Friday, May 31, 2013

Utah Indie Games Night - May 2013

We had another awesome Indie Games Night last night. We had around 40 people in attendance, so a pretty good crowd. We even had a special guest attend last night, Renaun Erickson. He's the game evangelist for Adobe. He was in town on some other business and heard about our little event and decided to come and also sponsor the pizza and soda.  We definitely appreciated that.

Adam Helps gave an awesome presentation on Curves. He had some great animations that brought the concept of Bezier curves to life. I knew a bit about them and had used them in prior projects, but this gave me a deeper understanding of how and why they work the way they do.  Adam tried to keep the math and the formulas to a minimum and I was able to follow it, although I admit it was stretching my brain a little. My math muscles have gotten weak.

We had a second short presentation with the guys from Helium Interactive (a group of UVU students that have now formed their own company).  The demoed their awesome game called DubWars . It’s a top down shooter that fires the weapons in sync with the dubstep music. It was built with Unity and is can currently be played on the OUYA store. 

As for the demos, I normally list and discuss each of them, but there were so many that I missed and I didn’t take great notes, so I’m not sure I can do them justice.  However I’ll mention some things here.  One game that captured my eye (and lots of others apparently) was “Momentum”.  It’s game in the vein of Super Monkey Ball or Marble Blast, however instead of you moving the ball through the level, you tilt the whole level to get the ball to move.  It’s similar to the old wooden maze games where you tilt the maze to get the metal ball past the obstacles to the end, but it’s even more similar to the more modern Perplexus Maze Game.

Tyler brought in his Oculus Rift and many of us tried the standard Unity demo out with it. It was amazing putting it on and looking around this virtual world. However the controls for the demo moved you around at unrealistic FPS shooter game speeds.  There were times my brain was getting confused between the motion my eyes were seeing and the signals from my inner ear saying just the opposite. I could only handle just a few minutes of it, before feeling some nausea. Perhaps something at a slower pace might be easier to handle. Or perhaps if it was combined with a hydraulic motion platform which might help keep visual and inner ear signals synced.

I saw a number of other demos, including a kid’s coloring book app and racing game for mobile tablets.  I saw Bryan’s Asteria, which is coming along nicely. Mike was demoing a version of D.R.O.D. Jay demoed Frayed Knights 2 a bit. I even demoed my simple Chameleon Chow Down game near the end. There were so many more games that I only caught glances of or completely missed.  There are times I wish I had multiple copies of myself to be able to catch everything that’s happening.

As usual there were some conversations happening as well. A lot of discussion surrounded the Oculus Rift, the OUYA, the Xbox One, and the like.  I also found out that GEEX has morphed into something bigger this year; it’s now the Salt Lake Comic Con.  Looks awesome!  Definitely some promising times ahead for us Indie’s.


Viva La Indie!



P.S. - Jay’s writeup of the evening can be found here.