quake’s Elegance with Norman Morse of Perforce Software

    I welcome Norman Morse, Triage Engineer at Perforce Software. We begin by discussing COVID-19’s impact, and his current role helping game developers. Hear thoughts on the importance of git and Perforce, how a previous job led to his current one, and the challenge of layoffs.
    Listen to his origin story around doing kernel development, building a team, and getting absorbed into EA. Learn his theory for success, going door-to-door for a job, teaching himself languages, and the importance of Linux and enthusiasm. 
    We then talk about the importance of GDC and social skills, Toastmasters, studying NLP, along with learning technical skills. Hear about working in Unity back in 2008, supporting P4, and how GitHub is an engineer’s resume. Learn about favorite games he worked on, thoughts on the future, concerns about how studios fill roles, ageism, sharing a game engine, and crunching. 
    We then wrap up talking about triple-A dev concerns, missing co-workers during COVID-19, commuting, a bad air conditioner, connecting with people, engineering tips, and how the industry is finally evolving. 

    Bio:
    Norman Morse is an Engineer and 25+ year veteran of the game industry who’s worked both within game studios and tool companies. EA, Sega, Crystal Dynamics, and Stormfront Studios are some of the bigger game companies he’s been at along with many others, plus ten years as a Triage Engineer at Perforce Software. He’s also a life-long learner and self-taught engineer, Master Practitioner in Neurolinguistic Programming, Toastmasters advocate, and personal coach.

    Show Links:
    Perforce Swarm
    git
    WorldsAway
    Stormfront Studios
    Quake
    GitHub
    No Man’s Sky
    Surviving Mars
    Perforce Software
    JetBrains

    Connect Links:
    Norman on Twitter

    Game Dev Advice: 
    *New: Game Dev Advice Patreon - please help support if you find this useful
    *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

    • 55 min
    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

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
42 Ratings

42 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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