Award wins for local developers at the WAITTA Incite and WA Screen Awards

Local game makers and supporters making a mark at the WASA awards!

It’s a great time to be a part of the Western Australian games community, and we’re very happy to be able to share news of the success of local game-makers with you. In the last month the 25th WA Information Technology & Telecommunications Alliance (WAITTA) Incite Awards took place, as did the 28th WA Screen Awards (WASAs). At these prestigious events the spotlight shone upon our excellent games industry, with a number of awards going to local developers. So here are all the details!

 

25th WAITTA Incite Awards

WAITTA Incite Awards celebrate innovation and excellence across Information and Communications Technology fields in WA. The 25th annual awards were presented in June at the Hyatt Regency, Perth. Highlights from the awards ceremony can be found here.

Now on to the winners of the big event…

 

Winner: Achiever of the Year

Dr Kate Raynes-Goldie

Kate walked away from the WAITTA awards night with the appropriately fancy title of “Achiever of the Year.” It is no exaggeration to say that Kate is a champion of the local games industry; as the Director of Games & Interactive at FTI she has been the driving force behind initiatives like Playup Perth and Level One. Without a doubt her tireless efforts have helped the community grow into one of the most vibrant in the country. Her passion, dedication and hard work have not gone unnoticed, so congratulations Kate!

 

Finalist: Most Creative Media & Entertainment Tech

Stirfire Studios, Symphony of the Machine

Garth Pendergrast from Stirfire Studios, Kate Raynes-Goldie and Ros Walker from FTI

From its origins at this year’s Global Game Jam, Symphony of the Machine has quickly become one of the most anticipated VR games of the local dev scene. Although they didn’t take out top honours for the category, Stirfire Studios will be going on to compete in the iAwards in Melbourne later this year.
Congratulations Stirfire!

 

28th WA Screen Awards

Presented by FTI, the WA Screen Awards are the premier celebration of West Australian screen culture, acknowledging innovation and achievement across film, music, games and interactive media. The 28th annual awards were presented in July at the Heath Ledger State Theatre, Perth.

So who were the big names in games for this special event? Congratulations to…

 

Winner: Best Game

Black Lab Games, Star Hammer: The Vanguard Prophecy

Anthony Carriero, Paul Turbett, and Anthony Sweet standing together, with a WASA Award

Black Lab Games must have learned a few things about strategy when making their tactical space combat game Star Hammer: The Vanguard Prophecy, as it proved to be a few moves ahead of its fellow nominees, taking out the Best Game category at this year’s WASAs. Congratulations to Black Lab Games on a very well deserved win!

 

Nominees: Best Game

We’d also like to acknowledge the other nominees in the category for being amazing local artists and developers. So well done to:

 

Winner: Best Interactive Production

Hungry Sky, Sam Bodhi Field, Alice Ross & Clay Bryce; Beneath the Waves

Periscope Pictures and Hungry Sky together for the WA Screen Awards

Created for the WA Museum, this engaging interactive documentary lets you explore the amazing Kimberley marine environment. Congratulations to local studio Hungry Sky, as well as Periscope Pictures on the win!

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A big congratulations to all nominees and winners across both awards ceremonies! It’s great to see the artistic, ICT and game development industries within WA thriving! Keep up the good work~

Hexasmash 2 heads to Android

Hexasmash2_Header

Say hello to Hexasmash 2, the latest puzzling piece of fun from Mandurah team Apex Creative (also known as errordevseven). Adding a new twist to their shape-smashing title, this time your shooting skills and sharp mind are simultaneously put to the test!

Aim and shoot the balls at the hexagonal targets, using the dozens of awesome physics objects to clear a path or set up the perfect shot. See how many balls it takes you to smash all the targets! Destroy the blue hexagons to pass the level, and the green hexagons to unlock bonus levels.

Use your logical thinking skills to take advantage of the objects in each level. Portals, elevators, crates, bouncy blocks, launchers and more.

Get your hands on Hexasmash 2 for free now by heading over to Google Play. Be sure to check out the studio’s other games as well, including Volatives, Quadrant and Laserbreak 2.

The Page: June Meetup

Text: The Page

The Page is a back again, with another meet-up event in Perth for writers, narrative designers and creatives interested in games and digital storytelling. The theme for this month’s meetup is “Normal”, so what is normal anyway?

Normality in games means something completely different than normality anywhere else. In a media form saturated in heroics and grand scale derring-do, what does it mean to Press A to brush your teeth?

Let’s talk about how games handle mundanity of everyday life, and what constitutes normality in game worlds. Are we over-saturated with magic and spaceships? What happens when a game embraces mundanity, like Gone Home or Firewatch?

What: The Page – June Meetup
When: Saturday, 25 June. Starting 1pm
Where: SK Games, 167 Fitzgerald Street Northbridge
Tickets: FREE!

For more details, head on over to the June Meetup event page.
You can also stay up to date with their plans and all things narrative via their main Facebook page.

IGDA Webinar Wednesday: Contemporary Issues in Game Design

IGDA Logo

The International Game Developers Association runs regular handy talks for game developers by game developers. In next week’s #WebinarWednesday on Contemporary Issues in Game Design, WA-based game-maker Matthew Dyet of Citrus Shark will be sharing his experiences of making serious games.

Serious Games Don’t Need To be Serious

Serious Games have a reputation for being boring word dumps ending in a questionnaire asking what you learned. Our games fluctuate between trying to teach too much and being very little fun, or being great fun and teaching too little. In this talk, we’ll find a happy medium between education and fun, examine how a local West Australian company has remained successful by making fun learning experiences, and provide a solid argument for not being so serious about our serious games.

What: Serious Games Don’t Need To be Serious Webinar
When: Thursday, 30th June, 2016. 8am – 10am
Where: ~coming to you via your computer~
Registration: Free via IGDA

Other talks in the series include “The Presence and Absence of Chronic Health Conditions in Videogames” and “A Biologist’s Perspective on Creativity – and Science – in Game Design”. For all the details, head on over to the webinar event page on IGDA’s site.

Playup Perth Friday: Last Night at SK Special Edition

Playup at SK Games - The End of an Era

Never been to one of FTI’Playup Perth event at SK Games? Or have you been to a Playup before and enjoyed your time? Well either way, this is your last chance to join the fun at everybody’s favourite game dev venue! Yes it’s the end of an era, with SK Games hosting its final Playup Perth next month (but fear not, more details on Playup Perth’s new location below!).

The first Playup held at SK was way back in September 2014, and since then it has become a much loved event location for local devs and players alike. We’ll be saying a warm, snuggly and slightly sad goodbye to our friends at SK, who have adventured on to Melbourne. This is of course not the end of Playup Perth though, as this excellent event will be back again next month at the wonderfully caffeinated venue that is Carpe Coffee.

What: Playup Perth Friday: Last Night at SK Special Edition
When: Friday, 1st July, 6pm til late
Where: SK Games, 167 Fitzgerald Street Northbridge
Tickets: $10 (regular) / $7 (FTI members) via Eventbrite
Extra info: This is an 18+ event

Featured Games

You can check out screenshots for these games below. The full line up for the night has yet to be announced though, so remember to check the Playup Perth website to stay up to date on all Playup related news.

Want to test your games at Playup Perth?

There’s still time! Simply fill out the Playup Perth form here.

Starlost Screenshot Vectonic Screenshot Rogue Blitz
Final Days Screenshot  HyperDash Heroes Screenshot

Sidestep swoops onto Android for Free

Sidestep on Android

Viron Software are hitting the retro vibe with their first game release, the quick and chaotic Android title called Sidestep. All you need to do is direct your triangular little ship left and right to avoid an onslaught of other shapes in space.

Some of the features of this one are:

– Includes never-ending levels.
– Compete against your friends on worldwide leader-boards.
– Obtain over 60 in-game achievements.
– Contains over 25 unique levels.
– Features three different game modes.
– Gradually increased difficulty to suit any player.
– Constant updates to include new levels.

It’s fast-paced, fun and available for free right now. So to swoop in for some side-swiping fun, simply shoot on over on Google Play.

Coworking Night with Level One

Level One - In the Night

Have you heard the word?
FTI‘s game-focussed coworking space Level One is now running evening coworking sessions every second Thursday. So now there are even more opportunities for you to catch up with other local game-makers and well, make games!

What: Level One In the Night #2
When: Thursday, 23 June. 5pm – 8.30pm.
Where: SK Games, 167 Fitzgerald Street Northbridge
Tickets: Entry by donation*

*Extra notes: Suitable donations include: Drinks, snacks, Pizza, Gold coins for the SK beer fund, Really cool zines, Hardcopies of your rad game.

For all the details on the Level One plans, check out the event on facebook, as well as their main website. And of course, be sure to visit the Level One coworking space (be it in the evening or during the week) to work on your games and chat with fellow developers.

Wanda – A Beautiful Apocalypse now on PC

Wanda - Header

Don’t wander the wastelands alone; Kodot Games have a pair of pleasant robots ready to keep you company, if you can find them. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year, the post-apocalyptic Wanda is out now!

Wanda is a story-focused game but completely free of comprehensible dialogue. The entire story is told through the subtle interactions between the two robots and the environment itself in a “show, don’t tell” style.

Join this little adventure, solve mini-puzzles and witness the story unfold. Experience a whole new perspective of a post apocalyptic world through art-style reminiscent of a children’s book and delightful soundtracks.

Head on over to Steam or itch.io* now to join the little bots on their big adventure. You can also experience the lovely sounds of the apocalypse (no, really!) with the Wanda Original Sounds Track over on Soundcloud.

*Bonus: Wanda is 20% off over on itchio until June 19, 2016.  

The Incidence, Coincidences and Apple TV

TheIncidence_Banner

Retro-styled dodging game The Incident has been entertaining on iOS since 2010, but it still full of surprises. Developers Big Bucket Software have now brought the title to Apple TV, and expanded it to include ‘Coincidents’ mode so up to 4-Player can jump in.

Run, dodge and jump your way to safety as an angry rain of just about everything in the world falls and builds a mountain of platforms for you to climb up, up… up to the source of it all: the cause of THE INCIDENT.

You can start investigating The Incident over on iTunes now; to get playing on Apple TV, ready your Siri Remote, MFi compatible controller, or devices with the iOS version of the app and start dodging!


(The Incident multiplayer video with thanks to App Advice.com)

Volatiles Explodes onto Android for Free

Volatiles - Explosive Slide Puzzle

Sliding onto the scene in a fiery blaze of colourful squares, Volatiles is the latest game from Mandurah-based studio Apex Creative (aka errordevseven). This is the fourth title released by the diligent dev team this year, with a new style of puzzles to pique your interest and challenges to charm you.

Volatiles is a slide puzzle like no other. You have control of fire, TNT, wood and water tiles. You must destroy all rocks with TNT by sliding the tiles into position. Be careful – these tiles react with each other and one wrong move might ruin your game!

You can get tapping in Volatiles for free now by heading on over to Google Play. Be sure to check out the studio’s other games as well, including the likes of HexasmashQuadrant and Laserbreak 2.