IGDA: What Is It Good For?

Organizer: Darius Kazemi, Orbus Gameworks

Note form Darius: the costs and budgetary figures I reference during this session were off the top of my head. They were in the right ballpark, but for accurate IGDA financial data, see the 2008 Annual Report.

Person's Notes

Johnny Richardson's notes:

Angry mob of people are going to ask Darius about current state of IGDA

Why is the IGDA basically broke?

  • Studio members have left in droves, partly because of the economy and partly because there’s no justification
    • Different from individual members
    • IGDA doesn’t provide enough justification for studios to spend the money
  • Lost 10% of members in last couple of years
  • Jason Della Rocca, former Exec Director, pushed through web tech we never used for new IGDA website
    • Cost ~$30K
    • Had to go and hire another set of developers to do a new Drupal site, which cost about the same amount
  • IGDA’s about $80k in the red this year

What does it mean to be an IGDA member?

  • Effectively two parts of IGDA
    • SIGs (Special Interest Groups)
    • Whitepapers
    • Diversity study of workforce in 2005
    • Market research (for e.g. casual games)
    • Income of workforce
    • Events
    • e.g. Game Education (runs Summit at GDC & Global Game Jam), Accessibility, Casual Games
  • Chapters
    • 70 chapters worldwide
    • Social, get people together
    • IGDA now officially supports chapters
      • Funding on a quarterly basis
  • There are no “tangible” benefits (like a bullet list), more about industry health
  • New Exec Director Josh Caufield has more experience running orgs and trying…
    • possibly discounts on things like health insurance as a members?
    • Get members back!
  • IGDA can never be a union

Is IGDA more in service to individuals and companies?

  • VERY big issue
  • Darius sees a huge conflict of interest in having studio members
  • Crediting and Quality of Life SIGs effectively oppose studios
    • Quality of Life seal of approval?
      • Against interest of studios
      • Was going forward until Mike Capps basically crushed it as a Board member
      • We do need a voice where developers say what is a good labor practice
  • Studios already have a lot of power within local gov’t, etc.
    • Pales in comparison to what IGDA currently is

Creative workers have traditionally had unions but not tech workers

  • Which are we?
  • Possibly a union in addition along with IGDA eventually
  • IGDA as a support mechanism where chapter or potentially health insurance that can support you between jobs
    • Not feeling shoehorned into any job

Will decrease in members affect vote over Tim Langdell?

  • Not a ton of people leaving because of this specifically
    • Post Mortem can take an official stance on this issue

Being reps of IGDA is useful in terms of making Boston members more respected

New IGDA website

  • New calendar which will hopefully be better integrated into Post Mortem
    • What’s happening to SIG websites? Probably some apocalypse where they all start from scratch

New Tools SIG

  • Toolsmiths blog – resource for people doing tools dev
  • Tools Summit at GDC soon. Cool!

When IGDA has money, you can apply for grants to help with projects

  • SIGs formalization stuff happening now
  • Can also help you get sponsors
  • If you want to do a local official IGDA event, have to get permission

Quality of Life SIG currently restarting Quality of Life seal efforts

  • Pretty demoralizing to have a Board member say they don’t support you

If you have an issue, email all Board members about it. Be as vocal as you can.

Making every chapter really important to local community

  • Present to Board as a chapter; a much louder voice

How is IGDA going to get more money?

  • Josh Caufield is very focused on getting us out of this hole
  • Leadership Forum is a big moneymaker
    • Possibly doing a sort of road show
    • Hopefully in Boston
  • IGDA lost Autodesk as a top-level sponsor, which was a big blow
    • We now have a full-time sales manager to try to bring that kind of thing back
  • Getting more benefits back
    • Book discounts and stuff like that may not be worth it (a relic of CMP Media)
    • Trying to put together an IGDA magazine
      • There was a pilot issue, but couldn’t get any sponsors
      • Stuck in limbo
  • More event discounts like GDC
    • Board member Gordon Bellamy is working on more
    • Boston chapter got a discount on a few recent local events

Session Audio

From Johnny Richardson:
.mp3 Audio, 4.81mb (Good quality)

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