Posts Tagged ‘Game industry’

10 Most Influential Games of the 80s

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

It’s no secret that video games were a great deal different back in the 1980’s; from classics we still see today to the games that didn’t live to see the next decade. Remember the original versions of SimCity (1989), The Legend of Zelda (1987), John Madden Football (1988), and Super Mario Bros. (1985)? What about the always classic Pac-Man (1980) and Tetris (1987)? One component we can all likely agree on, however, is the fact that the ghosts of gaming past have paved the way and made a huge impact on the gaming industry we see today. This Yahoo article gives their picks of the 10 most influential games of the 1980s, but we’ll let you be the judge on which games were the most impactful from that decade.

What would you add to their list? How would you rank the games? Give us your two cents below!

Can Indie Games Thrive Without Big Publishers?

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

As the gaming landscape evolves, it’s becoming more common for Indie Game Developers to go beyond industry barriers to get their game to the public. Digital downloads and crowdfunding has made this type of self-publishing seem like a feasible alternative to working for big name publishers.

“The publishing people all watch [a game] and then make passive, aesthetic appraisals of active, functional aspects of a game,” wrote an anonymous developer, providing an attack on major game publishers. “This is because the bulk of execs can’t and don’t want to play or understand how games work.”

The recent success of indie developed games such as Minecraft, Super Meat Boy, and Broken Age have broken through the industry barriers and have given independent game developers hope that they can make a living without exchanging their intellectual property over to the big name publishers.

“Doing independent development via Indie Fund or Kickstarter allows us to be free of the pressure to change our game and to avoid things that seem risky,” Double Fine developer, Tim Shafer, says, “Now, we will rise or fall on our own merits.”

Check out this Mashable article for more on game developers who self-funded a game, and how the Indie Game industry has evolved. There are risks and benefits with working for major publishers and through self-funding. If given the choice, which route would you take?

Kai Huang, Co-Founder of Red Octane, and Other Industry Pros are Coming to Cogswell for an IGDA Event!

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

BizCreativeFlyerJoin us for a lively discussion with Game Industry Veterans who have started their own studios and managed to keep them alive and thriving. Learn about the good, the bad and the utterly unexpected they encountered along the way.

If you’ve ever thought about starting your own studio, you won’t want to miss this chance to learn from people who have been there – and have arrived at the opposite shore successfully!

Date:                April 7, 2010

Time:               6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Place:  Cogswell Polytechnical College, 1175 Bordeaux Dr, Sunnyvale, CA    MAP


Kai Huang – Co-Founder of Red Octane and its President and CEO since 1999. The company published the popular Guitar Hero franchise and was acquired by Activision in June 2006.

Alejandro Gil – joined EA at the beginning of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and then spent 4 intense years as Co-Founder and Creative Director at Blackpoint Studios. He returned to EA to help finish Godfather 2 and is now Lead Environment Artist at Sledgehammer Games.

Simon Amarasingham – Co-Founder and CEO of dSonic Inc., a company that has been creating audio for games for 10 years including titles such as Brutal Legend, Bioshock and Farmville.

The event is free and open to the public but RSVP required.

Senior Producer at Nickelodeon Kids and Family Games Talks About His Job

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

kevin richardson

Cogswell graduate, Kevin Richardson, offers insight into his job and how to prepare if this is your career goal. Kevin graduated in 2003 with Bachelor of Arts in Computer and Video Imaging – the precursor to Cogswell’s Digital Art and Animation program.

Company name, your job title, a brief description of your job responsibilities and how long you have worked there.

I currently work for Nickelodeon Kids and Family Games group in SF as their senior producer of games. My job is to scout the world for interesting flash games to put up on Shockwave, a family friendly gaming site, as well as produce multiplayer games and some exclusive games such as racing games using the shockwave 3d platform.


Can you give an example of what you might do on a ‘typical’ day?

On a typical day I am playing tons of games, usually for 30 seconds at a time, just the way our player’s would. If it doesn’t hold my attention past that, I move on to the next one. The best games I bring to a team review, and those that we pick I contact the developers (wherever they may be in the world) and make them an offer for a non-exclusive publishing arrangement. I usher the contract through legal, make sure they are paid, and also handle getting the actual game into our publishing and high scores system.

Can you give an example of something that surprised you about your job when you first started?

It is easy to get lost in the technical side of things. Don’t! is my advice. The players only care about having fun. Focus on the fun, not how you are going to get it done.

Describe your piece of the production cycle. How does what you do move the project forward?

As a producer you are the beginning, middle and end. One definition of a producer I love is, “The producer is the guy you throw out the window if it’s late, over budget or just plain bad.” I agree with that.

How big is the team you are part of for a typical project? What kind of interaction do you have with other team members?

The teams vary in size. It really depends upon the scope of the project, but for a flash game usually between 3 to 6, depending on factors such as: is it a multiplayer game, the complexity and so on.

What projects have you worked on in the past?

In addition to my job at Nickelodeon, I just launched my own casual independent game series for download under the Gamespin banner, Ghost Town Mysteries. I have produced over 30 “E” rated games, including the Family Feud and Risk games and several Hasbro titles including Boggle and Trivial Pursuit while at Prior to, I worked at The Learning Company/Mattel Interactive where I was Executive Producer on numerous Reader Rabbit and ClueFinders adventures and at EA/Pogo where I worked on Tumblebees ToGo. I began my career as an animator and special effects artist working for ILM and Hanna Barbera-Wang Films.

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

People interactions and trying to figure out what is fun. It’s not always that simple! And working with smart people.

What advice would you give students preparing for a career as a Sr. Producer?

It is a business. But the business is to entertain others. Know how to do that. What entertains you? Get down to the minutiae of that in a film, game, a play – or a walk in the woods. Be in touch with your emotions and what triggered them – so that you can touch the emotions of your players with the same mechanics.

How did Cogswell help prepare you for this career?

Cogswell rounded me out. By being pushed into places out of my comfort zone I was stretched as a person. And just being around other smart people with ideas other than my own is always healthy and inspiring.

What qualities does someone need to have to be successful in this field?

Remain curious. Work hard. Be disciplined. Don’t fall in love with your own ideas. Stay objective, but bring passion to your work when you think you are onto something.

-Bonnie Phelps, Dean of Institutional Advancement