Out of Play Area

Out of Play Area

A bi-weekly video game development podcast by John R. Diaz, a veteran game designer who goes 1:1 in candid conversations with the developers behind today‘s hit games where we discuss their journey and learnings in this wild industry with no punches pulled. John is a kid born to emigrants from the Dominican Republic in New York City, raised with lots of love, off of food stamps & welfare, where English was not his native language, who got lucky enough to find his passion in developing video games. It took him years in college before figuring out that video game development was something he could learn and do. It wasn‘t until 2007 when he got his lucky 1 in a million chance to get his foot in the door, which required him to move away from all of his family into a city that he knew no one in, Austin Texas to work on his first game Blacksite Area 51 with Midway Games. Since then he‘s gone on to work on some of the biggest games of our time including Grand Theft Auto V and both Red Dead Redemptions. However that road was long, exhausting, and expensive, and it didn‘t have to be. That‘s why he‘s making this show. The video game industry needs more people from all walks of life, beliefs, countries, cultures, languages, shapes, sizes, and origins to make the next big game the world wants to play. If John could do it so can you. This show is all about sharing the experiences of his network, the developers behind the games you love and play, including Game Designers, Animators, Artists, Producers, Engineers, Testers, Directors, Writers, and everything in between, sharing their stories and advice, to answer all those questions you have about how video games are made, and how do you even become a game developer. If you are making video games or want to make them this show is for you, the current & future video game developers where we discuss our art and motivations out of the lines, out of the play area. This is to help put you on to get the opportunity to make the video games you want to play, by hearing how they are made and how the people got here. http://outofplayarea.com Connect with us on Twitter @OutOfPlayArea & the host John R. Diaz. @ElKingpin

Episodes

November 8, 2021 90 min

Angelica "Jel" Baca is a UX Designer at Intercept Games who found her way through QA for Glu Mobile, Bungie, PopCap, Card Kingdom, and King.

Listen to her journey through this industry and how she thrives today.

 

Chapters:

  • (00:00) Who is Angelica Baca?
  • (07:23) Customer Support @ Big Fish Games
  • (14:55) First Game
  • (22:28) QA Ground Floor
  • (30:45) Networking & Professional Relationships
  • (37:21) Stepping out of Games for...
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    Ryan Paradis, Design Director at Bungie working on Destiny talks about his journey through Full Sail University, working at Rockstar Games in San Diego, to Bungie on Destiny, to 343 on Halo Infinite and more. 

     

    Chapters:

  • (00:00) Who is Ryan Paradis?
  • (10:39) Full Sail University Alliances
  • (16:49) Live Design Director Life
  • (26:30) Personal Sustainability
  • (33:40) Power of Cutting Content
  • (49:02) Wearing the Producer Hat
  • (1:01:31) Game R...
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    Episode 19 of the game dev podcast Out of Play Area features Brian Dumlao a QA Analyst at Jam City in Carlsbad, CA with Philipinne roots hailing from Los Angeles, California. We talk about how he used his sociology degree and experience at EB Games, to break in at Midway Games in San Diego and work on Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance, his journey through the industry at Disney, High Moon Studios on Destiny, to where he is today and wh...

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    Episode 18 features storyteller/technologist Matt Udvari the CTO and Co-Founder of Aquifer Motion in Austin, TX. We talk about his journey through game development onto his path to build new technology to make it easier for content creators, media businesses, and brands to build interactive stories. Chapters:

  • (00:00) Who is Matt Udvari
  • (13:23) Austin Texas Development
  • (21:29) UFC Fighting Games & IK
  • (31:58) Aquifer Motion's ...
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    On Episode 17 of the Game Developer's Podcast Out of Play Area hosted by John R. Diaz we sit down with Lead Producer at Brass Lion Entertainment Yesenia Cisneros a Queens New York City Native with Chinese - Ecuadorian roots and we talk about what's it like breaking into games, working in eSports, transitioning into QA, and finally as a Producer at a place that she's so relieved she gets to bring her authentic self to wo...

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    Episode 16 features Stephan Carmignani Creative Director at Rovio in Montreal.

    We discuss diversity, hiring in the pandemic, VR arcade design at Minority Media, UGC in the metaverse, and more.

     

    Chapters:

  • (00:00) Who is Stephan Carmignani
  • (01:47) A Toast
  • (15:03) Hiring Practices in the Pandemic
  • (26:02) VR Arcade Design
  • (38:29) Level Design Roots
  • (43:10) User-Generated Content in the Metaverse
  • (45:30) The End Game
  • (58:35) The Lightning...
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    In episode 15 of the game dev's podcast Out of Play Area we sit with Sylvain Dubrosky a product & game designer for Facebook's Oculus Virtual Reality, where we go through his journey breaking into game development as a programmer and then transitioning in game design in San Francisco at Shaba, 3DO, and Factor 5, then moving to Harmonix for Rock Band 2, then PopCap where he went into casual games before venturing into VR...

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    John dives into Melee Combat Game Design with Nicolas Monteilhet-Laboissiere an Advanced Games Designer at WB Games Montreal

    We talk about how he approached extending Free-Flow Combat in Arkham Origins, after going through the chronology of Melee Systems dating back to Zelda Ocarina of Time, God of War 1, onto the Batman Arkham series. 

    He also talks about making the jump from QA to Game Design at Ubisoft Montreal

    Chapters:
  • ...
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    In episode 13 of Out of Play Area, we sit down with Corinne Scrivens who is an Art Director at PolyArc in Seattle Washington. She's worked as an artist at Arena Net, at Bungie on Destiny 1 & 2, and lets you know as an artist, your portfolio is everything. 

    Chapters:

  • (00:00) Who Is Corinne Scrivens?
  • (08:04) Learning New Tools
  • (14:46) It's all about the Portfolio
  • (26:36) Neversoft Motion Capture Internship
  • (40:14) Finding W...
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    In episode 12, Chris Torres, video game animation director for Bluepoint in Austin, TX discusses what led him to get into video game animation, his love of technical animation, and what led him to become a director and more.

     

    Chapters:

    (00:00) Who is Chris Torres?

    (06:35) Animation Inspiration Pixar's Toy Story

    (13:33) Midway Games Broke Me In

    (27:54) Hired at Nintendo because Ping Pong

    (36:09) Why Technical A...

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    In episode 11 of Out of Play Area the Game Dev podcast, Grant Shonkwiler, a freelance game developer aboard his own company Shonkventures, talks about being an audio programmer, to a game designer, and finally a producer at ID on Rage, and for Epic Games on Fortnite.  We also discuss dealing with burnout, how to negotiate your salary and the power of radical vulnerability and more!

    Chapters:

  • (00:00) Who is Grant Shonkwiler?
  • (06:18...
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    In milestone episode 10, Danny Bulla, a co-founder and Design Director at Polyarc Games in Seattle, WA shares what it takes to leave the comfort of Bungie to open your own VR game dev studio with trusted friends.

    We talk about the power of empathy to be the best designer, giving objective feedback, and the hub for game development and music that Seattle has become.

     

    Chapters:

    (00:00) Who is Danny Bulla?

    (10:29) Convey You...

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    On episode 9 of Out of Play Area we sit down with one of the co-founders of the Latin X In Gaming Organization Juan Vaca an El Salvadorian / Ecuadorian American currently working as a Narrative Design Lead at Netflix. We'll go through his journey breaking into the industry, shifting from production to narrative design while at TellTale Games working on The Wolf Among Us, The Walking Dead, Tales from the Borderland, and my perso...

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    In episode 8, John gets to learn all about game audio design from Kristen Quinn an Audio Director for PolyArc Games in Seattle, WA. Her credentials include FEAR & Condemned (Monolith), Fable 2 & 3 (Lionhead), Sunset Overdrive (Insomniac), and Legends of Runeterra (Riot).

    She talks about how she got into games, how she approaches hiring and building a strong team, and what she's learned from going to AAA to smaller team...

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    In episode 7, Jeff Junio, a Lead Game Designer for Jam City in Carlsbad, CA, talks about what's it like building major free to play mobile games, how he approaches hiring and managing, how to sustain for over 30 years in this industry, and working at Rockstar San Diego on Midnight Club L.A, and more.

     

    Chapters:

    (00:00) Who is Jeff Junio?

    (04:07) Studying in Seattle

    (07:42) The Marathon Runner

    (15:06) Longevity &a...

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    In episode 6,  Nicholas Zippmann, a Senior Staff Systems Designer for Sony's Bend Studio talks about his career working in the industry on Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption, Guerrilla Games' Horizon Zero Dawn, Days Gone, and more.

    He talks about how to approach game systems design, where he got his start, and we both admire open world systems design and the various approaches to it on Unreal, Rage, and other game eng...

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    In episode 5, our first animator on the show, John Geiger a Señior Animator for Eidos Montréal talks about his career working on iconic characters such as Lara Croft and on Deus Ex Mankind Divided & Human Revolutions.

     

    We discuss lifting heavy things, bringing your best self to work every day, and more.

     

    Chapters:

    (00:00) Who is John Geiger?

    (01:32) Lifting Heavy Weight

    (04:25) A Toast over homemade Bourbon

    (11...

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    In episode 4, Jameson Durall, Director of eSports for Full Sail University's Team Armada in Winter Park FL falls Out of Play Area and talks about studying game design & development at Full Sail University, playing D&D with Dave Arneson, breaking into the industry thanks to Gamasutra, working at Oddworld, EA, Volition, and coming back to return the favor to Full Sail University. He also explains why he became a Twitch Af...

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    In episode 3, Mayling Tan, a Senior Game Designer at Google Stadia in Montreal falls Out of Play Area and talks about the bombshell news that Google Stadia announced to their game studios. She candidly walks through her mindset to move forward, while reaffirming her passion for what she does as a Social Designer and everything that entails. Of course, we also get her to open up on how she broke into the industry.

     

    Chapters:

    (0...

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    In episode 02, we sit down with Benjamin Johnson, or Mr. Benja as he’s known online, who is a designer and creative living in SoCal best known for being the lead designer on Rockstar Games Presents: Table Tennis and being a prominent open-world scripter for Red Dead Redemption.

    Early on, he was introduced to the arts, but when he came across video games, he quickly decided to make game development his focus. Benja obtained degrees...

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