Co-Chair, Board Member
IGDA NYC is the New York City chapter of the International Game Developers Association, the professional association for over 12,000 video and computer game developers worldwide. The chapter carries out the IGDA's core mission to advance the careers and enhance the lives of game developers by connecting members with their peers through meetups and online forums, promoting professional development, and celebrating the achievements and unique culture of the NYC game development community. For more information, visit http://igda.nyc.
IGDA Anti-Censorship and Social Issues Committee
(2018 - Present Day)
The IGDA exists to advance the careers and enhance the lives of game developers, and one critical way we do this is by advocating for positive change on issues that affect professional game developers.
We focus our advocacy efforts on issues that…
require a dialogue with others;
exceed the scope of any one developer’s or company’s ability to resolve;
affect the global game development community, rather than any single individual or company; and
are not particular to any one skill, product, or method of game development.
Much of the IGDA’s advocacy activity occurs through the Anti-Censorship and Social Issues Committee; however, each and every member of the IGDA is a developer-advocate who is encouraged to stand up and speak out!
Road to Making Just Cause 4
At Play NYC 2018, I sat down with Avalanche Studios' Chris Supino (Senior Producer) and Francesco Antolini (Game Director) to discuss what to expect with the their upcoming game Just Cause 4!
Peaceday365 at PlayNYC
PeaceDay365 has been an advocate for having young peoples voices heard through the impact made in the creative industries in which they already are a part. Bringing those voices to the UN during the General Assembly has been inspiring not only for the young people attending and speaking/performing but it’s had a lasting impact on the UN ambassadors and departmental and inter-departmental agencies. The Youth Summits and "United Voices” events are memorable amongst the thousands of events and meetings that take place at the UN. And gaming and game development is definitely one of those voices that needs to be brought to the forefront!
At PlayNYC 2018, I sat down with Kelly Egan (Founder + Executive Director of PeaceDay365) and Jessica Murray (CEO, Co-founder of Battle for Humanity) to discuss the United Nations Sustainable Goals and how Battle for Humanity and games can help accomplish them!
IGDA NYC Roundtable: Unions and the Game Industry
Co-Host / Event Organizer
This IGDA NYC Roundtable event was a multi-disciplinary discussion and info session on the topic of Unions and the Game Industry, hosted by the Writers Guild of America, East.
As game developers continue to speak out about their working conditions and the need for more sustainable and fulfilling careers, talk is increasingly turning to how unions might address some of the game industry's most pressing labor concerns. To facilitate this conversation, IGDA NYC and WGAE are assembling a panel of experts from the worlds of voiceover, theater, and journalism to share historical perspectives and recent experiences with union organizing and action in their respective fields.
The event was a hybrid of short presentations, panel discussion, and participatory roundtable, with plenty of time allotted for an open forum with the audience at the end. Our aim was to provide game developers who may have little direct experience of organized labor with a common language and understanding about unions and collective bargaining. By reflecting on unionization efforts and labor dynamics in neighboring industries, we were able to draw parallels to the game industry and begin to generate conceptual models for what a union of game developers might look like.
Union Organizing and Collective Bargaining 101
Presented by Justin Molito, Director of Organizing, WGAE
Overview of WGAE Organizing Model and Video Game Contracts
Presented by Ann Burdick, Director of Legal Services, WGAE
National Director, Voiceover, SAG-AFTRA
Director of Organizing, WGAE
Moderator: Jess Haskins
Co-Chair, IGDA NYC
Moderator: Mattia Sicuro
Board Member, IGDA NYC
Made in NY Media Center by IFP
Game Pitch Night (2018)
Game Industry Juror
Five exciting, DIY game projects were selected by the Media Center to pitch their concepts to a live theater audience. Selected projects had 10 minutes on stage to present a five minute-long prepared pitch for a jury of game industry professionals and our live audience, followed by five minutes of Q&A from our jury/audience.
Three (3) months of discounted Media Center membership, mentorship opportunities and networking opportunities with Media Center gaming professionals.
One (1) mentorship session with Anya Combs, Senior Outreach at Kickstarter
One (1) spotlight in the Partner News section of IGDA NYC’s monthly newsletter
One (1) hour-long mentorship session with James Seetal of IGDA NYC
Audience Choice Award:
One (1) hour-long private coaching session that includes playtesting and feedback as well as information on production, such as resources on manufacturing, importing and pricing with Jessica Ochoa Hendrix and Noelle Posadas of Killer Snails.
NYC Games & Digital Media Career Fair Spring 2017
Event Host / Organizer
IGDA NYC and Playcrafting NYC are teamed up again to present the third annual NYC Games & Digital Media Career Fair at Microsoft in Times Square. We're bringing together employers and job-seekers at this one-day event showcasing the exciting opportunities and diverse talent pool in the local game development and digital media industries.
Jobseekers were able to:
Meet with employers and recruiters looking to hire talent for exciting opportunities in game development, digital media, technology, and VR.
Discover education, networking, and professional resources in the community. Including local schools, companies, and community groups that were on hand to meet attendees and share information about their organizations and services for job-seekers and entrepreneurs in New York's game development community.
Get personalized job search feedback in one-on-one reviews. We had a team of experts available for one-on-one sessions with job-seekers to answer questions, review your resume, portfolio, or code, and conduct mock interviews to help polish your application materials, or a chance to brush up on your interview skills.
Make friends and expand their network at our afterparty event.
It was one of our largest events with 20+ employers and 1,000+ registered attendees!
Empire State Digital Gaming Media Production credit
(2016 - 2018)
The Digital Gaming Media Production Credit bill (A.10083/S.7485) would have provided tax credits for both game development and music production (Empire State Music Production Credit ) in New York State.
Similar to incentives already in place for the film and television industries, the proposed credit would have offset 25% of expenses for digital game production incurred in the state, including property used and wages or salaries paid to developers.
Myself and the IGDA NYC worked with Senator Golden's office and the ESA to help advocate and lobby to get the tax credit passed by Gov Cuomo.
Unfortunately in 2017, Governor vetoed the tax credit legislation.
Strategy Guide: Breaking In To The Game Industry
How do I get an internship?
What do game companies want to see in a job applicant?
Should I start my own company or work for someone else?
Can I really make a living making games?
At Strategy Guide, a panel of game industry veterans and recent Game Center graduates answered these questions and whatever else folx wanted to learn about the industry. This session was designed for students looking for a job or internship, as well as students and members of the public who are early in their careers in the games industry.
This networking event , included opportunities to meet with local game companies as well as one-on-one conversations with developers working at local studios, indie developers, and recent graduates about their resumes, portfolios, and career advice.
For the second year, Strategy Guide was co-hosted with the NYC IGDA, making the evening even better with resume reviews, portfolio reviews, mock interviews, and one-on-one discussions with experts in the game industry.
IGDA NYC Presents:
Steam Overview & Chat
Steam Overview & Chat was an IGDA NYC and Jose from Valve presentation about the PC Game market, how Steam works, and how you can distribute your game. Followed with Q&A and time to mingle over drinks and dinner. We also met with game developers face to face, answering questions, and hearing feedback and suggestions.
About the Speaker:
Jose Palacios Vives studied International Relations and Political Science, later getting a specialty in Hyper-connected Systems and another in Business Management from Harvard. To this day, he has not used any of it. He worked designing PM software and developing business for 5 years until he got bored, decided games were life (games were love). He joined Kerbal Space Program’s budding dev team, and started working as Lead Producer and Designer. He went on to found Seven Headed Studios, which Valve quickly devoured. There Jose found a happy life full of game development, cat herding and general mischief.
ANNY Best of Fest 2017
IGDA NYC Presents: Careers in Gaming
ANNY Best of Fest is a two day annual conference held in NYC (Late Sept/Early Oct). Our Festival features animation screenings, fine art exhibits, professional panels, VR workshop presentations, an XR showcase, VR workshop presentations and industry events.
Keith Stevens, Executive Creative Director/Co-Founder of Motion Sickness
Jennifer Chiu, Executive Producer/Co-Founder of Motion Sickness
Neil Sveri, Programmer and Game Designer at DreamSail Games
ANNY Best of Fest 2018
IGDA NYC Presents: Animation Pipelines for VR & Games
Virtual and Mixed Reality continues to be an amazing platform that helps broaden our ability to creatively tell stories or communicate themes through games. We took a deep dive into VR Animation and discuss challenges, growing pains, and successes with local VR game studios.
Sam Butin / Producer and Writer
John Corn / Lead Developer
Jose Zambrano / Loudmouth & 3D Generalist
Shamar Armstrong / Co-founder
IGDA NYC Open Office Hours
IGDA NYC Open Office Hours is a bi-monthly hangout where we invite our partners, friends, and community members to drop in and meet with IGDA NYC's leadership team and featured special guests.
Previous Special Guests included:
Daniel Kelley, Assistant Director of the Anti-Defamation League's Center for Technology and Society
Tom Foulkes, from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA)
IGDA NYC: Ice Cream Socials
There are plenty of game industry networking events, bar mixers, and drink nights out there, but we wanted to do something a little different—so instead, we started up the IGDA NYC Coffee and Ice Cream Socials.
Held the third Monday of every month at an ice cream parlor rather than a bar, our socials are alcohol-free, family-friendly, and open to all ages.
IGDA NYC Presents:
Game Artist Roundtable Discussion
The Game Artist Roundtable was held at the Brooklyn Art Library for an informal discussion among game creators, 3D modelers, animators, illustrators, graphic designers, and artists of all stripes about the craft and business of making games and game art.
Breaking in as an artist
Honing your portfolio
Finding and landing opportunities
Expanding and improving your skills
Teamwork and leadership in game development
Success stories and cautionary tales
A blend of panel discussion and traditional roundtable formats, our roundtables are a casual, participatory forum with a rotating theme where a moderator and panel of experts will join the audience in conversation, asking questions, and sharing knowledge.
Del Northern, Character, Environment Artist, and Illustrator for Videocult.
IGDA NYC + WIGI NYC Women in Games Roundtable
52% of gamers are women, according to a study by the Internet Advertising Bureau. However, games and the game industry often present an entirely different picture. The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) NYC and Women in Games International (WIGI) NYC are teaming up to present a roundtable discussion about the experience of being a woman in games, both as a player and as a creator. We discussed topics such as:
-How are women currently treated in the games space, as creators and players?
-How can we make the games space better and more inclusive?
-How can we support women creators, and provide education for new female developers?
The event was moderated by Maria Saint Martin, co-founder of the WIGI NYC chapter, and feature a panel of local game developers, educators, advocates, and players.
Maria Saint Martin, Co-founder of Women in Games International NYC Chapter
Jane Friedhoff, Riot Grrrl game designer and creative technologist
Margaret Robertson, Game Director at Play Dots and previously Co-Chair of Indiecade East
Asia Hoe, Product Designer at 2U
Cindy Chow, Co-founder of Women in Games International NYC Chapter
IGDA NYC Presents:
Making it in New York Roundtable
New York is the Big Apple, the city that never sleeps, a concrete jungle where dreams are made of. It’s an exciting, lively place, but the rent is really high. It can also be hard to find a job here, especially if you’re looking for a job in games. However, there are many people in NYC who live and work in games every day, and they have a lot of experience to share. During this roundtable discussion, some of these New Yorkers will share their stories and tips for making a living as a game creator in NYC, and how to stay healthy and avoid burnout.
Dan Butchko, Founder & CEO of Playcrafting
Andy Wallace, Professor of Game Design at Long Island University