Tag Archive for 'Let’s Make Games'

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Making Games in Perth: The Indie Story

Oz ComicCon Panel: Making Games in Perth

This weekend is the super cool geek fest that is Oz Comic-Con, and one of the panels for the day will be looking at our local gaming industry. Moderated by Ceri Hutton of Pixel Expo, the discussion will be covered by Perth-based game developers Aranda Morrison (Gnomic Studios), Garth Pendergrast (Stirfire Studios), Jess Watson (Let’s Make Games), and Liam Hunt (ByteSprite).

What: Making Games in Perth – The Indie Story (Oz Comic-Con Panel)
When: Sunday, April 3rd. 1.30pm
Where: STAGE 4 @ Oz Comic-Con, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
Tickets: Full details via the Oz Comic-Con website

A Panel of Perth’s own game developers talk about what it takes to get a game out there in the world and discuss all the trials and tribulations they personally went through to turn a concept into a fully playable product.

If you, or someone you know, are heading to Oz Comic-Con and are interested in finding out more about Perth’s games industry, then this is a panel worth catching. Invite them to the facebook event, or simple send them a link to the info page – we hope to see you there!

BONUS: The folks over at Pixel Sift (who regularly interview local game devs) will be hosting a live show on the day as well. Be sure to check it out too!

Come see us at Oz Comic-Con (2-3 April, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre). Buy your tickets today at Ozcomiccon.com

Welcome New Committee Members

Let’s Make Games has worked to support the West Australian game development community for the last seven years. In this time the hard-working Nick Lowe, Minh Tran and Richard Kong have been behind the scenes keeping it all going, but last month they officially stepped down from their positions on the committee. So let us introduce you to the new faces of Let’s Make Games, and take some time to reflect on the cool folks who came before.

First up, we would like to welcome the new members of Let’s Make Game’s Committee, who will be working to ensure the organisation continues to support game-makers across WA and showcase their work to the wider community.

Say hello to…

New Committee Members (from left to right): Jon, John, Wes, Kitty, Brendan, Brad & Jess

New Members (from left to right): Jon, John, Wes, Kitty, Brendan, Brad & Jess

  • John Parker, Chair
  • Kitty Byrne, Vice Chair
  • Brendan Ragan, Treasurer
  • Brad Power, Secretary
  • Wesley Lamont, Ordinary Committee Member
  • Jess Watson, Ordinary Committee Member & General Operations Team
  • Jon Hayward, Ordinary Committee Member & General Operations Team

 

BONUS NEWS…

The new committee has already jumped into things head-on, with members Brendan Ragan and Jon Hayward representing Let’s Make Games in the Environment and Communications References Committee, Senate Inquiry into the future of Australia’s video game development industry. Former Chair Nick Lowe had contributed in the previous call for submissions on behalf of LMG, and the new members stepped up to continue the discussion. The full transcript of the proceedings for WA and Sydney is now available for download here. (Note: Submission were also made by WA developers Black Lab Games and Stirfire Studios). 

 

Thank you to…

We at Let’s Make Games would like to take this opportunity to thank the exiting members of the committee; Nick, Minh and Rich for all their work with the organisation over the years. LMG began back in 2009, with Nick and Minh starting it all. Rich joined the following year, and they have continued behind the scenes as LMG’s committee since it became an Incorporation in 2011. So we extend a heartfelt THANK YOU, to Nick, Rich and Minh for all their support of the local game scene! Your commitment and care has played a significant role in shaping the great community we have here in WA.

Although they are stepping back from their work with the organisation, the exiting members will still of course be involved in making games and playing with new tech; so if you do see them around, be sure to tell them that they are awesome.

If you would like to find out more about Let’s Make Games and our history, you can check it our back story here~

A Wild Web Writer Appears. Welcome to the Team Vivien!

Vivien Lengkeek - Let's Make GamesThere are many exciting things happening at Let’s Make Games, and one of them is that we have had the super cool Vivien Lengkeek join our ranks as a web writer for this very blog.

Vivien has been hard at work behind the scenes in WA game dev, teaching kids how to make their own games as part of CoderDojo WA, and coordinating the Panels for the 2015 Perth Games Festival. As our newest web writer, Vivien will be working alongside Jess to share the latest local game releases, achievements news and opportunities for the WA game-making community.

So WELCOME Vivien!

And to all the WA developer out there, be sure to get in contact with us about your upcoming game releases, betas, events and the like. We are all about getting the word out for locally made games, so make sure to let us know what you are up to!

 

#CTRLDEV Recap

Ctrl Dev Cupcake Banner

This past weekend saw The Game Changers sweep through the city as part of Perth Festival 2014. Thanks to Screen Australia and the Perth International Arts Festival, our distinguished guests were also able to spend some quality time with local developers and their games at the Let’s Make Games #CTRLDEV day.

To start the day off Perth games Freedom Fall, Square Off, Star Hammer 2 and 99 Problems (and blocks are all of them) were put to the test by our international guests, with much fun and constructive criticism to be had. It wasn’t long before another 50 local developers and game aficionados made their way in, eager to try their hand at the homemade titles before sitting down for some serious discussions.

The panels began with Dan Pinchbeck (Dear Esther), Steve Gaynor (Gone Home) and Guy Gadney (The Suspect) looking at the how and why of going Indie, then sharing their tips on successfully surviving as a small team. After a short cupcake break Clint Hocking (Far Cry 2) and Jill Murray (Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation) took to the stage to talk about their experience of entering into the AAA world and working for major studios. It is also worth noting that over the course of the day attendees posed some brilliant questions to the speakers, the answers to which caused both thoughtful nodding and intense note-taking.

You can check out photos from #CTRLDEV below, plus details on how you can provide Let’s Make Games with feedback on the event.

Feedback Survey

If you attended #CTRLDEV, we at LMG would love to hear about your experience of the day. Please check your emails for the Eventbrite feedback survey, and let us know what you liked (or didn’t like). Your feedback is appreciated and will help us organise bigger and better events in the future!

Special thanks goes to the Central Institute of Technology for providing us with the facilities, Justin Halliday from Screen Australia for bringing over his keen knowledge of games funding programs and also Richard Kong for the top quality Photography.

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

Header_ScreenAwards

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

Footy Boss Header

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

cardPacks

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

Blitz Bandits Header

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

squareoff

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

ggj13

 

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

WIP

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

vrjam

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

showcase

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

cam

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

final-donut

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!

Genghiscon indie video games panel

What are you doing this Saturday (15 January 2011)? If you answered “Attending the Genghiscon indie video games panel… obviously!” then you already have a fantastic weekend in store for you. Otherwise, keep reading and update you plans!

What is Genghiscon? Here’s a description from their website:

GenghisCon is a student-priced convention, filled with games, activities, panels, discussions, and workshops covering science fiction, fantasy, roleplaying, board games, and more.

Given the high degree of overlap between indie video game developers and other types of geeks (I refer you to the Venn Diagram of Geekdoms), there will be a lot for game developers to love at Genghiscon. Plus, it’s only $25 for a weekend of education, fun, debate, and solidarity!

Onto the indie video games panel in particular…

Here are the details:

  • Time/Date: 16:00 – 17:00, Saturday 15 January
  • Location: Junior Common Room, St. George’s College, Mounts Bay Road, Crawley

And the list of panellists:

Look at that line-up! There’s sure to be some thoughtful conversation, and you could be a part of it.

Ask Avril about developing a community-driven web-based role-playing game. Ask Chris about how to be hardcore indie. Ask Brad about his fish-smelling game. Ask Scott about running the world’s largest website dedicated to independent game development!

Thanks to Genghiscon for inviting us to help with the indie games panel. 🙂

iParty 2.0 photos

iParty 2.0 was a great success with around 100 people attending!

Thanks to everyone who attended (you make organising these events worthwhile), our volunteers (Stewart, Brett, Alex, Saxon, Steve, Nigel, John, Sam, Simon, Anthony), and our sponsors (Different Methods, the Innovation Centre, Subversive Games, Rockethands, Black Lab Games, and Reveries Virtual World):

sponsors

Special thanks also to all companies that contributed to the showreel (apologies to Binary Space for not getting their “Class 3 Outbreak” teaser in) and to Game Pride for bringing along some laptops to demonstrate their latest game “Boo!”. Thanks also to Ben, who took most of the photos.

Here are some photos from the night in chronological order:

iParty 2.0

Update: It was a great event! Click here for photos.

Let’s Make Games and IGDA Perth Chapter are proud to present iParty 2.0, the greatest ever end-of-year party for the Perth game development scene!

2009 has been an amazing year for the Perth game development community – with many local game releases, community events, and a number of new companies starting up. The end-of-year party is all about celebrating and showcasing these achievements in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere!

Details:

  • Title: iParty 2.0
  • Time/Date: 6:00pm – 9:00pm, Friday, November 27, 2009
  • Location: Innovation Centre, Enterprise Unit 3, Technology Park, Bentley
  • Description: Meet local game developers, check out the latest releases, and just have a good time. Food and drinks are on us.
  • RSVP by November 20 for catering and registration purposes.

Here’s the preliminary event flier (click for larger version):

flyer

As you can see a few areas are blank and we need your help to fill them in! If you are a local game developer who intends to submit a video for the showreel, please send us some screenshots and a company logo by November 6. Your final showreel videos will be required by November 20.

Showreel video submissions are limited to one 60 second video (720p resolution preferred) per company or product. So a company with two products released or under development in 2009 can submit a total of three videos (one for the company and one per product). If you already have a suitable video online, just send us a link to it!

If you are interesting in sponsoring the event, please contact us for more information as we have many options available (from contributing to food and drink costs to providing raffle prizes). Sponsorship is a great way to get your name out in front of local developers – or just to show your appreciation for the local scene!

We’ll release the final print-ready version of the flyer (with game screens and sponsor logos) on November 10.

For now, here are some important dates to mark on your calendar:

  • Friday 6 November 2009: Final flyer image deadline (for sponsors and showreel screenshots).
  • Friday 20 November 2009: RSVP deadline (for catering and registration purposes). Showreel video submissions deadline.
  • Friday 27 November 2009: iParty 2.0!

Also be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed (or check back regularly) for more information on the event. Feel free to ask any general questions in the comments section and we will try to answer them ASAP!

Help spread the word online; This will be the biggest party of the year for the Perth game development scene and we want to see you all there!

Update: Oh, I almost forgot to extend a HUGE thanks to the Innovation Centre who are our venue sponsors for the event. We wouldn’t have such a fantastic environment (or as much money available for food and drink) without their generous support!