Past Meetup

October Meetup - Featuring Patrick Curry of Fun Machine

This Meetup is past

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Details

This month's event will feature Patrick Curry, a veteran game designer and developer with deep experience in mobile games. Patrick will discuss lessons learned during his two years as CEO of Fun Machine (http://www.fun-machine.com/), a mobile game studio that built titles for various clients including Whole Foods and Marvel Entertainment. He'll touch upon challenges that Fun Machine faced in the realms of both business and technology; explain the company's recent pivot to building mobile dev tools; and provide a thorough rundown of the issues those tools are designed to address.

Patrick has over a decade of experience in game development for PC, consoles, and mobile. In 2001, he worked at Team Smarty Pants (https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CC4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thefreelibrary.com%2FDigital%2BMercenaries%2BSigns%2BPartnership%2BWith%2Bteam%2BsmartyPants!%2Bfor...-a083944448&ei=_GBbUrKnDM-HqQGokIG4Ag&usg=AFQjCNHm7YZIo5cSLlQBdt5-bRfAh5wEdg&sig2=_P0bNJNm8EhrQGb9NM-g5g&bvm=bv.53899372,d.aWM), leading the development of a turn-based strategy game designed to work across desktop and WAP-based mobile phones. Unfortunately, this idea was slightly ahead of its time. After that, he became co-founder and CTO of Austin-based console game studio Skylab Entertainment (http://www.bluesnews.com/a/546/game-industry-veterans-launch-skylab-entertainment-in-austin-texas).

In 2004, Patrick joined the legendary Wideload Games (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wideload_Games) (founded by Alex Seropian of Bungie) and served as VP of Product Development. At Wideload, he led design for Stubbs the Zombie (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stubbs_the_Zombie_in_Rebel_Without_a_Pulse), a humorous, retro-themed title for Xbox and PC. The studio garnered wide press coverage for their unconventional development philosophy and quirky aesthetics, years before such practices became commonplace in the indie game scene.

Next, Curry joined Midway in Chicago as Senior Game Designer and led design of the first official John Woo game, Stranglehold (http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/stranglehold) (2007). That was followed by a stint as Creative Director at Disney Interactive, leading development of the Wii party game Guilty Party (http://www.metacritic.com/game/wii/disney-guilty-party) (2010), and finally as a Creative Consultant with Marvel Entertainment.

In 2011, Curry co-founded Fun Machine in Austin with a team of game industry veterans. Their goal was to build mobile games for various corporate clients, and they had some success in this area. Most notably, Fun Machine created the addictive puzzle game Awesome Eats (http://www.fun-machine.com/awesome-eats/) for Whole Foods, intended to teach kids about healthy eating and school gardening. However, the company encountered some challenges in getting a steady flow of clients willing to pay a reasonable rate for their services.

Meanwhile, the team at Fun Machine built a number of internal tools to help improve their game development workflow and processes. Several of these tools proved to be very popular among their friends and collaborators who were also creating mobile games and apps. Therefore, the team is now focused full-time on building these dev tools and is not taking on new clients. The tools are designed to address very specific workflow and technical challenges, which Patrick will discuss in detail.

Schedule for this event:
• 6:30pm - Arrival and socializing
• 7:00pm - Patrick Curry talk begins
• 7:45pm - Audience questions
• 8:15pm - More socializing

Supported by Microsoft
Thanks to generous support from Microsoft, this event will include free pizza and beer. A developer evangelist from Microsoft will be on hand to say a few brief words about the opportunities available for developing on the company's platforms. For more info, please visit http://msdn.microsoft.com/