Live at PAX East 2017!

Friday February 3, 2017

Hot on the trail of our talk at PAX South (on Grinding), we're on our way to PAX East 2017 to talk about Winning!

Play (Dirty) to Win
Friday 3/10 6:00pm
Bumblebee Theatre

Ostensibly, you play games to win. (Assuming we're talking about competitive games: you're not playing to "win" Dungeons & Dragons... are you?) But are really? Shouldn't you be winning a lot more often? Maybe you should try that cheap strategy you've heard about. Punch below the belt. Memorize the deck. Read the FAQ. What's the line between playing to win and cheating? Is "playing dirty" even really a thing? Come for the degenerate strategies, stay for the soul-crushing revelations on winning.

GeekNights Live at PAX South 2017

Friday January 13, 2017

We will be giving one talk at the Penny Arcade Expo South!

Grind Mechanics in Games
Friday 1/27 4:00pm
Cactus Theatre

We've all experienced it. We've all complained about it. Some of us secretly love it. But ask 100 people what it actually IS, and you'll get 40 different answers. Join us for a mechanical discussion of what "grinding" really means in games. Is it necessary for a "classic MMO?" Is it part of the genre of a "JRPG?" Does it exist in board games? Is it bad? Is it good? Is it necessary? Part storytelling, part game design, part game theory: let's explore the grind from all angles.

GeekNights Live at PAX West 2016

Saturday July 9, 2016

GeekNights will be performing live at PAX West 2016!

The Grind
Saturday, Sept 3rd
5:00pm
Chicken Theatre

The Grind. We've all experienced it. We've all complained about it. Some of us secretly love it. But ask 100 people what it actually IS, and you'll get 40 different answers. Join us for a mechanical discussion of what "grinding" really means in games. Is it necessary for a "classic MMO?" Is it part of the genre of a "JRPG?" Does it exist in board games? Is it bad? Is it good? Is it necessary? Part storytelling, part game design, part game theory: let's explore the grind from all angles.

Live at PAX East 2016

Monday April 11, 2016

We are presenting at PAX East 2016! This will be our 38th lecture or panel at a PAX since 2008, and it's a good one!

Atari Game Design
Sunday, April 24 at 3:30pm
Arachnid 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.

Thank you PAX South 2016!

Sunday January 31, 2016

Thank you PAX South! We had a great time. Two of our three panels filled to capacity, and we expect the final one today to do so as well! We hope you'll join us for Designing Game Rules. We'll see many of you at MAGFest and PAX East soon!

Atari Game Design

The games we showcased were Outlaw, Maze Craze, Slot Racers, and Combat. The room filled, so for those of you turned away, hopefully we'll have video soon.

Scared Yet: A Discussion of Horror in Games

This is the Five Nights at Freddy's analysis I kept referencing. The room also filled, so stay tuned for video if you missed it!

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

Slides

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)!

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