Indie Game Marketing Masterclass

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While we love being a part of the thriving indie games market, there is no denying that this boom also means that our games are constantly competing against hundreds of thousands of others. So while we are all determined to create quality gaming experiences, it is just as important that we ensure people see our game in the first place (not to mention make them want to play it!)

Cue the folks from Surprise Attack, an Aussie indie games label, who are coming to Perth once again to share their knowledge thanks to FTI. This time around Agency Director Travis Plane will be hosting a 2 hour masterclass on the integral game dev aspect that is Indie Game Marketing.

What: Surprise Attack Indie Marketing Class
When: 5.15pm – 7.15pm, September 12, 2014
Where: FTI @ State Library of Western Australia, 25 Francis Street, Northbridge WA
Tickets: $40 for FTI Members or $50 for General Admission, via TryBooking.com

In addition to general indie marketing content in the workshop, Travis will be using one WA game as a case study. Travis will also be available prior to the masterclass for appointments for one on one advice. To apply for your game to be used as the case study in the masterclass, or to book a one on one appointment with Travis, contact with either “CASE STUDY” or “SURPRISE ADVICE” in the subject header.

For more information on the Indie Game Marketing event head on over to the FTI information page. Please note however that spaces are limited, so visit TryBooking.com asap to get your ticket!

[Special thanks to Kate Raynes-Goldie for the heads up on the event] 

Harness the Power of Games and Play

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These days games, in all their varying forms, are more popular than ever, and there’s no doubt that they contain value beyond mere entertainment (although we do love that part about them). Around the world games and game mechanics have been successfully integrated time and time again into change-making, social enterprise, business, charity and non-profit organisations, as a means of engaging the community and making a difference.

For those in the Perth community keen on incorporating the good side of games into their work, FTI and Games We Play have a intensive 2-day workshop on this month worth attending, Gamechanging: harness the power of games and play.

What: Gamechanging 2-Day Workshop
When: 9:30am-5:00pm, August 21 and 22, 2014
Where: FTI, 25 Francis Street (State Library of WA Building), Northbridge Australia
Tickets: $750 for FTI Members, $850 for regular tickets via BrownPaperTickets

How would you like to…

  • Engage more authentically with your clients or stakeholders
  • Raise your profile
  • Build and strengthen your relationships with new and existing clients or stakeholders
  • Improve fundraising or sales
  • Manage risk and increase the effectiveness of your work

In this two day hands on workshop, award-winning game designer Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie will show you how to integrate the power of games and play into your work in an effective and ethical way.

This unique workshop mixes case studies with a hands on approach where you will actually learn about how to use games for changemaking and engagement through direct experience. You will become a game designer by working with a team to create your own prototype (the fancy word game designers use to describe an early version of a game).

For more information on the Gamechanging Workshop, visit the Games We Play official event page.

World’s Fastest Pizza Released

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It turns out the World’s Fastest Pizza is so fast it was delivered yesterday. The 2D deliver-’em-up by Oscar Brittain was released yesterday on Desura, and has received coverage on both Eurogamer.net and IndieGameMag.

World’s Fastest Pizza was one of the games showcased at last month’s SK Games’ Playtest Evening, and is available from both Desura and directly from the developer for $1.99. You can also vote for WFP on Steam Greenlight.

Australia’s Ultimate Game Dev Week: UNITE, GCAP and PAX

In just over 3 months, developers from around the country will be converging upon Melbourne for all things video games. This pilgrimage of play starts with the UNITE conference on October 27 for some serious Unity sessions, then moves on to the ultimate game dev experience that is GCAP from the 28th – 29th of October, and finally finishes with a bang at PAX AUS from October 31st – November 2nd.

Since there is a lot of content to consider for this big week of game dev-ery, we’ve put together the key components for your quest right here.

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UNITE AUSTRALIA – Unity Conference

The UNITE Conference is a one day intensive event that brings Unity engineers and game designers together to discuss the features and services coming up in Unity 5, and find out how you can make the most of them.

At Unite, you’ll learn from our engineers on how to mine Unity tools for more power and flexibility in your work. Get a sneak peek at upcoming product features and new services. See what your fellow developers and artists from around the world are creating with Unity. Pick up technical, artistic and business techniques for your continued success.

What: Unity’s first Australian Conference
When: October 27, 2014
Where: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC)
Tickets: $110 via TryBooking; Combined Unite, GCAP & PAX tickets also available!

You can find out more about the content shared at last year’s conferences around the world at main UNITE page. You can also check out the UNITE Australia page for contact information or more details on press passes.

 

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GAME CONNECT ASIA PACIFIC Conference

The key point of connection for game developers across Australia, GCAP is two days of talks, workshops and networking fun. The GCAP website is officially live, so you can now head on over and explore all that the conference has to offer at your leisure.

What: Game Connect Asia Pacific 2014
When: October 28 – 29, 2014
Where: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC)
Tickets: $275  for an Early Bird Ticket (which inc. the Game Dev Awards Event), or $165 for a Student ticket (Awards event not inc.). Superpasses for the combinations of the Unite, GCAP & PAX tickets also available. Check out the TryBooking page for all the options.

→ Session Proposals Closing Soon

Just a reminder that there is one more day left until GCAP Session proposals close. The topic is ‘Shakespeare Wrote Hits , so if you have a great idea for a talk then head on over to our previous Proposal post for more details and get working on your submission!

 → GCAP Keynote Speakers Announced

GCAP Keynote Speakers 2014

To get you in the zone for talking about game dev, why not check out the details on the recently announced Keynotes Speakers for GCAP. These guys have traveled far to share their knowledge with us, and have worked on a pile of games you’re no doubt familiar with. There’s Siobhan Reddy of  Media Molecule in the UK, part of the team behind LittleBigPlanet franchise; Ramey Ismail of Dutch studio Vlambeer, with games such as Ridiculous FishingLUFTRAUSERS and Serious Sam: The Random Encounter under their belt; and Barry Meade, now at Fireproof Studios in Ireland, whose résumé covers such games as Syndicate WarsDungeon Keeperas well as Burnouts 3, 4 and Paradise.

To read up further on what these quality keynote speakers have to offer, head on over the the GCAP Speakers page.

 

 → Australian Game Developer Awards

And while we are on the topic of GCAP, its worth noting that nominations are now open for the Game Developer Awards (AGDA). Each year during GCAP, the Game Developer’s Associate of Australia (GDAA) seeks to celebrate the talent in our industry. All Australian games released since 1st September 2013 (and unreleased, but feature-complete games intended for release within 6 months of the AGDA Ceremony) are eligible. There are 9 different categories in which you can nominate, these being:

  • Studio of the Year
  • Game of the Year
  • Excellence in Art
  • Excellence in Design
  • Excellence in Audio
  • Technical Excellence
  • Innovation Award
  • Accessibility Award
  • The Adam Lancman Award

To nominate a Aussie game, company or dev-ing individual for any of the aforementioned awards, simply check out the Submission Guidelines, then go fill out a Nomination Form.

Nominations close at close of business on Friday 29 August 2014. Winners will be announced at the Australian Game Developer Awards evening to be held on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 in conjunction with Game Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP).

 

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PAX AUSTRALIA 2014

And finally, the end of the excellent games week can be spent in the wonderful chaos of consumers at PAX 2014.

What: PAX AUS 2014
When: October 31 – November 2, 2014
Where: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC)
Tickets: $55  for a single day attendee ticket, or $150 for a 3 day attendee ticket, available through Showclix. Superpasses for the combinations of the Unite, GCAP & PAX tickets also available through TryBooking page.

 → Exhibiting in PAX

If you’re not exhausted from a week of game dev discussions, why not show off your game by exhibiting a PAX Aus? With over 30,000 people likely to pass through the event, the expo could be the cherry on the cake of your extreme game dev week. If you’re interested, get in contact with the PAX Aus Sales team asap at paxaussales@paxsite.com!

 → PAX Panels Submissions

And last, but by no means least, there is still time to put your name down to take part in a panel about a gaming subject close to your heart.

The deadline for panel submissions is August 8th, 2014, so if you’re keen then head on over to the PAX Panel page. Or if you still have questions you need cleared up, simply send an email to paxaus_panels@paxsite.com.

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Snow Spin takes home the title of Best Game at the WA Screen Awards

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Earlier this week a sea of creatives, celebrities and screen industry reps converged upon Health Ledger Theatre to celebrate the 26th Annual WA Screen Awards. There were a number of games and interactive experiences entered, but of course there can only be one winner so…

A big congratulations are in order for the Edis Brothers at EZone, who won in the Best Game & Interactive Narrative category for their iOS title Snow Spin! Released December last year, the game puts players in the snow shoes of daring explorer Prof. Capt. Roger Headwind, who is forced to retrieve lost treasures and plane parts on his trusty snowboard.

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A special mention must of course go to the other nominees, including SK Games for the party favourite Gundash, and the folks at Raging Pixel Productions with not one but two nominations for their interactive apps Orangutan and Where’s My Snack? Terrible Tim the Pirate.

SK Games Header  Orangutan_RagingPixelProductions WheresMySnak_RagingPixelProductions

If you’re curious to see the winners of the other equally excellent categories, simply head on over to the FTI site and check out the full list.

Beta Test for Binary Space: Zombie Outbreak Simulator on Android

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We know that you are always keen to support the gaming work of fellow West Australians, so we’re here with a quick reminder that Binary Space are still looking for beta testers for their upcoming undead endeavour, Zombie Outbreak Simulator.

Since receiving funding from Screen Australia last year the crew have been working hard to get the game ready for Android, but now they need your help! So if you are interested in lending a severed hand to the cause, and have a Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or above, go fill out this form and get ready for a zombie outbreak in a neighbourhood near you.

Call for GCAP 2014 Speakers

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Now is the winter of our discontent… or something to that effect; for these wintery days are the perfect time to sit back and ponder the depths of this year’s Games Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP) theme ‘Shakespeare Wrote Hits‘. Verily, the Game Developers’ Association of Australia (GDAA) are currently accepting session proposals for speakers from all game development disciplines for GCAP 2014.

As noted by GDAA, the topic is one with many interpretations…

There is no denying that the works of Shakespeare are, today, of profound cultural and artistic importance. That Shakespeare was a great poet is undeniable. However, as a playwright, Shakespeare’s purpose was singular – to write shows that could be performed to large crowds who would pay for the experience. Each play was crafted with the audience in mind and in doing so Shakespeare filled the seats of his theatre. Shakespeare wrote plays to make money. Shakespeare wrote hits.

GCAP 2014 explores the mix of creativity and commercialisation with an understanding that the two are not mutually exclusive. The event will focus sharply on the decision making process in all disciplines with special emphasis on the methodologies, techniques and creative choices that can and have been made or applied to ensure a game has maximum appeal to its intended audience.

For more information head to the full GDAA info page, or download a copy of the submission guide. Submissions can be provided in Word, Pages, Google Docs or email format, and must be are to be sent to:

Deadline for submissions is close of business, Friday 25 July 2014.

Game Connect Asia Pacific 2014

  • 28 – 29 October 2014
  • Venue: Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia
  • Website: www.gcap.com.au

Play Up Perth: After Dark Edition

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Over the past year Atmosphere Industries and FTI have been giving local families the chance to test out some real-world games at their Play Up Perth events. Now it’s time for the grown-ups to get out and get some serious gaming done, with the first ever Play Up Perth After Dark event. Featuring tabletop games made by local developers, this is an adults only event that allows you to enjoy the finer points of gaming over a nice cold beer or wine.

What: Playup Perth! After Dark #1
When: 4pm – 9pm, Friday July 25, 2014
Where: State Library of Western Australia (25 Francis Street, Perth)
Tickets: Free! (Please note this is an 18+ Event)
RSVP: Places are limited, so head on over to Eventbrite to RSVP

As for the games, thus far the list of playable Perth goodies includes:

  • Breakwater, a game about voodoo, jazz and clockwork for up to 4 players;
  • COGZ, a steampunk themed strategy, pattern matching board game;
  • Colossus Awakes, a strategy-based boardgame about battling to influence a Colossus that has awoken beneath the earth; and
  • Pocket Troll,  a game in which young children must prove the existence of a menacing troll before it eats them and/or their village.

 

Cogz - RAEZ    Collussus_Awakes

Left, Cogs by Wesley Lamont;     Right, Colossus Awakes by Glen Spoors.

For more information head on over to the FTI Events page, or if you’re already keen to have a drink and play some games, you can RSVP over at Eventbrite. You can also find out all the details on the who/what/why of Play Up Perth at the official FAQ page.

And an extra note for Game Developers: If you have a game you would tested at this, or another Play Up event, please contact FTI Director of Interactive Programs, Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie on  or (08) 9431 6709.

Square Heroes hits Steam Greenlight

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The killer cubes of Gnomic Studios are back as their latest game Square Heroes makes its way onto Steam Greenlight. Much like its entertaining predecessor Square Off, this game is a fast-paced comic arena shooter for squares with sharp reflexes and even sharper corners. In it up to 4 players will be pit against one another in battles online or locally, and across such game modes as Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Capture the Gnome.

Humanity is again relying on the Square Avengers to survive a vicious alien onslaught. Unfortunately for humanity, our Avengers are busy trying to win this year’s Best and Squarest tournament. Hone your skills by taking on the encroaching alien horde, or skip straight to the main event and challenge your friends to one of the hilarious and frantic online skirmish modes.

To show your support for the latest in Square warfare, head on over to the Steam Greenlight page and give them a thumbs up!

Funding for Black Lab Games

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While the Interactive Games Fund was cancelled earlier this year, there were a lucky few who managed to apply before the news hit. One such studio was Black Lab Games, and we would now like to take this opportunity to congratulate them on their successful application!

The funding is set to go towards developing the studio’s second game, Star Hammer: The Vanguard Prophecy, and has allowed Founder Paul Turbett to work on the title full time. It also means that the team has expanded to include Anthony Sweet (Game Designer), Anthony Carriero (Art Director), Mark Smith (3D Modelling and Animation) and Richard Kong (UI Developer).

All the best to Paul and the team. We look forward to seeing the latest instalment in the Star Hammer series.