Friday, November 16, 2012

Utah Indie Games Night - November 2012

We had another fantastic Indie Games Night last night, with almost 40 people there.  There was a bunch of cool stuff happening.  Let's get into it.

"Stage3D:  This ain't your Grandpappy's Flash"  - Tom Beatty
Tom Beatty gave an awesome presentation on the capabilities of doing 3D in flash (via Stage 3D).  He showed some awesome examples of what can be done with it.  I'll have to admit that many of those examples blew me away.  You can see them for yourself here. At the beginning of his talk he listed a bunch of Pros and Cons to using flash (such as being slow and can't be used to create complex games), however by the end most of those Cons were not applicable at all when using Stage3D with Flash.

He mentioned that you don't need the expensive Adobe tools to create Flash games; you can use a free tool like FlashDevelop instead. He also mentioned several frameworks that can be used.  Starling, which is 2D framework that Angry Birds uses.  There were three 3D ones, Alternativa3D, Away3D (his favorite), and Flare3D (which is pretty expensive).  In all it certainly looks like Stage3D has breathed a lot of life back into the Flash platform.

After Tom's presentation we opened it up for some game demos. And as usual it seems I may have missed some, but here's was I was able to see.



Japanese Game - Curtis Mirci
Curtis of Califer Games was there showing off the latest build of his Japanese teaching game. The game starts out with a lesson on a character and what it means. After that you can engage in a battle to test your knowledge of what you just learned. There's also some items that you can use to heal yourself if you are getting too many answers wrong.

Siphon Spirit - Curtis Mirci
Curtis also showed Siphon Spirit again.  Apparently Peter has been adding more cutscenes.  This game is ever getting closer to completion.

SPACE Episode 1: The Old Man and the Escape - Jordan Goulding
Jordan of Rainblade Studios showed his top down arena shooter that is very "Smash TV" like.  It was running on an iPad using virtual joystick controls.  I'm not sure how far along it is, but it looked very polished and the controls looked very responsive.  The basic idea is simply to elimiate all the robots so you can escape the room and then move to the next room and do it all again. 

Shoshone Adventure
Some students at the U have been working on game to help teach about the Shoshone language and culture.  It's a top down Adventure/RPG type game where you play as a Shoshone brave on a quest. During the game the player will learn Shoshone words for different things like wolf, bear, and fire, and they'll have to use that knowledge to be able to unlock more areas of the game.

Converse
This is an unusual student game. It was developed for the psychology department at the U.  I don't how to exactly describe it other than it's sort of a card game about dating. It seemed kind of like Kudos.  In the game you are taking a girl on a date and you buy her dinner and play cards to match her conversations. The more successful you are at that the more swag points you earn (to buy stuff) and the happier she'll be.  Then if she's happy enough you can continue with a second date (and so on).

Top Down Shooter - Brett Unzaga
I didn't get a good look at this one., but Brett has been working on a top down sci-fi themed shooter made in Unity.  Looks like it's off to a good start.

Antibody - Greg Squire
I took a moment to show Jay the current version of my shmup called Antibody.  I didn't quite feel up to showing it to the whole group last night (partly because not a lot has changed since last time, but mostly because I was just simply tired due to some overtime at the day job).  I've added a level selection screen and some refinements to the weapons.  However it's still got a long way to go.  Hopefully I can make a lot of progress on this over the holidays.


I was surprised there were so many games incorporating educational elements in them.  It's nice to see that.  I overheard part of a conversation where it was mentioned that an educational game ought to be "fun" first and "educational" second.  I also agree with that sentiment, as I've seen "edutainment" titles that have tried to slap a "fun" layer on top of a heavy educational under-layer and it didn't work. It ends up being neither fun nor educational. 

As always it was a great evening and helped renew my own excitement. There was definitely a lot of great games and great conversations going on.  The fun didn't want to stop, and even a session of "Magic: The Gathering" broke out towards the end of the night. 

Viva la Indie!


BTW, Here's some other write-ups of the evening
http://rampantgames.com/blog/?p=5179
http://rainbladestudios.blogspot.com/2012/11/indie-game-night-november-15th-2012.html

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Utah Indie Games Night - September 2012

We had an incredible Indie Games Night last night!  We held it at Utah Valley University (UVU) which is a new venue for us. We had close to 50 people in attendance so it was a great turnout. It became "standing room only" fairly quickly.

Greyson Richey gave us an awesome presentation on the business side of HTML5 Development.  He mentioned a number of tips to optimizing your HTML5 games, such as not pre-loading everything up front. He talked about different approaches to monetizing your HTML5 games (which are mostly the same options for monetizing Flash games or other online games). He also got into talking a little about browser support for HTML5 and market penetration. The Q & A part almost erupted into a Flash vs HTML5 argument, but that's to be expected as that's still a hot topic. All in all he presented some very useful information.

After the HTML5 presentation we began the game demos.  I believe we hit a new record on the number of demos being shown.  I counted at least 12 demos being shown, but there were more that I wasn't able to see. Part of that was because I was showing a game demo myself, so I had less time to see what else was going on.  Here's the demos.


Antibody - Greg Squire
Yes I'm finally unstuck! After several years of just spinning my wheels, I'm back in the game (pun intended).  I showed off my game Antibody, which is now using the Game Maker Studio engine.  This is now the third engine for this game.  I started this game years ago with the Torque Game Builder engine, but I soon ran into a lot of trouble with that engine, so I switched to using BlitzMax.  Soon after that I found myself facing some family issues that took more and more of my time, which zapped both my time and my motivation, so I began working less and less on my game.  Eventually I was at a virtual standstill.  I now have gotten myself unstuck from all that (that's a whole other story in and of itself), and I've begun porting what I had to Game Maker.  I switched to Game Maker as it's becoming very cross platform (it now supports Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, & HTML5).  Anyway the game is still in the early stages but it's nice to start feeling "movement" again.

The Incredible Baron - Victor Chelaru
Victor was showing game that his team put together for the Salt Valley Talley.  It's a side-scrolling RTS game where you have an army of creatures battling slugs and other enemies.

When Sneezles Attack - Rachel Helps
Rachel showed off her game that she created for the Adventure Time Game jam earlier this month.  It was text adventure created in Twine which featured characters from the popular Adventure Time cartoon series. I played it for a bit and found myself immersed in that world for a moment.  I've often felt that text adventures (interactive fiction as it's called now) could be more powerful than graphical point-n-click adventures purely because they evoke the power of the mind to create the visuals.  Perhaps this is the same reason why it's easier to sell a dream on Kickstarter, than an actual finished game. People will always "imagine" the game to be better than the finished product.

Mini-game from Tot Voltus - Darius Ouderkirk
Darius showed an interesting puzzle game made of hexgon pieces (faces) in a hexagon configuration. It was meant a mini-game used to gain favor with guards as part of his larger stealth RPG, Tot Voltus. You had to slide the pieces around in three different directions to basically rackup "happy points".  You'd try to get rid of red angry faces while getting as many happy and really happy (blissful?) faces as you can on the board. Basically it's like the puzzle equivalent of talking your way past a guard by gaining his favor.

Egg Game - Mike Whitaker
Mike briefly showed me an mobile game they've been working on about tending and hatching baby eggs. It was a Time Management type game where you have to look after more and more eggs and collecting more and more different eggs and hatch-lings.  It was very cartoony and cute, and the collection aspect of the game could hook a lot of players in (it worked for Pokemon anyway).

Nimbus - UVU Student Project
Nimbus is UVU student Project that is in it's early stages.  It a game about tending to different planets by helping things to grow. It has a very different play mechanic where you play as the water and have to guide the droplets to the ground to help trees and plants to grow. And in so doing, you repopulate the desolate planet, bringing it back to life.

Siphon Spirit - Peter Anderson
Peter was showing off some of the latest changes he's made to Siphon Spirit. He's added a few tutorials levels that help teach people how to play it. I'm not a big fan of tutorials, but for a game with very different game play (such as this one) it's certainly warranted and maybe even needed.  He's also added more cut-scenes and added more motion (and thus more life) into them.  

Caverns of Khron - Mike Santiago
I watched someone play this game for a while and it looked really fun.  Mike did pixel art for the game.  It was a retro platformer with lots of traps and enemies at every turn.

Frayed Knights2 (tech demo) - Jay Barnson
Jay was demoing the tech he's using to created Frayed Knights 2.  He's using the Unity engine and has a tool he built to quickly create dungeons. He tried to make it as easy to create as drawing the dungeon on graph paper. I only got a glimpse of this, but it looks like he's succeeding at this so far.


These other demos I only got a glimpse off, but they were ones that have been shown at our gatherings before

Flexitris - McKay Salisbury

Hippie Shooter - Rhett Akers

Tank Raige Arena - Nick Terry


Here's some other demos that I'm told were there, but I didn't get to see them personally.

Arena Tactics - Daniel Harrington

Mayflower: The Seeker - Mike Daly

Mosaic - Trent Baird

iPhone Prototype - Chris Evans


As always there were some great discussions going on.  Also someone spread out on a table some art from the game Cape Chronicles.  I think even that added a lot to the evening.  I've often thought it would be a great idea to have a sort of mini game art show in conjunction with this event. It would be another way to show case their work and not just "in game" as it currently has been.

All in all it was a wonderful evening and it got me "jazzed up" to work on my own projects more.


Viva la Indie!


P.S.  Jay's writeup about the event can be found here.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Utah Indie Games Night - July 2012

We had an another awesome games last night. We had just under 40 people in attendance, so it was an average turnout.  Neumont hosted the event this time and it was awesome!  Their site worked really well for the event.  We had pizza and the formal presentation in their lecture room next door to their game lab. After that we had four games up on big screen TVs for the demo portion, and a couple of others on laptops.  It worked awesome! Thanks again to them for hosting it!

We started the evening off with Josh Jones giving a presentation on Experimental Gameplay. Josh is a programmer at SmartBomb Interactive and the head of the local chapter of the IGDA. He's also been very involved in the indie scene and has created a bunch of experimental games of his own. He made some good points on how most industries have had an indie scene that helps drive the industry forward. Video games is no exception. It's usually the smaller indie games that are willing to experiment and try something new.  He contends that without experimentation and innovation, the industry would stagnate and die. I agree with him on that. He also mentioned the difference between indie games, art games, and experimental games.  Experimental games are those games that try something new.  It could be new gameplay, new control methods, new art styles, etc.  The definition of what an indie game is has been debated a lot, but typically these are games are made independent of a publisher and are usually made my small teams doing doing their own thing.  Indie games are more likely to be experimental (because they are usually smaller and lower budget), but mainstream games can be experimental too.  Art games are games where the focus is more on conveying a message or feeling (the art part) than on the gameplay part.  Often art games can be experimental as well.  Josh also went on to name a bunch of prominent experimental games like, "I Wish I Were the Moon", "Passage", "Every Day the Same Dream", "We the Giants", etc.  He also mentioned how some experimental games go on to become full blown games, such as "World of Goo" (which started out as an experimental prototype called "Tower of Goo").  Further, he mentioned the awesome website ExperimentalGameplay, which was started by some MIT students and was later opened up to the general public.  Josh posted a bunch of links from his presentation here.


After Josh's presentation we broke out into game demos.  There were eight demos that I'm aware of, but I could have easily missed some.


Siphon Spirit - Curtis Mirci 
I made it a point to talk to Curtis this time as he's usually gone by the time I make the rounds on demos.  Anyway he's been hard at work working on Siphon Spirit now that he got March to the Moon released.  I'm sure he felt that it was literally a "march to the moon" to get there, but congrats to him on making that acheivement. Siphon Spirit has been coming along.  There has been a bunch of cut scenes and additional art added to the game since I saw it last. It's looking really polished now. The story really seems to add to the game and helps tie the gameplay and levels together. 

Japanese Coaching Game - Curtis Mirci
While I was talking to Curtis, he briefly showed me his Japanese Coaching game that was designed to help you learn to write Japanese characters.  It was originally made for the DS, but he's a bit fed up with his current engine and has been porting the game to his own engine.

The Escape - Josh Jones
This was a quick experimental game that Josh and another guy put together in about 12 hours.  The game uses a platformer mechanic, but they played with the idea of dynamic binding of the controls.  The game guess what you are trying to do with the controls and if the user confirms the question asked to them, it will bind that action to the control the user used.  It was definitely a different approach to controls.

Unnamed 2D Engine - David Setser
I talked to David and he's working on his own 2D engine (written in C++) that he started on his own.  He had a graphics class that got him excited about creating his own engine.  It's in it's early stages so it isn't much to look at, however he hope to be able to use his own engine for some of his future projects.  He also wants to open it up to others to use as well.

Hippie Shooter - Rhett Akers
Rhett was showing off his game Hippie Shooter that he had started back when he was a student a ITT-Tech. It's a completely politically incorrect game on many levels, but extremely fun.  You are essentially a Redneck guy defending your cabin from tree hugging hippie invaders.  You have few different guns, explosives, and other power-ups you can use to defend your cabin.  There are exploding bunnies that set the hippies on fire.  It's hilarious and I was laughing for most of the time I was able to play it.  I loved it.

LinkRealms - Herb Flower
Herb showed some gameplay videos of LinkRealms up on the large projection screen.  It was cool to see some of the new content that they added to it since I saw it last.  There were Man-eating Venus Flytraps, Minotaurs, Rock Monsters, Skeleton Demons, and more.  It's looking way awesome!

Bullet Train Hell - Chris Tart
I didn't get to talk to Chris much, but he was showing Bullet Train Hell again.  He mentioned that he's mostly been working at marketing the game at this point.

Markorian Library
I didn't get to talk to the creators of this game, and I only saw a few glances of this one on a big screen.  It was set in some sort of library and was running in the Blender Game engine. 


Of course there was lots of networking and lively discussions going on. So much so that the conversations continued in the parking lot, even after we left the building.  Good Times! It was a super evening as always and I came away renewed and pumped up to work on my own projects.  I hope to be ready to show my game Antibody at the next Indie Night in September.  So you all can hold me to that.

Viva la Indie!
P.S.  Jay's write up of the night can be found here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Utah Indie Games Night - May 2012

We had an awesome games night. It was very inspiring.  We had just under 40 people in attendance at my last count.  There were moments when it felt like there was standing room only.  Quadruple Kudos go to Ninjabee this week, as they hosted Indie Game night, provided pizza for the event, did the presentation for the evening, and they are sponsoring the movie showing tomorrow night!  Bravo Ninjabee!

We started the evening off with Steve Taylor giving a presentation doing a Game-In-A-Day (GIAD).  Steve has been a long time advocate for doing GIADs, and for good reason, as they've had a lot of good outcomes come out of the process.  In fact, their first GIAD game called "Rome" (yes they did build Rome in a day) went on to become their most successful set of games for them to date; A Kingdom of Kefllings and A World of Kefllings.  Another benefit that he mentioned was that by taking a break from your current project, it will give you the extra motivation you need to progress further on it.  I've participated in three game jams and I can attest that that is true.  I've always came away from those events with extra drive to work on my game again.  He also mentioned the concept of "throwing your hat over the fence" or putting some "skin" into the game.  Meaning you need to be more personally vested in your project by having other people hold you accountable for your progress.  The more you have to loose, the more you'll make an effort to "not loose".

Steve also talked about their recent GIAD event a few weeks ago.  They ended up doing two games "Curse Of The Space Mummy" and "Drawrmy".  It was a bit of a departure from the other GAIDs that they've done, as they used HTML5 instead of their internal engine.  But isn't that the point of a GIAD after all; "to learn something".  Sounds like it was a success for them.  Here's a couple of blog posts on their GIAD event.


Some of the engines that mentioned during the presentation were:

You can do one yourself or with friends or as part of a more formalized game jam.  The advantage of doing it with a group is you can feed off the energy of those around you.  Here's three organized events that were mentioned.
GEEX 


I would encourage everyone to participate in a GIAD event or the like. It can be a great learning process.  They certainly have been for me.  Also Spencer Lee from our group made me aware of National Game Development Month next month, so there's another opportunity to participate in that sort of process.



After Steve's presentation we broke out into game demos.  There were six demos that I was aware of, but I could have missed some.

Skylantis - UVU Students  
Some students from UVU were showing off their Unity game that they've been working on for over a year now.  It's a game about a robot trying to save his friends in a steampunk world.  You have to get around the floating islands, via a series of switches, fans, and use of a magnetic grappling hook.  There's robot crabs you have to destroy, and later a boss in a room with spikes that you need to get past.  I was impressed with the main robot character which has a lot of character; it even waves at you when you stand still for too long.  They've done a great job with it so far.  They mentioned that there will be a Kickstarter happening for the game soon as well.  I hope it does well for them.

HEXLocked - Tyler Wright
I played Tyler's flash game HEXLocked.  It's a Tetris like game, but it's based on hexagons instead of squares.  The pieces that you have to rotate and move are a bit different, but the same mechanics of rotating, moving, and dropping them into place still apply.  Also instead of a line that you are clearing at the bottom, it ends up being a 'V' shape.  It was a bit challenging the first time I played it, but by the second or third time, I was starting to get it down more. 

Siphon Spirit - Peter Anderson  
It's been a while since I last played Siphon Spirit, and it's definitely come a long way since then. There's a ton more visual polish in the game. The story is interleaved between the levels and serves to teach you how to play as you go.  In playing this game I was reminded how bad I am at some action games (I'm more of an adventure / puzzle game sort of person).  I had trouble getting past the first boss as I could never seem to absorb enough energy to get past the first boss. I had so much trouble that Peter helped me out by modifying the level slightly to add more available energy to the level.

Unity Prototype - Nate Stoker  
Nate was showing a small prototype that he put together in Unity.  He mentioned it was learning project for him, so he could learn some other aspects of Unity.  He had a pig character as the player character, but it will be replaced by a cow character later.

March to the Moon - Curtis Mirci
Curtis had to take off before I could see his changes to "March to the Moon", however we did talk for a bit and he mentioned that is has been submitted to XBox Indie Games now.  So this means that it will soon be ready to be purchased and enjoyed.  Congrats Curtis for making that huge milestone!

Flexitris - McKay Salisbury  
I didn't get a chance to see the progress that McKay has made on his Flexitris game, but he was there showing it to everyone.


Of course there was lots of networking and lively discussions going on.  It was a super evening and I came away renewed and energized as usual.  In fact, so much so, that I'm officially "throwing my hat over the fence" to have another demo to show to the group in 4 months time.  So you all can hold me to that.

Viva la Indie!

Monday, April 02, 2012

Utah Indie Games Night - March 2012

This writeup is way overdue, so this will be quick again.  We had another great Indie Games Night this past Thursday night.  The EAE department of the U of U hosted in their space on campus and it worked out well.  We had an average turnout around with just over 30 people there.  This is down from the last few we've had, but it was kind of nice to have a more intimate feel at the event again for a change.

I gave a presentation on Building a MAME Arcade Cabinet.  I made it it short and sweet so that we could get to the real heart of the event, which is the showing of demos and networking. It was a stripped down version of a presentation I gave at ITT-Tech three years ago.  And while it was technically not related to game development, I felt it was related enough and of enough interest to the group.  I think it was well received.  I brought in my control panel from my cabinet in and had it hooked up to my laptop and the projector, and let people try it out throughout the evening.  Seems like Dragon's Lair was the game of choice for most of the evening.

As usual there were lots of good discussions and demos being shown.  Here's the demo's that I saw:

Tower One  - Student Project
This one was a student project that looked interesting, but is in its early stages.  It was a Unity based game and the game play was very similar to the old game Nebulus (aka Tower Toppler or Castelian).  You basically need to transverse your way to the top and avoid the "baddies".

Heros of Hat - Damean Lyon and team
This is a big team project by U of U students.  It's a cute 3D platformer with co-op game play. It was designed as an Xbox game to be used with controllers, and up to four players.  I was really impressed with the amount of art and polish they already had in the game.  In the game your player can wear different hats that give you different abilities.  The archer hat give you arrows that you can shoot at enemies, and you can also ride them to get over hard spots.  Another hat gives you bombs to destroy enemies or even launch you upwards to hard to reach platforms. And another hat gives you a fire attack.  There are even some bouncy mushrooms that looked really fun.  They reminded me of the bouncy mushrooms in Mario Kart Wii.


Curse of Shadows - Student Team Project
This was made by several students from the U.  It was essentially a cartoony 2D platformer with a Ninja / Stealth theme. You only have the ability to stun your enemies from behind, so you have to use stealth as much as possible.  However when you are in the radius of a light, you can enter the world of shadows and become your shadow.  In shadow mode you are invisible to the real world, but you are also visible to shadow monsters (kind of like when Frodo put on the Ring).  You have enter and exit shadow mode at the appropriate times in order to get through the levels

BTW, both Heros of Hats and Curse of Shadows should be coming to XBLIG soon.

Ruins of Bufana (working title) - John Moore
This is a 2D puzzle platformer made in GameMaker.  To get through the single screen levels you have to use your wits to use switches to open doors and panels, jump over ledges, avoid spikes, and throw stars or use your sword against the enemies.  It looked very fun and challenging.

Tank Raige Arena - Nick Terry
Nick and I got talking about GameMaker so he showed me an early version of Tank Raige Arena, back when it was based on the GameMaker engine.  I didn't realize he had started with GameMaker, but I was impressed with what he could do in 3D with it, as most GameMaker games are 2D.

Bullet Train Hell - Chris Tart
Chris showed me his latest build of Bullet Train Hell for the iPhone; which is almost complete.  He's added some more visual polish, such as wispy lines to create a wind effect.  I played it for a bit and it's very challenging; of course much of that is by design as Chris loves to make them challenging.

March to the Moon / Siphon Spirit - Curtis Mirci
I noticed Curtis showing his soon to be released March to the Moon (and also Siphon Spirit) again, though I didn't get a chance to talk to him about his progress.  I know he is getting close to releasing March to the Moon.

Again it was an awesome evening

Viva La Indie!


Jay's writeup about the event can be found here

Also here are the resources from my presentation that I promised to post.

Book - Project Arcade
Written by John St. Clair
http://www.projectarcade.com/

Websites
http://www.arcadecontrols.com/
http://www.mameworld.net/
http://www.buildahomearcade.com/
http://cosmicjive.net/arcade/super/index.shtml
http://retro.ign.com/articles/867/867066p1.html
http://www.klov.com (The IMDB of arcade machines)

Parts Suppliers
Happ Controls - http://www.happcontrols.com/
Groovy Game Gear - http://www.groovygamegear.com/
Ultimarc - http://www.ultimarc.com/
OzStick - http://www.ozstick.com.au/
eBay – http://www.ebay.com

Pre-Built Solutions
http://www.xgaming.com/
http://www.mameroom.com/
http://www.gamecabinetsinc.com/
http://www.custom-arcade.com/
http://dreamauthentics.com/
http://globalvr.com/products_gac.html (Ultracade)

Emulators & Front Ends
M.A.M.E. - http://www.mamedev.org/
Daphne - http://www.daphne-emu.com/
HyperSpin - http://hyperspin-fe.com/
MaLa - http://malafe.net/
MAMEWah - http://mamewah.mameworld.net/

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Utah Indie Games Night - January 2012

Okay this may be a rather quick post again.  We had another awesome Indie Games Night last night, with about 60 people showing up.  We had a new host this time, Neumont University, and it was an awesome venue to have it at.  They brought in pizza and the room had some awesome big screens on which we could present our demos.  That worked very well.

We started the evening off with a presentation by Les Pardew of Funium on the Digital Media and Entertainment Act which they are trying to get through the legislation process here in the state.  The act would establish a fund which could help fledgling media companies to get off the ground.  The fund won't be built from taxpayer money, and it will be mostly used to help build infrastructure to the film, music, and games industries, and thereby spawn more economic growth and in turn bring more tax revenue back to the state.  At least that's the basic idea.  He also brought along the creator of the bill, Jeremy Christensen of the Film Fund of Utah, and also Carl English of the Utah Technology Council, who is a backer of the bill.  It seems like this could be a good thing overall for the games industry in Utah.  I'm not sure how much it will help the average indie just yet, but it seems there are some possibilities for small teams that have proven themselves a little bit.

After the presentation we began the demos.  Here's the ones that I saw, but I'm sure I missed some.

Sayeeds Three Day Pizza - Jarod
This game was a UVU student project and it looked pretty good.  It was a 3D platformer using Unity.  The idea is that you are delivering pizzas in the desert and you have to use dust devils to move up/down.  Also there are crickets to watch out for too.

Lone Gnome & Infinite Ammo - Paul Milham
Paul showed me a couple of HTML 5 games that he's been working on. Lone Gnome is a puzzle game where you create a path through the level by clearing out gems and what not.  You can only clear objects when you hit them in the right direction.

Halloween Panic & SOPA / PIPA - Mike Whitaker, Edgar Nielsen

The guys from Cerbercat were there showing Halloween Panic again and mentioning that they are making a mobile version of it. It's a fun game of trying to save trick-o-treaters from hoards of gouls, ghosts, etc.  Also they showed me a funny political game called "SOPA / PIPA" where you fire your SOPA or PIPA weapon at pirates, and try to minimize the "collateral damage".  It had a good message of you will always have more innocents affected by SOPA and PIPA than pirates.


Bullet Train Hell - Chris Tart
Chris brought the latest version of his game to show off.  He's making an android port of the game now and he showed me some early screens of it on his android tablet.

LinkRealms - Herb and Dan Flower
I didn't get a chance to talk to Herb and Dan about their progress on LinkRealms, but I saw some screens from afar and they had a bit of a crowd around their game.  The big addition seems to be in Player versus Player combat being added.  Here's a taste of what's new.

Herb and Hamster - Josh Jones and Crew
Josh and some of his team showed off their game that they made at the Global Games Jam this past weekend.  It's an interesting cooperative play game about a little guy named herb and his giant hamster

March to the Moon - Curtis Mirci
I didn't get a chance to see Curtis' latest version of this game, but it had quite a bit of a crowd there for a while, and I heard a lot of laughs coming from that area.  It looks like it was a success.

Vector Out - Nuemont Students
I briefly saw on the big screen a game called Vector Out, which I'm assuming was a project done by some Nuemont students.  It looked to be a shooter game in the style of geometry wars

Tank Commanders
Jay mentioned in his blog a game called Tank Commanders, which is one I missed.  Perhaps this is the one that Chris Evans showed.  I was hoping to see that one, but wasn't able to.



Also this past weekend was the Global Game Jam.  I participated again and there were over 12 games made by 50 people at our local Salt Lake site.  It was really awesome.  I did something a bit different this time and ended up working on a board game with another smart guy (Daniel Hadlock).  I think it turned out great.  Several of us stayed afterwards and played a round, and there was a lot of laughing and we could tell that everyone was enjoying the game, which is a good sign.  The game is called Escape from Infinity and is a Print and Play game.  You can print it out and play it if you'd like.

It was a great evening.

Viva la Indie!