Monthly Archive for January, 2014

GGJ14 Sponsors – Architects & Heroes

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Our official coffee sponsor this year is Architects and Heroes, a new coffee shop to be opening on Rokeby Road, Subiaco towards the end of February. Being the local Code Black distributor in Perth they kindly donated a large bag of their espresso blend and a bit of kenyan filter to help the cause and allow us to create more games. A big thanks to Architects and Heroes is in order, and you can check them out on Facebook and when their store opens!

GGJ14 Sponsors – Developers At Large

DATL-Logo

We’re very happy to announce that Developers At Large are sponsoring the 2014 Global Game Jam this weekend!

A note from Jon and the team:

“The Developers at Large spend their time working on a variety of web and game based projects, always having to deal with new tech to make sure we have the right solution for the problem at hand.  And since 2013 was kind to all of us here at DATL, we decided that we should make sure LMG can make 2014 just as good for the local game devs.  So from Dylan, Matt, Jetha and Jon we hope you have a great jam and look forward to the year ahead.”

Thank to Developers At Large for their support – make sure to say thanks when you see them at the jam on Friday.

Global Game Jam 2014 – This Weekend!

LMG GGJ 2014 Poster v3

The Let’s Make Games Global Game Jam starts this Friday, and will lead into 48 hours of creativity and game-making. We return to ECU Mt Lawley this year, thanks to our incredible sponsors at ECU (SCSS) and CASSA. We’ll also have more sponsor announcements in the coming week.

The jam site will open at 5pm for registrations, with the keynote kicking off at 6pm. Catering options are available for attendees; if you have registered to the jam and haven’t yet received catering details, please contact as soon as possible to organise your order.

Visitors interested in seeing the results of the jam are encouraged to come visit the jam site on Sunday 26th at 5pm, when there will be wrap-up and short presentations from the participating teams.

Registrations are still open. Interested game developers and game students can sign up to participate here.

Scavenger launches on Desura

Scavenger - Desura

Retro fans it’s time to ready your lasers, for on the weekend the Flame Collective released their wireframe space game Scavenger. The first title by the Perth studio, Scavenger puts you in the pilot seat of a scavenging vessel that must navigate dangerous asteroid fields and avoid rogue drones in order to collect the minerals necessary to survive. In addition to being a homage to the appearance of Asteroids and the gameplay of Wing Commander, Scavenger is also set to feature glitchy-styled music and a whole pile of in-game upgrades to keep you entertained.

Click the big button below to head on over and check it out. Happy scavenging!

Scavenger

Freedom Fall out now on Steam!

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2013 was a big year for Lisa Rye and Stirfire Studios‘, as their anti-princess platformer ‘Freedom Fall’ glided onto the scene scoring not only nominations but a big award. Well it looks like they’re starting the new year with a bang, as Freedom Fall hit the Steam store this weekend.

This accomplishment is a first for a WA game development studio, with Freedom Fall successfully running the Greenlight gauntlet after having been added to it in April. Now the title sports 20 new achievements, will be playable on both mac and pc, and until January 17th is 35% off (down to $6.49 USD).

» So head on over the Steam store now and check it out!

Freedom Fall on Steam - Banner

2013 Retrospective: Part 2

SK Games (Photograph by Carl Anthonisz) Halfling Heist Freedom Fall Deviator ARG

In addition to hosting an array of gaming events, 2013 was also a year that saw a number of Perth games charge onto the stage and make their mark on the world. This year saw titles for just about every console (plus a couple for no console at all!), a number of nominations, some special awards, a new studio, game developer grants and even some special community events.

Nominations for WA’s Best

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In 2013 we saw a wide variety of homegrown games vying for the title of ‘Best Game’ in the WA Screen Awards. The games nominated for the prestigious award were Orbeats (iOS) WRK Studios, Square Off (Win7) by Gnomic Studios, deviator (ARG) by the PVI Collective, and Freedom Fall (PC) by Stirfire Studios. Who won? Well, if you’re not familiar with the results of the award ceremony then you will find out further down this article…

A Different Form of Footy Game

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The first game out the gates for 2013 was that of FootyBoss. Released in March by Different Methods, this title provided a sporting experience for the Australian gamer in the form of an in-browser Aussie Rules team manager simulator.

Deviator takes to Streets

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March also saw the WA premiere of the Augmented Reality Game ‘deviator’ by the PVI Collective. This real-world game saw the streets of Perth became a playground for those playing via their mobiles for a full week.

Two titles from Entropic Entertainment

Tankya’s Adventure: The Curse of Zoltar - Header Image Brave Kingdom Header

Entropic Entertainment released not one, but two games this year, starting with the tale of Tankya’s Adventure: The Curse of Zoltar which hit Desura in March. In October the studio’s next adventurous title Brave Kingdom came out swinging on Android, just days after the WA Games Showcase.

SK Games set up Shop

SK Games Header  (Photograph by Carl Anthonisz)

In June we same the new game development studio SK Games set up camp. Headed by Louis Roots, an ECU graduate who had been working in the game dev industry overseas for the past couple of years, the studio has since produced an array of group games that have amused an entertained at local events.

Freedom Fall hits the ground running

stirfire Freedom Fall Header

Moving on to July we saw Stirfire Studio‘s highly anticipated title Freedom Fall launch at the first ever PAX AUS. Yes, it was this game that won the coveted crown of Best Game at the WA Screen Awards – not to mention it was also a finalist for both the Best Design and Game of the Year categories at the Australian Game Developers Awards. Freedom Fall has since been Greenlit on Steam, so an updated version is currently in the works.

Solitarium released

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A second release at the PAX convention, DrewFX released the card game, Solitarium. DrewFX showcased at the Indie Showcase at the huge, Melbourne-based convention. This fantasy solitaire game is available to purchase from the Solitarium website.

Blitz Bandits breaks out the Beta

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July also brought about beta access for the retro-inspired brawler Blitz Bandits. The game  by Blake Simpson is receiving rave reviews, and we are told that Mac OSx and Linux versions are on the horizon.

Freeplay Awards then Halflings hit the Stores

Outside these Walls - Freeplay Award Header Halfling Heist - Header

September saw Handwritten Games (and LMG’s very own Anthony Sweet) win a Freeplay Award for the free print-and-play card puzzle Outside These Walls. Then, not being the kind of folk who rest on their laurels, in October Handwritten Games’ half-sized heroes were set loose as the boardgame Halfling Heist (also a finalist in the Freeplay Awards) was made available on The Game Crafter.

Four from Perth get GCAP Assist

GCAP 2013 Banner

Each year Screen Australia offer assistance packages to game developers across the country, to support attendance to the Game Connect Asia Pacific conference. Among the 21 developers awarded GCAP Assist grants in 2013, there were 4 WA representatives; Lisa Rye (Freedom Fall), Blake Simpson (Blitz Bandits), Anthony Sweet (Handwritten Games) and Jess Watson (Esperino).

The GCAP Assist crew joined a number of other Perth developers invading the Melbourne Conference, including the likes of WA development studio (and GCAP Indie SponsorBlack Lab Games.

Square Off now on new Platforms

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As we reached November we saw Gnomic Studios‘ killer cubes make their way onto just about every handheld device (and then some). Previously released on XBLA, Square Off has now blasted it’s way onto Android, iOS, Windows Phone and OUYA.

Ending on a high note with Euphoria HD

Eufloria PS Vita Header

And last on the list of Perth games for 2013, but by no means least, the year ended with the intriguing sounds and curious content of Eufloria HD. Developed by Titanium Studios, the title made it’s way onto the PS Vita via the Playstation Store just in time for Christmas.

But wait, there’s more!

Game Cloud Event 'Game City' Banner FTI Pop Up Arcade Banner

As well as there having been many a game and award for WA across the year, the end of 2013 also saw a surge in the number of opportunities for the Perth community to play some homegrown games. First there was the invasion of the underground malls at GameCloud and GameCity’s Indie Day, then gamers, families and various fine folk braved the heat to play some brilliant games on the big screen at FTI’s Pop-Up Arcade.

All in all there was a lot going on in the world of WA game development. Each year we seem to be getting bigger and better, while the future of our games industry just keeps looking brighter. We had a great time with you all last year and are looking forward to even more fun.

So bring on 2014!!

2013 Retrospective: Part 1

2013 was a great year for our growing community of game creators. From the (sleepy-eyed) enthusiasm of game jam to a cupcakey finale, there was plenty to do, see and make in the WA game-dev scene.

Global Game Jam 2013

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Let’s Make Games kicked off 2013 with the Global Game Jam, hosted at ECU Mt Lawley over the Australia Day weekend. Over 60 game developers and students crammed into two classrooms for a 48 hour marathon of intense game creation, joining over 16,000 jammers worldwide. Fifteen games were registered by the end of the weekend, with Adventricule winning our judges over and receiving an award prize from sponsors Microsoft Australia.

» Click here to view the 2013 Global Game Jam official wrap up and photos.

 Games In Progress Forum

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In May there was the Games In Progress Forum, a collection of micro-talks from local developers about their projects and works-in-progress. It offered an honest look into indie game development, with many developers generously displaying the guts of their creations for scrutiny and feedback. The Forum also included a playable Oculus Rift station, and yoyo’s provided by venue sponsor QANTM College.

» Click here to view photos from the Games In Progress Forum.

VRJam Official Playtest Hub

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Let’s Make Games hosted Australia’s only Official Playtest Hub in August for Indiecade and Oculus’ VRJam. In the heart of the city, a dozen developers madea range of virtual reality games and experiences in three weeks, with playtesting and demonstration sessions opened to the public every Saturday. The playtesting sessions attracted many interested players and technology enthusiasts, and the Hub went on to become the WA Game Studios co-working space.

» Click here to view photos and videos from the 2013 VRJAM .

WA Games Showcase 2013

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The 5th WA Games Showcase was our biggest yet. Hosted in the spacious foyer of the East Perth CIT campus, over 250 attendees came to play the wide range of games; from board games to console games, virtual reality games to handmade arcade machines, there was a huge range of WA game talent on display. Included in the program was a screening of fan film Fallout: Lanius, followed by a Q&A session with the film’s director, producer and actors. Even the traditional sausage sizzle came out for a run, keeping attendees well fed.

» Click here to view photos from the 5th WA Games Showcase.

Q&A with Cameron Royal

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In October, Perth was visited by CCP Games Senior Programmer, Cameron Royal, who talked with WA developers and students about working on the global multiplayer hit, EVE Online. Cameron provided insights into the studio culture at CCP, his experiences in the hiring process at a AAA studio, and the type of technology required to keep a globally scaled MMO running and evolving. Hosted at the Scitech Lotterywest Theatre, the night proved informative and insightful for developers.

Donut Cupcake Party

LMG End of Year Donuts

We finished off the year with our annual end of year party, once again at the Universal Bar & Cafe. A great way to celebrate a big year, with plenty of donuts, cupcakes and donut cupcakes to go around. Entertainment was provided by SK Games’ most recent octopus-themed arcade game and the usual program of chiptunes and eSports on the big TV.

As well as this hectic event schedule, the Let’s Make Games volunteer staff and committee were instrumental in many other initiatives and activities throughout the year. A big thank you to all of the LMG volunteers for their time and dedication in making 2013 a great supportive year for game development in WA.

 

 Stay tuned for Part 2 of our 2013 retrospective!