Utah Indie Games Night - November 2011

Okay this might be a rather quick blog post as work and home duties have been keeping me pretty busy lately and it has delayed my write up.

We had another great Utah Indie Games Night this past Tuesday night. Ninjabee hosted it once again after a bit of a sabbatical. They are in new digs now and their new place worked well to hold the event. We had between 45-50 people there

Lee Baker from Sandman Studios started off the evening with a presentation on some of their experiences making visual effects and flash games. They got their start doing contract special effects work for TV and film. They did the effects for Pushing Daisies and a whole host of other TV shows and films. They've also done a whole host of flash games to promote products and larger games. He showed a bunch of demo reels for things they've done and it certainly was impressive. Lee also mentioned that it's pretty hard to find investors/publishers for your projects when you are first starting out, as you haven't really "proven yourself" yet. In my mind that underscores the reason for doing indie projects. You don't need people telling you what your project should be and what it should look like; you can do it yourself.

Afterwards we opened the time up to game demos that people brought. I'm sure I missed some, but here's the one's I know about.

D.R.O.D. 4 - Mike Rimer - Caravel Games
Mike has been hard at work on the next game in the DROD series. He's holding a contest for fans to guess the name, so we're calling it "DROD 4" for now. He did let me say that there is a letter "L" somewhere in the name. I got a small look at the game and it appears to be back to the traditional DROD game mechanics, however much of the game is above ground so there are some different level settings like water, forest and swamp. Mike mentioned that there are some puzzles that utilize the water by pushing things into it. There are also levels where you can call on soldiers to assist in battles. Apparently large battles is a big part of this new version of DROD. The game looks to be nearly complete, and he's done a great job on it. It think the fans will be pleased.

Me and My Zombies - Andrew Draper & Matt Radley
I spent a bit of time with these guys playing their Zombie game. This is a turn based stragegy game for the Android platform. The main object is to trap and destroy the Zombies before they get to you (a budding necromancer). You can put up fences to block them or fire at them if you're close enough. You can also have duels with another necromancer (perhaps a friend playing as player 2). The lite version of the app is available now on the android market.

Siphon Spirit - Peter Anderson (also Curtis Mirci and Dave Matney)
Peter was showing the latest version of Siphon Spirit on his new tablet PC and was using the stylus to move the mouse around (pretty cool!). He's added some new animations as well as some enhancements to levels to make them more balanced and interesting.

HTML5 Prototypes - Admiral Potato
I didn't catch his real name, but "Admiral Potato" showed my some small HTML 5 demos that he's worked on. He had one demo using an "Asteroids like" game mechanic and using a visual style similar to Geometry Wars. I haven't delved into HTML 5 much yet, but I was impressed with what can be done with it.

Flexitris - McKay Salisbury
McKay was showing Flexitris again. Not a lot has changed since I've seen it last, but he mentioned that he's been added tutorials to the game.

Bullet Train Hell - Chris Tart
I only saw Chris' game for a little bit. He's been adding an in game level editor to the game. That way he can tweak the different levels right on the device (instead of making changes on the laptop; recompiling; and then pushing it out to the built in

UVU Flight Simulator - Nathan Stoker
I didn't get to see this one, but I spoke to Nathan about it for a bit. This a flight simulator that UVU has been putting together. Nathan has been doing a lot of models for the project. Looking good so far. It's built in Unity, so you can click on the link above and play it.

Tank Raige Arena - Nick Terry
Nick showed Tank Raige Area again, but I was unable actually see it this time around.

Linetastic - Josh Jones
Josh showed his quick game he did at GEEX for the Game-In-A-Day event.

I noticed that Alan Atherton was there showing a game, but I didn't get to see it (so I don't know what it's name or what it was about).

As always there was some great conversations going on, including one about the game engine called Scratch. It's a project that M.I.T. put together and it's purpose is to help kids (and even adults) to learn how to program. It's similar to Game Maker or Construct in some ways, and it has a visual language that consists of putting blocks together. Apparently it's pretty powerful to use, and a couple of guys have had their kids write games with it. It appears to be a great learning tool. You should check it out.

Anyway things went really well. Our next one should be towards the end of January.

BTW - Rachel's write up on the evening can be found here.

Viva la Indie!


Whistler said…
Thanks for the link! I've been having fun playing around with Scratch.
vazor said…
I forgot I also made a 0hgame since last time:

Very rough and shoddy, only made in zero hours (well one hour but the clocks reset due to daylight savings time... and plus another hour to fix bugs and upload... heh).

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