Get Into Games
I've been getting a lot of questions lately on how someone can get into the video game making scene here in Phoenix. One of my favorite aspects of the Phoenix scene is that there are exceptional opportunities here to start making games and quickly tune into what the local game makers are doing.
First and foremost, make sure you're signed up to our Meetup channel and Facebook page to stay on top of our events and those being organized by our friends. If you're into Twitter, we've got that covered too.
Next, get to know local game makers by attending regular meetings of the IGDA Phoenixevery last Wednesday of the month. In fact, there's one tonight with Tristan Moore from Game CoLab Affiliate company, Broken Window Studios. He'll be talking about the road he's been traveling to get his independent game company up and running, and the recent launch of their game Reflections on Steam's Early Access. Get more info here.
Another great resource in the Phoenix area are it's schools of higher education. The University of Advancing Technology (UAT), DeVry University and the Art Institute of Phoenix all offer undergraduate video game programs. UAT even offers a graduate program in video game production and management. Arizona State University, Mesa Community College, Glendale Community College and a few others offer certificates. For a more complete list visit the Entertainment Software Associations list of U.S. College Video Game Programs. According to their list we've got 13 higher ed opportunities in the state.
As a professor in game production at UAT, I'm happy to keep you in the loop on our UAT Game Studios student projects. We currently have over 120 students working on 8 ambitious video game projects. If you're interested in playing the latest versions and speaking one-on-one with the students about their experience join one of our many awareness-raising and game demo events.
The next event is a Demo Day this Saturday, November 21st from 1-4pm at the Mesa ThinkSpot for International Games Day. The UAT student games will be showcased for playtesting and students will offer short presentations on their work and methodologies for the public to get a rare inside look at the process of working on a collaborative game project.
If Saturday is too soon, no worries. This fall term will culminate in another opportunity to play the games and hear about the process from the students at their Greenlight Celebration on December 11th from 6-8pm. Presentations by students in the theater, followed by game play demos and networking has seen success in the past in introducing to the public the rigor and passion the UAT students put into their diverse game projects. Register here to join in on the celebration!
There are many other ways to join in on the video game making scene here in Phoenix that we'll go into in future posts, but for now make sure to follow us and our friends the IGDA Phoenix as well as the local schools like UAT and their UAT Game Studios program.
If you are organizing any upcoming gaming events, or know of any that we missed, please post them in the comments below. We are more than happy to share them across our social media and other outlets.
The Arizona video game community is too awesome not to spread the word on all of the inspiring work people are doing! Share the word and Get into Games!!
Until next time, Ben