Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Video (Mega)Review - AltDev Student Summit 2012

I'm really excited about this post, and I've been waiting for a while to post it. Today I present my first Video (Mega)Review, covering about 12 hours of excellent and informative content that can benefit anyone interested in breaking into the video games industry.

The AltDev Student Summit, brought to you by the folks behind AltDevBlogADay, was an entirely online conference aimed at students in technical universities working towards game-development degrees, although, as I said, the lectures and presentations can benefit people of any age. This series of 22 presentations by industry insiders covers nearly all aspects of game development, from programming to art to marketing, and covers equal ground in the AA and Indie spaces. No matter where you want to land in the industry, I can almost guarantee that there is a video here for you.

I waited to make this post because I wanted to watch each and every video beforehand, and I was never disappointed along the way. Although the event was hosted live, all of the sessions are hosted online, and can be viewed at your convenience on the Watch Sessions page.

As a programmer, designer and marketer, sessions of particular note for me included:

A Day in the Life of a Tools Programmer/Buildmaster – Alex Crouzen
A Day in the Life of a Solo Developer – Mitu Khandaker
Being the Voice of an Indie Company – Andrea Schmoll
DIY Development Jay Margalus and Phil Tibitoski
Creating Games for Global Players- Kate Edwards
Starting and Running a Company, From a Programmer’s Perspective – Rebecca Fernandez

I like to keep these reviews short, so I'll leave you with one powerful observation before embedding the opening keynote presentation. One theme that resounded throughout almost all of the presentations was the following gem of wisdom: The most important thing to do to break into the games industry is to make games! Period! Time and again, presenter after presenter made the point that building a portfolio of finished projects is more important than educational credentials, more important than job experience and more important than personal connections. The resounding theme of all 22 presentations is that creating and finishing games is the #1 thing that will give you an advantage over everyone else when it comes to breaking into the industry. Can you feel the inspiration?

Without further ado, I present the opening keynote of the AltDev Student Summit 2012:

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