February 2013: Announcements!

Hey everyone!

Thanks again to those of you who made it to our IGDA meeting last night! We had a lot of great projects to show from our local developers. You can look forward to hearing more about these games in the future!

In the meantime, I wanted to provide a quick recap of yesterday’s announcements. There’s quite a few:

 

Dark Side of the Jam: A NASA Hosted Game Jam

Friday, March 8th – Sunday, March 10th
Starting approx. 6pm at University of Advancing Technology!

header

UAT has become an official location for the NASA jam! Much like the Global Game Jam that happened last month, this is an opportunity to team up with other developers and make a cool game in 48 hours. Come be part of a nationwide event to create games around aerospace exploration and technology! You can read more about it at the Dark Side of the Jam website.

 

Game Developer’s Conference 2013

March 25th – March 29th at Moscone Center in San Francisco

Just wanted to remind you guys that GDC is around the corner! You can find more information at the GDC site. Aside from just being a generally fun time, GDC is a great opportunity to meet and learn from other game developers. If you have the means, I would strongly encourage you to attend! And for those of you who are attending, make sure you’ve got your trip planned out!

And for those of you who are registered members of the IGDA, you can find a full-list of IGDA-sponsored tracks and events at http://www.igda.org/node/1042867. Check it out!

 

Ernest Adams at UAT!

Monday, April 1st at University of Advancing Technology

Ernest_Adams_in_hat

On the way back from GDC, we’ll be getting a visiting lecture from popular game designer and owner of The Designer’s Notebook, Ernest Adams! This talk is open to anybody, not just UAT students. Keep an eye out for more details!

 

Collins College Jam

Friday, May 3rd – Sunday, May 5th
Hosted at Collins College!

This one is still a little while away, but mark your calendars! Collins College will be hosting a game jam in the beginning of May, and it’s open to everyone. More details on that to come.

 

Finally, a few announcements from devs and studios around the area:

crystal catacombs

PJ and the crew at Super Fun Games are looking for alpha testers for their gorgeous upcoming game, Crystal Catacombs (read more about it on their Kickstarter Page). If you’re interested, drop PJ a line at pjvilsaint@superfunproductions.com.

 

Retora Games has an opening for a Web Developer. If you’re interested or know someone who is, contact Tyler at tylerthedesigner@gmail.com.

 

And finally, a big congratulations to local dev Mario Castañeda, artist on The Bridge, now released on Steam! In addition, congrats to Alex and Kyle at Abstrakt Games, whose 48-hour Indie Speed Run game Protein Pirates won the ISR grand prize! Nicely done, guys!

 

That’s all we have for now! As always, if you have any announcements you’d like to make, e-mail myself or Kyle (corey@igdaphx.org, kyle@igdaphx.org). Thanks again, and we’ll see you all soon!

Cheers,
Corey

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February: Michael Todd, Platformers, Jam Games and More!

Howdy everybody!
 
 
Happy Valentine’s Day, with lots of love from your favorite IGDA chapter! Quickly, a big thanks to everyone who participated in our recent survey about operations over here at IGDA Phoenix. We got such a strong response, in fact, that we’ll be trying something new this month! Which brings me to our main announcement…

 

February IGDA Meeting!

Wednesday, Feburary 27th
7 PM in the Little Theater at University of Advancing Technology!

Our featured speaker for this month is our new Arizona transplant, Michael Todd! A bit more about him:

Featuring Michael Todd as himself.

Michael Todd is an award winning game developer, recently based in Toronto. He has spoken around the world at GDC, PAX, GamerCamp, NoMoreSweden and the Hand-Eye Society, and is a specialist in rapid prototyping methods.

A co-founder of the Toronto Skillswap & the Toronto Jammers, Michael is an active part of the indie game development community.

Twitter: @thegamedesigner

 
Michael’s talk is entitled “A LEAP OF FAITH: Platformer Design & Paradigms.” It addresses his unique approach to platforming games, including some dissection of existing ones. With a solid platter of experience under his belt, including the upcoming Unity-based 2D platformer Electronic Super Joy, Michael has a lot of wisdom to offer on platformers and game development in general. He’s also a renowned speaker, having given highly-rated talks at events including GDC and GamerCamp. Be sure to set room in your schedule for this one!

 
Now for the twist: instead of the normal food plans, we’ll continue socializing and demonstrations right there in UAT’s Little Theater! Everyone is free to get food as they please, but the projector will also be available after the talk to any of our Game Jam participants who would like to demo their games. Which leads me to our next announcement:

 

Global Game Jam 2013: Winners!

A HUGE congratulations is in order for everyone who participated in our most recent game jam, the Global Game Jam 2013. At UAT alone, we had more than 20 games that were created and fully playable in just 48 hours. That’s incredible!! We’ll be giving each of our local winners a quick shout-out in the announcements before the February meeting. JAMMERS: If you would like to select the screenshot(s) (up to 3) that will be displayed with your game in the announcements, please email them to corey@igdaphx.org. OR if you would prefer that your game goes unmentioned, e-mail me and we can handle that as well.

Congratulations again to everybody! GGJ 2013 was one of our best turnouts yet, and things are continuing to look up! A big thanks to Alex Bascom, Tyler Coleman, and everyone at UAT for putting it together. For updates about future jams, don’t forget to ‘like’ UAT Game Jams on Facebook!

 
 
Finally, we have an invitation our member, Zach Snader, to join a game development-based team in one of the toughest events of the year. If you’re into playing real-life platformers, this might be your bag:

Fellow IGDAers!

I hereby invite you to get your asses kicked at this year’s Tough Mudder! For the uninitiated, Tough Mudder is a ~12 mile endurance course with obstacles like: Climbing 12-foot tall walls, crawling over an ice covered tarp littered with electrified wires, and just straight up running through hell mud!

If that doesn’t sound like your idea of fun, stop reading this.

For the one of you I have left, please contact me if you are interested in joining my (small) team and training (heartily) before the event.

JOIN!

You can reach Zach by e-mailing zacsnade at uat dot edu. There’s only a few days left to register so if you’re interested do it soon!

 

We’ll see you all in a couple weeks!

 
Your chairs,
Corey and Kyle

Upcoming Events, Openings and Announcements!

Helloooo Phoenix devs!

Thanks again to everyone who came out to Kyle’s talk last week! The turnout was tremendous, one of our biggest groups yet! We had a lot of very important announcements this month, and for those of you who missed it or want more details, I’ll be listing them all again (with some new ones) here!

UAT Tech Forum

Wednesday, October 31st – Friday, November 2nd
Each day from 11 AM at University of Advancing Technology!

UAT’s Tech Forum “brings together industry experts on campus for lectures, interactive workshops and ample opportunities to network.” Presenters will be providing their professional insights on all things technical including networking, game development, animation, digital video, software. The best part? It’s free, and open to anyone (not just UAT students)!

There’ll be a pretty impressive array of speakers here, including people from Microsoft, Ubisoft, Playdom, and the NSA, among many others. You can RSVP and find more info about it at their site: http://www.uat.edu/techforum/. If you have the chance, check it out!

Tech Forum Game Jam

Friday, November 2nd – Sunday, November 4th
5:30 PM Friday to 9 PM Sunday at University of Advancing Technology!

The Tech Forum ends with a game jam! It starts on Friday evening, when the theme will be revealed. For those unfamiliar with the game jam format, this one takes place over a weekend (48 hours total). The goal is to make a game in those two days, based on a certain theme. After the theme is revealed, jammers typically take the next few hours to brainstorm and form teams around their ideas. After that, it’s go time! Get crazy! You’ll be surprised what you can come up with in a weekend of work.

Even if you can’t make it for a whole weekend, jams provide a great environment to do creative work in. There are computers set up with game development software, so come in on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and make something! If you can’t jam but would like to judge or see the final presentations/awards, you can also come in on Sunday at 5ish. To RSVP, or to find out a little more about jams in general, check out the official Game Jam Facebook Event. You can also like “UAT Game Jam” on Facebook to get the latest jam news and updates: http://www.facebook.com/UATGameJam

Hope to see you there!

Night Lights Playtest

Wednesday, October 31
7 PM at University of Advancing Technology!

Looking for something to do Wednesday night? Come try out a locally-made game! Described as a “pictionary-style game with lights,” Night Lights has already had a bunch of successful playtests, and they’re still out for more! This event is open to anyone and of course, free of charge. Once again, you can RSVP at the Facebook Event or get more details at the Night Lights Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/NightLightsGame.

Collins Game Jam: Judges Needed!

Collins College is hosting its once-a-term Game Jam for its students at the end of November, and we need the help of our local developers, designers, and artists to make it a success! We’re looking to cultivate a panel of game industry judges who’d like to visit the campus for an evening of playing, judging, and writing about games. Right now, we’re shooting for Sunday, December 2nd at 5PM, right after the games are handed in. If you’re interested, or if you have any questions, please send an e-mail to Jeffrey Chiara (jchiara at collinscollege dot edu) and let him know! Also, please visit the website (http://tropicus.net/gamejam/) to get a feel for the work we’ve been doing so far. Thank you!

Internship Position Open!

2XL Games has an intern position opening up for students in the next week or two. We are looking for design interns with a heavy focus on creative writing and a very basic grasp of programming logic. The position is unpaid, but the intern would be credited on a soon to be released mobile and Facebook game, and the content they create would be directly player facing. The game is scheduled for early next year.

The primary creative skills we are looking for are a good imagination and ability to write descriptively with regards to levels in a fantasy RPG setting. The closest parallel I can provide for the kind of writing we need is an old-school text based adventure. They’ll need to create and describe locations that the player will explore via text.

Hours will be very flexible to work around school time. We would want the intern to come into the office at least once at the beginning of the project to meet with me (We are in Phoenix near Camelback and 32nd Street) but otherwise the work can be done on their own time from their own computer (PC only) and they would report to me directly via skype and email.

Anyone that is interested should send an email to: Jeremy at 2xlgames dot com
(Applicants will be asked to provide a short writing sample, based on a location from our story)

IGF Student Showcase Deadline

Wednesday, October 31st at 11:59 PM

This is just a quick reminder that the Independent Games Festival’s Student Showcase Deadline is this Wednesday (Halloween!) and can be submitted online at: http://students.igf.com/. If you have a student project that is in beta or nearing completion and you’re proud of it, consider entering it! There’s no fee for student entries, and getting selected is a great way to get exposure and interest throughout the industry. Last year, a group of students from AIPX submitted their game Dust and it was nominated in the IGF, and good times were had by all! Get your games in there!

Desert Code Camp

Saturday, November 17th
8 AM to 6 PM at Chandler – Gilbert Community College Pecos Campus

Calling all programmers! Desert Code Camp is coming up this month, and it’s a great way to learn any variety of topics on a range of subjects, for advanced coders and newbies alike. It takes place right here in the Valley (Chandler) and is free of charge! In addition, the event is made for and driven by developers, meaning you can express your interests in subjects on the site to gain support for presentations on it. Voting, sessions and more information can be found at their website: http://nov2012.desertcodecamp.com/.

Kickstarter Campaigns

We have a couple of exciting Kickstarter-related announcements for you guys!

Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption is a campaign-in-progress from the Quest For Glory creators. After some time away from the industry they’ve returned with a new project that could be on its way to crowdfunded success! Plus, that Corey Cole guy sure does have a cool name 🙂 Check it out and back or spread it if you’re interested!

The Crystal Catacombs, on the other hand, is already a Kickstarter success! Having received almost double its initial funding back in July, the developers have officially teamed up with local studio Super Fun Games to take the game to the next level. It’s an exciting project, can’t wait to see more of it!

 

Whew! That was quite a bit of news. That’s it for now! We’ll have announcements coming soon about our November and December meetings, so keep an eye out. Enjoy your Halloweens!

 
Your chair,
Corey

September Meeting With a NEW Location!

Hey all,

 

Hope everyone’s been enjoyin’ their summers! As our month full of awesome thunderstorms comes to an end, we’ve got some great news, including the details on our September meeting! First things first… 

 
 
September IGDA Meeting!
Wednesday, September 12th
7 PM in the Little Theater at University of Advancing Technology
Followed by food and drinks at Claim Jumper Restaurant!

 

That’s right, we’re changing things up this month, so make sure you’re going to the right place! Starting at 7, we’ll be holding the talk and announcements in the Little Theater at UAT. It’s a good presentation space, convenient for speakers, and we’ll have room to seat plenty of people! Afterwards, we’ll meet up down the road at Claim Jumper for food, drinks and socializing. We’ll see you there! And be sure to RSVP at the Facebook event!

This month’s speaker is Matthew Wegner! Indie developer and programmer extraordinaire.

Matthew Wegner founded Flashbang Studios, an 8 year-old independent game developer best known for its “Blurst” portfolio of experimental games. Elsewhere, Matthew is an Indie Fund member, TIGJam organizer, photographer, conference planner, web/database programmer and unicyclist.
In his talk “The Blurst of Times: Everything I Learned About Making Games in 8 Weeks,” Matthew will recount Flashbang’s iterations on the standard development cycle, and how these experiments drove their approach to making short, small games that were released in a fraction of the typical timeframe.

 
 
There’s a lot of practical knowledge in this talk, so make plans NOW to be there! And don’t forget it’ll be held at UAT, not at Claim Jumper! We’ll head there after the talk (around 8PM or so). See you there!
 
 
And one more quick note:
 
 
Ludum Dare 24
Friday, August 24th – Monday, August 27th
Starting at 6PM on Friday at University of Advancing Technology

 

 

Anyone interested in jamming this weekend? If you are, good news! It turns out Ludum Dare 24 will be happening, and the classrooms at UAT will be open to anyone who wants the extra space.

This one’s a little different from the typical jam: usually (by competition rules) Ludum Dare games are developed solo rather than with a team. You can read more about the competition rulesets here. Judging will ONLY occur for entries following Ludum Dare’s guidelines submitted through the LD site. It’s a peer judging process, so submitting your own game allows you to vote on others’. For those not big on the strict compo format, feel free to come to UAT to jam on your own stuff! Creativity and productivity are KEY!

 
 
That’s it for now! We’ll see you all at the September meeting. Until then, don’t forget to email me (corey@igdaphx.org) or Kyle (kyle@igdaphx.org) with any feedback, announcements or requests!
 
Corey

February Meeting and GDC 2012!

Hi everybody!

 

Happy February! It’s your favorite local IGDA chapter, and we’re happy to be back after a January break. We’ve got some announcements to make!

First of all, congratulations to everyone who participated in this year’s Global Game Jam, both at UAT and elsewhere. We had some great local entries! And for those of you who missed it, don’t worry, you’ll see ’em at our…
 

 

February IGDA Meeting!

Wednesday, February 15th
7 PM at Claim Jumper Restaurant in Tempe!
 

By popular request, we’re moving the meetings back to Tempe! This means you’ll want to get in on time to take advantage of the seating arrangements 🙂

This meeting will be a post-jam wrap-up, with jammers both new and old recounting their experiences making a game in a weekend. And of course, no game jam postmortem is complete without a full suite of new games to try! They’ll all be available on the IGDA computer. So come by, eat, drink and play!

 

 

Don’t forget that GDC 2012 is rapidly approaching! If you’re interested in buying tickets, you can do it through the main conference site. There are a lot of cool sessions planned, so if you have the means, it’s a conference well worth attending! (If you’re a card carrying member of the official IGDA, don’t forget about the special additional discounts you can receive!)

 

 

Finally, we have some awesome announcements to make from developers from all around the valley!

 
 


From just across the desert, we have a brand new word puzzle game: Monster Words by Enemy Hideout, available now on the iOS!

 
And to top it off, it’s FREE! Check it out today on the iDevice of your choosing!

 
 
 


Local dev and vice chair Kyle Pulver has announced a new game! Take a look at Offspring Fling, a game of epic baby-flinging proportions. The game itself originated from a game jam from last May. It will be out soon for Mac and PC! He also has a mailing list you can sign up for to receive an email when the game is released.
 
Check it out and help spread the word!

 
 
 

And by another local dev and IGDA board member, Tyler Coleman has released one of his game jam games to the app store. Hello Color will test just how well you can match and recognize colors under pressure, and contains a sophisticated statistics tracking system so you know JUST how good your hue senses really are.
 
This one’s available for just $0.99. Less money than a bagel AND more fun!

 
 
 

That’s all for now! Hope your 2012’s been going awesomely so far, and we’ll see you guys next week!

 

Cheers,

Corey

A Flurry of November Events!

Hey there, Valley Game Developers!

We’ve got one busy November coming up, and I want to make sure you guys have it all on your schedule! Get over your Halloween candy comas quick, ’cause we’ve got a LOT coming at ya…

 
 

UAT Technology Forum!

Tuesday, November 1st – Thursday, November 3rd
11 AM – 6 PM (each day) at University of Advancing Technology in Tempe!

 

The Tech Forum put on bi-yearly by UAT is free and open to the public! Which is great, because there’s a lot of interesting content being presented and taught here. It’s being held across three days, with lectures and other events spread across from 11 AM to about 6 PM each day. You can get more information, including registration and an event schedule, on the official Tech Forum website!

 
 

Tech Forum: Indie Panel!

Wednesday, November 2nd
6 – 7 PM in the little theater at University of Advancing Technology in Tempe!

 

Within the Tech Forum, we have a special panel being put together by Tyler Coleman featuring some of our talented local developers: Matthew Wegner, Kyle Pulver, David Koontz and Ara Shirinian! This panel will be about independent development, and the risks and rewards of going indie or starting your own studio as a reflection of their own experiences in the industry. We’ll have more to come about this, so stay tuned!

Because this panel is scheduled for the night that’s ordinarily our monthly IGDA meeting, we’ll be pushing this one back a week once again 🙂 Scroll down for the details on that!

 
 

November Game Jam!

Friday, November 4th – Sunday, November 6th
6 PM (Friday) – 8 PM (Sunday) at University of Advancing Technology in Tempe!

 

Man, UAT is hoppin’ this month! Lots of stuff going on, including yet another exciting Game Jam! This one will have none of the restrictions of the Noob Jam last month, along with a theme, judging, prizes… yeah, this jam is the REAL THING, folks!

It’s been a while since we’ve had a formal game jam… here’s a recap, in case anyone needs one: A Game Jam is a 48 hour timeframe in which developers get together and work in small teams to create a fully playable game by the end of the 48 hours. Games are then presented to everyone in UAT’s little theater. It’s hectic, yet fun! Even if you can’t make it for the whole weekend, it’s a great chance to work in a creative, energized environment. So feel free to drop by any time, the event goes on all day and night!

Friday, 6PM: We meet at UAT. This is the time for equipment set-up, brainstorming, getting to know people, etc. If you want to work with other people, you can pitch ideas and form teams. The theme will be revealed at 7, as well. (A theme is a high-level word or phrase that you must then take and incorporate into your game. Themes can provide a good starting block for brainstorming.) You can start working on the game as soon as you’re ready, but generally…

Saturday til 6PM on Sunday: is JAMMING TIME! You can use any tool, language, or platform you want and can run your game on any platform. Generally, creating your own assets is encouraged over pulling from the public domain. Teams can be any size.

Sunday, 6PM: Wrap-up and presentation time! This is when people can demonstrate what they’ve been working on for the weekend. After the presentation, judging will commence, and prizes will be awarded to the top games in a number of categories.

Annnnd that’s it in a nutshell! Hope you can all make it to the biggest Game Jam of the Fall!

 
 

November IGDA Meeting!

Wednesday, November 9th
7 PM at Rosie McCaffrey’s Irish Pub and Restaurant in Phoenix!

 

Here it is! As you can see, this month’s meeting is pushed back a week to accommodate the Tech Forum Indie Panel (above). It’s also the first meeting of the season to be held back at Rosie’s in Tempe! You guys may have noticed we’re a bit of a… large crowd for the Claim Jumper room. Rosie’s has much more space for a large group, and will be a comfortable place now that the Winter months are approaching. Plus, they’ve got a great beer menu! Our directions page has some additional info, such as phone number and nearest light rail stop.

We’re still looking for a speaker for this meeting, so if you’re interested, please e-mail me! (corey@igdaphx.org). Also, if you have announcements of screenshots of games in progress you’d like to show off at the meeting, please let me know (again, corey@igdaphx.org). Thanks!

 
 

Lecture: Richard Rouse III!

Monday, November 14th
7:30 PM in the Navajo Conference Room (in Kirk Student Center) at Mesa Community College!

 

ASU, in collaboration with Mesa CC, is presenting a very special lecture series, the first one being a talk from Richard Rouse III of Paranoid Productions. Perhaps best known for his work on the game The Suffering, Richard has also released a book on game design and is well-known for his lectures about emotion and morality in games at the past few GDCs.

In addition to the 7:30 lecture, he’ll also be giving a short panel earlier that day (starting at 3:15 PM), to review the designs of 3 chosen locally-developed games. Come see what he has to say! We’ll have more lecture series from ASU to announce down the road: keep up with Theresa’s updates on our IGDA Phoenix Facebook page to hear the latest.

 
 

Whew! And that’s everything, for now! Don’t forget to ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for reminders and the latest news and updates!

 

Cheers from your chair,

 

Corey

 

Local Meetings, Discussions, Demos and Successes!

Hey everybody!

 

Big thanks again to everyone who came out to last month’s meeting – the turnout and the talk were both fantastic, AND we have a lot more of these to look forward to in upcoming months! 🙂

For those of you who may have missed this past meeting or want a recap on it, we have some exciting news: Theresa captured it all on video, which will also be made available online! We’ll make an announcement once it’s up. For now though, we have her Powerpoint slides AND a bibliography of all the source material (not shown during the talk).

You can download them here: [Slides] [Bibliography]

She’s also chosen to make her contact info available for anyone with questions or comments about the subject! You can find her at theresadevine at gmail dot com or tcdevine at asu dot edu.

 

We have another great announcement! Kihon Games, our nearly-local friends out in Tucson, have released their game for iPhone/iPad, Baby Monkey (Going Backwards on a Pig)! It’s an addictive little game that pretty much speaks for itself. Based on the popular youtube video of the same name, it even features the original song by Parry Grip! Here’s a link to their game in the app store (only 99 cents!). Congrats to Kihon! Can’t wait to see what you guys are up to next!

So here we go! Onwards and upcoming we have our…

 

SEPTEMBER Meeting! Wednesday, September 7th
7 PM at Claim Jumper Restaurant in Tempe!

 

September’s meeting is GAME DEMO Night! The format will be a little bit different from the usual, so let me explain: First of all, anyone with a game demo in ANY stage of its development is free to bring it in for people to playtest and watch it during “mingling time”! And in fact, the main presentation will be pretty short so everyone has plenty of time to do just that.

However, just after the announcements at 7, we’ll be showing a total of 6 actual demo presentations, each 5 minutes long. These demos can be anything you want: showing docs and screenshots, a brief powerpoint presentation, or even playing your game on the big screen! Each of these presentations is an open slot, which can be reserved by e-mailing me! (corey@igdaphx.org) Presentation slots will be assigned on a first come, first serve basis. So if you have a game you’d like to present, let me know SOON!

With September almost here, October’s always pretty quick to follow. And with that, we have our:

 

OCTOBER Meeting! Wednesday, October 5th
7 PM, Location TBA.

 

In the October meeting, we’ll be returning to our usual speaker/presentation format, as we welcome BACK to the IGDA Phoenix stage our very own Ara Shirinian! Those of you who are longtime IGDA Phoenix attendees may have remembered his speech last year. As a matter of fact, Ara’s our very first IGDA speaker to make an encore appearance!

He’s a fantastic designer and writer with a wealth of knowledge and experience. If his extensive list of released games and publications doesn’t convince you of that, just check out this awesome Gamasutra article and postmortem, published just last month!

We’ll have more to announce here as we get closer to October. Look forward to this one for sure!

 

Finally, I just want to remind you guys that we’re still on the lookout for ideal meeting locations! We like places that are big, accessible, quiet, and preferably have some good stuff on the menu ;D If you think you know of a good place to check out, please let Kyle or I know! (kyle@igdaphx.org) (corey@igdaphx.org).

 

That’s it for now, see you all in September! Game demo-ers, don’t forget to email me, and as always check us out on Facebook and Twitter!

Cheers,
Corey