Slides from WIG Boston April '15 talk

by Jenna Hoffstein

Last night I had the great pleasure of speaking at the Women In Games Boston April Party!  The topic was "Mythbusters: Debunking Common Assumptions About Indie Development", and the discussion ranged between design, business, marketing and self-promotion.  

Photo courtesy of @holliebuckets

Photo courtesy of @holliebuckets

A HUGE thank you to everyone who came out to see it, and for those who couldn't make it the slides are available here:

The last few slides don't have any text (spoiler alert!), so just imagine hearing this in my voice:

[sad cat slide] My intent with this talk is not to discourage people from going indie.  Being an independent game developer is incredibly tough, but that doesn't mean it's not a challenge worth tackling.

[laser space cat slide] My goal instead of to shed a little light on the realities of indie dev as I have seen it in the past couple of years with the hope that, by examining some of these assumptions, you can better arm yourself for the challenges that lie ahead.

Slides from Producer Panel at GDC '15

by Jenna Hoffstein

I had the very great honor this past week of speaking at GDC on the Producer Panel: Managing your Indie Team.  I was in great company alongside Kara Kono, Aaron Isaksen, Alex Schwartz and Amy Dallas!  The room was overflowing with attendees and many people came up to me throughout the week to say how much they enjoyed the panel, so I declare it to be a great success.  A few folks have also asked for the slides so I've made the .pdf version available here:

GGJ14: Black Hat Oculus

by Jenna Hoffstein

The Global Game Jam is always an amazing opportunity to play around with new gaming technology.  Last year my team created an augmented reality game, and this year I had my heart set on making something for The Oculus Rift.  When Xin Xin walked on stage and describe a Matrix-like game using the Rift my decision was made on the spot.  Down the rabbit hole we go!

After 48 hours of coding, drawing, and having some of the best cinnamon buns of my life, the result was Black Hat Oculus - a local co-op heist game.  Player 1 is the bandit, sneaking through a dangerous arena with the Oculus Rift, trying to grab as much loot as possible and get out before being detected.  Player 2 is the hacker; their monitor displays a top-down view of the game.  They can see many dangers that P1 can't, including traps, laser beams, and the enemy's cone of vision.  With the top-down view they can also alert P1 as to what's behind doors, or the best time to turn a corner to avoid a guard.  P1 is reliant on P2 to stay alive, but P2 can only communicate through text. 

This combination of asymmetrical information with limits on communication speed made for some wonderfully tense and frequently funny gameplay.  If you've got a Rift download the game and let me know what you think!