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San Franciso Game Development Meetup Group Message Board › Bay Area Game Developers meetup purpose and function

Bay Area Game Developers meetup purpose and function

A former member
Post #: 1
Greetings Bay Area Game Developers!

This meetup has functioned rather well for the past number of years (thanks in large part to Casey Holtz for managing the group). Great relationships have been established and a wonderful exchange of ideas have taken place. However, it seems the purpose of this meetup has evolved over the past year or so. Many of you are looking for jobs and we have recruiters who contact us looking to come and connect at the meetups. This, of course, coincides with the trends we see in our industry and economy. We have also heard of some interest in speakers or even sponsors.

Casey and I wanted to take a moment and poll our members about what you think the function of these meetups should fulfill:

1) Would you like to see a dedicated time for job networking? Would you like us to reach out to recruiters in the space and invite them to take an active role in the meetups?

2) Would you like to see a very small portion of time dedicated to speakers and/or sponsors? This might mean free drinks if we have sponsors ;)

3) Are you happy with the current format and would like to see it stay exactly the same? A casual get together over drinks to chat about the industry, network and see friends?

4) Is there something missing from this list that you'd like to add? Is there something missing from the meetups?

Take a moment to voice your opinions. What do you think about the proposed ideas?
We aren't necessarily going to make changes right away, but we also want to make sure that the needs of our members are met. This has been a great group of people and we'd love to continue to tailor our meetups around what the community needs.

A former member
Post #: 1
I enjoy the networking/meeting new people element of these meetings, but adding recruiters and presentations to the mix would definitely add more to the meetup. I've met a lot of talent who should definitely be showing off their projects at these events and they're able to do little more than hand out business cards. Let find ways for them to show off their goods or works in progress, be it game demos, art designs, music (no shameless self-promo here! ;)

I'd love to see the group a bit more developed so it goes further than semi-random groups of people getting together each month. Just one opinion to throw in the mix...
Casey H.
Group Organizer
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 14
Hey Guys,

Thanks for getting this discussion going. I really appreciate your well thought out post Japheth and the questions you have posed to the group. We can follow up with people this evening.

There are several recruiters that belong to the group. Many have emailed me in the past and I have asked them to definitely come. I have even forwarded their contact information to members I knew were looking for work. They are fine in my book as long as people are not annoyed by them.

I am all for having sponsors and speakers. I have extended invitations to coworkers etc... for speakers and have many takers. If we can get them to commit early we can mention it in the description for the event and let people know they need to show up by a certain to catch the talk. Some sponsors want to change the location of the event, I am not too interested in doing that since a central location with good public transportation does wonders for the attendance. We used to meet all over the city and very few people would show up, my theory being that it was a hassle for them.

I think we can be agile and flexible with the format. I like to pair people up or make introductions. If someone brings a laptop and wants to share, I love making a lap around the crowd and letting them know to that someone wants to share, so they can choose to listen if they are interested.

Not really ^_^

In closing-
I think since people have busy schedules and people generally trickle in at various times, formal presentations where everyone pays attention to one or a couple lecturers is difficult. If we had a space like the theater that IGDA used meet in, it would be more conducive to that format. In the past we have had several people present demos, portfolios and projects and even board games.

To Mac, best of luck with your new game group. I hope people enjoy the choice and diversity in formats. I do think it is important to clarify that you were removed as an assistant organizer because you never attended a single meeting. Please be more up front about your involvement.
Jason Lars B.
user 5025367
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 1
In terms of presentations, it might be cool to start putting something together. Rather than taking the time to look outside the group at "Guest Speakers", one thing we could do, is do mini-post mortums (not to reference any other groups :-p) on games each of us inside the group has shipped. We just do a little 30 minute song and dance talking about a game we worked on, and some of what was hard about it and some of what was cool about it. After that we could do a little QA then just open everyone up to general discussion.

The group already has a lot of talent and experience, but sometimes it feels like that stuff gets buried in the more general discussions we engage in.

I'd even be willing to go first if people are interested in this.
Dean S.
user 11440149
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 1

as a first timer (last month) i noticed

there could be a "greeter" of sorts to let newbies know theyre in the right place. maybe you guys wear name tags?

recruiters have never helped me in the 20 years ive been doing this.. meeting employers not middle men would be a better goal.

i assumed the entire meet was dedicated time for networking so maybe a menu/list of events for each the easle on the side of a vaudeville stage.

nothing wrong with speakers or sponsors if they are drinks are nice. :)

perhaps focus around resumes and such? i brought mine but (i think) forgot to pass it off?.. didnt think it was relevant at the time.

just a quick thought...
user 8828820
Pune, IN
Post #: 1
Hi ,

How about starting some tutorial sessions and small competition to help people like to get involved in the industry?

Thanks & Regards,
Simon A.
San Francisco, CA
Post #: 3
I'd like to cast my vote in favor of a designated greeter: seems like everyone has do do a certain amount of wandering around looking to find who/where the game developers are. To automate this, a sign that could be placed on a table would work.

Also, a roll of sticky name-tags and a sharpie, sitting next to the sign would be cool. I'm willing to supply these......however tonight (Tuesday 3/16/10) it's looking like I will not be able to go, but maybe next time....
A former member
Post #: 8
After being a member for a very long time but showing up only twice, I finally decided to come to tonight's meetup. Why? Because I had this bright new idea and wanted to see what game developers thought of it on its own merit as an idea. The idea in my opinion is so cool, that I wouldn't care who would take it and run with it as long as it was tried out... but that is in my mind not everyone else's ;)

So what function does this meetup serve for me - I knew that a whole bunch of game devs meet on a regular basis in San Francisco, and this meetup was how I found the when and where to that meeting.

I suppose if this meetup wasn't around, I might have tried to find people via other game developer networks on the web space, but this was the most obvious place for me to look, considering that is so popular in the Bay Area.

- Vishal
A former member
Post #: 4
I was going to wait to reply till after my first meetup, but I agree that something like nametags or any other dorky indicator would be helpful for breaking the ice/knowing who to start up conversations with.
A former member
Post #: 1
- Though I haven't been to a meeting for awhile, I think 1) and 2) are decent ideas.

- Vikram's idea is interesting, though there are many positions in the field from music/ sound, concept art/ mapping- texture maps, 3D (character- environment) low poly- high poly, and animation. I'm not against the idea, just feel there's allot to consider.

- I wont be heading there this month, I'll try and make it next.

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