Friday, January 19, 2007

Utah Indie Games Night - January 2007

We had another wonderful Utah Indie Game Night yesterday! It was our seventh one so far, and the first time our numbers were down a bit, but it was still a great evening nevertheless (and still a great turnout). This time I was able to talk to most everyone for a while, and it didn't seem so frantic. We had 29 total people there, (but that's also counting some spouses and kids that tagged along). I think some of decrease was due to three things: The EA buyout of Headgate, which probably scared some of those guys off; The usuall ITT students didn't come, probably due to schedule conflicts; and lastly some really cold weather may have held back some.

There were discussions about the current state of Indie gaming, the Slamdance fiasco, the upcoming SparkArts Festival, and more. PS3, Wii, & Xbox 360 development also came up. There was some talk about Microsoft's XNA framework and how it could be a good thing for Indies and new game developers. I was also encouraged to hear about the Mono Project and how it could potentially make XNA cross platform, which would mean that your game could run on Windows, Mac, Linux, and an Xbox 360, all with the same code.

The were several demos that were shown to the whole group. Here's a quick run down.

Apocolypse Cow
Jay Barnson showed us his game now that it has reached an alpha state. This game has come a long way since it was last shown. Basically all the gameplay and all the levels are complete. It has a lot of great finished art, in there. There is still some stand in art and models, but the project is MOOving along nicely. ;) (Okay, I couldn't resist)

Link Realms
This game is getting really close to being released. We got to see the addition of dungeons and even a few new monsters that even the beta users haven't seen yet. I applaud Herb and Dan for the great and enormous amount of work they have done to make this a reality.

PathStorm
The guys from CaveBug (Brad Edwards and Josh Jensen), showed off their nearly released game. Basically it's a puzzle game where you have to clear the board by placing bumpers around the board so a ball will pass over every space as it goes in an out of exits on the side.

DROD: The City Beneath
Mike Rimer showed us the third game in the D.R.O.D. series. There are lots of new graphics and puzzles and it looks like you'll get to interact with more characters in this new one. Mike's son was even there showing everyone how to play the game and putting all us adults to shame.

Caster
Mike Smith showed us some of the new things he's added to the game, like the sprint move (which had a neat blur effect) and the freeze attack. Unfortunately, this game is at a stand still for the moment, due to his situation wih EA. Best wishes on finding a resolution to that Mike!

Thanks again to them an all their hard work, and also to Wahoo/Ninjabee for hosting the event yet again!

I applaud all of you with an Indie project, as you are not just dreaming, you are making it happen! I am amazed at the depth and breadth of the "Indie Scene" here in Utah. I see a lot of dedication and talent when I come to these meetings, and I feel inspired to continue in my own Indie efforts. I feel both humbled and honored to be associated with all of you guys.

Viva La Indie!


P.S. Jay also did a write up about the event in his popular blog here.