Friday, April 27, 2007

Utah Indie Games Night - April 2007

We had another fantastic Utah Indie Game Night yesterday! I counted 31 people in attendance, which is slightly more than last time and a still a good turnout.

There was food, fun, and lots of good discussions about game development and marketing, and as always I get pumped from these events. I'm always inspired from seeing what others have done. I see a lot of dedication and talent, and I just stand in awe each time this event is held. This time I've found a renewed interest in XNA and Flat Red Ball, after seeing what's been done with it. I find it interesting that out of the five projects shown, three of them are XNA based. I'm going to have to look into that some more. It might be good to do some XNA, right after another "Torque is melting my brain" session.

Also we got some pictures this time; thanks to Eric Hamilton who brought his nice camera and took some great pics. You can find them here and here.

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

Apocolypse Cow
Jay Barnson showed us his progress on Apocolypse Cow and it seems to be coming along nicely. There was a lot more finished models and art in the game, and an improved HUD display. It's looking simply, Bovine! ;)

Turn Based RPG Engine
Adam Helps was showing off his turn based multiplayer RPG engine. (Sorry, I forgot the engine's name) Though the game side is in it's early stages, you could tell he's done a lot of work on the engine itself.

NES Emulator for xBox
Bryan Livingston showed off his NES emulator running on an xBox 360. I was rather cool to be playing Mario Bros, Xenophobe, Spy vs Spy, and many other classics on an xBox. He ported a open source C++ emulator to C# and XNA, in about 3 hours. Pretty impressive, I thought.

Metal Bar
Vic Chelaru and Mike Smith showed us a game prototype (code named "Metal Bar") they made with Vic's Flat Red Ball (FRB) engine. It was basically a platformer where you play as a ninja and you run, jump and punch things. They told me they spent a few weeks on it, but the vast majority of it was engine code (porting FRB to XNA, I believe). I sounded like only a few of those hours were actual game code, thus showing the power of the FRB engine.

Fish School
John Olsen showed off his new XNA version of Fish School, and it looked really good. It is a matching game that has possibilities for both easy and really challenging levels. It's not a simple match-3 game; it definitely makes you think more than that. I was again impressed with what can be done with XNA

I applaud all of you that are working on an Indie project, as you are not just dreaming, you are making it happen! Like the others, this event has again inspired me to continue in my own Indie efforts.

Viva La Indie!

P.S. Jay Barson has a write up of the event here in his blog