We had an awesome Indie Games Night last night and I counted over 50 people in attendance so it was a good sized crowd. It was certainly "cozy" at times in Ninjabee's downstairs room.
Casey Dockendorf kicked off our evening with a presentation on "Contracting Artists for Indie Game Projects". He spent some time discussing how to find artists for your game projects (such as public events, schools, and internet forums), as well as how to find contract work from an artists perspective. Casey has done years and years of freelance work, so he had lots of insight to share with us. He also mentioned the axiom with art that you can have any two of good, cheap, fast, but not all three. Which holds very true (and not just with art, but other work as well). He also discussed the varied ways to pay your artists, such as a rate per piece, or rate per hour, or lump sum for the whole job. There is also the option of trading work for work in some cases. He also mentioned the option of paying artists by royalties, however since this rarely pans out, most artists are not going to be interested in such an option. Lastly he discussed how you can better communicate your ideas to your artists, as phrases like "make it cooler" or "make it sexier", are very vague and ambiguous. One suggestion was to make a comparison to other similar works to help give the artist a mental picture of what you have in mind. Also the scope (size / amount) of work should be communicated as well as the kind of art needed (concept, production, or marketing art).
Then we opened the floor to our game demos. We had bring in some more tables as we had a lot of them. I'm aware of 13 demos that were shown, but I could easily have missed some.
Love & Space - Rachel Helps
This is a visual novel that is written in renpy. It's about a couple that falls in love and moves across the galaxy to a new planet. When the game gets going in full swing, you are planning out your day and more of the branching story unfolds. The game has has some great visuals and is off to a great start.
Asteria - Bryan Livingston
Asteria is a 2D space platformer game which Bryan describes as a cross between Terraria and Metroid. No pick axes, just ranged weapons and mining tools only. It's written in C# and XNA and he plans to use MonoGame to create Mac, Windows 8, iOS, and Android versions of the game. He has some great visuals in the game, but he is still looking for more freelancers to help him finish it off.
Bombs In My Eyes (BIME) - Tim, Ben, & Garrett
This is a cute platformer about a rabbit (named Bime) that gets bombs implanted in his eyes by the villian who's turned some of the forest creatures into zombies. Bime has to save the forest by killing of those zombies. It's being made in Unity and it has some cool cartoony art and animations. I also like the subtle marketing in the name "bime" (pronounced "buy me").
This is a platformer game about robots, that has an unual movement mechanic. Besides the usual run and jump you can also use magnets in the level to either attract yourself towards or repel yourself from. It's in it's early stages but seem off to a good start.
Marr: Obert Skye's World of Yor - Chad & Jared - BlueLid Labs
This is an awesome iPad game built in Unity and takes place in Obert Skye's World of Yor world.
Available now first of eight? games tower defense
Daemon Amor - Chad & Jared - BlueLid Labs
I didn't get a close look at this one, but it's also done in Unity by BlueLid Labs. You play as a little demon that takes over for cupid and spits love on the unsuppecting humans below.
Stick Fighter - Tommy
This cool Street Fighter like game, but with stick figures. It was fun to both watch and play. There's something about stick figure violence that makes me smile.
Super Dungeon Bros - React Games / Eric Wiggins
Eric brought his OUYA dev kit to show off Super Dungeon Bros. This is a 3D co-operative 4 player dungeon hack-n-slash kind of game. The team put it together in about 12 days using Unity and they've done an excellent job on it. It was made for the OUYA create Game Jam
Saga Heros - Eric Wiggins
This is Eric's personal project (also made with Unity). It's a 3D RPG game similar to SAGA where you go around and kill beasts that attack you. The visuals are superb and it looks like this project is off to a great start.
Elemento - Vic Chelaru
Vic was showing his Match 3 like puzzle game that was running on a Windows 8 tablet. There are several different tiles, each one a different element, earth, wind, water, & fire. Each level is puzzle where you have perform a limited number of actions to clear the board, such as changing the element, swaping tiles, adding a tile (plus one above it), etc. It's very polished and well done
Siphon Spirit - Peter Anderson
Peter showed of some more changes with Siphon Spirit. Mostly these are polish items, like a mouse button graphic to help people realize they can click to continue, and some improvements to the tutorial levels. He's also added more cutscenes as well. He mentions that they hope to start a Kickstarter soon to raise some funds to help with music and art to finish the game. Hopefully that goes well for them.
LinkRealms - Herb Flower
Herb was there demonstrating some new additions to the LinkRealms universe, and he showed how easy it was to create a bot AI in their custom editor. He created a complete AI in about 15 minutes, live at the event. Very impressive.
Flexitris - McKay Salisbury
I didn't get a chance to see McKay's new additions to flexitris, but he was there showing it to a number of people.
It was a great evening. As usual I felt that so much was happening I was missing some good conversations, but I'm grateful for the ones that I was a part of. So until next time...
Viva la Indie!