Tag Archive for 'games'

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

Deviator Header

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!!

Perth games for Global Game Jam 2011

Last weekend was a busy time for local game developers with a local site for Global Game Jam 2011 being run by Different Methods, and an Indie Games Panel (video here) run by Wai-con (Perth’s premier anime convention).

Global Game Jam is an international event in which game developers create games within 48 hours. Due to space constraints this year, the Perth site was invitation only. It will also be the last game jam run by Different Methods. We’d like to thank Simon for running these events over the last few years (we know how much work it is to run events!), and we’ll try to keep them going. :)

This year, the theme was “extinction” and teams at the Perth site produced six games. Please check them out and leave some comments:

You can see these games and more at the Global Game Jam 2011 projects page.

Congratulations to all participants! We’ve been so inspired that we will be running monthly challenges to encourage local game developers to practice and hone their game-making skills. Actually, we’ve been planning that for a while and… well, more on that soon. ;)

If you haven’t heard about Global Game Jam, the 2011 keynote provides some insight into the event:

Update: Just realised that a picture is missing from the montage. Fixing it now! Fixed! :)

One game and three developers

Over the last few years, we’ve heard a lot of people express surprise when they learn about the local game development community:

There are game developers in Perth? Really?
That game was developed here?

As a community, it can be pretty disheartening to feel so invisible. Shipping a game is a huge achievement that should be recognised, and our local game developers should be celebrated like the stars they are!

That why Let’s Make Games maintains an directory of local game developers and keeps a record of locally developed games. If you haven’t yet seen our Games and Developers pages, check them out (and send us a profile if something is missing!).

We’ve just added the following developers:

And the following game:

Thanks to the developers for sending through profiles and bringing their game releases to our attention. As we’re purely volunteer-run, it sometimes takes a while before profiles appear online, so please be patient if you send one through (it will appear on the site eventually!)

This bring our total listings to 27 games and 17 developers. Not too shabby for an apparently small industry!

Games directory

Thanks to everyone who submitted profiles for games developed in Perth. They’re now up and listed on our brand-spanking new Games page!

Everything has kinda just been dropped in there at the moment and everything has to be manually updated (although we do have some offline scripts to generate pages based on the survey results).

We considered putting in a database or wiki initially, but a database backend would require more setup and testing, and a wiki can easily turn into a inconsistent mess if it doesn’t have a critical mass of contributors!

We’ll work on improving both the game and developer directories as they grow.

Let us know if you find any errors or mistakes! Thanks!

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!

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.