We posted the SIEGE program book online today, and looking at it, I saw a number of themes appear that had not been consciously included (but which I will now pretend we meant to do all along).
The first of these is that at every time slot, there are perfect sessions scheduled for people wanting to break into game development. Some of this really was conscious. For instance, Friday at 3:30 pm we have a session from Scarlet Dangerfield, the most capable game HR person in the South, on “Spawning into the Industry.” We follow that up at 7 pm with a portfolio review, giving people a few hours to incorporate all the advice Scarlet game them. Of course, the 5 pm keynote by Warren Spector is perfect for everyone, whether they are in the industry or not.
For Saturday, we did not consciously create a line-up of breaking in sessions – it just worked out that way. For artists, 10 am starts with a great overview of digital painting and concept art. 11:30 has the Founder Failures workshop, perfect for anyone wanting to start their own game studio. 2 pm has a great look at Serious Game design with the “How to Make Awesome Sims” roundtable, which is a great introduction for anyone looking to move beyond the pure entertainment side of the industry. 3:30 pm has our annual “First Days in the Industry” panel, so people wanting to break in can learn from those who just have. Of course, Erin Hoffman‘s 5 pm keynote on a better way of life is a perfect way for any industry newcomers really trying to map out their careers.
Even Sunday fits this mode, with a good 10 am introduction to gameplay programming, “Gameplay Engineering: The Indie Way” 11:30 has the Game Developers Perspective on Legal Issues, to keep newcomers from making the same mistakes the rest of us have. SIEGE closes with one of the best and easiest ways for new devs to make money – a workshop on making content for Killing Floor 2 that devs can then sell on Steam.
I am going to explore a couple more of the themes I saw in the program book, but was really surprised at how sessions like this line up for newcomers.