Boston Game Industry What S Next


Darius Kazemi of Orbus Gameworks, Boston Post Mortem.

Session Audio

Devin Griffiths was kind enough to supply audio for this session.


Matt Weise's Notes

  • Boston Post-Mortem is very healthy, big, meets often
  • Do we want Boston game community to get bigger?
  • Some risks with bigger community: bigger publishers move in, begin soaking up talent like a sponge
  • How are other communities doing?
  • San Fran is not as strong as it could be
  • L.A. is stronger than you'd expect
  • How do you qualify how "strong" a community is, outside of counting heads at IGDA meetings?
  • Darius: When people don't know that there is another game company down the street, and this is unusual in Boston.
  • Kent: But people outside Boston sometimes don't even know there is development in Boston.
  • National versus Local perspective.
  • Idea: Need more "press support" from (inter)national companies that have Boston branches (Rockstar, 2K, etc.)
  • Philip/Darius: Sometimes people aren't *allowed* to talk to their fellow developers because their publisher prevents them.
  • Name changes, for how pissed off they made people, actually make Boston more nationally visible: 2K Boston, Rockstar New England
  • We have a community.
  • What's the perception of that community?
  • Is that perception true?
  • A lot of people don't know Harmonix is in Boston.
  • Even so, that's one company. Even with Guitar Hero/Rock Band and Bioshock, we are not on the level of San Fran, Seattle, etc.
  • Ways to expand. It would be good to go to the Web Innovator's Group meeting, to "get beyond the Skellig". Also, Open Coffee is good. Tech Cocktail is good (tickets sell out in hours.)
  • We should publish Post-Mortem numbers - the Boston Post-Mortem FAQ!
  • Doug: Boston should become awesome in its own way, not just worry about becoming "the next Montreal" (education one possible angle)
  • Game programs: Emmerson, WPI, Berkley, Harvard (students want it), MIT, others (I missed many of them)
  • Why isn't there more hiring done at Post-Mortem? Isn't it GOOD to have students there?
  • We should have an internship focused Boston Post-Mortem at some point early next year (speed dating!)
  • The communities should help start ups as much as possible, by sharing ideas on new business models, consolidating the community, discussing/collaborating on new distribution channels.
  • Idea: Help Boston politicians know what the hell we do and why we're good for them.

Jon Radoff's Notes

(from his blog)

"Discussion of some of the opportunities to expand the local game community, the importance of participation from larger publishers, and differences/challenegs between Boston and the West Coast (i.e., weather IS apparently is a big concern in attracting talent to New England). I suggested that participations visit a Web Innovators Group meeting to see one of the ways the dot-com industry is creating community events around Boston."

Dean O'Donnell's Notes

(from his blog)

Did you know our Post Mortem is the best attended and most frequent IGDA meeting in the world? Did you know Massachusetts has recently instituted tax benefits for the film industry, and at the last moment included the game industry in those benefits? Did you know the general perception in the games industry is that there are no developers in or around Boston? Yeah, that last one sucks. So what's next for the Boston games industry seemed to be two things:

  1. We need better PR to tell people that we exist. It occured to me this morning while reading Edge, that every month they spotlight a different city or region, get a roundtable of all the developers there, then do individual articles about the major developers in that area, yet I hadn't read one about Boston. Hmm… So basically we need a Local Game Industry Evangelist, which was when everyone looked at Darius.
  2. The other thing was to leverage our strengths, which seemed to be that we're a hotbed of academia with a number of very strong game development programs. The talk then turned to internships and entry-level hiring vs. experienced hiring. I outed myself as an academic (there were no academics allowed at this, though the MIT-Gambit lab seems perilously close to academia, and they were well represented) and talked about when to look for interns. It seems to me that game companies don't think summer starts until June, when all the WPI kids leave at the beginning of May. I asked them to start looking in March/April in order to actually get local kids into local companies.

Jason McIntosh's Notes

Why bother building a sense that Boston has a game community? To get more smart people into games to move here. But the weather is an obstacle.

Go to web innovators group meeting, Cambridge. "webinnogroup"

Opencoffee, techcocktail (but that's hard)

Boston is crawling with students that you can turn into interns or whatnot. Maybe have an internship focused Post Mortem.

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