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March 2010 Game Development Meetup - Innovation in Games

Location will be the Panera Bread in Avery/Muirfield. From the northwest corner of 270, take 33/161 west and take the Avery Rd exit North and it should be right there on the right. Their meeting room holds 24 people which our current RSVP count is approaching, so please confirm your maybes and get your RSVP in ASAP. If we have more than the room can hold, some people will have to break off into the dining area.

The meeting room is free to use but they do request that you make a purchase, so please come hungry and get a sandwich to ensure our group is welcomed back to this venue.


Hopefully the weather will have improved enough by March that we can get together for another game dev meetup, and that this summer we can start to have regular monthly meetups. We've gotten a lot of new members, many of which are very interested in working on game projects with others, so I'm looking forward to a good turnout this time.

I'd like to kick off this meetup with the topic of Innovation in Games. Frequently there's a lot of focus on innovation in graphic capabilities, but without big corporate game dev funding here in Ohio it makes most of us independent game developers who just can't compete on that playing field. The primary weapons that we have are innovative style and gameplay, taking games in directions that corporations consider too risky, giving us the edge we need to succeed. So let's talk about how to be innovative and how not to be innovative.

Also, I'd like to talk about indie game development in general, as I think it's one of the best things we can do RIGHT NOW to grow the game development business here in Columbus Ohio. Having just gone full time into my own indie game dev business, I'm willing to share my experiences with it as the months roll on. This group already has 60 members with new people joining almost every week, so there's no reason we can't see more game dev businesses popping up and create more local opportunities.

Location of the meetup will be chosen at a later date after I see how many people plan to come. I'm thinking something inside 270 this time maybe around the Bethel Rd area.

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  • Wesley A.

    Great way to break the ice with persons interested in video games in Ohio and video game creation, marketing, and learning in general.

    March 19, 2010

  • Steve C.

    I thought we got some good discussions going on how to be innovative, what innovation means and why we even care about it. It is a very subjective topic, but at the heart of the matter, if you can create a game with a core of familiarity yet use innovation to add a unique polished twist that creates a true sense of originality, then you've got a good chance at making a game that will live on in people's memories and stand the test of time, something I think most game developers would love to be able to accomplish.

    March 18, 2010

  • Trane D.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the session, and Steve's presentation on Innovation was enlightening and thought provoking. I agree with Max on the "cramptness" of the space. I have a solution. My CEO has agreed to allow us to use our office space for the next meetup. We have enough space to accommodate last nights crowd comfortably, and a PC/projector/screen setup for an AV presentation too. My interest is in actively participating in supporting this group any way I can.

    March 18, 2010

  • Todd B.

    It was a lot of fun seeing everyone who was interested in game development show up.

    March 18, 2010

  • Jghalpin

    I arrived about 45 minutes late. I hope to rectify that by the time April's meetup rolls around and arrive early, maybe even bring some game development minded friends along. Sometimes attempts at innovation fail or come up short and we have games (which I hesitate to mention, having not yet played them) such as Spore or Brutal Legend. (I played the demo. Why are people calling this an RTS??) The fact that we can innovate presents both advantages and disadvantages relative to other industries, i.e. films which can innovate to an extent, but I personally believe depend more on experimentation. A developer can only add so many features to a game before it's time to refine the product, fix whatever bugs they can and ensure it's ready to fly out the door. A film on the other hand can be edited in post right on up to the week before release. In conclusion, innovate whenever you can, but prioritize product features versus functionality, stability and likelihood of crashing.

    March 17, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    I enjoyed the roundtable-like discussion, though wished the space was larger and more circular.

    March 17, 2010

  • Jason C.

    Good meetup.

    I meant to bring up a topic, but I forgot until everyone was leaving. It turns out that Ohio has a tax credit for "film production," which is defined loosely in order to include video game production and other forms of entertainment. I'm not a lawyer, so please don't ask me about the details, but here's a website to get you started:

    March 17, 2010

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