Archive for the 'News' Category

The Sweet Sounds of the Outer Colony

Text Logo reads "Outer Colony". In the background, a planet takes up three quarters of the image. It has swirling clouds, blue oceans, and green and yellow continents. Beyond the planet are stars and the edge of a warm glowing sun. Image url links to Outer Colony game Kickstarter.

Etch out an existence on the edge of space in Outer Colony, a real time strategy game currently on Kickstarter. Developed by Voyager Games, it features an original sound track by West Australian audio extraordinaire Daisy Ale Soundworks, with music that is out of this world (ha, sorry we couldn’t help ourselves)

Text reads "Outer Colony". A square image, made up of a collection of screenshots from the game Outer Colony. The game graphics are blocky, and colourful, featuring outdoor spaces and insides of buildings. Linked URL goes to attachment page with larger version of this image.Outer Colony is an open ended, real time strategy game with a focus on artificial intelligence and simulation-derived mechanics. Set in a sci-fi universe, players command expeditions of spacefaring colonists in an effort to establish settlements on remote worlds.

Much of the core gameplay revolves around providing for your expedition’s NPCs, managing its fledgling society, freeform building, and tactical combat. Whatever you do in OC affects the persistent game world, so everything from driving species to extinction to terraforming whole regions is possible.

This game of galactic settlement has already been Greenlit on Steam, so all you need to do to get behind it is share and support their Kickstarter. You can also surround yourself in the sounds of outer space right now, by listening to the Outer Colony OST on Bandcamp or in the video below.

 

Screen It: Competition for Young Creatives

Image text reads "Competition. ACMI Presents: Screen It. The national competition for school-aged filmmakers, animators and game developers."

Young game developers (eager or experienced), there’s no better time to start creating; ACMI are holding a competition where you can win prizes, and have your work shown off at an exhibition on Melbourne. It’s free to enter, and you can submit as many games as you can create!

To be in the running for the great prizes you’ll need to produce a live action film, animation or video game in response to the theme of ‘Time’.

Check out the excellent resources and class video-chat sessions to help with your entries.

When you win, your work is exhibited online in the Australian Mediatheque, on big screens around Australia and ACMI’s newly-designed Screen Itspace in the Screen Worlds exhibition.

For more information, visit the Screen It website or check out their FAQs. Competition entries are due by Monday 25 September 2017

2017 MCV Pacific: The Game Changers

A stylised letter "W" patterned with the Australian flag. Image Text reads "MCV Pacific Women in Games"

 

The MCV Women In Games list has returned for its third year, this time featuring 30 hard-working professionals in the Australian and New Zealand games industry. Five local women (and one honorary West Australian) have been included this year, two of which were also finalists in the Women in Games Awards! Highlighting women such as these, MCV is working to inspire the next generation of games makers, and acknowledge the continued contribution of women in this field.

So congratulations to the following devs…

(and thank you for all your work making and supporting games!)

 

A photograph of 5 WA women featured on the list. Vee Pendergrast, Sofie Mather, Kate Raynes-Goldie, Susannah Emery, and Michelle Sandford. Elsewhere: Jess Watson

Pictured: Vee Pendergrast, Sofie Mather, Kate Raynes-Goldie, Susannah Emery, and Michelle Sandford. Elsewhere: Jess Watson

 

VEE PENDERGRAST

Co-founder of Stirfire Studios

Photograph of Vee PendergrastVee founded Stirfire Studios as a side business in 2010. After working at Brightstar from 2010 through September last year, Vee landed seed capital for Stirfire in June 2016 and since then has raised over $520,000 to grow the company, giving her the opportunity to work at the Studio full time.

Further growth is already on the horizon as Vee told us, “I am in the final stages of completing an ASX/ASIC compliant prospectus and we will be submitting this in the next few weeks. If all goes according to plan, we will be the second game company to list on the ASX (that we know of), targeting a market capitalisation of $5-$7-million.

This is Vee’s first time featured on the list, but it will certainly not be her last. Click here to read the MCV profile on Vee.

 

SOFIE MATHER

Community Manager at Stirfire Studios

Photograph of Sofie Mather, holding a lemon.In 2013 Sofie joined up with Louie Roots to launch SK Games, a rough-edged studio focused on making physical game experiences and arcade machines, a reality. Since then she has worked behind the scees as a Producer, Manager and Creative Support Person.

Mather was also heavily involved with the planning and execution of 2016 Perth Games Festival and was a driving force behind the Festival’s community launch party and the developer-focussed training “Unconference” event, which she also ran in 2015.

Sofie was also finalist for the Unsung Hero category, in the 2017 Women In Games Awards. She was also listed in MCV’s most recent 30 Under 30 list!

 


KATE RAYNES-GOLDIE

Founder/ Creative Director of Games We Play

Photograph of Kate Raynes-GoldieIn February, Kate wrapped up her 3 year contract with FTI to create their games and interactive program, where she was responsible for launching OOMPF! Games, WA’s only funding program for the games industry; WA’s first games industry scoping survey and LEVEL ONE which is now a regular games co-working opportunity spawning collaboration and innovation.

Kate’s now working full time advising in the VR/AR and innovation space as well a number of game projects, including a partnership between her studio Games We Play and Millennium Kids to work with kids as co-creators on a live action mixed reality game that teaches sustainability.

Kate was also finalist for the Outstanding Achievement of the Year category, in the 2017 Women In Games AwardsClick here to read the MCV’s profile on Kate. (Also, special thanks to Kate for the awesome team WA photo featured above)

 

SUSANNAH EMERY

PhD Candidate and Educator at Curtin University

Photograph of Susannah EmmerySusannah has a deep appreciation for her students and games education. She highlights increasing school attendance and student engagement in a primary classroom through the integration of a Nintendo Wii in the classroom and using this to explore Australian Curriculum outcomes as one of her greatest achievements to date.

She has also worked with a remote Indigenous community in the NT to develop a framework for game developers and educators, promoting a cross cultural collaborative approach to game development.

While based in South Australia, Susannah both teaches and researches through Curtin University. Click here to read the MCV profile on honorary Perthian Susannah.

 

MICHELLE SANDFORD

Technology Evangelist at Microsoft

Photograph of Michelle Sandford.Michelle is a Technology Evangelist who acts as an API between technology and the world. She is the Vice Chair of the Australian Computer Society in WA. She advocates for STEM, the Games Industry and Developers. Michelle has presented at around fifty conferences and events around the world on Technology, Inclusive Design, Diversity and Gaming in the past twelve months.

She tries to stay one jump ahead of the Game(boy) by thinking outside the (X)box. She surfs both waves and webs. And her motto is “Change the World or Go home!”

This is Michelle’s second time on the list, well deserved for all her hard work locally. Click here to read the MCV profile on Michelle.

JESS WATSON

General Operations at Lets Make Games

Photograph of Jess WatsonJessica has continued her work with Let’s Make Games, Western Australia’s game development community organisation. Having worked as one half of the Operations Team since 2013, she manage the organisation’s online presence and community.

2016 was her final year as Coordinator of the Perth Games Festival. Working alongside Jon Hayward and the Festival Committee, they expanded the spaces available for local developers and have continued to improved the accessibility initiatives.

Our very own Jess has also made the list for the second time running! Click here to read the MCV profile on Jess.

 

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Know another inspiring West Australian?

There are so many awesome folks in the games industry working hard and inspiring others with their games, work and support. If there are West Australian in games you think deserve some recognition, please say so in the comments!

We would love to hear about the work others are doing, and a mention here could help some hard-working individuals feel appreciated, not to inspire nominations to awards in the future!

Writing for Games and Interactive Course, plus Scholarship Opportunity for Women

Banner Text: Writing for Games and Interactive

Let’s Make Games is proud to announce the Writing for Games Scholarship for Women! One successful applicant will receive a fully-paid ticket to FTI’s upcoming Writing for Games & Interactive Course. The course is being taught by Anthony Sweet (owner of Handwritten Games, lead designer at Black Lab Games), and will run every Wednesday evening for six weeks.

What: Writing for Games and Interactive Course
When: Wed 15th Feb- Wed 22nd March (6 week course)
Where:  48 Lake Street, Northbridge
Standard Costs: $180 Members | $230 General Admission

What does the course cover?

This course includes practical hands-on course material and feedback sessions that will get you started on your road to writing interactive stories. You will also learn tools and processes used for writing and making games, including an introduction to Twine, the open-source program for creating interactive stories. By the end of the course, students will have learned the skills required to develop their own interactive fiction game in Twine, ready to playtest and publish to the internet.

Full details are available from the FTI page. There are still spaces available for the course, whether you wish to apply for the scholarship or are keen to take it on solo.

About the Scholarship

This scholarship comes as a measure to help address the gender imbalances present in the global industry, and to help foster a welcoming environment for everyone in our local community.

Applications can be made via this Google Docs form.
All applicants will be notified of the outcome by Monday, February 13th.

Last DriverZ beta rolls out on Android

Last Driver Z Header

Following a successful showcase at the Perth Games Festival, local studio 42 Bytes continue to test survival skills in their mobile beta for Last DriverZ. If you have an Android device, you too could be running down zombies, seeking out supplies, and upgrading a wide range of weaponry right now (not to mention playtesting a yet-to-be-released game).

Dive into the post-apocalyptic world of the DriverZ trying to make your way through beat up streets, threading through wreckages, running over zombies, and pillaging old warehouses and general stores trying to upgrade your vehicles and recruit more people for your group of survivors!

You can get the beta for Last DriverZ now via Google Play, and stay up to date with all their news via 42 Bytes’ twitter. BONUS: iPhone users will soon be able to get in on the apocalypse action by signing up to the closed beta.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fX-gc8heb5A?w=500&h=281

Symphony of the Machine set for Playstation VR & HTC Vive

Symphony of the Machine

Having playtested Symphony of the Machine locally for a while now, Stirfire Studio have recently announced that their new game will be hitting the Playstation VR and the HTC Vive in Q1 2017!

An ancient machine controls the weather and its mysterious creators have long since disappeared. You must perform the ritual and come to understand its workings to save your crops. This is a calming, explorative virtual reality experience which emphasises serene, non-violent play over hair-trigger reactions.

This puzzling virtual reality game now has its own facebook page to keep you up to date, and you can check out the Teaser Trailer below~

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2J2GbFCvuE?w=500&h=281

Sponsor the 2016 Perth Games Festival

PGF2016_EmailHeader

Quick, simple and to the point, the Perth Games Festival is now seeking sponsorship!

Coordinated by Let’s Make Games (yep, that’s us) the festival saw over 2600 people walk through the doors of the Perth Town Hall last year to play locally made games, and learn how they can make their own. The festival is a volunteer-run event, and part of what makes it so great is that it’s the result of the community coming together to share local works, and support our growing creative industry. The support of local businesses helps all this happen, so come join us to show what Western Australia has to offer!

What do you get out of being a Sponsor?

Sponsorship2016_PreviewIn addition to that warm fuzzy feeling you get from supporting local creatives, sponsoring the festival has a range of benefits. Depending upon your sponsorship tier you could get yourself a naming-share of the event, direct association with the talks stream, logo placement on our sites and marketing material, or even a half page advertisement in our event programme!

There are of course many other rewards to being a sponsor, so if you’re interested…

Here’s what you need to know:

Alternatively, contact our Festival Coordinator Jess directly via  if you would like to have a chat first.

We hope you can join us for the 2016 Perth Games Festival! To stay up to date on this year’s Festival, check out the official facebook event.

Perth Games Festival: Exhibitor and Speaker Applications Open!

Are you a game-maker based in Western Australia? Whether you are a student or studio, indie developer or hobbyist, the Perth Games Festival is all about showcasing locally-made games! This means games for computers and consoles, mobiles and tablets, tabletop and card games, VR experiences, pervasive games and even arcade machines.

Applications are now open for Exhibitors and Speakers at the 2016 Perth Games Festival. So come join us on October 1st at Perth Town Hall, and showcase your works to thousands of people.

Banner: The Perth Town Hall, filled with people crowding around various game screens and tables. A screen hangs above the stage, showing the image of local game 'Paradigm'

Exhibitor Applications

Full details on the Exhibitor packages can be found here on the Perth Games Festival website. Or if you want to get straight into applying…

→ Simply fill in the online Exhibitor Application here!

Once your application has been received, the Festival Committee will get back to you shortly to confirm your place at the event. Following this, you just need to send through x3 Screenshots of your game by Sept 7th, and payment is required by Sept 23rd. If you have any questions, the Festival Exhibit Manager Cassie will be happy to assist.

 

Banner: A roof people sit, watching a panel talk.

Speaker Applications

Is there a topic you would like to see covered one of the Panels at the Perth Games Festival? Suggestions relating to all aspects of game development and related topics are welcome, from design to marketing, coding to community support and everything in between.

→ If you have a topic you would like to discuss or see discussed, fill in the Speaker Application here!

Sessions may take the form of a lecture, panel discussion or workshop. Or if you have an idea for something a little different don’t hesitate to suggest it too! If you have any questions relating to the Talks at the festival, our Content Manager Vivien will be happy to answer them.

 

Assistance Packages

If you are a game developer from regional Western Australia, or otherwise require financial support, please let us know. Let’s Make Games is a community organisation focussed on supporting Western Australian developers; we want all WA game-makers to have the opportunity to share their work with the public, and we understand that not everyone can afford the full fees and insurance costs associated with exhibiting.

If you have any questions regarding the assistance packages, simply contact the Festival Coordinator Jess (yep, that’s me!). We want to make sure that all local developers get the opportunity to showcase their games, so please do not hesitate to get in touch with us!

Local game Paradigm makes it into the PAX Australian Indie Showcase

PAX Indie Showcase Header

Pax Australia is back in Melbourne this November, and it has just been announced that WA-made game Paradigm will be featured in the Pax Australian Indie Showcase. This specialised showcase is designed to highlight the best indie games from across Australian and New Zealand, with the titles on show selected by games industry veterans.

The work of local developer Jacob Janerka, Paradigm is a highly anticipated hand-crafted game that featured at the 2014 Perth Games Festival, and was successfully Kickstarted back in 2014.

Paradigm is a surreal point-and-click adventure game set in the strange and post apocalyptic world of Krusz; a land inspired by a mix of Eastern Europe and the 70’s and 80’s.  You play as the unattractive yet over-confident mutated Paradigm; who must prevail through inconvenient trials to overcome the insecure yet tyrannical sloth antagonist, Olof! Imagine a cross between The Mighty Boosh, Lucas Arts adventures and Fallout.

So congratulations Jacob (and of course the handsome mutant Paradigm) on securing a place at PAX! To find out more about Paradigm, head on over to the website. Or simple visit the PAX Australia website to get the low down on the Indie Showcase and grab your tickets to the big event!

 

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~