Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Utah Indie Games Night - October 2007

We had another awesome Indie Games Night yesterday. We held it at ITT-Tech this time as they offered to host it this time around. As far as I know, ITT-Tech is the only school in Utah that offers a Degree in Digital Entertainment and Game Design, so holding the event there seemed like a good fit. The event was held in one of the Labs used for teaching the game design classes, and it was standing room only. We had somewhere around 45-50 people attend the event, which would make this a new record for attendance. Unfortunately, some of our other regulars didn't make it this time around; perhaps it was a little too close to Halloween this time around. Hopefully we'll see them next time.

There was tons of pizza and drinks, so I don't think anyone went away hungry. Also, for the first time, our group was able to present their games with an overhead projector. This made it easier for everyone to see the game, but it also added a little more formality to the process. Also there was a nice flyer made by a student, to let students know about the event. I'm showing it off in my blog here (hope that's okay).

There were four games shown (three formally, and one informally), and there were lots of good questions and feedback. We were a little light on the mingle time this time around (we'll probably need to change that up some for next time), but there were still some great conversations going on. Towards the end there were some good conversations about where the casual game industry is headed, and what that means for indies.

The games shown were:

Mythic Blades
Eric Petersen of Cartel Games demoed a updated version of Mythic Blades. It's a 3D one-on-one fighter game using a Greek theme. I believe he's using his own 3D engine underneath. Once the demo was on the screen, the gameplay and graphics just made everyone drool. Well done.

Frayed Knights
Jay Barnson showed his Frayed Knights RPG for the first time (to our group). It looks like he's made tons of progress in the short five months that he's been working on it. He has a nice dialog and combat system in place. I really like the cartoony graphics and the humor. He's using a combination of both the Torque Game Builder and the Torque Engine for this game.

Vespers 3D
Mike Rubin showed his progress on Vespers 3D. This is the first time I've seen it with Non-Playable Characters (NPCs) that talked and you could interact with. It certainly added a whole new dimension into the game. The art in the game is fantastic. He's using the Torque Engine for this game.

Antibody
After the crowd died down some. I did a quick showing of my 2D shooter (code named Antibody). Not as formal or as nice looking as the other presentations, but I did get some good feedback and suggestions. I'm using the BlitzMax engine for this. I've been very impressed with what it can do.

The more I get to know the Indie's in our area, the more I'm impressed with what is happening in the indie scene. There are many that are working on Indie projects; they are just sitting idle. I talked to some of the ITT-Tech students and there are some that are doing projects outside of thier own course work as well. There is a ITT-Tech Mod club, that is making a horror game using the Unreal engine. I also heard of a student making an RPG using RPG Maker. It's cool that ITT-Tech's program is more focused on "creating games", than creating game engines (that's been done to death).

See everyone at our next one in January!

Viva La Indie!


P.S. Also check out Jay's blog for his writeup of the event.
http://www.rampantgames.com/blog/2007/10/utah-indie-night-fall-2007.html