Game thinking from Adam Clare

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Captivating Cultural Captures

That’s got to be the lamest alliteration I’ve done.

I recently spoke at the Captivate Conference in Austin and met some great people. Below are some of the things of note I found out thanks to going to the conference. This isn’t a comprehensive list, more of a handful of things recorded in a random list. Like how did I not know of the first link?

Gamers Against Bigotry

Gamers Against Bigotry was created with one purpose in mind: to create a gaming community that is welcoming to gamers of all identities. Gaming is awesome. And online multiplayer gaming is more awesome. But it sucks that gamers have to choose to not play online, or to deal with a relentless barrage of identity-based hate slung their way if they do log in.

Bigotry isn’t part of gaming culture, and it never has been; it’s just unfounded hatred, masked by anonymity. It’s something we need to put an end to.

Captivate logo

One great person I met was DB Cooper (nope, not that one) who is a voice actor with talent pouring out of her. She introduced me to this hilarious site called Audio Atrocities which catalogs the very worst in voice acting!

Panic Button is who you turn to when you need some expert coding done. They are great and knowledgable folks, and yes, they’re hiring.

Warren Spector gave a really good talk on fostering leadership in the games (and creative) industries. He spoke about one problem that I’m constantly dealing with: he lack of common nomenclature and schema in the games industry. Additionally, he calls on leaders not to give orders but to be open, simplify, and solve.

On art direction,Stephen Martiniere, gave some really good advice. He breaks the game world into characters and environments then focuses on some core issues within each. For environments, he does a high concept of overall look, colour, and the “cinematic feel”. For characters he summed it up as an examination of the character’s behaviour and then adds the “cool looking and relevant stuff”.

The wonderfully talented Anne Toole gave a good talk on how to write for various styles of projects. Her website is worth checking out.

Interesting Video on Siri and Text to Speech Technology

Text to Speech (TTS) is more popular than ever before thanks to Google Voice and Siri. The Verge looked into the basics of TTS and machine language; the end result is the article and this really interesting video on it:

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