Latest Event Updates
Join us Monday, January 5 for a stellar panel about the unique challenges (and joys) of parenting when you work in games. The panel features Caleb Garner, Chris Hart, Scott Macmillan, Avida Michaud and Amanda Warner, moderated by Ken Gagne. Even if you are not a parent, our speakers will discuss general work-life balance issues, and how to sort out company benefits and policies that are truly family/life friendly!
WIG Boston is hosted by MeYouHealth, located at 27-43 Wormwood Street, 6th floor, Boston, MA 02210. There is a parking lot across the street from the MeYouHealth building, and the South Station MBTA stop is a 10 minute walk away.
Caleb Garner runs Part12 Studios, a local indie studio, and is a father of two boys ages 6 and 3.
Chris Hart started programming at the age of 10, and has been a professional developer for over 15 years. Most of that time has been spent creating Web applications, a bit of consulting, and some writing work on ASP.NET a few years ago. About 6 years ago she moved into Virtual Worlds development, from contributing to the Open Simulator project to hosting virtual worlds and immersive training simulations. She developed the Jibe multiplayer toolkit for Unity3D, designed to offer customers a starting point for a virtual meeting place on the web. For the past couple of years she’s been working on data visualization and mapping projects by day, and tinkering with game projects by night. Chris lives locally with her husband and her 8-year-old son, who has been obsessed with video games since a very early age.
Scott Macmillan is a 12-year game industry veteran and currently a Producer at GSN Games in Boston. He’s previously worked on RTSes, casual and social games, and for three years ran his own indie studio. Scott also founded Boston Indies and co-founded the GameLoop unconference series. He’s married and the father of two.
Avida Michaud holds a bachelors in math from BU and went to DigiPen (Redmond, WA) for a year post-graduate. She’s been a game programmer since ’99 (Humongous Entertainment, Turbine, MadDoc, Harmonix). The majority of her time has been at Harmonix (7 years last month!), where she was programming lead for RB2, RB3, RBN (RockBand Network), project/programming lead for their internal engine and currently working on their Kickstarter-funded revival of Amplitude. During those 4 years, she had 3 kids – twin boys at the end of RB3 and another boy while she was the engine lead so her life has changed dramatically but for the better!
Amanda Warner is co founder of Giant Spacekat, an independent studio here in Boston and was lead animator on their debut title, Revolution 60. Currently she is heading up their children’s division, Giant Spacekittens , and is busy developing their first children’s title, Cupcake Crisis. Amanda is a mom to an almost 3 year old meaning that she was pregnant, then dealing with a newborn and later a toddler during Revolution 60’s development cycle, and yet some how is still sane.
Ken Gagne is the host of the Polygamer and IndieSider podcasts and YouTube channel Gamebits. He is a freelance writer for Computerworld.com and has been a member of the gaming press since 1997. Find him on Twitter at @Gamebits
Join us Monday, December 1, from 7:00-10:00 PM for an exciting round of lightning talks from our WIG Boston community!
Our host this month is MeYouHealth, located at 27-43 Wormwood Street, 6th floor, Boston, MA 02210.
The [Current] Lineup:
Emma Clarkson – Indie Do’s & Don’ts on Social Media
Chris Hart – Using Construct 2 to Make Games
Khadeja Merenkov – The Case for a Fat Protagonist
Ben Remignanti – Introduction to Dev Streaming
Anthony Russo – Including Non-Binary Gender Options in Games
Would you like to give a talk?
If you are interested in giving a 5-8 minute lightning talk, we still have space! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to pitch your idea. Please send a bio, talk title and blurb.
Join us on Monday, November 3 from 7:00-10:00 at the Bocoup offices for our November party! Khadeja A. Merenkov will present and lead us in a conversation about the visual language of art and video games. And Nina will once again fire up the oven and bake Halloween-themed treats for the event.
Thank you to the fine folks at Bocoup for offering WIG Boston space! Bocoup is located at 2 South Market Street, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, 3rd Floor.
The Effect of Visual Symbolism in Art and Video Games
Visual language, being culturally- and societally-based, is tricky to work with – but we use it copiously within game design! This presentation hopes to display some ways we may unconsciously decide on the visual language we use and how it has a larger effect on games and interpreting the games we play. CAVEAT: This talk will include some sensitive images from art history and video games (some nudity and violence) with some explicit language. Please feel free to email Khadeja a email@example.com with any specific concerns about trigger warnings.
Khadeja A Merenkov’s intense love for film, visual art, literature, and games coupled with her penchant for diversity work makes her an open critic of current practices in the game development industry as well as game content. She holds a BA in Visual Art with a Concentration in Art History as well as a Master’s degree in Intercultural Relations.
Join us on Monday, October 6 at MIT for a special October party Sponsored by the MIT Game Lab! Andrew Davis will lead us in a deck building game jam from 6:00-9:00 at the Stata Center, room 144. And Nina may be inspired to bake fall-themed treats for the event. Please note the earlier time and different venue!
Talk & Jam
Andrew Davis will talk about deckbuilding games including Dominion, Ascension, and Star Realms. Why are these sorts of games popular? What are the differences, good and bad, between these sorts of games and trading card games like Magic and Pokemon?
After a discussion and overview, we will break up into groups and create a deck building game on the spot. Andrew will bring the game’s basic shell; everyone will contribute card ideas, art, theme, card names, and gameplay effects for each card. And then, of course, we’ll play it. We’ll wrap up with thoughts about what we liked and what we didn’t, and then the game will be released as a free PDF.
Known as “Andrea Shubert” from 2002 until last month, Andrew Davis is in public beta. The new version features a revised gender identity, more facial hair, and less interference than prior models. He tweets @andrew2s1 and can be reached at literally.andrew.davis at google’s email service. For more information about this upgrade, please see
RSVP and Tickets here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/wig-boston-october-party-tickets-13249711243
Please join us on Monday, September 8 for our WIG Boston September Party. Game designer and interactive fiction writer Carolyn VanEseltine will be our guest speaker! The title of her talk is “Finding and Making Career Opportunities in Game Development (or: Why I Quit My Dream Job – Twice)”.
Carolyn landed her first paying game industry gig in 2002. Since then, she’s had three employers (Simutronics, Harmonix Music Systems, and Giant Spacekat) with responsibilities ranging from customer service to combat design. Her WIG-Boston presentation will examine how to find and make career opportunities in the industry, based on her personal experience, with tangents into impostor syndrome, employer ethics, and the changing nature of game development.
Please note: Our September party is on the second Monday of the month in order to avoid the Labor Day holiday.
Tickets are available on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wig-boston-september-party-tickets-12724006847
Please join us on Monday, August 4 at 7pm for our WIG Boston August Party. Novelist and game designer Caelyn Sandel will be our guest speaker! The title of her talk is “Author as Audience: Personal Narratives in Game Design”.
Caelyn Sandel is a novelist and game designer who specializes in horror, comedy, and ‘slice of life’ fiction. She produces games through the Patreon crowdfunding platform, has self-published one book, and has another currently in editing.
Please join us on Monday for our WIG Boston July Party. Brianna Wu of Giant Spacekat will be our guest speaker!
Just a reminder that WIG Boston is now held at the Tommy Doyle’s in KENDALL SQ (the Harvard location closed). Looking forward to seeing you!
Brianna Wu is head of development at Giant Spacekat, a company specializing in cinematic experiences using the Unreal engine. She’s also worked as an investigative journalist and a politico. You can follow her on Twitter @spacekatgal.