Entries now open for the WA Screen Awards

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Have you (or someone you know) released a game or other such creative thing in the last year? Entries are now open for the 26th WA Screen Awards (WASA), and the Film and Television Institute WA (FTI) are on the prowl for the best and brightest productions in the state. Creative West Australian works delivered from 1st January 2013 through to 31st March 2014 can be entered for consideration, with eligible forms of entertainment including games, interactive works, web series, videos, feature films, short films, music, television production and documentary.

Stirfire STudio wins the 2013 WASA for Best Game!

Last year’s awards saw several top notch Perth titles battle it out for the crown of ‘Best Game’, including the likes of Orbeats,  Square Off and deviator. However in the end the inaugural award went to the irrepressible force that is Freedom Fall (PC) by Stirfire Studios.

All the info on entering a Game:

  • Categories: Games can be entered into the Best Game category, as well as other relevant areas such as Best Original Music, Best Script and Best Production Design, provided that they are entered into the ‘long form’ category.
  • Cost: The cost of entering work into the Best Game category is $85 for non FTI members and $42.50 for FTI members*, while the other categories are generally priced at $45 for non members / $22.50 for FTI Members*.
  • Entry content: Entries can be on any gaming platform, however in order to play the games judges may contact entrants to coordinate access to a demo, redemption codes or hardware as appropriate. It is worth noting the initial online judging requires an online link to a video demo of the gameplay, which must be provided with the original entry.

Other handy notes for entrants:

  • Made in WA: In terms of what constitutes a WA-made piece of media, either the Production needs to have been based largely in WA (in terms of the personnel involved, location and/or funding) OR a WA-identifying Individual can enter their work, even if the production they were a part of was based elsewhere. Vague? Yes, but that’s the point! The FTI are keen on being inclusive of works produced from our peeps in one way or another.
  • *Membership Discount: As far as price is concerned, non-members are encouraged to apply for FTI membership prior to entering, so that they may benefit from the 50% member discount. The total cost of a standard membership and a (member discounted) long form entry equates to only $7 more than the solo entry price for non members. Plus for Students, Concession card holders and Minors this cost is even less. This means that for almost the same price you can enter your game, and get such membership perks as access to the FTI Library, registration in the Crew Database, and event/training/productions discounts. If these kinds of benefits seem right up your alley, head on over to the FTI membership page for more details.
  • Award Ceremony: And finally, one last thing to note is that all award nominees will also receive a complimentary ticket to the awards ceremony so that they can party the night away. Woo!

To find out more:

For more information, including a full list of all the categories and costs, head on over to the WA Screen Awards page. Or if you’re all ready and raring to go, the online entry form is available here. Goodluck!

Applications for the WA Screen Awards close 30 April, 2014.

SK Games Bush Bash Launch

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The folks at SK Games may have only crashed onto the Perth scene recently, but they have certainly made an impact. The studio’s website is now officially up and running, providing not only updates on their latest Bar SK shenanigans, but also allowing you to download their Gun Dash game for free.

BAR SK Bush Bash Event

This weekend SK will be running their final backyard bar event before the rains begin. As per usual there will be a host of cool folks to chat with and a collection of cheap drinks to choose from. This time round they will also be launching their latest title ‘Bush Bash‘, a car game housed in the huge metal carcass of a real car.

What: Bar SK ‘Bush Bash’ Launch
When: Saturday, April 12. 6pm – 10pm
Where: SK Games. 167 Fitzgerald St, Perth.
Cost: Free! Max capacity 75 people.

For more information of the Bush Bash event check out the official Facebook event. Otherwise you can keep up to date on latest SK Games happenings through their website or facebook page.

Freedom Fall on Amazon Fire TV

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You may have heard last week that Amazon has decided to branch out into gaming, with the Amazon Fire TV set to feature a variety of games in addition to a host of shows and movies. What you might not know is that Perth’s very own Freedom Fall by Stirfire Studios is one of 134 titles selected to launch the device’s gaming feature, sitting alongside the likes of Minecraft Pocket Edition and The Walking Dead.

Freedom Fall designer, writer and artist Lisa Rye says, “Bringing Freedom Fall to the Amazon Fire as a launch title has been a wonderful opportunity – we were thrilled to see the game running on a big TV with full HD graphics. Now you can be taunted by the princess in the comfort of your living room!”

This latest version of Freedom Fall has been fully optimised for the Fire TV’s controller, and also features leaderboards, brand new levels and a shiny HD finish. Freedom Fall is available now on Amazon Fire TV for $US 6.95, as well as being on Steam, iOS, Android and Ouya.

Amazon Fire TV

 

BROWN Out Now for PC and Android

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There is something quite satisfying about completing a good puzzle, and the newly released BROWN by Stoogebag studio seeks to tap into that wonderful feeling of success. The brainchild of  Mathematician (and ex-Perthian) Brian Corr, BROWN seems simple in concept  - get the brown block to the green goal –  yet it turns this age old game of Sokoban on it’s head as each swipe manoeuvres not one, but two blocks simultaneously.

The game first debuted at the 2012 LMG showcase, and since then has evolved to feature a ton of puzzling levels stocked with lasers, ice, lava and some block bros in need of directions. If you think your brain is up to the challenge, BROWN is available now for PC ($2.99) and Android (20 levels in the free version, full 50 for $2.99). Or if you’re not sure on how you’ll fair, why not test your skill in the PC demo.

Brown Puzzle Game Screenshot 1 Brown Puzzle Game Screenshot 2

PAX Aus Indie Pavilion Applications Open plus Details on Discount Flights

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In 2013 the first ever PAX Aus gave indie developers from across Australia and New Zealand the chance to show off their wares to over 30,000 gaming enthusiasts. If you are eager to get in on this game show action, applications are now open for the Indie Pavilion at this year’s PAX Australia. The event will once again be held in Melbourne, with the official dates set for October 31st – Nov 2nd. This conveniently sits right after the Game Connect Asia Pacific conference, which means that we West Australian developers will be able to get the most out of our interstate industry travels. On that note, PAX Aus have teamed up with Virgin Australia to provide discount flights to Melbourne for the event for a short time only, so check it out!

This year’s Indie Pavilion is capable of accommodating up to 36 developers, each of whom will each be assigned a podium where they can showcase their games and give the sea of attendees a chance to play. As outline for last year’s event, to qualify for the indie showcase studios must be a registered Australian or New Zealand company, have no more that five full-time (or contracted) employees, and must have commercially released at least one game prior to exhibiting. In addition to having more space at the event for indie developers this year, the cost of the individual stands has been reduced; the price of a podium (for successful applicants) is now only $1200, compared to $1800 last year.

Perth’s own Stirfire Studio made use of the Indie space at the 2013 PAX Aus to launch Freedom Fall, garnering the game many new fans and excited reviews;

“PAX was an amazing experience” says Lisa Rye, the creator of Freedom Fall, “We were able to show our game to the Melbourne audience and engage with media opportunities we never would have had in WA. Just as valuable was the chance to get feedback and advice from experienced game development teams!”

Stirfire Studios at PAX 2013

For those keen to get in on the Indie Pavilion action, applications close at the end of May 2014. After this point they will be assessed, and the final exhibiting games will be decided upon by a committee from the PAX Australia team. For more details on the application process, contact the Ben Williams (PAX Aus Account Manager) via ben@reedpop.com.au.

“Video + Social” MasterClasses

Xmedia Presents: Video + Social

There’s a lot going on in the online world, so it can be difficult to keep your business and product up to date. X Media Lab aim to clear up the confusion and ensure you get the most out of the online world, with their upcoming “Video + Social” professional event.

Video+Social” will be running on Friday March 28, and is set to feature practical hands-on masterclasses and thought-piece presentations from a host of international experts. The aim of the day is to teach you skills that can be applied to business, creative project, brand, or career immediately.

 

What: “Video + Social” Content, Social, Video, Mobile, Brands
When: Friday, March 28. 9am – 5pm (followed by networking session)
Where: Studio Underground, State Theatre WA
Tickets: Professionals - $169, Students – $109. Available via Amiando
(Price includes catering and post-event networking reception)

 

For more information including the full event schedule, list of international guests, and details on purchasing tickets, check out the official “Video+Social” website, download the event flyer or head on over to the Amiando ticketing page.

Two Free Business Workshops for Games and App Developers

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Business Foundations has announced that they will once again be holding FREE business workshops to support local game developers. These seminars and workshops have been very successful in the past, so whether you are new to the game or an old pro, it is certainly worth checking out.

PITCHING FOR CAPITAL

Learn about…

  • Sources of venture funding
  • What investors are looking for
  • Targeting the right investor for your project
  • Giving up equity – when to do it & how much
  • Elements of a perfect pitch for money


What: 
‘All you need to know about Venture Funding’ + ‘Target the right investor’
When: 1:30pm – 5pm - Monday, 28 April 2014
Where: Northbridge Community Building, Northbridge Piazza (cnr Lake & James ST)
Cost: FREE!
RSVP: Places are limited, so make sure you register over at Eventbrite.

 

CREATING THE BUSINESS MODEL

Learn how to…

  • Turn your project into a viable business
  • Identify potential revenue streams
  • Determine resources required
  • Quantify your cost structure


What:
 ’All you need to know about Business Planning’ + Half day practical Workshop
When: 1:30pm – 5pm - Tuesday, 20 May 2014
Where:  Northbridge Community Building, Northbridge Piazza (cnr Lake & James ST)
Cost: FREE!
RSVP: Places are limited, so make sure you register over at Eventbrite.

 

For more information on these events, contact Business Foundations by phone on (08) 9430 8569 or via email on admin@businessfoundations.com.au

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#CTRLDEV Recap

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This past weekend saw The Game Changers sweep through the city as part of Perth Festival 2014. Thanks to Screen Australia and the Perth International Arts Festival, our distinguished guests were also able to spend some quality time with local developers and their games at the Let’s Make Games #CTRLDEV day.

To start the day off Perth games Freedom Fall, Square Off, Star Hammer 2 and 99 Problems (and blocks are all of them) were put to the test by our international guests, with much fun and constructive criticism to be had. It wasn’t long before another 50 local developers and game aficionados made their way in, eager to try their hand at the homemade titles before sitting down for some serious discussions.

The panels began with Dan Pinchbeck (Dear Esther), Steve Gaynor (Gone Home) and Guy Gadney (The Suspect) looking at the how and why of going Indie, then sharing their tips on successfully surviving as a small team. After a short cupcake break Clint Hocking (Far Cry 2) and Jill Murray (Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation) took to the stage to talk about their experience of entering into the AAA world and working for major studios. It is also worth noting that over the course of the day attendees posed some brilliant questions to the speakers, the answers to which caused both thoughtful nodding and intense note-taking.

You can check out photos from #CTRLDEV below, plus details on how you can provide Let’s Make Games with feedback on the event.

Feedback Survey

If you attended #CTRLDEV, we at LMG would love to hear about your experience of the day. Please check your emails for the Eventbrite feedback survey, and let us know what you liked (or didn’t like). Your feedback is appreciated and will help us organise bigger and better events in the future!

Special thanks goes to the Central Institute of Technology for providing us with the facilities, Justin Halliday from Screen Australia for bringing over his keen knowledge of games funding programs and also Richard Kong for the top quality Photography.

FTI’s new Director of Interactive Programs and all the details on Playup Perth #2

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The Film and Television Institute of Western Australia, the organisation behind the WA Screen Awards, have recently appointed Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie to the role of Director of Interactive Programs. This position is the first of its kind for a non-government, Australian screen resource association, and with Kate at the helm the FTI is reaching out to embrace the local games, interactive and app communities.

kate-raynes-goldieKate brings a wealth of experience to the role, not only as a developer but as a champion for the potential of games and gaming. Kate is the co-founder of Atmosphere Industries, which specializes in experimental and pervasive games, and developed WA’s very first pervasive game, Ghost Town. She is also a Research Associate at Curtin University, and has spoken at a range of international industry and academic conferences, including SXSW Interactive and TEDxPerth.

We would like to congratulate Kate on her appointment to the role, and look forward to even more FTI and game developer interactions in the future!

And while we are on the subject of Atmosphere Industries, the studio is running an event this weekend…

 

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Playup Perth #2!

What: A playtest experience of Atmosphere Industries’ brand new game
When: 1pm – 3pm, Saturday March 1, 2014
Where: FTI lawn (92 Adelaide Street, Fremantle)
Tickets: Free!

The new top secret Atmosphere Industries game, set to debut at the Fresh Air 2014 festival in Melbourne (March 7-10, 2014). A fun game for players of all skill levels that will involve hilarity and teamwork. Plus, if you loved Star Trek: the Next Generation, you will love this game even more.

(Please bring an internet enabled smart phone, a pair of comfortable shoes and be prepared for some walking around town.)

For more information head on over to the main event page. If you would like to find out more about testing your game at the next Playup Perth, please email kate (at) fti.asn.au or tweet @oceanpark

Reminder: Game Changers and #CTRLDEV on this weekend!

At last the weekend is upon us, where we may fill our days with games and good times. If you have yet to plan your days of rest then fear not, here we have one final reminder of the top notch events on this weekend. There’s still time to grab tickets and so you could be spending your time with a bunch of big-name developers!

 

Saturday 22nd February

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This Saturday The Game Changers series will be running as part of the Perth Festival, and will four panels on narrative and storytelling in video games. International guests for this event include Steve Gaynor (Gone HomeBioShock Infinite), Clint Hocking (Splinter Cell, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Far Cry 2), Dan Pinchbeck (Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture) and Jill Murray (Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation and IV: Black Flag), as well as the excellent Australian guests Guy Gadney (The Suspect), Dan Golding (Game On) and Bajo & Hex from ABC’s Good Game television show.

When:

10.00am–11.00am: The Writer and The Game
11.30am–12.30pm: What the Player Wants
1.00pm–2.00pm: Character and Story
2.30pm–3.30pm: What’s In Store?

Where:

Octagon Theatre, UWA

Tickets: 

(Cost per talk)
General Admission $13.50, Friends $12.50, FT Student (U30) $10.50
To get your tickets head on over to The Game Changers event page.

Sunday 23rd February

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This Sunday we also have #CTRLDEV, an opportunity for Perth developers to get some quality time with our big-name visitors.  Steve Gaynor, Clint Hocking, Dan Pinchbeck, Jill Murray, and Guy Gadney will be hosting two panel discussions that focus on the technical and career aspects of working in the games industry. This event is designed to give you some quality time to talk shop, as well as complement the narrative and storytelling discussions of Saturday’s The Game Changers series. You can also check out the Meet the #CTRLDEV page for all the details on the guest speakers (so you can prep your key game dev questions).

When:

2:30pm – 4:30pm

Where:

Central Institute of Technology (East Perth), 140 Royal St., East Perth

Tickets:

$40/$30 (discount for those attending The Game Changers events).
To get your tickets head on over to Eventbrite page.

Not a bad way to spend the weekend, if we do say so ourselves.
Hope to catch you there!