Tag Archive for 'community'

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!

Last Minute Reminder: End of Year Party

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Don’t forget that the Let’s Make Games End of Year Party (complete with cupcakes, donuts and developers) is on tomorrow afternoon!

This will be our last chance to catch up before the holiday season rolls in, so why not come by for the food and stay for the conversation. In addition to eating, drinking and networking, there will also be games to play as the folks from SK Games will be bringing down their latest machine.

What: Cupcake & Donut End of Year Party
When: 1st December, 3pm – 7pm
Where: Terrace Bar (upstairs), Universal Bar & Cafe, 221 William Street, Northbridge
Entry: Free! (18+ only)
RSVP: Facebook! or comments below.

Hope to see you there!

Keep those survey responses coming!

Thanks to everyone who has responded to our surveys thus far. It’s great to receive feedback on events and to see all these submissions for developer profiles and a game directory listings.

Just a reminder that we are currently running three surveys:

  1. Community (Scene): For everyone involved in games in Perth!
  2. Developer: Former and current game developers, submit a profile!
  3. Game: Provide us with information on games that you have worked on!

We hope that prolific local game developers will take some time to submit multiple responses to the developer and game surveys (assuming that they have worked at various companies and on various games, even if those companies are no longer around).

So how are the surveys going? Our estimates place the current response levels at:

All those responses and we still want more!

If you have yet to respond, please consider the following:

  • If you previously experienced some technical issues (the dreaded “you have already completed this survey” bug), please give it another go. We’ve patched the server software and everything should be peachy now.
  • Maybe you have worked on a game, but figure that someone else who worked on it will submit a profile (so you don’t have to). Well, they may be thinking the same thing! If we get multiple submissions for the same game, we will merge the results (resulting in an ever BETTER profile!)
  • Maybe you feel that your game was: made a long time ago, not that great, unworthy of a listing… who cares anyway… sigh. Well, WE CARE! We want to know all about it and when you are a rich and famous game developer you’ll want to relive the old times!

By simply responding, you could join the ranks of these great local developers:

Moreover, you could see your work featured alongside these great games:

In summary: Every response we get helps us paint a more complete picture of game development here in Perth. Our past, present, and future becomes more clear with everyone bit of information you submit! So please, keep those responses coming!

April 2010 surveys now online

We are currently running community, developer, and games surveys over at:

http://survey.letsmakegames.org

If you are involved in any way with the games development community of Perth, please take a few minutes to answer the community survey. Collected information will be used to produce a report like this one from last year (only better!)

We’re also asking developers (individuals and organisations) to invest a bit more time (answering some more in-depth questions) to let us know all about themselves and their games. We’re keen to produce a community and industry directory and to also document the history of games development in Perth.

For all of this we need your help!, as evidenced by this poster:

More information is available on the survey website, but please feel free to reply here or contact us if you have any questions.

Update: Some people are reporting problems submitting multiple responses to the surveys (eg. one developer submitting responses for multiple games). If you encounter this problem, please try using a different browser or clearing your browser cache of cookies for the domain survey.letsmakegames.org.

Thanks to everyone who reported this issue. We will be patching the server within the next few days, but there should be no interruption in availability of the survey. So please don’t hold out on responding!

Community Profile report available!

The Perth Games Industry Community Profile (March 2009) report is now available for download. (Hardcopies will be available for purchase in future).

The report contains a summary of results from the recent industry survey (conducted in early March 2009), and details a number of practical directives that we will be pursuing to help ensure sustainability and growth of the local games industry.

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We hope that you find the report interesting, that it provides some insight into the current state of the Perth games industry, and that it highlights some issues that must be addressed if we are to capitalise on local talent.

Please feel free to leave comments here, and to send detailed feedback via the contact form. We would especially like to hear from you if you are in the Perth games industry, but did not participate in the survey. We will be announcing a mixer event within the next few days and encourage everyone to attend!

Finally, we’d like to express our deep appreciation to Jack Casey for the feature image on the front cover and to Paul Turbett from Black Lab Games for the foreword.

Update: Fixed a few links in the report. Thanks to Josh Stewart for reporting these errors.
Update: Corrected graph and grammar in Current Involvement section. Thanks to Simon Boxer for reporting these errors.