New Release: This Way Up

thiswayupIf you find yourself in need of some free(!) entertainment this week, Skybreaker Games has you covered. This Way Up – released yesterday for Android, Web and PC – is a gorgeous puzzle game that quickly became a crowd-favourite for puzzle enthusiasts at this year’s Perth Games Festival. From the developer:

This Way Up is a simple-yet-challenging puzzle experience aimed at anybody who’s ever wondered what it would be like to be a cardboard box stranded on a series of puzzle-shaped platforms floating high above the earth, flopping about onto its sides and shooting out glowing purple magic stuff at crystal switches whilst it makes its way towards shiny blue tiles and the ever-elusive 3-star ratings.

Admittedly it’s somewhat of a niche market.

This Way Up is available on Android and PC (both downloadable and in-browser).

Let’s Make Games + SK Games = Party!

LMGSKparty500

It’s the time of year again for tinsel, cheesy Christmas tunes sung badly and end of year parties! Lucky for you, we’re teaming up with SK Games to provide at least two out of the three for our end of year party THIS SUNDAY!

SK Games are on the home leg of their successful national tour, and are making their exhibition space at the Kurb Gallery available to help us celebrate the incredible year of WA game making. Come join us for some drinks, nibblies and arcade games; doors open at 2pm, with announcements from 4pm.

What: End of Year Party
When: Sunday 7th December, 2pm – 9pm (announcements at 4pm)
Where: Kurb Gallery, 312A William Street, Northbridge
Cost: Free, donation bar available.
Facebook: Here!

COGZ Kickstart Commences!

 

COGZ Kickstarter Banner

As far as excellent careers go, working in game development is of course at the top of the list, but it is also fair to say that being a Mad Scientist comes in as a close second. Wez Lamont of RAEZ has fused these two worlds together, creating the clever contraption that is the boardgame COGZ, which has just launched on Kickstarter. You don’t need to be an evil genius to get started but you will certainly develop some mad skills by playing, because COGZ is in fact endorsed by Mensa!

COGZ is a mad scientist strategy board game set in the steampunk era, where someone has broken the mad professor’s chromatic cogtraption!

You are a cognizant cogineer trying to repair the broken cogtraption before the professor returns. The other cogineers all seem to think they have the superior cognition needed to rebuild the chromatic device. It’s time to prove you are the true cogineer genius!

Hurry! You recognise there isn’t much time to do this incognito before the professor returns with his cog-nac…

»  Those of you who joined us at the Perth Games Festival may have had a chance to play the standard or LUDICROUS  versions of the COGZ. If however you missed out, fear not! RAEZ has a printable Trial Version on their site, so you can still check it out. To help make a local Mad Scientist ingenious contraption a reality, head on over to Kickstarter and show your support for the clever boardgame that is COGZ!

COGZ Kickstarter Banner 2UPDATE: It turns out Wez is not only proficient at starting Kickstarter campaigns, but also at smashing their goals in the first 24 hours. Since the original post, the campaign has been active for four days and has more than doubled the original asking amount – congratulations, Wez!

CoderDojo WA Digital Projects Awards

Coder Dojo WA Digital Project Awards

Header Image source:  Jmccann

Do you know (or are you) a young dev who has attended CoderDojo WA this year? If so, there is still time to be a part of the first ever Digital Projects Awards!

Coordinated by CoderDojo WA, those wonderful folk who run free workshops for kids about programming and making games, this event will be the night of nights for the youngest of Perth’s developer community.  Local Ninjas (that is,  CoderDojo participants between the ages of 7 – 17) who attend get to watch a free planetarium show, and receive awards and recognition for all their hard work!

What: CoderDojo WA Digital Projects Awards 2014
When: Saturday, 6 December
Where:  Scitech Planetarium
Cost: Free*

*To get a free ticket for the event, you must submit a project – or be part of a group submitting a project. Each Ninja who enters a project will also receive a free ticket for one parent or guardian. We will also give you the chance to place the names of other family members on a waiting list for a ticket.

CoderDojoWA Projects Banner

Award Categories

  1. IDEAS: A description of a project you are planning to creates.
  2. GAMES: Could be made in Scratch, Gamemaker, Unity, or any other program.
  3. ANIMATION: Could be made in Scratch or any other program.
  4. DIGITAL ART: Could be made in Scratch, 3D modelling software, Photoshop or any other program.
  5. WHOLE DOJO PROJECT: A project of any type made by a whole Dojo
  6. REMIX: A clever remix of someone else’s project on Scratch or another platform.
  7. MUSIC: Electronic music made in Scratch or other programs.
  8. ELECTRONICS PROJECTS: A project you made using electronic parts, raspberry pis, arduinos etc.
  9. WEBSITES
  10. APPS and PROGRAMS

Entries into the awards close 5pm Friday 15 November 2014, so make sure your local Ninjas their project via the form here as soon as possible!

To find out more about the first ever Digital Projects Awards, head on over to the CoderDojo WA event page. If however you are too old to be a Ninja, fear not;  CoderDojo WA are always on the look out for Volunteer Mentors, so check it out and share your appreciate for programming with the next generation!

Leave ‘Em Laughing launches Kickstarter

Leave Em Laughing - Now on Kickstarter

While it’s not uncommon to see a comedic game out there in the world, a game centered around stand up comedy is certainly something you don’t see every day. Cue Perth’s own Oscar Brittain, creator of World’s Fastest Pizza, who not only used this unusual concept as the basis for his new game Leave ‘Em Laughing, but also went one step further by throwing in some unique Western Australian flair; featuring music by Perth-based bands and scenery from our very own suburb of Fremantle, this is undoubtably a game like no other that is sure to leave an impression.

Leave ‘em Laughing is a procedurally generated stand up comedy game that lets you live the life of comedian Nelson Smith as he creates and performs his act, constantly insults people, avoids his ex, and listens to sweet vinyl.

The game has 8 episodes, each with a unique story that changes each time you play it. Each play session feels like an episode of a sitcom like Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, or Clerks: The Animated Series, lasting 20 minutes and with recurring characters and themes that develop Nelson as a character and comedian.

» Those of you who attended the Perth Games Festival may have had a chance to play the game’s alpha. Well, you can now also show your support for this curious comedic tale by backing it on Kickstarter or giving it a vote on Greenlight. If however you missed out, fear not – a beta version will be available to backers, so there’s still time to get in on the act before the show leaves town!

Greenlight Vote Banner

Final Word on the Perth Games Festival: Photos, Timelapse, Thanks & Tweets

The Perth Games Festival is officially over, and what a huge success it was! The day was marked by 22 exhibitors (with far more games than that on display) sharing their work and knowledge, 3 top notch panels packed with people, a pile of achievement badges retrieved and prizes won, and a massive 1640 people attending to check out Perth-made games. To wrap up this wonderful event we have some write-ups on the day, some great feedback, a timelapse video of the buzzing games floor and a huge collection of photographs of the event and games.

The day that was

The town hall was full of excited attendees throughout the day, with lines in the hallway for half the day. Thanks to a GoPro (and Jon), you can watch the ebb and flow of the festival with this neat little timelapse. Unfortunately the SD card ran out memory before the last half an hour, but that’s what happens when you have a festival that’s so jam-packed.

In the news

The Perth Games Festival gained the attention of a number of sites, as did the developers showcasing their works at the event. Here are some of the write-ups and interviews (both before and after the festival) that we have seen around:

Word on the street

The people of Perth were digging the games and gaming vibe of the festival. Here is just a handful of the feedback shared on twitter via #PerthGamesFestival.

With thanks to…

And last, but by no means least, we at Let’s Make Games would like to take this opportunity to thank all the great Perth people who made this all possible; to the festival organisers for their hard work in putting this event together, the volunteers for lending their time and helping everything run so smoothly, the sponsors for supporting this event, the developers for creating such excellent games, the panelists for sharing their experience and knowledge with everyone, and… of course… the 1600+ people who attend this event and showed how much games and game-making means to the Perth community. Thank you all!!

The Perth Games Festival Crew

And still, more photos!

Here we have presented but a few of the fantastic photos we have from the event. However there are still many, many more, so click here to check out the full gallery of photos from the Perth Games Festival!

Everything you need to know about the Perth Games Festival (On Today!)

perth games festival at town hall now!

People of Perth, the day of gaming is upon us! This here is one final reminder of the good times waiting for you at the first ever Perth Games Festival, plus we have a quick sneak peak at the prizes available for those who take part in the day’s achievement badge quest.

What: Perth Games Festival 2014
When: Saturday 11th October, 10:30am to 4:00pm
Where: Perth Town Hall
Cost: Free!

BONUS ROUND: After Party and FTI Program Launch!

Before heading our way, feel free to check out the festival Program, to get the low down on the 22 exhibitors ready to show you awesome games and talk with you about game development in Perth. And don’t forget to prime your questions for the wise guests on our panels, who will be talking about Girls Make Games+Tech (11.00am), Parents & Gaming (1.00pm) and Getting Started Making Games (2.30pm).

But wait, that’s not all! (yes, I really did just say that).
What are the prizes for the achievement quest, I hear you ask? Well, dear reader, if you collect all 8 of the achievement quest badges at the festival (kids only need 6, as they can’t play the Mature Content games), you could have your pick of one of the following prizes:

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That’s right, we have some top notch game development and gaming books (thanks to the good folks at Planet Books), vouchers for Steam, Google Play and iTunes that can be used to buy yourself some new games… maybe even Perth-made ones? (hint hint, nudge nudge), plus goodies from Creedforge (the cool folk over at table 21), and some vouchers for tasty food at Grill’d. It’s first in – best dressed, so head on over to the exhibitors with badges (marked out on the Program map) and achieve the in-game goals they have set for you!

And last, but by no means least, we just want to take this opportunity to once again say thank you to the City of Perth for supporting the festival through their Arts and Cultural Sponsorship program, to our super kind sponsors (part 1 and 2), awesome exhibitors, the great writers at GameCloud, brilliant volunteers and clever coordinators who made this day possible.

That’s all from us for now – so come one down to the Festival, and feel free to say hi to the Let’s Make Games team!

Paradigm Kickstarter Ending Soon

Paradigm Adventure Game Banner

Paradigm is the peculiar point and click adventure game that has been intriguing and confusing people the world around since the start of its Kickstart campaign last month. We would like to extend a big congratulations to local developer Jacob Janerka, as the game has not only reached its funding goal, it has smashed its target, reached several stretch goals, and been Greenlit on Steam!

There is however only 12 hours left in the Paradigm Kickstarter campaign,  so now is the time to get in and support this local developer to help him achieve one last stretch goal, allowing him to live the dream and work on the game full time.

If you’re eager to play a weird and wonderful point and click game, there’s still time to put your name down for a copy of Paradigm, some fancy extras and even have your own floating head in the game. So head on over to the Kickstarter page, or download a copy of the alpha on Windows or Mac (10.9) to try it out now.

Paradigm - Floating Head of Jacob?

Perth Games Festival – Panels and Program

program1

Program

Viet and Jon have been hard at work creating the festival program, with details on all of the panels, developers and goings-on for Saturday. There’ll be print versions available on the day, but for now you can feast your eyes on the visual digital delight for download right here.

Panels

As game developers, many of us have a lot to say! So in order to help get rid of this excess opinion, we’re hosting a bunch of panel discussions at the Perth Games Festival.  If you want to find out how to make games, what games you could be playing with your kids, or how girls are rocking the games and tech scene, be sure to make the following times in the supper room at the festival.

  • 11:00am – Girls Make Games+Tech

Are you interested in making tech or creating games? A parent who would like to know more about what your daughter could do in the games and tech area?  Or do you have stories from the field you’d like to share?  Join Daniela Mattheys, Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie and Karen de San Miguel as they discuss their careers, useful resources and what you can do to get involved or supported as a woman in games and technology.

Panellists
- Daniela Mattheys (Panel Chair), Chair of the Women in Technology WA Techtrails and the Director of Edoceo Futures.
- Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie, Director of Games and Interactive at FTI and Founder and Creative Director of Games We Play.
- Karen de San Miguel, Co-ordinator of CoderDojo WA, supporting free computer programming clubs for young people aged 7-17.

  • 1:00pm – Parents & Gaming

We all love gaming, and playing games with our kids can be quite a lot of fun. But what games (digital or otherwise) could you be playing with your kids? What should you look out for when choosing a game? And just when should they start playing Catan instead of Monopoly? Join Dr. Glen Spoors, Anthony Sweet and Mike Browner for a discussion on all of the above and more.

Panellists
- Anthony Sweet (Panel Chair) – Game designer, General Manager of Let’s Make Games, Writer and Parent.
- Dr. Glen Spoors – Game Designer, Writer and Lecturer at Edith Cowan University.
- Mike Browner – Battle-worn Game Store Manager and previous President of Wai-Con.

  • 2:30pm – Getting Started Making Games

Games are easier than ever to create; both kids and professional developers make games because it’s fun! There’s no reason why you can’t make games regardless of what you’re doing. Jon Hayward, Wez Lamont, Megan Campbell and Matt Dyet will discuss the tools, tips and techniques to create games both in and away from the computer. All you need to start is a pen and your imagination.

Panellists
- Jon Hayward (Panel Chair) – Producer at Developers at Large, EIC of Anime News Network Australia.
- Wesley Lamont – Game designer, creator of the board game COGZ and all round mad genius.
- Megan Campbell – Game designer at SK Games.
- Matt Dyet – Producer, Game and graphic designer with Developers at Large

 

And as always, thanks to our sponsors! City of Perth, Central Institute of Technology, Spacecubed, Hungry Sky, Sentient Computing, Reparo, and Westralian Bookkeeping.

Perth Games Festival – Achievement Badge Quest

It’s now one week until our very first Perth Games Festival! While organising the event, the team have come up with their very own game to play at the festival; the Achievement Badge Quest! Badge_TownHall-01 The Achievement Badge Quest is a treasure-hunt of gaming goodness. A selection of developers throughout the Festival will be holding stashes of badges to award to players that achieve incredible feats in their games. The achievement will be different at each game – you might have to reach the top of the leaderboard, or play three different game modes, or even beat the developer at their own game!  Badge_GunDash-01

There are eight badges in total to collect throughout the festival. The first ten players to collect all of the badges and return to the welcome desk will go in the running to pick from the prize pool of Steam vouchers and game development reference books.

Badge_SquareHeroes-01To take part in the Achievement Badge Quest, just come up to the welcome desk on the day and ask for your first badge – getting the first one is that easy! More details and clues will be available in the festival program available from the welcome desk.

Note for parents: We will also have a version of the Achievement Badge Quest for children under the age of 12, which includes its own prize pool. Just let us know on the day, and we’ll let you know which rules are changed for the kids version of the quest.