Vermont Digital Arts at Unite Boston 2015

Unite Boston 2015

Unite 2015, the annual Unity game developer conference, is scheduled to be held in Boston, MA, September 21st – 23rd! Isn’t that exciting?!?

I’m Elliott Mitchell, co-founder of Vermont Digital Arts and the Boston Unity Group. I am honored to announce that I will be presenting at Unite for the fourth consecutive year! My session, Unity Maximus: Art Optimizations for Maximum Performance in Unity 5, was announced on a list of talks published on Unity’s blog yesterday. This talk will be geared towards helping artists and designers who are beginners with Unity 5 art optimizations.

Unity Maximus: Art Optimizations for Maximum Performance in Unity 5, is scheduled for Tuesday, September 22nd, 5:00-5:30, Ballroom A.

Unite-2015-Unity-Maximus

Many platforms, like VR and mobile, place high demands on developers to meet acceptable frame rates or else risk failure. Often, the art assets in a Unity project look fantastic but no matter how optimized the code base is, the build just doesn’t meet the desired frame rate. Unoptimized art assets, including some art which may be purchased on the Asset Store, can seriously hinder performance on demanding platforms. In this session, we will highlight some red flags to look out for in a variety of art asset types and identify key optimizations that can be implemented into your art pipeline to significantly increase performance on demanding platforms. Art asset types covered will include:

  • 3D Models, Animations and Rigs
  • 2D Textures and Sprites
  • Materials and Shaders

I’ll likely cover a few more topics like lightmapping & post process effects.

I hope to see you at Unite 2015 Boston!

Best,

-Elliott

EDIT 9/18: Changed the time and location to Tuesday, September 22nd, 5:00-5:30, Ballroom A.

Empowering Artists Designers and Non-Technical Types to Make Games in Unity – Elliott Mitchell, Unite Seattle 2014

*Re-posted from what Elliott Mitchell wrote on the Indie Game Collective blog on August 24, 2014.

Elliott Mitchell speaking about Shader Forge at Unite 2014

Elliott Mitchell speaking about Shader Forge at Unite 2014

As is too often the case, non-technical people think that they can’t create games in the Unity game development engine because they lack coding expertise. Elliott Mitchell, co-founder of Vermont Digital Arts and the Boston Unity User Group, debunked this myth in his Unite 2014 talk: Empowering Artists, Designers and Non-Technical Types to Make Games in Unity.

Elliott Mitchell speaking about playMaker at Unite 2014

Elliott Mitchell speaking about playMaker at Unite 2014

During his talk Elliott discussed:

  • Games such as The Counting Kingdom by Little Worlds Interactive that were developed without much coding
  • Specific coding concepts and aspects of the Core Unity editor that are necessary to know before making a game in Unity
  • Tools, scripts and other helpful assets on Unity’s Asset Store which help ease the pain of not knowing how to code well
  • Community resources for people developing in Unity


Watch the video of Elliott Mitchell’s Unite 2014 talk: Empowering Artists, Designers and Non-Technical Types to Make Games in Unity, here, if the embedded video above does not work.

 

Alienware Presents: Going Indie

Elliott-Mitchell-Alienware-Presents-Going-Indie-720

Alienware, maker of high-end gaming PCs, is making a bold and decisive push into the living room with it’s newly announced Steam Machine. Vermont Digital Arts, along with many other indie studios, is very excited that Alienware is stepping up to deliver a new console experience for  Steam. In the following short film by Alienware, Elliott Mitchell, co-founder of Vermont Digital Arts and Indie Game Collective member, gives a few reasons why Alienware’s new Steam Machine will rock for indies. Also look for some previously unseen live gameplay footage of our Samsqanch mascot trudging through Vermont’s frozen tundra in a new VR game we are working on!

Top 25 Game Developer Related Meetups In The Boston Area – March 2014 Edition

Beers For Indies

Beers For Indies!

We are often asked “What game developer meetups do you regularly attend?”. Unfortunately for us in Southern Vermont, most of the “local” meetups are in the Boston, MA area with the exception of a couple non-game specific events in Western MA. Fortunately for Vermont Digital Arts, we also work in Cambridge, MA at the Indie Game Collective and thus attend a lot of game development events out there.

Our personal top 5  Boston area game developer meetups are (in alphabetical order):

Boston Post Mortem http://www.bostonpostmortem.org/
Boston Indies http://www.bostonindies.com/
Boston Unity Group http://www.meetup.com/B-U-G-Boston-Unity-Group/
New England Game Circle http://gamescircle.org/
Mass DiGI http://www.massdigi.org/category/events/

Our general top 25 Boston area game developer meetups are (in alphabetical order):

AAUGA Boston http://www.aaugaboston.com/
Boston Art and Code http://www.meetup.com/BostonArtCode/
Boston Blender Users Group http://www.meetup.com/BostonBlender/
Boston Games Forum http://gmsfrm.com/
Boston HTML 5 Game Development http://www.meetup.com/Boston-HTML5-Game-Development/
Boston Indies http://www.bostonindies.com/
Boston Post Mortem http://www.bostonpostmortem.org/
Boston Unity Group http://www.meetup.com/B-U-G-Boston-Unity-Group/
Boston Virtual Reality http://www.meetup.com/Boston-Virtual-Reality/
Boston Windows App and Game Developers http://www.meetup.com/Boston-Windows-App-Developers/
Cambridge Hack Space http://www.meetup.com/Cambridge-Hackspace/
Drinks on Tap http://www.meetup.com/DrinksOnTap/
Game Makers Guild http://www.meetup.com/Game-Makers-Guild/
Game Over Boston https://www.facebook.com/GameOverBoston
HTML 5 Boston http://www.meetup.com/html5boston/
Mass DiGI http://www.massdigi.org/category/events/
Mass Innovation Nights http://mass.innovationnights.com/
Mass TLC http://www.masstlc.org/
MassMobile – Mobile Developer’s Meetup http://www.meetup.com/massmobile/
Mobile Monday http://www.momoboston.com/
New England Game Circle http://gamescircle.org/
StoryCode Boston http://www.meetup.com/StoryCode-Boston/
Women in Games Boston http://wigboston.wordpress.com/

Please let us know if you have any favorite game developer meetups in the Boston area that we may have missed. I’d be great to have a giant comprehensive list to share online perhaps as a wiki.

We hope there will be more going on in the Vermont / Western MA area to populate a list half this long in a few years! VERMONT / Western MA -> Let’s make it happen!

Steam Developers Unite

Steam Dev Days

Valve’s first Steam Developer’s Conference, Steam Dev Days, is set to kick off January 15 in Seattle, WA. Vermont Digital Arts is very excited to be attending this historic game developer event! We just happen to be developing a few games for Steam and Steam + Oculus Rift  and Unity for the win. What is particularly amazing is Valve’s decision to launch SteamVR Beta one day ahead of Steam Dev Days! This is going to be good!

Hope to see you at Steam Dev Days! Tweet to Elliott Mitchell, our Co-Founder, on Twitter @mrt3d if you’d like to connect at the conference.