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A PAX upon you! Good times at the 2013 PAX East games show

Posted by Michael Warshaw March 28, 2013 10:41 AM

PAX East 2013 has been determined to be the largest PAX ever - not surprising to anyone who attended the massive gaming culture expo at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center last weekend. Tens of thousands of fans, developers, exhibitors and speakers from all over the world took part in the annual celebration of games that range from tabletops to screens.

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Game on: MassDiGI and Becker College at PAX East

Posted by Michael Warshaw March 23, 2013 04:22 PM

IMG_1084.JPGAmong leading-edge releases from top video game companies and independent developers exhibiting this weekend at PAX East 2013 – the largest games show on the East Coast – one will be unique: a cutting-edge game developed by students from the top-ranked interactive media program at Becker College: “Pressure Switch,” an unusual game with an unusual hero. He is a super soldier who shoots to heal. His mission is to reverse a viral infiltration in a military complex, and the purpose of shooting enemies is to “recode,” or cure them, not to kill them.

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Seeing the light: Location-based tech puts you on the spot

Posted by Michael Warshaw March 21, 2013 01:12 PM

By Marc E. Check, director of information and interactive technology, Museum of Science, Boston

It’s not often that a technology comes along with so much potential that I spend hours every day thinking about all of its implications and potential uses. But in the last couple of months, I’ve had my hands on just such a technology – one that has potential to radically alter the way we connect, gather information, and even play videogames while indoors.

I’ve been in the museum technology field for close to fifteen years now, a a period in which innovations have reshaped both the way we operate as a business and the way we offer programs and exhibit experiences to the public. The elusive technology of the last several years has been location awareness - which if made affordable, reliable, and accurate, can completely change the way museum visitors interact with our content and exhibits, navigate the building, and ultimately provide unprecedented insight into traffic patterns and visitor behaviors, thanks to mobile device analytics.

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Video game developers! The time for patent filings is nigh (like this week)

Posted by Michael Warshaw March 12, 2013 03:23 PM

By Chinh H. Pham, patent attorney and shareholder, Greenberg Traurig LLP - Boston

Everything you know about patent law is about to change.

Well, maybe not everything. But enough will change that it may be urgent to submit patent applications before March 16, 2013 -- a momentous deadline when many provisions of a new patent law goes into effect.

The law is the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act ("AIA"). Signed into law in 2011, the AIA is the first comprehensive overhaul of the US patent system since 1952. The first thing to go: the first-to-invent rule, a foundational principle of patent law, in favor of a new rule: First to file.

For video game developers, who depend so much on patents to protect their work, filing before the March 16 deadline is the only way to take advantage of current patent law.

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Planned in Boston: Games are better when we do them together

Posted by Michael Warshaw March 7, 2013 11:25 AM

By Ichiro Lambe, president, Dejobaan Games LLC

It's not unusual to hear stories of big successes on the part of small development teams. Two-person teams will sell millions of units of a quirky title, as was the case for Super Meat Boy and World of Goo. But those are the success stories; other independent developers struggle with the challenges of being small. Those who set up shop in the Boston area, though, can become part of a supportive community that will help get them over the hurdles and into success stories of their own.

Rags-to-riches stories about game development weren't common during the 1990s. For the most part, game developers had to partner with large publishers to sell their creations through brick and mortar stores. But the high up-front costs, low margins, and limited shelf space meant that publishers preferred to go with blockbuster material rather than unknown games.

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Student’s story: What I learned at the MassDiGI Game Challenge

Posted by Michael Warshaw March 6, 2013 03:00 PM

By Ryan Casey, student, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Ed. Note: The MassDiGI Game Challenge is a pitch competition designed to help indie and student game development entrepreneurs hone their ideas and showcase the rapidly expanding game industry cluster in the region. Forty-four teams of indie game developers and student teams from around New England competed in a sold-out event from March 1-2 at NERD, the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center. A panel of game industry veterans served as judges for the competition.

Let's be clear: we knew from the beginning that the MassDiGI Game Challenge presented an unprecedented opportunity to my team as we worked on our game. We knew we could show off to other game developers. We also knew we had a shot at some pretty great prizes.

Who doesn't want some help finishing their game along with a healthy bit of cash to boot? What I didn't realize was how much more we would get out of the event.

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To be a player: My time at the 2013 MassDiGI Game Challenge

Posted by Michael Warshaw March 5, 2013 11:13 AM

By Caleb Garner, game producer, Part12 Studios

Ed. Note: The MassDiGI Game Challenge is a pitch competition designed to help indie and student game development entrepreneurs hone their ideas and showcase the rapidly expanding game industry cluster in the region. Forty-four teams of indie game developers and student teams from around New England competed in a sold-out event from March 1-2 at NERD, the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center. A panel of game industry veterans served as judges for the competition.

As an indie game developer, participating in the MassDiGI Game Challenge offered a valuable opportunity to get feedback on our project directly from fellow from more accomplished developers. To hear from others in the industry, who have their own strengths and experiences to draw from, gives us a perspective that we would never get while we’re pounding away in our game developer ivory towers.

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About this blog

MassDiGI 8-24 287w872.jpgThe State of Play, organized by MassDiGI, features stories by digital and video game developers and business insiders. Follow along @mass_digi.

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