40 Under 40 People’s Choice: Vote Now!

A crowd of award-winners stand on stage, in front of 40 Under 40 signage.

Cast your vote in this year’s 40 Under 40 People’s Choice, and show the business work what game-makers have to offer! Two prolific Perth developers are included in this year’s listing, Dr Kate Raynes-Golide and Vee Pendergrast, who you may remember from such awards as MCV Pacific’s Game Changers.

As this is the People’s Choice, it is the nominations of individuals such as yourself that affects the final outcome; so read up on the developer profiles below to see why they are such great business folk, then SUBMIT YOUR VOTE before 5pm, Fri 12 January! The winner will be announced at the 2018 40 Under 40 Gala Awards on Wed, 7 March 2018.

Vee Pendergrast Stirfire Studios CEO

Photograph of Vee Pendergrast. URL links to larger image version.

“After sixteen years in mobile telecommunications, Vee Pendergrast made the leap in 2016 to pursue a fulltime career in videogame and VR development. She had co-founded Stirfire Studios in 2010 and has gradually grown the business to the bustling studio it is now and was instrumental in the launch of its titles Freedom Fall, and Symphony of the Machine.

Named as one of MCV Pacific’s Top 30 Women in Games in 2017, Vee brought the company to its attempt at an IPO in July 2017, which is a rarity for Australian videogame companies. Vee’s ambition is to keep the company producing qualities titles and growing their portfolio of internal IPs and services work.”

 

Kate Raynes-Goldie, Playup Perth Founder & Director

Photograph of Kate Raynes-Goldie. URL links to larger image version.

“As a leader of change and innovation, my career has been characterized by a willingness to step into unknown situations and take risks to accomplish what others don’t see as possible. Over the past 4 years, I have advocated for the WA games and creative innovation sector, part of a $150bn global industry.

My leadership has resulted in increased cohesion and professionalization of the sector, bringing jobs and opportunities to WA. As a result of my work, the WA Government included the sector in its New Industries Fund election announcement. As the Director of Playup Perth, my goal is to see WA producing 20% of Australian games by 2020, up from today’s 7%.My goal for the next 5 years is to enable young people to thrive in the future of work. To accomplish this, I have recently launched the Future Human Academy, and its pilot program, Future Ready Teens.”

Header image via 40Under40.

Full Perth Games Festival Wrap Up for 2017

A young boy in the foreground wears a virtual reality headset and is punching his arm forwards. In the background is a crowd of people playing computer games at the Perth Town Hall.

Once again the Perth Games Festival has been and gone, thanks to the involvement of great local developers, brilliant volunteers, and the WA game-making community. As the year comes to a close and you take a break to spend time with family (and perhaps play some of those games on your backlog), look back with us at the big event that was the 2017 Festival.

Get ready to find yourself in the photos, assess all the hubbub in the timelapse and showfloor videos, listen in to podcasts from the day, and prepare yourself for a whole new year of making and playing games in Western Australia!

Interviews with the Game-Makers  Logo: GameCloud. Url links to gamecloud website.

Perth-based games news site GameCloud have once again taken the time to get to know every exhibitor at the festival. You can read their 2017 Festival Report, plus the full coverage of interviews with the all game developers.

Find out how releasing free episodes affects development for a game like The Adventures of Squarewhat are the challenges of making a fandom-based game like The Coins of McGuffin TCG; and how do you make custom physical controls for a virtual game like Pinball VR+!

 

Photos

Here’s a small selection of the fun-filled Festival photos. Be sure to check out our full album on flickr (where you can grab copies of your pics), or you can tag yourself in our facebook album and send them to your mates.

 

Podcasts

A number of lovely local purveyors of game-related podcast joined us on the day, both on the main stage and wandering the show floor. Listen in as they talk about the event, and give you some insight into games to watch out for!

 

Timelapse

And of course we once again have the full Festival experience for you, in the form of the 2017 Timelapse below. Don’t blink, or you may miss seeing yourself zoom past!

 

Special Thanks

The Perth Games Festival is a free, volunteer-run event that simply would not be possible without the support of the Western Australian community. Let’s Make Games would like to say THANK YOU to all the Volunteers who step up to help make this event a reality, as well as the Festival Committee who spend their free time planning the event each year!! Remember if you are interested in making-games and working with the local gaming industry, be sure to join our facebook discussion group!

A large group photograph of the volunteers and organisers of the 2017 Perth Games Festival! URL links to larger version of image on Flickr, which can be downloaded free.

Thank you Festival Volunteers!

 

We would also like to once again recognise the contribution of the amazing 2017 Festival Sponsors and supportive organisations, whose backing mean that Western Australian game-makers get the opportunity to show their works to the wider community, and take their projects to the next level.

 

Logo: City of Perth. Url links to City of Perth websitesText Logo: Binary Space. URL links to Binary Space website.

Logo: SAE Qantm Creative Media Institute. URL links to SAE main website.  Logo: Murdoch University. URL links to main Murdoch' Game Arts & Design webpage

Logo: Stirfire Studios. Url links to Stirfire main website.  Logo: Microsoft. Url links to Microsoft Australia's website.

Test out Augmented Reality with West Coast Mixed Reality

Header text: Testing Augmented Reality App. On the right, the logo for West Coast Mixed Reality, on the left an icon of a scientific beaker with liquid.
West Coast Mixed Reality has been creating great augmented reality (AR) experiences for a while now and they have been working hard on an AR app that places interactive experiences in the real world. This Saturday, December 23rd, they are looking for people to come into Forrest Place to playtest their latest Augmented Reality project!
No prior experience necessary, and they will supply you with the device and headphone for the full experience (though you can bring your own headphones if you prefer). So if you’re in the city this weekend, why not try out some fun new tech for 5 to 10 minutes? Your feedback will help shape the development of a local app.

What: AR App Testing for West Coast Mixed Reality
When: Saturday December 23, 12-1pm.
Where: City of Perth “iCity” Information Booth (cnr Forrest Place and Murray St Mall)
Tickets: Free!

About the App:

A circle with the text "Chombo" within it.Project Chombo is an iOS app that plays with the idea of location-based content, placing interactive AR experiences at specific geolocations in the real world. Blurring the boundary between what is real and unreal, Chombo is an exciting playground for creators, developers and audiences to explore.

Chombo will be released in early 2018.”

Be sure to head to the iCity Info Booth in Forrest Place (Perth City) this Saturday to check out West Coast Mixed Reality’s neat AR app for free. For more information on this event, drop an email to the WCMR crew via hello [at] westcoastmixedreality.com

Get ready for Rodrigo on Android & PC

Screenshot: A blocky scene with a squirrel jumping over a whirling, swinging saw towards a large collectable star. The squirrel is wearing a tall hat and work-tie. URL links to Rodrigo game on Google Play

Escape the rat squirrel race and seek adventure, as the pencil-pushing rodent Rodrigo in the latest game from Bart Borkowski. Filled with collectable coins, special stars, and whirling saws of death, this game may seem cute but it’s quite a challenge for an average squirrel.

A retro-style platformer where you play as Rodrigo, a late 20-something corporate-squirrel yearning to break away from his bleak life of pushing paper for a taste of action and adventure. Will he go all the way, or will he slip and fall to the fate of the cruel, cruel world? That depends on your skills, if you have any… So put them to the test!

Rodrigo is out now for free via Google Play or Itch.io, so scurry on over if you too are ready to break out of your corporate cage and run free with the wilder-squirrels.

Chicken Farm 2K17 hatches on Steam

Logo text: Chicken Farm 2017. Background screenshot shows the inside of a wooden barn, with stacked shelves that have two chicken in it. One chicken is selected, showing stats such as egg value, egg rate, fat, fat rate and value. At the bottom of the screen a money counter is ticking up, and there is the top edge of a Market sign. URL links to game on steam.

Enjoy farming gold without laying down any cash in Chicken Farm 2017, by Jakal Studios. Out now on Steam (free), it features a range of curious clucking characters that you need to keep track of in order to keep your farm profitable and have a bit of fun.

“Chicken Farm is a management game with clicker aspects, where the goal is getting as much cash as you can. To grow your farm you’ll need to catch eggs from the chickens, work at the market to gain income, sell your fatter chickens for a tidy profit and cash in on the egg catching combo meter.”

Collect yourself some free-range fun by heading over to Chicken Farm 2017 on Steam, and if you have an eggsellent idea for the game the developer is currently taking suggestions on new chicken types over on twitter!

 

Playup Perth #13 + Creative Innovation Microgrants

PlayUp Perth Logo, with text "Accelerating creative innovation in WA since 2013". URL links to PlayUp Perth event page.

Play the latest in local games at the final PlayUp Perth for the year – test out games before they are released, meet the developers behind them, and be the first to hear about the winners of their Creative Innovation Microgrants!

What: PlayUp Perth #13
When: Friday, December 15, 2017 – 6pm till late.
Where: The Nostalgia Box, 3/16 Aberdeen St, Perth
Tickets: $10 via Eventbrite

“Playup Perth is Perth’s premier bi-monthly playtesting event. We facilitate playtesting of new games and game prototypes. At each playup, we playtest games, VR/AR, immersive and interactive experiences currently in development and give feedback to the designers so they can make them even better.”

Below is a sneak peek of some of the games you will be able to get your hands on, but be sure to visit the PlayUp Perth #13 event page for all the details and grab yourself a ticket over on Eventbrite! BONUS ROUND: If you’re a game developer, you could also showcase your games-in-progress at future events; so be sure to peruse the application page and start preparing for 2018.

The Page – December Meetup

Image Text: The Page. In the background is a set of glasses resting on a keyboard, with a pile of books behind it. The image is scratchy, and appears as though it is placed on parchment paper. Image links to The Page facebook event page.

Prepare your mind for a discussion of all things narrative design this Saturday, at the final meetup of The Page for 2017. This free meetup event is open to everyone who wants to talk about this engaging world of writing, including (but not limited to) game designers, interactive writers, screenwriters, narrative mechanics… and YOU.

“Let’s talk about how writing and narrative design can be used to create, or help enhance, those moments in all things game related! Be it stylistic choices that build up a sense of the new and unknown, story beats that are based around surprise and excitement, or how narrative design can work together with things like level design to help players feel excited about the little things they find in the game world.”

What: The Page – December Meetup
When: Saturday, 9 Dec. 1pm – 3pm.
Where: 48 Lake St, Northbridge
RSVP: via Facebook event

The Page is a regular event that runs on the first Saturday of each month, so be sure to join their Facebook group if you want to get involved with future interactive discussions!

COGZ makes the shortlist for Boardgames Australia’s Best Aus Game Award

Logo: COGZ. A Christmas ribbon, bordered by holly, sits on the top left edge, with the text "Gift Option". 3 Smaller logos across the top read "Color-blind accessible," "RAEZ" and "Mensa Endorsed". URL links to the boardgame's online store.

Festival favourite COGZ, the tabletop game of gears and cogineers, was recently shortlisted in Boardgames Australia’s Best Australian Game Award. Congratulations to the cognizant creator RAEZ, for being recognised on the list for the second year running!

What factors into the deciding the ultimate tabletop game in the Best Australian Game Awards? Well, Boardgames Australia take into consideration such factors as replayability, scalability, value for money, quality components, a good skill vs. luck dynamic, anything that makes it stand out. So we think it’s fair to say that this particular Perth-made game must be a top prize for any tabletop aficionado to take home.

For the complete catalog of high-quality Australian games, head on over to the 2017 Best Australian Game Award shortlist. And of course if you’re looking for a excellent extra christmas gift why not order yourself a copy of COGZ! 🎄🎁

Card game Evolve: Lights of the Deep advances on Kickstarter

Text logo reads: Evolve, Lights of the Deep. Imagery shows the top of the letter L splits off into tentacle-like branches. A small amoeba-like creature floats over the text. URL links to game Kickstarter, however please be advised that the game's Kickstarter game description is unfortunately not screenreader compatible.

Explore ocean depths while advancing your little amoeba-self, with Evolve: Lights of the Deep, a new card game by Lionfish Games. Nearing their Kickstarter goals as we speak, this evolutionary experience for 2 – 4 players is a beautiful offering from the studio, and no doubt an excellent addition to any tabletop collection.

“Evolve: Lights of the Deep is fast-playing card game set in the abyssal depths of the ocean. Within the all-consuming darkness of the sea, each player begins life as a single-celled organism and must go through evolutionary progressions to become the most complex life form. Evolve is a competitive game that involves aspects of hand management, tactical decision making and a take-that style of sabotage.”

Watch the Kickstarter video below for an intro to the game, complete with fancy glowing amoeba, or head on over to the Kickstarter campaign. For more information on the studio, as well as a screen-reader compatible description of the game, head on over to the Lionfish Games website.

Let’s Make Games: 2017 End of Year Party

The Let's Make Games logo, featuring a party hat and party horn. Image links to facebook page for Let's Make Games end of year party.

2017 is coming to a close, and what a year it has been! WA has seen award winners at the Tokyo Games Show, the Australian Game Developer Awards, and a shortlisting in Board Game Australia’s Best Australian Game; not to mention several Women in Games Awards recipients! There have been a wide range of events throughout the year to keep us entertained, from PlayUp Perth to the Game Foundry, PotLucks to The Page, and of course the Perth Games Festival, Unconference and Global Game Jam. New opportunities have arisen through successful Kickstarters, microgrants, and jobs, but so too have some doors have closed.

So we would like to invite you, dear community, to join us in celebrating the year that was on Friday, Dec 8th. This is a casual event for all game-makers; come along and say hello, meet new people and have some fun!

What: Let’s Make Games End-Of-Year Gathering
When: Friday 8 December, 7pm till late
Where: The FireHouse, 48 Lake Street (corner of Francis & Lake) Northbridge
RSVP: via Facebook

Other Info: Light nibbles will be supplied, but BYO refreshments (alcohol or otherwise); a drinks fridge is available onsite.

 

♿ Accessibility: This venue is not wheelchair accessible, due to steps at each entrance. Volunteers are available to assist in moving mobility scooters or wheelchairs over these threshold, but we understand that this is not an optimal situation. We apologise for the inconvenience, and efforts will be made in future to better accomodate all community members.