With the development of Madden NFL 11 winding down, I felt it was time to get back to one of my promises to myself: get more active in the game development community. Right when I got back to Orlando, I e-mailed the IGDA Chapter Leader, Dustin Clingman, and found out that there was an active chapter and they met monthly. I signed up to get notifications of when the meetings were, but got caught up in shipping Madden Ultimate Team and then Madden.
Dustin was the speaker for the meeting doing a talk on “Creative Responsibility”, driving yourself and the people who you work around you to do their best and not accepting anything less. I could tell it was a personal subject for Dustin and it was geared more towards veterans of the game industry. The meetings are about 75% students and 25% game industry, which is pretty indicative of the Orlando game community. The questions at the end his talk from the students tended to be more “how can I get better?” or “how can I show people in the industry my creativity?” Unless you’ve shipped a game and worked with a group of people, you probably couldn’t get the gist of what he was talking about. I enjoyed the speech and as a driver of quality in our games, I constantly have to evaluate other people’s work. While Madden and NCAA Football are at the top of our industry, I feel we could always do better and we make compromises in quality when it’s not necessary.
I had a good time overall, meeting a few other people in the game industry and a lot of students trying to break in. I’m looking forward to next month’s meeting.