Pitch your exciting, insightful game UX talks for GDC 2019’s UX Summit!

As you’re starting to get your plans together for the 2019 Game Developers Conference, we want to take a moment to quickly remind you that GDC organizers are still accepting UX Summit talk submissions — but only until Friday, October 5th at 11:59 PM Pacific!

With its deep focus on the user experience discipline in games,the GDC UX Summit is one of our newer and more exciting summits, featuring panels and lectures from top UX practitioners and advocates in the industry.

This one-day (Monday) Summit features panels and lectures from top UX practitioners and advocates in the industry. This summit is targeted towards all levels of expertise in UX and focuses on best practices and case studies rather than pure theory.

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XRDC speaker Q&A: Jenna Goldberg and the art of data visualization in AR

There’s data processing, and then there’s understanding data. Normally, when trying to sift through reams and reams of data, you’re working on screens or with physical spreadsheets, using whatever 2-D tools you have on hand to give that data any context you can.

But what if you could see that data in three dimensions? What if you could interact with it? That’s what Jenna Goldberg, senior visual designer at IBM, has been trying to realize for the last few years. And at XRDC, she’ll be giving a talk about the Immersive Insights project at IBM, and how she and her colleague Reena Ganga are creating tools to visualize data in augmented reality.

To get you ready for her talk, we’ve reached out to Goldberg for a quick Q&A about her work, which you can now read below!

Attend XRDC 2018 to learn about immersive games & entertainment, brand experiences, and innovative use cases across industries.

Tell us about yourself and your work in augmented reality.

My entrance into the Augmented Reality (AR) realm started with 3D animation. While attending the University of Texas at Austin, I was captivated by the limitless creativity and wanted to learn more. I expanded on my animation knowledge by participating in game design, where my team and I created a 3rd person action-adventure game. From there I realized that while I stilled loved 3D animation, I wasn’t particularly interested in gaming. I made the switch to Augmented Reality when I worked at Builder Homesite Incorporated (BHI), creating an app for people to make custom-designed homes and explore them in an AR setting. Finally, my 4 years of pursuing IBM paid off when I was contacted by them, looking for an AR software designer for a project called Immersive Insights. Both working at IBM and being an AR designer were dreams of mine, so I immediately transferred over and have been at IBM since.

Without spoiling it too much, tell us what you’ll be talking about at XRDC. 

While designing for AR is exciting, it’s also extremely challenging. As opposed to typical UX design that is taught in school, designing for new technology comes with its own challenges that aren’t often taught. There is no quick Google search for an answer, no AR expert to turn to. My college, Reena Ganga, and I will be discussing the problems we encounter daily, and how we address them. We will share some of the lessons we have learned so far and explore some of the issues we haven’t yet been able to overcome.

In addition to this, we will uncover our successes and how all of this applies to designing for Enterprise Software. Specifically, we will address the difference between designing for AR in terms of entertainment and B to B companies.

What excites you most about AR/VR/MR?

What’s so exciting about this field is that it is still nascent. This sort of newness puts everybody in the field on the same team. We are the answers on Google, we are the experts. This encourages everyone in the field to interact with each other and share what we’ve learned. Both within IBM and in the overall design field, many groups have come together to combine our knowledge and assist each other with the concerns that arise regarding design in AR. There is never a dull day. Every day of work brings something new.

Who would you like to meet at XRDC?  

I really look forward to meeting other AR designers who have encountered some of the same issues that I have, and inquire about what they’ve done to confront those issues, as well as share what my team and I have done. It’s rare to find people who are working specifically with data visualization in AR, so the more collaboration the bigger the benefit.

Why do you think companies will be interested in pursuing advanced data visualization in AR, based on your work?  

Every company can benefit from discovering insights about their consumer habits and sales data. However, the way it is now, insights are only being generated from data analyzation experts. We need intuitive programs that allow those with less of a technical background to be able to discover insights from their data as well, so more people can reap the benefits. AR not only makes interacting with your data more exciting, it makes it more accessible. Because of its immersive nature AR allows users to form a close relationship with their data by living in it. Today we are engrossed with our tablets and PCs and I think we find ourselves segmenting our computer time and our human time more and more. AR is the first step in the marriage of digital and real life.

XRDC is happening October 29th and 30th in San Francisco at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. Now that registration is open, you’ll want to look over XRDC passes and prices and register early to get the best deal!

For more information about XRDC, which is produced by organizers of the Game Developers Conference, check out the official XRDC website. You can also subscribe to regular XRDC updates via emailTwitter and Facebook.

Gamasutra, XRDC, and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Americas

Don’t miss your shot to pitch a talk for GDC 2019’s Indie Games Summit!

The 2019 Game Developers Conference is still accepting Independent Games Summit talk submissions — but only through 11:59 PM Pacific on Friday, October 5th!

Of course, officials are also accepting talks that would be a good fit for the Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC), the other GDC Summits, and the Game Career Seminar at GDC 2019, which is happening in San Francisco March 18th through the 22nd of next year.

Today we’re taking a moment to call out the Independent Games Summit because it’s intended to be the place for the independent game developer at GDC. It features lectures, postmortems and roundtables from notable independent game creators, including many former and current Independent Games Festival finalists and winners.

The Independent Games Summit is the place for the independent game developer at GDC. It features lectures, postmortems, and panels from notable independent game creators, including many former and current Independent Games Festival finalists and winners. The Independent Games Summit seeks to achieve diversity of voice, experience and perspective, while highlighting the best and brightest in indie development.

Discussion topics range from game design philosophy to art, programming, distribution, business, marketing, and much more. The 2019 IGS will again use a main, large room alongside a simultaneous second smaller room – for deep-dive subjects and focused talks that we would otherwise be unable to fit into the program. Please submit with this in mind!

We are soliciting the following topics for the 2019 program:

  • Design and Philosophy – design techniques particularly suited to indies, such as rapid prototyping & limitations, as well as more abstract talks on how you approach indie limitations – we often compile an hour of more ‘out there’ lectures, so don’t be afraid!
  • Case Studies and Post-mortems – inspirational talks that demonstrate what worked, what didn’t, what surprised you and made you wiser. Postmortems don’t have to only talk about breakaway hits- failure discussions are great too, and the process can be more enlightening than the commercial outcomes!
  • Discipline Deep Dives – each discipline in video game development encounters unique challenges working in the independent space. Building games on your own often requires deep, specialized learning in new areas. Talks for specific audiences about advanced techniques in Engineering, Design, Art, Audio, Production/Project Management, UI/UX, or Writing, are welcome and encouraged.
  • Indie Business – how to fund your project, ship a profitable game, manage teams, pick the right platform, and run a company without self-destructing.
  • Promotion & Marketing – how to get noticed when the “Marketing Department” = you
  • Annual lecture themes: if you’re interested in submitting to give a microtalk in one of our annual 60–minute lectures, such as the Indie Soapbox, the Failure Workshop, or the Tech Toolbox, be sure to note that in the Summary for Advisors section of the submission form

So if you want to speak at GDC 2019, submit your talk now! For more details on the submission process or GDC 2019 in general visit the show’s official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Americas

IGF 2019 Inspirations: 2017 Grand Prize winner Quadrilateral Cowboy

The folks organizing the Game Developers Conference are still accepting submissions for the 21st annual Independent Games Festival (IGF), the longest running festival, summit and showcase of independent games!

It’s a reminder that entries for all IGF categories are being accepted through October 1, 2018, with finalists announced in early January 2019. Even if you don’t wind up winning, participating in the IGF is a great way to bring some attention to your work, build camaraderie with your fellow indie devs, and partake in a major celebration of the best in indie games!

To help inspire you, we’re continuing our series highlighting notable past IGF winners. Today we want to remind you about the success story that is Blendo Games’ Quadrilateral Cowboy, a retro-futuristic cyberpunk puzzler that asks players to break into secure systems and places with the help of a crack team of hackers.

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Learn to design better virtual, augmented, and mixed reality spaces at XRDC!

Learn to design better virtual, augmented, and mixed reality spaces at XRDC!As we gear up for XRDC in San Francisco next month, organizers want to quickly take a moment to talk in detail about some of the exciting and informative design-focused talks that you’ll be able to check out at the event!

Helping creators and innovators design better and more effective experiences is one of the core missions of XRDC, and how you do that depends on what mediums you’re working in. If you’re a designer, it doesn’t matter if you’re working in augmented reality, virtual reality, mixed reality, or all of the above: XRDC 2018 has something that meets your needs!

For example, the XRDC Innovation track talk “Designing for Unpredictable Experience Sizes in AR“, presented by Google user experience designer Alesha Unpingco, promises to equip you with design techniques you can use when creating augmented reality content that reacts and adapts to different environment sizes

After all, every user’s environment is unique, but what are the common trends seen in experience and space sizes? How do you design for various environmental constraints? How can knowledge of these constraints empower you to design for all users? Understanding the different environment sizes and how to design for them is one of the first steps creators can take when developing meaningful experiences everyone can enjoy; with that in mind, Unpingco will share insights from ARCore applications and break down observations and techniques creators can use for designing table-scale, room-scale, and world-scale experiences for unpredictable spaces!

Elsewhere on the same track of talks, Owlchemy Labs’ Devin Reimer and Andrew Eiche will be delivering a forward-looking session on “The Holodeck is Here…Now What?: Advanced Interactions for Room-Scale VR.”

It promises to be fascinating; since pioneering early standards for VR interaction, Owlchemy Labs has new insights about the latest best practices for room-scale VR.

Make time to attend, so you can learn from the team behind Job Simulator, Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality, and the upcoming Vacation Simulator as they cover several topics – including advanced interaction with objects and characters, zone-based teleportation, accessible design, and more – that anyone doing VR development can apply to their current and future projects!

Plus, the XRDC Innovation track will also play host to “Reasoning APIs: How to Translate AR Between Engineering and Design“, a session presented by Unity perceptual engineer Andrew Maneri that’s all about how the company has been researching a solution they call “reasoning APIs”. These “reasoning APIs” are a new AR technique: equal parts coding, puzzle solving, and adventure-game-style ingredient substitution.

The Unity team has used it to turn weather into light, bridge the gap between devices, and more. Come hear about their experimentation in this area, and how to create your own! Attendees will learn how to create/use reasoning APIs to solve new problems in AR, and developers will gain knowledge to increase the scope and device range of their AR apps.

And finally, don’t overlook “Adaptive Design in MR: UX Problems and Solutions” from Microsoft mixed reality lead Jada Williams. It’s a talk that sets out to answer some pressing questions: How do you design the same app for both Hololens and VR? What do you do about the two different input systems? Do you stay consistent for design or for the platform?

Drawing on her experience at Microsoft, Williams will compare how web and mobile have solved these problems with responsive/adaptive design. She will also cover how the Microsoft team thought about adaptive design in MR while designing for Microsoft Layout, a mixed reality app that allows space planners to see their ideas in context. Topics discussed in this session include UI consistency, menu patterns and input choices. Don’t miss it!

XRDC takes place this October 29th and 30th in San Francisco at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. Now that registration is open, you’ll want to look over XRDC passes and prices and register early to get the best deal.

For more information about XRDC, which is produced by organizers of the Game Developers Conference, check out the official XRDC website. You can also subscribe to regular XRDC updates via emailTwitter and Facebook.

Gamasutra, XRDC, and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Americas

Come to XRDC for expert advice on designing great UX for AR apps!

Augmented-reality games and apps are a fresh and invigorating field to be working in, but that novelty brings with it a lot of challenges, not least of which being: how do you design your AR experience so that it’s approachable and intuitive?

It’s a question of user experience design, something Placenote chief Neil Mathew intends to dig into during his exciting “UX Design Guidelines for Building AR Cloud Apps” talk at XRDC in San Francisco next month.

It’s part of the XRDC Innovation track of talks because Mathew aims to walk you through the latest developments in AR cloud technology, the remaining technical hurdles that need to be solved, and UX design guidelines to build compelling AR experiences despite the technical limitations. He’ll also explore the current technical limitations of AR cloud technology and discuss the trade-offs needed to balance good UX with AR cloud features.

Recent breakthroughs in 3D mapping and AI are now making it possible to build AR apps that truly interact with the real world (think: indoor navigation and location-based games), so this talk might be especially useful to developers, UX designers, startup founders or product managers interested in learning about the latest developments in AR cloud technology and looking for inspiration on building a compelling persistent or multiplayer AR app.

XRDC takes place this October 29th and 30th in San Francisco at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. Now that registration is open, you’ll want to look over XRDC passes and prices and register early to get the best deal.

Also, XRDC provides discounted hotel rooms for attendees. Book your hotel early for the best rate!

For more information about XRDC, which is produced by organizers of the Game Developers Conference, check out the official XRDC website. You can also subscribe to regular XRDC updates via emailTwitter and Facebook.

GDC 2019’s Mobile Summit needs you to submit great mobile-centric talks!

Heads up: organizers are still accepting pitches for Summit sessions at Game Developers Conference 2019, which is coming back to the Moscone Center in San Francisco March 18th through the 22nd of next year!

Officials are accepting talks that would be a good fit for the Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC), all the GDC Summits, and the Game Career Seminar through Friday, October 5th at 11:59 pm Pacific Time! 

Today, officials want to give a special shoutout to folks who might have ideas for talks that would be a good fit for the GDC Mobile Summit.

The Mobile Summit aims to bring together top game developers from around the world to share ideas, discuss best practices, and consider the future of gaming on mobile platforms, including iOS, Android, Amazon and more. This two day program will focus on the nuts and bolts of great game design and successful business strategies specifically tailored to popular smartphones and tablets.

We are soliciting the following topics for the 2019 program:

  • Ways to foster innovation in a mature market once new games become dominant brands, and powerful brands enter from other arenas.
  • Postmortems on the launch of new mobile games, or postmortems on major updates to existing mobile games.
  • Strategies for launching across multiple territories or cross-platform launches beyond mobile.
  • Soft launch best practices: why, when, where, and what to look for?
  • Improving player experience and revenue performance via skillful integration of monetization elements into the game design.
  • Authentic social and viral engagement techniques for mobile games.
  • User acquisition tips and tricks, in an era of escalating UA costs.
  • Mobile game launch best practices, especially in light of the Apple App Store redesign.
  • Pros & Cons: staying independent vs. working with a publisher or partner.
  • How can paid apps thrive in an ecosystem dominated by F2P?
  • Best practices to keep a community of loyal players in your game.
  • UX and UI design best practices and tips for touchscreens.
  • Native game design and mechanics for mobile devices.
  • Keeping your players hooked – how to be sticky in a low-attention-span world, taking into account designing for short, interruptible play sessions.
  • Trends in mobile tech – what should you keep an eye on?
  • The rise of mobile game design for non-traditional gaming audiences.
  • How to optimize your use of ad networks for maximum revenue and flexibility.

So if you want to speak at GDC 2019, submit your talk now!

For more details on the submission process or GDC 2019 in general visit the show’s official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

XRDC attendee Q&A: Steve Biegun and how healthcare is using VR and AR

At XRDC 2018, you’ll not only get to see great talks from experts in the field of VR, AR, and beyond, but you’ll also be rubbing elbows with a group of peers also working to push the boundaries of this new field.

In the run-up to the show, we’re going to be interviewing some of those attendees for a look at what other kinds of projects are being done in this new digital world. Today, we’re talking to Steve Biegun, designer at Pulse Design group, about his work and why he’s attending XRDC.

Tell us about yourself and your work in AR/VR/MR.

I lead the VR/AR team at Pulse Design Group, a healthcare design firm in Kansas City. We have been developing immersive applications for visualization and training since 2013. Most of our work is for architectural visualization or interior design. Here is a brief blog post about a recent project we completed for Cardinal Health:

Personally, my background is in motion design and animation. I made the switch to VR in 2014 after becoming interested in 360-degree video.

Can you tell us about projects that you are currently working on or are planning?

The aforementioned Cardinal Health project is a significant project for our team. This video is an example of a recently  completed Hybrid Operating Room in Kansas City that we created in VR during the design phase for the project. Other than that, we are currently developing educational training applications for healthcare.

What excited you most about AR/VR/MR?

Being a VR/AR developer in the Midwest, it can be extremely challenging to find other developers who share a similar passion. I am very excited about networking with other developers and experienced professionals who create similar applications.

Who would you like to meet at XRDC?

I would like to meet members from the Epic Games team, hardware developers, and healthcare application developers. As a community developer in the Midwest, I am also excited to network with other meetup group organizers.

XRDC is happening October 29th and 30th in San Francisco at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. Now that registration is open, you’ll want to look over XRDC passes and prices and register early to get the best deal!

For more information about XRDC, which is produced by organizers of the Game Developers Conference, check out the official XRDC website. You can also subscribe to regular XRDC updates via emailTwitter and Facebook.

Gamasutra, XRDC, and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Americas

Now’s the time to submit talks for the GDC 2019 Educators Summit!

Next March the Game Developers Conference returns to the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and organizers want to remind you today that they’re still accepting pitches for Summit sessions!

Officials are accepting talks that would be a good fit for the Virtual Reality Developers Conference (aka VRDC), the GDC Summits, and the Game Career Seminar through Friday, October 5th at 11:59 pm Pacific Time! 

Organizers are especially keen to accept talks that would fit in well at the Educators Summit, a GDC Summit dedicated to bringing forward the most innovative and exciting ideas in game education today. Summit attendees will discover new experimental and inventive educational approaches as well as best practices that they can bring back to their faculty and classrooms.

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Submit your talks now for the GDC 2019 Community Management Summit!

The Game Developers Conference returns to San Francisco next year (October 18-22, to be precise) and organizers are still accepting pitches for Summit sessions!

Specifically, they’re looking for great talks that would be a good fit for the Virtual Reality Developers Conference (VRDC), the GDC Summits, and the Game Career Seminar — but they’ll stop accepting submissions on Friday, October 5 at 11:59 pm Pacific Time! 

That’s less than a month away, and so we wanted to make sure and highlight the fact that the ever-popular GDC Community Management Summit (a block of sessions and panels aimed at giving community management professionals room to share knowledge and hone their craft!) is potentially a great place to pitch your talk if you consider community management is an area of your expertise.

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