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The PAX Robota - July 29th, 2010

Releasing a game is pretty exhausting, especially one that you’ve put a lot of yourself into. So I made the unusual decision (for me, anyway) to take some time off from creating things. I’ve had time to reflect on the game, be thankful for the many glowing reviews, and write a mini postmortem for the IGDA newsletter.

And now, I’m ready to start looking ahead again. As it turns out, I’ve got lots to look forward to in the coming weeks. :}

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First, there was the glorious news that Puzzle Bots was selected for the PAX 10, out of more than 100 entrants. I honestly thought we were a long shot, but I hoped the punchline-based dialog would click with the Penny Arcade judges. Whatever happened, we now get our own booth at the amazing PAX conference, and I get to go to Seattle for the first time. Man…I’m so glad I took that chance with Dave’s entrance fee. ;)

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Secondly, with the help of Scott Roberts of DePaul University, we’ve started poking at the embers of the Chicago indie games scene. So far we’ve had two meetings of “Indie City Games” (I knew we’d find a great pun, I just knew). Next month we’re hosting our first game jam, and I see good and pixelated things in the future.

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Third up, there’s the 3G Summit, where I was invited to be one of 5 panelists (the others are industry notables Mary Flanagan, Tracy Fullerton, Jennifer Jenson, and Susana Ruiz). The premise won me over: I get to spend a day working with 10 high school girls to design a video game. The other panelists all do the same, which means 50 girls get to participate. The winning design of the 5 gets made into a real game by a group of Columbia College students (it’s their final project).

As far as I’m concerned, it’s high-stakes game design boot camp, which sounds like entirely too much fun. Plus, I’ll have the chance to tell these young women personally that if they want to pursue a career in games, they “totes” can.

And maybe if they’re lucky I’ll tell them some long, rambling stories about my marching band days.

5 Responses to “The PAX Robota”

  1. Daniel Says:

    Wow, sounds like you have some busy times coming up! You completely deserve all the favourable attention Puzzle Bots has received; it’s a wonderful game and you should be proud.

    Your post mortem was a good read, i’m sorry I seem to have missed it first time around. I didn’t know you’d had all your games stolen. That’s horrible! Maybe put up a list, like an Amazon thing or something, so us fans can help you rebuild your collection? Probably a terrible idea from a PR viewpoint, but hey, i’d donate/gift you some games, no strings attached.

    The 3G Summit sounds really good; just what we need to encourage more women to think about games as a career, and only good things can come from that imo. I hope we’ll get to see the finished games=)

  2. .tiff Says:

    Aw man, I wish I was a high school girl going to that 3G summit ;-;

  3. SSH Says:

    Hey, that was my joke: http://ags-ssh.blogspot.com/2010/07/pax-robota.html

    Congratulations!

  4. tntricker Says:

    I don’t know how I feel about focusing girls into seeking game careers, but it’s mostly because I think the game market is already flooded with creative people (just like Hollywood is flooded with wannabe actors) but other fields like engineering, mathematics and business still don’t have many female leaders in them.

  5. Corey Willis Says:

    I just bought it and I’m running it on my Mac via Crossover! :-) Do you think you will ever develop games for mobile devices? Games like this seem perfect for the iPad/Android tablets. I would love to play your games on the go!

    @ tntricker This doesn’t mean that girls will choose game careers over the others necessarily. I would say that they are probably different types of people. A girl who wants to develop games probably doesn’t want to pursue a business career. Just sayin’.

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