Healthcare Update

November 20, 2009

Dear IGDA Members:


We had a lot of follow up and communications this week after the Board meeting and the Leadership Forum.  The notes from the Board meeting and Minutes will be coming later on today.


Beyond that:

– Newsletter:  The latest issue of the newsletter came out this week, with some final edits and reviews required.  Changing this over to HTML is on the list, but not a top priority at this time.


– Healthcare Program:  Some announcements and clarifications went out throughout the week, and I had a follow up call with Stuart Pase, the President of AHP.  He and I have scheduled a kick off meeting for Dec. 1st.  Joe and Jamil will be on the call, and anyone else who would like to join is welcome.  I have not set a final time with Stuart yet, but will send out the info ASAP.  I believe we will be able to have a soft Launch in December, and a full launch in January.  So we’ll be discussing the operational aspects and communications/Marketing plan for the year ahead.


– Webinar:  We had Marc Mencher’s webinar this week.  79 attendees, and another successful on-line event.  Tom Edwards is next, and Joseph and I are in discussions with a potential sponsor for that webinar, and possibly a larger/longer term sponsor arrangement as well.  Our call with this company will take place next Monday, and I will apprise you of the results when I return to the office.  We have also begun lining up the 1st quarter webinars, and I am trying to get us up to having 2/month, which is a little more effort but well worth it I believe.


– Leadership Forum Wrap Up:  We had several calls:  Josh/Staff, Josh/Toby, Josh/Heather, about the leadership forum this week, and I am planning on having a post mortem with the committee on the event the 1st week of December, and also beginning the process of getting the forum started for next year. I want to have the location, sponsor options, and content locked down by May of 2010, so we can do a proper job of marketing the event.

– Website:  We’re continuing to move forward here.  With a request for volunteers going out today to form a technical task force.


– GDC: The team and I have been working on logistics and sponsorship opps this week.  We are confirming the Metreon (sp?) location, which should be large enough and very accessible.  In addition, we are building a list of sponsor opportunities which we will begin selling as early as the 1st week of December.  We have 8 interested partners looking for sponsorship opportunities, and as I explained during the board meeting, I am presenting smaller dollar options that can scale up to larger amounts with parties interest.  Jamil has volunteered to be part of our second GDC sponsor discussion where we will begin discussing the results of the brainstorming sessions and how to go after sponsorships.

We had a number of minor operational items and SIG ops items that went on behind the scenes this week, but overall, a solid week, and I look forward to pushing ahead with our new programs and revenue opportunities for December and the 1st quarter of next year.




– I will be out of the office, and am not planning on doing much IGDA stuff next week, with the exception of this sponsorship sales call on Monday.


– I will be heading up to Mass for the Boston Chapter meeting on the 8th.  Darius has invited me to give an IGDA year end wrap up.






4th and Goals!

October 29, 2009

The 4th Quarter of 2009 is upon us.  Where did the year go?  I am sure many of us had some incredible plans for 2009, and I know at least my own were changed dramatically by the economy.  Things haven’t been all bad, as I have been visiting the chapters and calling/visiting members, I have learned that there are a great deal of new and exciting things going on in our industry.  Naturally, I can’t tell you about most of them, but that seems to be a given in our group. 🙂
What I can tell you about is what’s going on with IGDA.
We’ve launched the new website, and as I mentioned in numerous spots, it’s going to be a work in progress for the rest of my time here at IGDA.  In an industry where it is common to spend a long time developing and releasing a FINAL product, that can sound like a negative, but in an association, it means that we are listening to you, the members.  Aside from a few minor glitches and one larger one, the site launch was very successful.  All of the content and user data migrated successfully, the new systems and solutions are in place and doing what was expected, and we have access to a lot of new functionality, especially on the back end that will make managing the site much better.
The forums’ speed seems to be an issue.  In researching Drupal, I am learning that this speed issue is not uncommon, especially in this module.  I don’t know how readily this info was available 2 years ago when we started with the website, but there is a lot out there now.  The good news is, there are a lot of potential solutions, and believe me, we’re trying them.  Mark Deloura, our Board member liaison for the website has been digging into the code and implementing and testing changes and enhancements and such for the last 2 weeks to see what works.  The Board and I have discussed the issue and we’re committed to ensuring that the forums get back to the level of performance folks are used to, even if that means moving back to an alternative forum software like vBulletin and linking back and forth.  I’m not quite ready to choose that option yet, and want to keep working with the new system, since the rest of the site’s performance has really come up to speed. (Sorry, I can never resist a good, or bad, pun.)
We just had our second webinar, Tom Buscaglia presented Indie Gold, a walkthrough of digital distribution models.  It was very well attended with over 80 member locations logging in.  Again a strong Q&A session followed, and some great sharing of information for any publisher, Independent or Studio, who is looking at this model for getting their games out.  I am currently putting together the remainder of the series for the year, and we have some great folks who have volunteered to step up and do a presentation.
Health Insurance:
Yes, that’s right, I said Health Insurance.  No, we’re not the new Public Option the president has been speaking about, but I was tasked by the Board, and specifically Bob Bates and Jamil Moledina to look into the options available to the IGDA to provide insurance options to our members.  Naturally there are a lot of issues around this topic.  The fact that it’s state regulated and exempt from anti-trust, what options do we need to have, how can we ensure it’s cost competitive to offer, how do you provide a carrier with risk pool information, what do you do outside the US, is there a one-size-fits-all program, how do you ensure people can stay with Doctors they know, How do we protect the IGDA from undue risk, etc., etc.
At this time the IGDA is in the final stages of partnering with a nationally recognized and well known broker of insurance services called Health Benefits Professionals & Association Health Programs.  Before you read about and get excited about this program, I want to be clear that we are in the contracting and negotiation stage.  While there are no blockers in front of us, any of you who have done contracts know that means a bunch of back and forth and discussions.  Then there will be a kick off and launch meeting, where we will walk through the core elements of implementation, communications and marketing the program.  Then we develop the materials.  Then we’ll launch.  My goal is to have this program viable in the first half of January.  I will work towards getting it out sooner, but this announcement is more about giving you insight as to what the IGDA is working on as opposed to announcing the program itself.
The group we have selected after 3 months of research and review works with a wide range of A rated carriers and does not offer a single option.  Instead, they work with you, as an individual, as the HR representative for a group, as an unemployed professional looking to cover their family, as a small business owner, or whatever your situation is.  They talk with you about your needs, the options available to you, your budget, etc.  Then they will come back with some solutions for you to review.  The pricing they negotiate and the fact that you are included in a larger risk pool of over 180 other associations, allows them to offer you rates and options not available to the general public.
This organization has been around for a long time and worked with a number of associations to offer plans just like this one. They have over 180 national associations, both professional (serving individuals) and trade (serving companies) as members of their group.  They have a full time staff that are set up to answer any questions you may have, and they are very responsive.  In my due diligence for this project I spoke with several other associations that use them, and they received glowing recommendations.
Again, this programs is for both individuals and companies who are members of the IGDA.  This creates more value for you as a member regardless of your employment status, and allows members who are independent, unemployed, or part of a studio or publisher to use this benefit if it works for them.
Let me direct, there are some of you for whom this is not going to be the cheapest option, and some of you for whom this is not going to be the best option.  Some of you may be comfortable going with a non-“A” rated carrier, or may have access to brokers who are friends or have other relationships to allow you to get a better rate somehow.  That’s ok, all that means is that you are one of the lucky folk who have a great alternative.  For the majority of our members this is going to be an awesome program, and provide some options that you may not have had before.
Another thing:  This program is going to roll out with US options only.  I know the IGDA is an International group, and this program is geared towards the US members.  That’s true.  As I have said many times about EVERYTHING since I began, this will be an evolutionary process.  We WILL continue to look at expanding this program, either through our current partners or through alternative partners in any country where we have members.  As you might imagine, in countries when medicine is provided for all citizens, this isn’t going to be necessary.  In others, the regulatory and commercial issues of providing such a program may deter us from being able to get one up right away.  However, think of the US as a test case.  If this works here, then we will begin to seriously consider expansion of the program.
Finally, by partnering with this group, we will have the opportunity to roll out other programs for our members through a similar agreement:  Long Term Care insurance (any of you with aging parents know what I mean), liability insurance, equipment financing and leasing options, Auto/Homeowners Insurance, Workers Comp, and others.  Naturally, we are beginning in the area where there appears to be the greatest need.
IGDA Leadership Forum:
If you’ve been living under a rock then you might not be aware that we have an excellent meeting coming up in mid November called the IGDA Leadership Forum.  We’ve got 30 talented professionals speaking on a range of topics that are going to knock the attendees socks off.  In addition we have nearly 200 professionals who are attending in one form or another to participate in a great networking and engagement opportunity.
If you haven’t registered for this conference, you still can, but contact one of our Board members and get a discount code.  No sense in paying full price when you don’t have to.  We will be allowing for on-site registrations, but the discounts will not be available at that time.
SCRUM Certification Course
This program with Clinton Keith is Nov. 10 & 11, and teaches the full range of items related to bringing SCRUM to your team and organization.  At the end of the course you will be eligible for the national certification as a scrum professional and materials to use to make SCRUM work in your group.  Clinton’s background is in Game Development, and he focuses the program on game developers and how the process works in your specific environment.  I’ll be able to attend as well, and am very much looking forward to it.
There are a number of other initiatives in the works, such as Chapter Chartering for several new and existing chapters, as well as SIG elections for several of these awesome volunteer groups.  In addition the Global Game Jam is warming up, and if you are interested, you should contact Susan Gold about that.  We’re continuing to develop the newsletter and are looking for more contributions form members like you.  So if you’ve a story to tell, long or short, get in touch with David Wright or Joseph Sapp, and we’ll get you into the publication.
The IGDA has begun moving in a good direction.  We’ve been streamlining a lot of processes and options here at the central office, as well as looking at new programs and services, some of which you are beginning to see.  I look forward to visiting more chapters and meeting more of you as I travel as well.  So please keep your arms and legs inside the cabin at all times, because we’ll be continuing this journey at high speed for the foreseeable future.
Thanks for your membership.  It’s for your professional success, with your help as a volunteer and because you make games that change the world that we exist.  We can’t do it without you.

What’s been going on?

October 8, 2009

Dear IGDA Members,

Over the last few weeks, I hope you have noticed a concerted effort to reduce the number of emails coming from IGDA to your email inbox.  I know it seemed like we were sending something out every day, and a few folks voiced complaints about it.

Let me begin by saying the reason for the large amount of email output was threefold: A. We had a number of issues surrounding the special election, Board changes, and decisions that had to get out to the membership to remain within the structure for notifications in the bylaws.  B. When I arrived at the end of June, one of the things that a number of the people whom I spoke with, and which I also saw on the forums and such was a desire for more transparency on what is going on with and at the IGDA.  Finally, C. Since I have arrived, we’ve been instituting a number of new programs and changes to existing ones that were important to bring to your attention BEFORE they went live.  In fact, we’ve had one big project happening each month since that time and likely to continue into the near future.

That said, I hate coming to my inbox and finding a lot of email as much as the next person.  So, in hearing that people felt the pendulum had swung too far in the notification direction, we’ve cut back intentionally.  I hope that you have seen this.  As part of my efforts to keep the quantity of email light, but the quality of information high (signal to noise ratio as is commonly used) I will be sending out semi-regularly emails like this one, which have a large amount of content for you to read and be aware of.

I also will continue to post to my Blog as often as possible, and we will be using twitter and our Facebook account more to allow people to opt in to our messaging. So, there will be a lot of info forthcoming on various items, but I need you to do your part if you want to stay in the loop and actually read these various areas where the content will be.

In this email we will be talking about:
– The New Website
– The Leadership Forum
– The Webinar Series
– Unemployed Members Dues Rate

The new website:

According to the legends I have heard from before my arrival, this website has been in the making for about 4 years.  While not getting into the details of these legends, I am also aware that it seemed like the new site was just over the horizon for a long time.  Having worked for a web developer in a previous life, I understand how sometimes these expectations can lead us to set launch dates that don’t end up working out.  That said, we set a launch date in Sept. of Oct. 19th. At the moment we are still on track to hit that date and go live.

“DO WHAT!!??!!”

Yes, we plan on launching the new website that Jason and Tim and now Mark and Tobi have been spearheading for some time.  Let me share some details for those of you who may not have heard from your SIG or Chapter leaders already.

The new website has a front end based on Drupal, and a Back End that runs via CiviCRM.  Naturally the back end piece is more for the operations of the association, but it also runs the group security aspects of the site.

The new website has some interesting tools and new functions and features that you should find useful.  Specifically the ability for each logged in user to be able to customize some of the display aspects so that you can filter in the content you are regularly accessing more easily.  We’ll also have polling abilities, and elections capacity, and some other new toys that I’ll be creating a tutorial to use with Joseph Sapp who has been our webherd for the duration of this project.

For many of you, the change will be mainly in a little more easily accessed content and some new opportunities to use the site.  But for the SIG & Chapter Leaders and Staff, there is a great deal of added capabilities that we will have.  As the previous site did not actually have an effective content management system, and the pages were being done manually by Joseph Sapp.  There will also be a new member’s only content areas, where various benefits will begin to be placed that are for IGDA members specifically. An example will be the webinar recordings and sign up areas, but that’s the start of what will likely grow to a strong reason to be a member of the IGDA.  This area is the direct result of input from the membership survey in Sept. where the majority of you indicated there should be some member’s only features and programs.

In addition, many of the database tools were not readily adjustable, and the new CiviCRM piece should allow us a great deal more capability, and the ability to reduce expenses associated with processing and maintaining the 12,000 member records we have on file.

Naturally, there will be hiccups.  I don’t know what these will be (if I did I would fix them so they never happened) but we’ll address any challenges as they appear.  I hope you will be kind to the staff and volunteers as we make this migration happen.  As I have said in other communications this project too is an evolution, and even once it’s launched we will continue to grow the website in various directions to offer more capabilities and ease of use.

I have been counseled by some folks that the new website does not have the visual design impact that we, as the IGDA should have.  I accept that and agree.  That said, I think it is important to continue to move forward with the changes that have been accomplished with the new site, and adjust the visual design elements once the site is up and stable.  To that end, if there are any volunteers who would like to be part of the visual design elements of the website, especially those with artistic talent or Drupal experience, please let myself or Joseph Sapp or Mark D. know so that when we are ready to move forward in that area, we know whom to turn to.

I am excited about getting this site up and running.  There is a great deal of effort that has gone into this project, and Jason and Tim should really be given a hearty thank you for their time on this project.  While we will continue to evolve this application to our needs, the foundation is strong and they are largely responsible for it getting to where it is.

Many of you may be wondering about the current website, the content, the wiki, the forums, etc. We will be maintaining the original site as is, and have an archival link to it.  The purpose here is to allow for any content that was missed during the migration to be gathered and moved over after the official launch, and also to maintain the original site as a back up in the event that some point of failure prevents the anticipated launch.  (Again, I don’t expect this, or I would have fixed it, but as game developers, I am sure you all understand that sometimes things happen beyond our control.)  The wiki will remain as is for the immediate future.  We have received a great deal of positive feedback on the wiki, and I prefer not to tamper with a “good thing” when I have one.  We will also be looking at moving the forum content over, but that is a stage 2 endeavor.  For the time being our main focus is getting up some new member’s only forums as well as public ones.  Finally, the SIGs and Chapters have been given some heads up warning that this change is coming, and some options for keeping or moving their content over.

Again, this launch is officially scheduled for Oct. 19th, with a soft target of Oct. 16th.  Your positive thoughts and gentle indications when you find any errors will go a long way towards making this a great experience for everyone.

The Leadership Forum:

In the event that you may not know, we are running an IGDA Leadership forum:

Times are tight for everyone these days, and that has made many associations cancel or limit their meetings.  The IGDA suggests that because of the fact that the economy is down, this is the perfect time for you and your team to attend the IGDA Leadership Forum.  Get away from the gamer events, and come and spend 2 days with professionals just like yourself, who are facing the same problems.  Sure none of us can talk about the projects we are working on, but we CAN talk about the problems we’re facing and share ideas and solutions to challenges we’ve been dealing with.

The IGDA has offered a number of discount codes, if you don’t have one, contact your favorite Board member and get theirs.  We are firmly behind the notion that the more game developers we can bring together in a meaningful discussion, the better an event we will have.  Thus the promotional codes are extended, and we are actively encouraging you to come, and listen to some high powered speakers who have been in the trenches alongside you.  Ask them the hard questions and see if they have some solutions that might not have occurred to you yet. Then talk to other folks who might be able to offer you some thoughts and resources to look at later on when you’re working in the middle of the night and you just need a little help.

We’ve got over 100 folks attending already, and we are expecting 200 or so.  A small, high powered meeting, with plenty of time built in to network, so you don’t need to stand in the hall during a session to chat with people about the issues you’re facing.

Register on-line with your promo code:

SCRUM Certification:

In conjunction with our leadership forum, we are partnering with Clinton Keith on offering a SCRUM Master Certification course.  If you’ve used Agile or your team needs a little more effective means of being efficient to prevent crunch or reworking projects, this is an awesome opportunity to send one or two folks and then bring the program back and get the whole team up to speed.  Information on the course is here:

We’ve limited the seating to 35 participants, and we are selling out, so please register now to reserve your seat.  If you attend both the certification and the Leadership forum, we’re offering you 10% off both in addition to your discount code for the Leadership Forum.

Register Here:

IGDA Members Only Webinar:

One of the things that came out of the member satisfaction survey was the desire to see more practical benefits for your membership dues.  To that end, we have begun a year round series of webinars for IGDA members only.  Instead of asking you to always come to the conference, we’re bringing some of the conference materials to you.

Our first webinar was on the fundamentals of SCRUM, Lean and Agile with Clinton Keith, and we had over 200 folks register for the event and over 150 stay for the full hour and a half.  We’ve recorded the session, and the recording should go live for everyone to see as early as today.

We are lining up speakers in all topic areas now for the next 6 months, and my goal is to bring you a new webinar every 2-3 weeks.  If we have more content than that, we’ll ramp up the number of presentations, but to start I’d like to space it out as we all (members, presenters and staff) get comfortable with the concept, the expectations and the technology.

Our next Scheduled Webinar will be Tom Buscaglia, The Game Attorney, presenting: Indie Gold: Downloadable Content Models for Core Casual Games.  Which will take place at 12:00 noon eastern/9am Pacific on Oct. 27th.  Of course if you know Tom, you know you need to attend this webinar, because NO ONE knows what he might say!

A separate invitation to register for the webinar will follow, as will a full schedule of the webinars lined up for the rest of the year.

REQUEST:  If you, yes you, IGDA member reading this, know of someone who has an interesting topic and wants to speak via webinar to the group, please email me, and we’ll get you on the schedule.  Highly specific and technical presentations are welcome.  This is the perfect format for a session that might only appeal to 20 people, because we can fit you in and get you in front of the 20 people who will care about what you have to say.  All disciplines are welcome!  We have members in almost every area related to Game Development, so whether your topic is visual, code, business, or humanity related, let us put you in front of the people.  We want to build content for our members, and this is a wonderful way to be able to accommodate that.  (We are also looking for presentations in languages besides English, specifically Japanese, French, Spanish and German.  Let us know if you have that type of capacity and interest in presenting at a time convenient to a chapter across the globe.)

Chapters: If you are having some trouble getting speakers for your local chapter meetings, we can use this technology to find you a great speaker that you can project up for your group.

Unemployed Member Dues Rate:

This also has been announced before, but I think it is important enough to make note of again.  The Board of Directors of the IGDA understands that many of our members may currently be between assignments, and when the dues renewal comes at such a time, it becomes a question of personal resources.  In order to attempt to support these efforts, the Board has approved an Unemployed renewal rate of $25 for any member whose dues renewal comes up at a time when they are between jobs.  This is an honor system program, and is done with the intention of supporting our members who want to stay involved in the IGDA, yet may be concerned about their own finances.

We have a number of new initiatives coming as well.  We are looking into a career center, some insurance opportunities, lifetime membership, and more.  As these come closer to launch, I’ll be filling you in.



Joshua Caulfield
Executive Director


New Board Members

September 29, 2009

Dear IGDA members who attended the Austin GDC,

I had an excellent time meeting many of you throughout the week, and look forward to doing so again in the future.  It is clear to me that you understand the power of your chapters is in your volunteers and their willingness and desire to make the organization into something greater than the sum of its parts.

As you know, I have been working diligently since July 1st to increase the value of the central organization. Being developers, I am also confident that you understand nothing is achieved overnight or by one’s self.  The IGDA Board of Directors has been integrally involved in all of the changes you have seen in the last 3 months, and there are MANY more to come.

It is because the need is so great that the Board, upon reviewing the departure of 3 elected members, decided that additional volunteers were needed.  The full Board reviewed and discussed a number of candidates, specifically focusing in on those who had expressed interest previously, and who had skill sets that the organization needs in this critical period of transition.

We have challenges ahead, which should not be news to you.  But we also have solid plans to rebuild membership, increase participation, and bring increased value to each individual member.  We also have the administrative issues that any organization servicing 12,000 people worldwide faces.  So it was that we needed some help, and could not wait for the election cycle to roll about. This is exactly why the ability for the Board to appoint members was placed into the by-laws in the first place.  These folks have agreed to serve for shortened 2 year terms specifically to support the association in this time of transition. There is work to be done, and they agreed to help get on with the jobs at hand.

I ask each of you to support these new Board members as well as the existing ones.  For without them, the IGDA as an international organization would not exist.  I also ask you to consider volunteering to run for the Board yourself.  It is not an easy task, and it requires more than a little of your time, but if you want to make a difference in the IGDA, that is the best place to be.



New Website Update

September 23, 2009

Dear Members,

I recently sent out an update to the chapter and SIG leadership about the website status.  While there are still likely to be challenges ahead, and timelines do change for various reasons, I wanted to let everyone know what was happening for the sake of transparency.  Here was the email I sent:

Good Morning Folks,

I know you’ve all been waiting for nearly 4 years, and I also know that there always seems to be a “it’s almost ready” answer coming to you.  So in order to give you all the best info, I’m going to give you more info than you really need, to provide some insight into where things are, what’s recently been going on, and where we’re headed. (Sorry this email is long and focused, I am open to any questions that you might have, but wanted to be as tight as possible below.)

1.  You should all as chapter or SIG coordinators have someone who can access the website for you.  If not please email myself ( or Joseph Sapp ( so we can make sure that happens.

2.  When I came on at the beginning of July, we had a number of “serious” blockers.  Things that just really needed to be finished so that the site would work, and we wouldn’t look like complete idiots for putting it out there.  Tim L. (please hold the comments) did a good job in moving through those with Tobi and Myself and Joseph backing him up.  (Also mad props to the QA folks and sig and chapter leaders who provided testing and bugs and the like.  Thank you all.)

2a.  With Tim’s resignation, Mark D. has stepped up as a technically proficient Board member to take this project to the final steps.

2b.  Because of the email exploit during the previous month, it was clear that we needed to do a security audit to ensure that the site was not open to similar shenanigans.  At this time, while no site is impervious, all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure we are as secure as possible with the resources we have available.

3. This week at GDC Austin, Tobi, Mark, Joseph and Myself had a brief conversation about what is going on with the website, the migration plan, blockers, etc.

3a.  There are no “major” blockers at this time.  i.e.  There are still a number of minor issues here and there, and I am well aware that the visual design is not what the group would like, but we don’t feel it’s worth waiting another 6 months to fix these lesser items.

3b. I am committing to you that this release of the website will not be the end of the project.  We WILL work to fix bugs and other items as they appear.  We will also work on reworking the visual design to be a more effective, engaging and exciting visitor experience.  But these items will need to wait a bit (likely a review in the first quarter of 2010.)

4. We have a migration plan in place, as well as back up plans for the current site, transfers of forums and wiki content, and list swap-overs.  This will not be an easy process, and I am sure we will have a few mistakes during the process.  I am counting on your help to review the site and let me know where issues occur.

4a. Part of the migration process is to ensure that all of the content you folks want transferred over to the new site for your chapter areas is moved.  So please keep an eye on the migration date and let myself or Joseph know ASAP if that date is not going to work for you.

4b.  I have been clearly informed by the community, that the previous site info is critical to have.  So for a period of time we will retain the old site, it simply won’t be directly accessible to the public.  Please do not plan on having access to it regularly, as we will need to take it down after a period.

5. I would very much like to have the new site go live on Oct. 19th (arranging for a soft transition in the evening of Oct. 16th, with the weekend to work out any initial kinks).  However let me be clear, we have not confirmed that will be doable yet.  I am letting you in on the discussion phase.  We may need to do it earlier in the day, or on a different day altogether.  But I will keep you apprised.

OK, that’s the plan as it stands.  I will get more info out to you as we get into a more realistic stance.  Please move any content you have over, and again, if you haven’t had access, let me know.

There are other things going on also:
– We can set up chapter groups for specific reserved content to your chapters. (Sigs as well)
– Elections can be done via the site.
– We have need for a users guide, which the writer’s sig generously agreed to create for us, and I am approaching them on now.


Committee on Messaging

September 16, 2009


The IGDA’s success as an organization is the result of the dedication
and expertise of its volunteers. Quite simply, when our members come
together great things happen. Now it’s time to get the message out.

All the IGDA SIGs and chapters could use a hand with advocating their
message, putting the weight of the entire IGDA behind their efforts to
improve the lives of developers. One way we can do this is with a
visual media campaign – consistent posters, t-shirts, website banner
ads – all with the weight of the entire IGDA behind them, and not just
small groups of concerned developers.

We are currently assembling a Committee on Messaging to aid in the
development of such a campaign. Heading up this committee will be
Wendy Despain and Cat Wendt, who did the visual design of the IGDA
Magazine prototype.

Because visual media requires more than just a cool idea, we are
seeking applicants for the Editorial Board with experience in marketing,
graphic design, public relations, communication, advertising,
messaging, community outreach and other similar fields. The ideal
candidates will be professional, creative and quick-witted.

We ask that applicants submit a brief summary of their qualifications
and experience to by August 29th, 2009.

New Initiatives

September 10, 2009

Dear IGDA Member,

Thank you for your continued membership in the IGDA.  I am delighted to report we have a number of new initiatives that are live and more that are coming, and I wanted to take a few moments of your time to give you a heads up about what is going on in your association that you can take advantage of.

IGDA Unemployed Member Rate: These are tough economic times for everyone. If you or one of the members you know has recently decided not to renew their membership due to having lost their job, let them know that the IGDA is offering a discount upon renewal.  This special rate is available only to unemployed members, and we are using the honor system here.  If you are an independent developer, then we don’t really consider you unemployed.  However, If you tell us you are unemployed, you can access the discount upon your IGDA renewal date.

SCRUM Certification with Clinton Keith:  If you (or your team) have been looking for ways to increase efficiency and productivity levels as well as communication and teamwork, then you’ll be thrilled to learn that the IGDA has partnered with Clinton Keith to offer a special 2 day Game Developer specialized training for using SCRUM (an iterative incremental management technique)  for game studios.

This 2 day workshop is limited to 35 professionals from the game development community.  Clinton has adapted his training program to use Game Specific examples and cases as well as anecdotes and examples from his extensive experience to show you and your team how to take the core concepts of SCRUM and apply them directly to your current project.

When you leave this workshop, you’ll have a set of project management tools and reference material to bring back to your organization and apply immediately.  With the practices and techniques that Clinton goes over, you will see an increase in team communication, understanding between team members, and awareness of the project needs and status.  These lead all of your folks to begin pulling more effectively toward reaching milestones and deadlines, and be proactive about solving issues from one section of a project to another.

The workshop will be held in San Francisco, CA, at the San Francisco Airport Marriott on November 10th and 11th.  It will lead up to the IGDA Leadership Forum, and attendees who register for both will receive a great discount off both registration fees.

Seating is limited to 35 participants and beginning to fill up, so register today: (There are additional discounts for teams of 3 or more who wish to attend, please contact me directly about these opportunities

The IGDA Leadership Forum:  Our 3rd annual Leadership Forum and Professional Development Conference is coming up soon on November 12th & 13th in San Francisco, CA.   Held at the San Francisco Marriott, you’ll have the opportunity to meet and mingle with over 200 top Game Development Professionals.  Join Samantha Ryan, Senior Vice President of Development and Production for Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment (WBIE); Chris Satchell, Chief Technology Officer for International Gaming Technologies, as well as a host of top shelf industry professionals as we run 3 tracks of programs and networking sessions for all types of game development professionals.  Stay for our cocktail reception and introduce yourself to some of the top guns in the business, and meet other rising stars who are beginning to make names for themselves.  Whether you are an independent producer, a studio head, or simply an overachiever, this seminar offers a series of powerful sessions designer to make you a valuable asset in the game development community.

Seating is limited, so take a few minutes and register today to save your spot at the 3rd annual IGDA Leadership Forum.

Free Member Webinar Series:  The IGDA is launching a new series of webinars titled “The IGDA Presents…”   These will begin on Sept. 29th with Clinton Keith.  More details to follow under a separate header with our initial 3 month schedule.

Well that’s a few things to chew on for the moment.  More to come.

I will be attending the GDC in Austin next week, and welcome any of you who would like to connect to reach out via email or phone and let’s schedule a time.