PAX South 2016 - Update

Monday January 11, 2016

Atari Game Design has moved from 1:00pm on Saturday to 11:30am on Saturday! So, our full PAX South 2016 schedule is as follows.

Atari Game Design
Saturday, January 30th at 11:30am
Bobcat Theatre

Game design is a wide subject. The best approach to mastering it is to focus on the fundamentals, and what better place to do that than with Atari 2600 games? Join us for a deep game design analysis of classic competitive Atari games like Outlaw, and how their core concepts extend to modern games. When you can literally count the pixels with your eyes, and the code will fit in your calculator, the core principles of good (and bad) design become starkly apparent.


Scared Yet: A Discussion of Horror in Games

Saturday, January 30th at 5:30pm
Bobcat Theatre

Jump scare! Kris Straub (Broodhollow, Candle Cove) and a panel of esteemed horror and video game enthusiasts hold an informal roundtable on where fear works best in gaming, and where it doesn't make the cut. Come for the frightening… stay for the enlightening! Nope, that was bad. Please delete that.

Kris Straub [Chainsawsuit], Susan Arendt [Managing Editor, GamesRadar], Dabe Alan [Penny Arcade], Brandon Rym DeCoster [Producer, GeekNights]


Designing Game Rules

Sunday, January 31st at 1:00pm
Bobcat Theatre

The rules of a game literally define it. In videogames, they are intrinsic limitations. In tabletop, players must enforce them. In all games, players need to learn them. There are good and bad ways to teach a game. From awful tutorials to unparseable rulebooks, elegant demos to hour-long slogs, join us for a mechanical discussion of how game rules are (and should be) written, how players learn games, and why so few people are willing to read a 100 page rulebook (nevermind the appendices)!

GeekNights PAX South 2016 Schedule

Friday December 18, 2015

We have THREE panels at PAX South 2016!

Atari Game Design
Saturday, January 30th at 11:30am
Bobcat Theatre

Game design is a wide subject. The best approach to mastering it is to focus on the fundamentals, and what better place to do that than with Atari 2600 games? Join us for a deep game design analysis of classic competitive Atari games like Outlaw, and how their core concepts extend to modern games. When you can literally count the pixels with your eyes, and the code will fit in your calculator, the core principles of good (and bad) design become starkly apparent.


Scared Yet: A Discussion of Horror in Games

Saturday, January 30th at 5:30pm
Bobcat Theatre

Jump scare! Kris Straub (Broodhollow, Candle Cove) and a panel of esteemed horror and video game enthusiasts hold an informal roundtable on where fear works best in gaming, and where it doesn't make the cut. Come for the frightening… stay for the enlightening! Nope, that was bad. Please delete that.

Kris Straub [Chainsawsuit], Susan Arendt [Managing Editor, GamesRadar], Dabe Alan [Penny Arcade], Brandon Rym DeCoster [Producer, GeekNights]


Designing Game Rules

Sunday, January 31st at 1:00pm
Bobcat Theatre

The rules of a game literally define it. In videogames, they are intrinsic limitations. In tabletop, players must enforce them. In all games, players need to learn them. There are good and bad ways to teach a game. From awful tutorials to unparseable rulebooks, elegant demos to hour-long slogs, join us for a mechanical discussion of how game rules are (and should be) written, how players learn games, and why so few people are willing to read a 100 page rulebook (nevermind the appendices)!

Live at PAX South 2016

Wednesday December 2, 2015

We have two panels at PAX South 2016!

Atari Game Design
Saturday, January 30th at 1:00pm
Bobcat Theatre

Game design is a wide subject. The best approach to mastering it is to focus on the fundamentals, and what better place to do that than with Atari 2600 games? Join us for a deep game design analysis of classic competitive Atari games like Outlaw, and how their core concepts extend to modern games. When you can literally count the pixels with your eyes, and the code will fit in your calculator, the core principles of good (and bad) design become starkly apparent.

Designing Game Rules
Sunday, January 31st at 1:00pm
Bobcat Theatre

The rules of a game literally define it. In videogames, they are intrinsic limitations. In tabletop, players must enforce them. In all games, players need to learn them. There are good and bad ways to teach a game. From awful tutorials to unparseable rulebooks, elegant demos to hour-long slogs, join us for a mechanical discussion of how game rules are (and should be) written, how players learn games, and why so few people are willing to read a 100 page rulebook (nevermind the appendices)!

Live in Australia - Full Schedule

Friday October 10, 2014

We are happy to announce that Rym will be in Australia for PAX Aus 2014 in Melbourne, VIC (October 31-November 2)! He will be presenting two lectures!

How to Win Every Game
Friday 11:00am
Fruitbat Theatre

It seems obvious that, when playing a game of skill, one attempts to win. Interestingly, this is often not the case, and even skilled gamers rarely analyze to any real depth the underlying mechanics and strategy of a given game. By deconstructing the games we play, you too can make them far less fun for yourself and beat the everliving hell out of your friends. We'll hit the theory pretty heavily, but also specific examples from games like "Stratego," "Settlers of Catan," and even "Football."

Losing
Saturday 2:00pm
Fruitbat Theatre

Winning is good, and losing is bad. We strive to win, and this is the basis for most of the games we play. Challenges are binary: we either overcome them, advancing the story, or fail, and must try again. But, what if we were to toss this conventional wisdom aside? Do we really only have fun when we win? Have you ever had that moment in a game where epic and total failure was the most memorable part? What kinds of games would arise if we strove to make losing, instead of winning, the point?


This is the final, updated schedule. Come say hi!

GeekNights Live at PAX Australia 2014!

Wednesday September 10, 2014

We are happy to announce that Rym will be in Australia for PAX Aus 2014 in Melbourne, VIC (October 31-November 2)! He will be presenting two lectures!

Losing
Saturday @ 2:00pm

Winning is good, and losing is bad. We strive to win, and this is the basis for most of the games we play. Challenges are binary: we either overcome them, advancing the story, or fail, and must try again. But, what if we were to toss this conventional wisdom aside? Do we really only have fun when we win? Have you ever had that moment in a game where epic and total failure was the most memorable part? What kinds of games would arise if we strove to make losing, instead of winning, the point?


How to Win Every Game
Sunday @ noon

It seems obvious that, when playing a game of skill, one attempts to win. Interestingly, this is often not the case, and even skilled gamers rarely analyze to any real depth the underlying mechanics and strategy of a given game. By deconstructing the games we play, you too can make them far less fun for yourself and beat the everliving hell out of your friends. We'll hit the theory pretty heavily, but also specific examples from games like "Stratego," "Settlers of Catan," and even "Football."

MAGFest Lecture - Beyond D&D

Sunday January 15, 2012

Not only are we back from MAGFest and ready to rock, but we have Beyond Dungeons & Dragons on youtube! The slides are also available. More MAGFest videos to come as quickly as we can put them together!

You can also keep yourself busy with several of our other lectures on games, game design, and game theory!

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