Latest Event Updates

August Party – How to Make a Card Game in 10 Easy Steps

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This month’s party will feature Andrea Shubert, presenting, “How to Make a Card Game in 10 Easy Steps”!

Have you ever played a strategy or trading card game and thought about making one yourself? Andrea Jennifer Shubert will walk you through the process of digitally and physically prototyping a game, from layouts and templates to wording and card art. Then comes the printing, cutting, sleeving, and collating physical cards, and eventually putting together sets for digital playtesting.

In the presentation, Andrea will describe the four stages of her prototyping process, and how to avoid common mistakes in them:

  • Design – What game are we making? What lessons can we learn from prior card games?
  • Pre-production – What art resources are there? Which apps can we use to quickly make cards?
  • Production – What are we printing our cards out on — stickers? Card stock? Paper? How do we make decks for playtest?
  • Playtest – In what format do we present the cards? Boosters or decks (for a TCG)? Playmat? Rules? Self-guided or managed?

This presentation is good for anyone who ever wanted to make a card game, and ideal for those trying to bring a card game to market.

Andrea Jennifer Shubert has been a game designer, producer or developer for the past twenty years. Her first commercial hit, Acrophobia, helped to launch the social gaming genre in 1997. She has been a part of the digital trading card game genre since its inception, first as a high-level player of Chron X, and later as a designer or producer of over a dozen games. Totaling more than 11,000 cards, she is glad that they are digital. Currently Andrea is a Product Lead at Connected Sports Ventures, and can be found on twitter @andrea2s1 or on the web at

[Andrea gave a version of this talk at No Show Conference in July and I would personally recommend it for game designers at every level, not just people interested in designing trading card games. — Courtney]


July Party – Running a Successful Indie Game Development Studio in Sunny, Delicious Boston

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It’s the best time in the world to start an independent game development studio. Journalists, publishers, and gamers are all receptive to the experiences you create; there are programmers, artists, musicians, and storytellers who want to join you; and tools that previously cost millions are now freeeeee! Here’s one datum point on how to get started, avoid pitfalls, and create great games.
Ichiro Lambe is Founder and President of Dejobaan Games, LLC, an independent Boston-area game development studio. He has worked in the industry since 1993, co-founding Worlds Apart Productions (later Sony Online Entertainment Denver) in 1995 and Dejobaan Games (still Dejobaan Games) in 1999. Since Dejobaan’s founding, he’s led development on the studio’s 16 titles, including the award-winning “AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! — A Reckless Disregard for Gravity” and the now-in-progress “Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby” (no babies harmed), “Monster Loves You!” (it doesn’t), and “Drunken Robot Pornography” (the cleanest game on the Internet).

June Party – Assumptions of Gender (featuring some women of Westeros)

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Our June party features the presentation, “Assumptions of Gender (featuring some women of Westeros)” by Tim Crosby!

As a society, we make assumptions about the gender of game characters and the gender of game players. A lot of these assumptions are problems. We’ll talk about some gender assumptions in general popular culture, and the ways that games can address these issues. We’ll also look into how this thinking shapes how Disruptor Beam is approaching gender their upcoming Game of Thrones Ascent.

After getting degrees from Caltech, Tim a spent a short time as a rocket scientist working on ballistic missile defense before going to MIT and then switching to games. He has worked at many Boston-area game companies including Irrational Games (during the time of BioShock) and Demiurge Studios (during Mass Effect for the PC). He is now game design lead and product manager at Disruptor Beam, where has helped create 50 Cent’s Blackjack and other social games. He is currently working on Game of Thrones Ascent, a social game uniquely driven by story and character. Tim’s mom is a feminist social psychologist who studies affirmative action and social justice, which may or may not explain some things about his personality. He spends an inordinate amount of time thinking about both miniature dachshunds and cephalopods.

May Party — Digital Gaming QUILTBAG-ing Circle

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This month’s party features a talk, “Digital Gaming QUILTBAG-ing Circle”, by games researcher Todd Harper.

It’s no secret to video game-loving queer folk and their allies that the letters of our ever-expanding acronym could be better represented in games, but there’s so many questions and variables involved with that. What sort of games? What sorts of themes and characters? What’s helpful and what’s hurtful? This talk shares the experiences of working with GAMBIT interns on “A Closed World,” the many responses it got, the challenges of building a followup game, and a little postmortem of the recent Cardboard Gayme Jam held at the lab. Hopefully what’s been learned through these various experiences will help shed some light and open up discussion on this very complex topic.

Todd Harper is a postdoctoral researcher at the MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, where he studies the seemingly contradictory subjects of e-sports and fighting game culture, and queer/gender representation in games. He is currently working on adapting his dissertation on the hardcore fighting game community into a book, studying sportsmanship in League of Legends, and recently gave a well-received talk on same-sex romance options in Bioware games at the Pop Culture Association Conference here in Boston.

April Party — Real Talk About Serious Games

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When creating a serious game (a game intentionally designed to have a purposeful impact on the players’ lives beyond the self-contained aim of the game itself) how do you keep both the game fun and the process of making the game fun? Developers from the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab don’t have the answer, but they think they’re on the right track! The challenge is in maintaining respect for the serious topic while making a game that will be engaging for the players.
Come hear about three cases in which they’ve made games in various environments: game jams, student projects, projects for clients and provide your feedback about what makes an environment fun, and how exactly do you talk about serious things. Specific cases are the Equal Pay Game Jam from March; game development projects such as elude (a video game about depression), a boardgame created to help communities build wireless mesh networks, and current game development prototypes about prison management and medicare; and student class assignments based on the Willpath personal health tracking and rewards system.
Panelists are:
Sara Verrilli, Development Director, Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. Game Director for the wireless mesh network game and the prototypes about prison management and medicare; Instructor for Creating Videogames at MIT.
Rik Eberhardt, Studio Manager, Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. Game Director for elude and organizer for various game jams, including the Equal Pay Game Jam (organized to make games for the Department of Labor Equal Pay Challenge – getting data and info about the current inequities of pay into the hands of US citizens); Instructor for Creating Videogames at MIT.
Konstantin Mitgutsch, Postdoctoral Researcher, Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. Currently researching serious game design development, games for social change, and product owner for the prototypes about prison management and medicare. He has a blog categorizing various games for social change at

Tickets for our parties tend to go fast, so if you’re definitely attending, register as soon as possible. By registering, you agree to abide by our party policy.

Our March Party — From Playtester to CEO

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This month’s party talk will be From Playtester to CEO: 20 year game industry veteran and CEO of 38 Studios Jen MacLean shares her perspective on making a career out of the games industry, progressing in the industry as a woman, and always doing something you love. Jen will discuss her experiences at small startups and major media companies, as well as how to thrive in the games industry.

Jen MacLean showcases her extensive experience in online content and interactive entertainment as CEO of 38 Studios. From the start of her career in 1992 at Microprose Software, through senior roles at AOL and Comcast and now at 38 Studios, Jen has managed game development, strategy, marketing and partnerships across multiple platforms. Ms. MacLean earned a BA in international relations from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA with a concentration in international business from the Columbia Business School. She was named one of the “Game Industry’s 100 Most Influential Women” by Next Generation, one of the “Top 20 Women in Games” by Gamasutra, and is a frequently-requested speaker at interactive entertainment industry events.

Tickets for our parties tend to go fast, so if you’re definitely attending, register as soon as possible. By registering, you agree to abide by our party policy.

Our February Party – A Crash Course in Media Training!

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This month brings us A Crash Course in Media Training, offered by Alexander Sliwinski. As the News Editor for Joystiq, he’s been a prolific contributor to the site for over half a decade. He’s responsible for more than 7,000 posts and is distinguished by his breaking and original news reports. Alexander has a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Hofstra University.

This month’s talk will be a rapid-fire, streamline approach to basic media training and communication. Feel free to bring all your questions on how to get coverage for your game and handle media interviews.

Tickets for our parties tend to go fast, so if you’re definitely attending, register as soon as possible.