We had another awesome Indie Game Night last night! Ninjabee was nice enough to host the event once again and I thank them for that. We were a bit low in numbers (just around 20 people compared to our usual 30-40 people), but the evening was still awesome. I'm not sure why we were lower in numbers; perhaps it coincided with others summer vacations; perhaps the high cost of gas kept some away; perhaps something else; I'm not really sure on that.
Anyhow, we did things a little different than past events, we had a formal presentation to start off and then we broke out into smaller groups like we normally do. It was a format we had tried to do one time when we held it at ITT-Tech, but due to some unforeseen issues that day, it didn't work. However I think it worked well this time, and a number of people mentioned to me that they thought it worked well that way too.
10 Quick and Dirty Tips To Help Sell Your Game
Jay kicked off the evening with his presentation on Indie Games Marketing. He did an awesome job! It was chalk full of some good information. Most of the material came from things he's learned along the way, and some came from Joseph Lieberman's book The Indie Developers' Guide to Selling Games. I think everyone came away learning something new from this.
If you want a refresher on the presentation, or you happened to miss this great presentation, you can get Jay's PowerPoint slides from our group's website at http://groups.google.com/group/utah-indie-games/web/Indie_Game_Marketing.ppt. (I think Google forces you to be signed in to the group in order to download this though).
Daniel Orcutt demoed a newly finished game called "Now Boarding" . He came representing a couple of friends (gabob.com) that used to live here in Utah but have since moved to Kentucky to do indie game development full time. I guess property values and the cost of living are much cheaper out there. The game is a tycoon or resource management type of game, where to have to manage your passengers and planes. You have to get people on the right planes and move the planes to the right airports, all while keeping your customers happy. Like most tycoon games it starts at a slower pace, and then builds up to a crazy frantic pace. As you progress further in the game, you can get employees that help you take care of different tasks. It's an awesome game and it hope it does well for them.
Mini-Monthly Flash Games
Josh Jones showed off three more of his little flash demos. I only got a good look at two of them however. First he showed a sort of simple adventure or RPG, where you had to escape the room, by jumping on objects and finding keys. It was a bit challenging.
Second, he showed his mudslinging demo where two players compete turn by turn to get the most mud balls on their side of the court. You can either add a ball to your side or take a ball away from your opponents’ side. In making this game Josh happened upon an interesting physics variant that made for some interesting behavior. If the balls of mud collide with each other, they push each other up, creating these mud stacks that almost look like they are alive. It's like mud creatures that are being formed out of the balls that are being slinged. It's fun to watch.
Here are links to the three games he showed off.
All three of the LinkRealms guys were there showing the progress they've made on their MMORPG. Some the things I notice were they added various types of Gryphons. They apparently can shower your character with ice crystals and cause you to freeze, or they can spew out poison that can make your character ill, or they can spew out fleas that caused your character to start scratching profusely. Fun stuff!
Lastly there were tons of informal discussions going on as usual in small groups. I feel I missed out on some of these, but there were plenty of good conversations being had. I always come away from these renewed and inspired, and last night was no exception. It's given me a little push that hopefully will get me going again on my own project again. I can't wait till the next one!
Here's some other write ups:
Jay's write up http://www.rampantgames.com/blog/2008/07/controversial-indie-games-get.html
Joe's write up http://mymediaempire.wordpress.com/2008/08/01/utah-indie-game-night-7-31-08/ (It's nice to see someone else blogging about the event other than Jay and I).
Edit: Look's like Josh wrote one too. Thanks! http://vazor222.livejournal.com/6887.html
Couple of Side Notes:
Most of you remember Mike Smith who used to be a regular at our Indie Game Nights, before he moved to Washington. Mike informs me that Caster http://www.elecorn.com/caster3d/ is in Beta now. If you're interested in beta testing it, give him a holler at (elecorn AT gmail DOT com).
Also, here's some coverage of Indie Games at E3 (I didn't know that there were "Indie Games" at E3). There are two games talked about here that are very innovative and unique. If you have around 9 minutes, check out http://www.gamevideos.com/video/id/20343.
Viva La Indie!