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5 best practices for cost-efficient user acquisition

Gamasutra - News - 13 hours 4 min ago

"Building and executing a cost-efficient user acquisition strategy is a cornerstone of mobile game monetization." Here are "the best-and most economical-ways to attract new players." ...

Categories: Gaming News

Game Design Deep Dive: Traffic systems in Cities: Skylines

Gamasutra - News - 13 hours 4 min ago

Colossal Order launched Cities: Skylines earlier this year to remarkable acclaim. Here, the developers explain how they went about designing and coding the city builder's robust traffic systems. ...

Categories: Gaming News

Is mobile success now impossible for small developers?

GamesIndustry.biz news - 14 hours 5 min ago
Enormous budgets at the top end don't have to mean the end of the dream for everyone else
Categories: Gaming News

Ordnance Survey Releases Mapping Tools

Slashdot Updates - 15 hours 3 min ago
rHBa writes The BBC reports that the UK mapping organization Ordnance Survey has added 4 new products to its open data portfolio: OS Local, Names, Rivers and Roads. Perhaps the most interesting of the free data sets is OS Local which provides a base map to identify "hotspots" such as property pricing, insurance risk, and crime. The OS are not creating a new Google Maps-style service of their own but rather are providing their data for use by other third-party apps and online tools. They expect developers and designers to use the data to enhance their own products and improve the information people can access via the web.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Cinematic Artist: Telltale Games

Gamasutra - Jobs - 16 hours 5 min ago
Our Cinematics/ Choreography Team is responsible for creating compelling cutscenes, interactive dialogs, and cinematic elements of action sequences coupled with excellent pacing and acting using animation libraries. Through cinematography and character acting, they deliver the greatest visual impact to the widening audience of our award-winning interactive games. *Please keep in mind the only way to be considered for this position is by completing and submitting the Cinematic test. Please see the end of the Job Description for the test materials and details. Responsibilities: Create compelling cutscenes and interactive dialogs with excellent pacing, acting, and timing using animation libraries. Communicate with designers and leads to strike a balance between gameplay and visual storytelling. Set up cameras and actor staging within the scene. Balance quality with efficiency when working under tight deadlines. Follow and maintain pipelines and technical requirements. Essential Skills and Experience: 2+ years of working in the video games industry or features as a Layout/Previz Artist. Full understanding of acting basics including posing and timing. Basic knowledge of cinematography and editing. Experience with staging action-oriented and dramatic sequences. Self-motivated team player. Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with a proactive approach when seeking answers. Technical problem solving. Quick to adapt to company proprietary software.   Preferred Skills and Experience: Previous game or film experience working on action-oriented sequences and cutscenes. Passion for making adventure games driven by narrative. Experience with character and camera animation in Maya. Experience shipping at least 1 title.   IMPORTANT: In order to be considered for this position all candidates must complete the Cinematic Test.  The link to download the required materials is found here: http://www.telltalegames.com/files/misc/Application-Cinematic_Artist.zip   Please upload your test using a Vimeo, Dropbox, or Youtube URL link by responding to the 'Thank you for applying' follow-up application email from Telltale Games.   To Apply please visit our website:https://hire.jobvite.com/j?cj=oRYdYfwK&s=Gamasutra   Candidates must be legally authorized to work and accept new employment in the U.S. Telltale Games is an Equal Opportunity Employer and ADA compliant.
Categories: Game Dev Jobs

Senior Systems Engineer - Animation: Telltale Games

Gamasutra - Jobs - 16 hours 5 min ago
Want to be a critical piece in developing a cinematic character and facial animation system? Telltale Games is seeking an enthusiastic Senior Systems Engineer to help us build out our next-generation animation for developing high quality characters for our upcoming IPs and current award-winning titles!Telltale’s Core Engineering group is responsible for developing low-level and mid-level libraries and tools used by Telltale’s multi-platform downloadable game development system; the “Telltale Tool”. The “Telltale Tool” is used by Telltale’s artists, designers, and Lua programmers to create tons of amazing content for XboxOne, PS4, XBOX360, PS3, Wii, iOS, PC, Mac, and Android. The Core Engineering group creates true “author once, run anywhere” technology. Responsibilities: • Optimize, maintain, and extend the Telltale animation technology to support higher quality productions, automated digital acting, and high-end facial representation• Build tools which help animators and designers develop the digital game character’s performance, with a focus on automation, multiple takes, dialog driven emotion, and situation-aware animations• Improve, debug, and optimize platform technologies while also building new features in order to meet the needs of consoles, desktops, and high-end mobile devices• Create robust, long-lived, content-agnostic systems with abstraction layers that enable maximum cross-platform feature fidelity• Keep abreast of latest developments in hardware & software via developer support, conferences, and publications• Analyze code performance and optimize appropriately for speed and memory usage• Contribute to the overall architecture and design of the technology plan of the company and game titlesEssential Skills and Experience:• 5+ years of professional C++/STL experience is required• 3+ years of professional game development experience which involved animation development on current or next gen hardware (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, XboxOne)• B.S. degree in Computer Science or equivalent experience • Experience with animation and motion capture middleware to aid in facial authoring • Solid foundation in 3D math, algorithms, and modern computing fundamentals• Self-directing and independent, working effectively within an existing engine structure• Experience maintaining and debugging a large legacy code base developed by multiple programmers over many yearsCandidates must be legally authorized to work and accept new employment in the U.S.Telltale Games is an Equal Opportunity Employer and ADA compliant. 
Categories: Game Dev Jobs

Platform Engineer - Audio: Telltale Games

Gamasutra - Jobs - 16 hours 5 min ago
Want to own the platform layer for a custom multi-platform audio engine? Telltale Games is seeking an enthusiastic Platform Engineer to help us build out our next-generation audio platform for developing movie quality audio for our upcoming IPs and current award-winning titles!Telltale’s Core Engineering group is responsible for developing low-level and mid-level libraries and tools used by Telltale’s multi-platform downloadable game development system; the “Telltale Tool”. The “Telltale Tool” is used by Telltale’s artists, designers, and Lua programmers to create tons of amazing content for XboxOne, PS4, XBOX360, PS3, Wii, iOS, PC, Mac, and Android. The Core Engineering group creates true “author once, run anywhere” technology. Responsibilities: • Optimize, maintain, and extend the Telltale audio engine technology to support higher quality productions• Improve, debug, and extend existing platform technologies while also building new features in order to meet the needs of consoles, desktops, and high-end mobile devices• Create clean APIs for internal tools and editors that support developing cutting edge game technology• Create robust, long-lived, content-agnostic systems with abstraction layers that enable maximum cross-platform feature fidelity• Keep abreast of latest developments in hardware & software via developer support, conferences, and publications• Contribute to the overall architecture and design of the technology plan of the company and game titles• Analyze code performance and optimize appropriately for speed and memory usageEssential Skills and Experience:• 5+ years of professional C++/STL experience is required• 3+ years of professional game development experience which involved audio development on current or next gen hardware (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, XboxOne)• B.S. degree in Computer Science or equivalent experience • Experience with audio middleware such as FMOD or Wwise (bonus points for experience with FMOD Studio)• Solid foundation in 3D math, algorithms, and modern computing fundamentals• Self-directing and independent, working effectively within an existing engine structure• Experience maintaining and debugging a large legacy code base developed by multiple programmers over many yearsCandidates must be legally authorized to work and accept new employment in the U.S.Telltale Games is an Equal Opportunity Employer and ADA compliant. 
Categories: Game Dev Jobs

Senior Character Modeler: Telltale Games

Gamasutra - Jobs - 16 hours 5 min ago
Telltale Games is searching for a talented Lead/Senior Character Modeler to create great looking game characters in Zbrush and Maya. The ideal candidate should have excellent traditional art skills relating to characters as well as a deep understanding of technical requirements for games.  Responsibilities Create appealing characters for Telltale games, working with the Lead Artist, Concepts artist, Designers, Riggers and Animators to balance quality and game performance. Model, UV and texture polygonal game characters accurately from provided concept art keeping the appeal and the essence of the concept. Maintain the style for different characters on the same project. Ability to model and Texture in a variety of styles. Follow Art directions and Telltale technical requirements. Mentor other Character Modeler’s on the team in terms of model appeal, best topology practices, etc. Establish character pipelines and help drive character modeling forward in the studio. Manage outsourcing, communication and assets when overflow modeling is needed. Essential Skills Minimum of 5 years of work experience as a Character Modeler or similar role, and at least 2 shipped titles. Proven ability to create great looking textures, in a variety of styles, both from reference and painting from scratch. Proper and imaginative use of materials and shaders. Required understanding of how rigging and animation impact character creation with regard to spans and geometry topology. Ability to assess and implement clean, efficient geometry for maximum performance in the engine. Expertise in Maya, ZBrush, and Photoshop, other packages are encouraged also. Self-driven, excellent verbal and written communication, Team player. Experience working and directing outsourcing and mentoring junior team members Strong drawing and painting capabilities is essential. Please submit a link to a demo reel/work samples with your application in order to be considered for this position, stills are favored over video reels. Candidates must be legally authorized to work and accept new employment in the U.S. Telltale Games is an Equal Opportunity Employer and ADA compliant.
Categories: Game Dev Jobs

Environment Concept Artist: Telltale Games

Gamasutra - Jobs - 16 hours 5 min ago
Telltale Games is looking for a talented Environment Concept Artist to create detailed and accurate designs for environments and objects, including color and lighting. The ideal candidate should be able to adapt to any style (from cartoony to realistic), and should have strong, independent creative skills. Responsibilities: • Work with the Art Director and Designers to turn ideas into compelling and appropriate concepts for the game• Create clear, detailed concepts in order to communicate the game vision to the art team• Create and maintain a consistent style for environments and objects per project• Integrate and communicate game play elements and clues within the art design Essential Skills: •Excellent fundamental skills, including draftsmanship, painting, composition, perspective, rendering, and color theory•Excellent understanding of form and light.•Experience with creating both interior and exterior spaces• Ability to interpret and create an original and compelling concept based on verbal or written description within a given style, from the idea phase all the way to the final concept• Ability to produce a variety of quick sketches showing different approaches for the same design• Ability to create concepts in digital form using primarily Photoshop. Experience with Maya a plus• Strong understanding of games and game constraints (polygonal modeling, texturing)• Self-driven, excellent verbal and written communication, Team player• Ability to draw Storyboards a plus(good sense of layout, camera, editing, etc)Portfolio Requirement:With your resume, please include portfolio samples that represent the range of your skills to include low poly samples of your game assets and some non-game art as well, if possible. Please be sure that these samples have been cleared for release by their respective copyright owners. Please make sure to also include some examples of your 2D work.  Examples of cartoony or stylized work is preferred.  Generally, 12 to 15 pieces are a good sample. Our preference is to provide this in an online portfolio.  Candidates must be legally authorized to work and accept new employment in the U.S. Telltale Games is an Equal Opportunity Employer and ADA compliant.
Categories: Game Dev Jobs

UI Engineer - Infinity Ward: Activision

Gamasutra - Jobs - 16 hours 5 min ago
Infinity Ward is currently seeking a UI Engineer.  This person will provide expertise to develop UI and work on our new FPS. If you have a strong technical background and love UI, we are looking for you. Responsibilities: Development, Design and maintenance of UI systems and features.Working with QA to maintain bug free code.Speaking with and helping design to fully realize their vision.Being part of a highly motivated team and shaping the future of FPS UI. Requirements:2+ years of experience in the games industryB.S. in Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics or equivalent. A passion and experience with First Person Shooters.An understanding of basic UI principles.  Strong communication skills.Strong C/C++ software engineering skills.  Experience with scripting language. (Lua a plus). About Us: Founded in 2002, Infinity Ward is the original studio behind the Call of Duty franchise. The titles developed by Infinity Ward have won over 200 "Game of the Year" awards and 100 "Editor's Choice" awards, among many other industry accolades. In 2007, the studio released Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, a revolutionary title that set the bar for the modern first-person shooter. Our latest releases, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty: Ghosts, broke records with the fastest revenue generating launches of any entertainment product. In 2014, Infinity Ward merged with Neversoft, bringing together two talented and accomplished groups under one roof, with the goal of creating the best games possible. Infinity Ward is located in Woodland Hills, California, just outside of Los Angeles.  A critically-acclaimed studio, Infinity Ward is proud to have one of the most passionate and accomplished development teams in the industry. We love to have as much fun as the games we create, and it shows in our relaxed, yet diligent workplace environment.   .
Categories: Game Dev Jobs

Sr./Lead Game Analytics Engineer (TEMPORARY): Activision

Gamasutra - Jobs - 16 hours 5 min ago
Great Games Start with Great People!This is a significant time in our company's history - and one of the mostexciting times to join us!Activision Blizzard, headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, is the premier worldwide publisher of interactive entertainment software. Activision Blizzard's portfolio includes such best-selling video game franchises as Activision Publishing's Call of Duty, Skylanders, Spider-Man, James Bond, and Transformers, in addition to Blizzard Entertainment's StarCraft, Diablo, Warcraft and the #1 subscription based massively multi-player online role-playing game, World of Warcraft.Basic Function:Position: Sr./Lead Game Analytics EngineerReporting Manager: Lead Game Analytics Specialist,Game AnalyticsLocation: Santa Monica, CA; remote work negotiableIn this role you will partner with analysts to innovate and create big data analytics for games. You will consult on multiplayer game architecture, and be the all-around expert in data collection and instrumentation for our games.The ideal candidate will be a seasoned game developer who wants to start or continue working with analytics in a fast-paced, high performance environment. If this sounds like it may be the perfect role for you, it probably is. Previous experience in the gaming industry is required.Responsibilities:· Software engineer responsible for multiplayer analytics development across scripting and low level languages· Work with studios to innovate and create new systems to improve the use of analytics in games· Work with analysts to develop and translate Machine Learning models into low level code· Develop Real-time data collection and analytics on client/server platforms· Work with developers at studios to gather analytic requirements and coordinate their deployment· Work with the data warehousing team to captureand store Big DataPrincipal Working Relationships:Lead Instrumentation Engineer; Director, Core Insights; Principals, Analytic Services; Director, Analytic Services; Data Warehousing TeamPosition Qualifications:· Minimum of 5-7 years? experience in designing and developing multiplayer games· Shipped at least one AAA game title, more than one a plus· 5+ years? experience in professional use of C/C++· Experience with dynamic scripting languages (e.g. LUA, Python)· 1-2 years? experience using analytics software (e.g. SPSS, Tableau) or with scripting for analytics (e.g. Python, R, C++)· Familiar with code and data optimization· Experience with architecting optimal distributedsystems is a plus· Experience with multi-threaded programming and distributed systems is a plus· BA/BS degree required with technical focus (e.g.computer science, Engineering, Math), advanced degree a plus· Strong math skills preferred· Good communication skills·Passion for playing games .
Categories: Game Dev Jobs

UX Designer - Infinity Ward: Activision

Gamasutra - Jobs - 16 hours 5 min ago
As a UX Designer at Infinity Ward, you will use your user experience approach and creative design skills to build compelling and accessible interfaces for our games. You will contribute to the vision for how players experience the game for both online as well as single player experiences. You will work directly with the UI team, UI Lead and the wider team to ensure that the game’s interface are easily understood and support the goals of the game. Responsibilities: • Collaborate with the team to translate game systems and gameplay user experience goals into intuitive interfaces that support and enhance the game experience. • Create conceptual wireframes, user flows diagrams and low-fidelity prototypes to communicate design concepts for discussion and testing purposes. • Produce finished design specifications with detailed requirements and use cases for final game user interface, including in-game UI (e.g. HUD).Requirements: • 2+ years of experience as an interface or user experience designer for games, software, mobile or internet applications. • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills and a solid understanding of user-centered design principles to design a complete interface for all game features that is functional, usable, appealing, and accessible. • Awareness of trends in hardware and operating systems, interface design, interactive design, and competitive software to help identify opportunities for innovation. • Excellent communication skills, with the ability to present ideas and specifications to a broad range of team members from different disciplines. • Solid skills with Adobe illustrator or similar program.   About us: Founded in 2002, Infinity Ward is the original studio behind the Call of Duty franchise. The titles developed by Infinity Ward have won over 200 "Game of the Year" awards and 100 "Editor's Choice" awards, among many other industry accolades. In 2007, the studio released Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, a revolutionary title that set the bar for the modern first-person shooter. Our latest releases, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty: Ghosts, broke records with the fastest revenue generating launches of any entertainment product. In 2014, Infinity Ward merged with Neversoft, bringing together two talented and accomplished groups under one roof, with the goal of creating the best games possible.   Infinity Ward is located in Woodland Hills, California, just outside of Los Angeles. A critically-acclaimed studio, Infinity Ward is proud to have one of the most passionate and accomplished development teams in the industry. We love to have as much fun as the games we create, and it shows in our relaxed, yet diligent workplace environment.     ReqID: GAM0000GI .
Categories: Game Dev Jobs

Senior Systems Designer: Activision

Gamasutra - Jobs - 16 hours 5 min ago
Activision is looking for a Sr. Systems Designer to join Activision’s Central Design Group to help take our games’ system design to the next level. The Sr. Systems Designer is responsible for driving the quality of systems design across all ATVI projects, with a special focus on Call of Duty and Skylanders. Working closely with the developments teams, Central Design, Central Analytics, Business Intelligence and production management, they will review and provide feedback on overall metagame progression systems, suggest meaningful changes or improvements to existing systems, or personally own system creation under the guidance of team leads. The Systems Designer must be an excellent and persuasive communicator, capable of dealing with a wide variety of internal and external partners and has a deep experience with hands in game development. They must be comfortable with all degrees of ownership, from personally designing systems to providing high-level feedback. The Systems Designer must thrive in a challenging and ambiguous environment. The Systems Designer must be an expert gamer, a min-maxer that enjoys optimizing builds and exploiting loopholes.   Specifics: Driving overall systems design quality falls into two general categories. Systems Design Oversight: ·Review design docs and systems design specs of games with an eye towards systems design driving player progression. Provide verbal and written assessments of same. ·Play builds of games in progress and provide prioritized feedback. Systems Design Assistance: ·Work with teams early on to establish system design needs, stay in touch throughout project to ensure that systems design is progressing appropriately. ·Personally assist with systems design, from tweaking values in existing systems to creating systems from scratch. ·Actively guide teams to higher quality systems design.  Coach/mentor systems designers. ·Work closely with user-testing teams during play-balancing to provide expert balancing feedback. Qualifications: ·College Degree OR Respectable body of professional work/experience. ·Min 3-5 years experience in the games industry ·Shipped a minimum of three game titles (AAA a huge plus) ·Expert with math and formulas in a game environment ·Expert at Excel; creating curves, code and equations, as well as tune and model complex systems ·Avid gamer (especially online) with a broad range of game experience and a passion for games with complex systems. ·Egoless personality, who can communicate effectively at all levels of the organization ·Programming/scripting experience a plus .
Categories: Game Dev Jobs

Robobug: Scientists Clad Bacterium With Graphene To Make a Working Cytobot

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 8:23pm
Zothecula writes By cladding a living cell with graphene quantum dots, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) claim to have created a nanoscale biomicrorobot (or cytobot) that responds electrically to changes in its environment. This work promises to lay the foundations for future generations of bio-derived nanobots, biomicrorobotic-mechanisms, and micromechanical actuation for a wide range of applications. "UIC researchers created an electromechanical device — a humidity sensor — on a bacterial spore. They call it NERD, for Nano-Electro-Robotic Device. The report is online at Scientific Reports, a Nature open access journal."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Millennial Tech Workers Losing Ground In US

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 6:06pm
Nerval's Lobster writes Millennial tech workers are entering the U.S. workforce at a comparable disadvantage to other tech workers throughout the industrialized world, according to study earlier this year from Educational Testing Services (PDF). How do U.S. millennials compare to their international peers, at least according to ETS? Those in the 90th percentile (i.e., the top-scoring) actually scored lower than top-scoring millennials in 15 of the 22 studied countries; low-scoring U.S. millennials ranked last (along with Italy and England/Northern Ireland). While some experts have blamed the nation's education system for the ultimate lack of STEM jobs, other studies have suggested that the problem isn't in the classroom; a 2014 report from the U.S. Census Bureau suggested that many of the people who earned STEM degrees didn't actually go into careers requiring them. In any case, the U.S. is clearly wrestling with an issue; how can it introduce more (qualified) STEM people into the market?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Keeping warming to 2 °C is not enough to save species

New Scientist - Breaking news - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 5:00pm
The temperature limit we've chosen to protect our planet from harmful warming is 0.5 °C too high, say a growing number of climate scientists







Categories: Science & Tech News

Win Or Lose, Discrimination Suit Is Having an Effect On Silicon Valley

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 4:25pm
SpzToid sends word that the Ellen Pao vs. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers discrimination case wrapped up yesterday. No matter what the outcome turns out to be, it has already affected how business is being done in Silicon Valley. "'Even before there's a verdict in this case, and regardless of what the verdict is, people in Silicon Valley are now talking,' said Kelly Dermody, managing partner at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, who chairs the San Francisco law firm's employment practice group. 'People are second-guessing and questioning whether there are exclusionary practices [and] everyday subtle acts of exclusion that collectively limit women's ability to succeed or even to compete for the best opportunities. And that's an incredibly positive impact.' Women in tech have long complained about an uneven playing field — lower pay for equal work, being passed over for promotions and a hostile 'brogrammer' culture — and have waited for a catalyst to finally overhaul the status quo. This trial — pitting a disgruntled, multimillionaire former junior partner against a powerful Menlo Park, Calif., venture capital firm — was far from the open-and-shut case that many women had hoped for. More gender discrimination suits against big tech firms are expected to follow; some already have, including lawsuits against Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Supercell at the Super Bowl

GamesIndustry.biz news - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 4:24pm
"It wasn't about getting our game in front of however many millions of eyeballs"
Categories: Gaming News

GAO Denied Access To Webb Telescope Workers By Northrop Grumman

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 3:44pm
schwit1 writes In a report as well as at House hearings today the GAO reported that Northrop Grumman has denied them one-on-one access to workers building the James Webb Space Telescope. "The interviews, part of a running series of GAO audits of the NASA flagship observatory, which is billions of dollars overbudget and years behind schedule, were intended to identify potential future trouble spots, according to a GAO official. But Northrop Grumman Aerospace, which along with NASA says the $9 billion project is back on track, cited concerns that the employees, 30 in all, would be intimidated by the process." To give Northrop Grumman the benefit of the doubt, these interviews were a somewhat unusual request. Then again, if all was well why would they resist? Note too that the quote above says the cost of the telescope project is now $9 billion. If the project was "back on track" as the agency and Northrop Grumman claim, then why has the budget suddenly increased by another billion?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Science & Tech News

Zynga faces revived fraud lawsuit: Did its execs lie to investors?

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 3:41pm

In a ruling in San Francisco, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White ruled that shareholders can pursue claims alleging that its execs took advantage of investors. ...

Categories: Gaming News
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