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!