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HERE IS MY TALK FROM GDC 2012 - Making Core Gameplay for Everyone
WATCH THE TALK - Gamasutra GDC 2012 Featured Presentation

Indiana Jones Adventure World was released in September 2011 and is the first game to come out of the Zynga Boston studio.

Zynga I have been working at Zynga's Boston Studio since the summer of 2010. Our first game, Indiana Jones Adventure World was released in September 2011. My role at the studio has changed over time from Product Manager to Lead Game Designer to Executive Producer.
Conduit Labs After graduate school I joined Conduit Labs in Cambridge, MA. The company was a small startup working to bring social music gaming to the web with a website called Loudcrowd and also early facebook games like Music Pets. Conduit Labs was acquired in August 2010 by Zynga.
I graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Master of Entertainment Technology degree from the Entertainment Technology Center in May 2009. While in graduate school I worked on the Active-Adventure project and was also a programming teaching assistant for the Building Virtual Worlds class.

Winds of Orbis: An Active Adventure from Bard McKinley on Vimeo.
Winds of Orbis Active-Adventure was my project at the Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center and was an IGF Student Showcase Finalist. The project ran during the spring and fall semesters of 2008. The goal of the project was to prove to the game industry that active games can be fun, deep and meaningful. We created a proof-of-concept prototype that includes over 20 minutes of gameplay using a full hardware setup of a Wii Remote, Nunchuk and floor pad.
GDC At the 2009 Game Developers Conference I was given a chance to speak during the Serious Games Summit on a panel for New Voices in Serious Games. It was an excellent opportunity to discuss the Active-Adventure project and the potential impacts it could have on the game industry. I also spoke at SIGCHI 2009 and the 2009 Games for Health Conference.
Well Played While at Carnegie Mellon University I was given the opportunity to write a chapter for a new book called Well Played 1.0. The book focuses on close readings of games, essentially deep reviews that cover both game mechanics and the game experience. My chapter was on The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and discusses a new story structure based on the Hero's Journey. The book can be downloaded for free or purchased from Lulu.
Walt Disney Imagineering Over the summer of 2008 I had a chance to work at Walt Disney Imagineering. At Imagineering I worked in the Creative Technology Group developing tools and technology to help in the design of the next generation of Disney rides and attractions. Most of my work was programming related but I also did some projects that required mechanical and electrical engineering.
Building Virtual Worlds

During my first semester at the Entertainment Technology Center I was given the role as programmer in the Building Virtual Worlds class and worked extensively with Panda3D and Python. I am currently the Teaching Assistant for programmers for the 2008 BVW class. One of the other classes I took during the first semester is The Visual Story, which is a film class for non-film students.

dreamcraft101 I wrote an article for the internet magazine The Escapist that was all about my experience in the Building Virtual Worlds course. It was titled Dreamcraft101 and it gives a pretty good account of what it is like to live through BVW.

In the spring 2007 semester while at Northeastern I participated in an independent study with a multidisciplinary team to develop a game to teach undergraduate engineers. This game, called Shortfall Digital, has been approved by the NSF for continued research. For more information you can look at the Shortfall Digital website.

For the past two summers I have had a chance to go and present at the Games + Learning + Society Conference in Madison, Wisconsin. This year I presented on Active-Adventure, but also our abstract for Shortfall was accepted in 2007. There is more information available that includes my speaker bio, the Active Adventure background, the Shortfall background and a webcast of the Shortfall presentation.

For Sandbox 2008 I am on the committee responsible for PR and other organizational duties. The paper we submitted to the Sandbox Symposium about Shortfall was also accepted for presentation in San Diego, California in 2007. More information can be found on the program website.

I have written two postmortems for, one on The Winds of Obris and the other on Shortfall. These are student postmortems and can be viewed here:
Student Postmortem: ETC's The Winds of Orbis
Student Postmortem: Northeastern University's Shortfall Digital

For Capstone Design during my senior year at Northeastern University our group created a process for building patient specific ankle-foot orthotics. The deliverables for this project included a working prototype, a professional paper and several presentations. The work we did has been patented and research is ongoing with Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

For several years as an undergraduate I worked on creating a website called GameTruth. This site was my first experience working with HTML, CSS and PHP. There are several very popular parts to the site and more information can be found on my GameTruth page.

While at Northeastern I was selected to be a peer mentor for freshman engineering students. One of the responsibilities of a peer mentor is to teach several of the classes covering the various different engineering majors offered by Northeastern. To perform this task my twin brother and I created a very basic Flash based Jeopardy game.

I have also been involved with Citizen Schools, where I taught Scheme to middle school students. This opportunity came to my attention through a Computer Science professor that I had in the fall of 2006. She recommended that I do this and it has been a very valuable experience. I taught at the Washington Irving Middle School in Roslindale, MA on Tuesday afternoons.



:: contact: seth at sethsivak dot com ::