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/