TIGA GameHackDays: Day 1

And so we began the second day of GameHackDays and the first with a full twelve hours of hacking time!

Some of our intrepid GameHackers showed up earlier than others but seeing at it was 08:30 on a Saturday morning, we won’t hold it against them (much ;) ) and by the civilised hour of 10am everyone had arrived and we were cooking with gas!

simonloaf

Simon is making a Kinect game involving loaves of bread!

squidlarge

Squid Ink Games working hard on their game!

What followed was a explosion of activity, concepts that had been created would now start to be refined, redesigned, thrown out and brought back in. I think that the extra time on Friday has allowed attendees to really focus on planning their games rather than being forced to rush through due to time contraints.

bossalist

Bossa has attended a lot of jams!

Bossa Studios, a local game development studio visited GameHackDays to give a talk on game jams and how to get the best out of them. They have been to seemingly every game jam going and have an impressive amount of hacks which they demoed to the audience. After, they talked about the importance of keeping things simple, other tips were:

  • Difficulty is one of the big issues of GameJams, you may know how your game works but your user might not
  • Use version control if possible
  • Find the right balance between and hackish
  • Spend some time practicing your demo
  • Games made at Game Jams can form the basis of a excellent career portfolio, demonstrating creativity and ability to produce something under pressure!
  • Remember to HAVE FUN

twiliosand

Once again Twilio came up trumps with the food providing some amazing sandwiches for lunch and another Italian feast for dinner which was gratefully recieved by the attendees.

Renaun and Lee from Abode fought against jetlag (having flown in from Portland and San Francisco on Thursday) and offered support to GameHackers working on Flash games until closing time. Its fantastic to see evangelists working with our community to help them get the best out of the technology and the GameHackers always appreciate it.

Sadly 20:30 arrived and we all had to pack up and head home for the day, though some GameHackers decamped to the pub and others to homes and hotels to continue working on their games.

Once again, thanks to TIGA, Adobe, Twilio, Microsoft and Adobe for sponsoring GameHackDays – without them and their assistance events like GameHackDays wouldn’t be possible.

Tom

1 Day to TIGA GameHackDays!

Doesn’t time fly?

It was just a month ago that we announced GameHackDays and tomorrow we kick off a weekend of learning and game making!

To make the most of the hacking time, we encourage you to download and install all the tools you need before the event!  As 100 people all downloading multi gigabyte SDKS at the same time will probably kill our internet connection.

If you are thinking about entering one of our gaming challenge categories we’ve collated a list of handy links for you!

Best Flash Game:

Best Windows 8 Game

Best Window Phone Game:

Two days till TIGA GameHackDays!

WELL HELLO THERE!

As you may know, GameHackDays starts THIS FRIDAY AT 2PM! We’re really excited have over 90 awesome game developers signed up to join us at Modern Jago to have fun making games and learning something new! Nisha and I are hard at work sorting out last minute event stuff but I thought I would drop you all a quick note on prizes at GameHackDays!

We are really proud to have Adobe, Microsoft, Nokia and Twilio supporting GameHackDays, without our sponsors we would not be able to make this event free to attend. Sponsors make a massive difference to our events and we hope you all will give them some mad love during the event!

So I mentioned prizes right?

We have:

  • 6 Kinects from Microsoft,
  • 3 Windows Phone 8 devices from Nokia,
  • 5 Adobe Creative suite 6 Design & Web Premium licenses,
  • 5 Nokia Premium developer program tokens
  • Premium placement slot on the Windows 8 Store

I’m sure you all agree thats a pretty stonking list of prizes and we’re really grateful to our sponsors (Did I mention Adobe, Microsoft, Nokia and Twilio yet?) for providing them.

But, GameHackDays are not just about prizes!

If you want to enter a game made on those platforms awesome, but you don’t have to! GameHackDays is an event about meeting people, learning new tech and most of all HAVING FUN!

See you Friday!

Tom

P.S

We’ve set up a Google Group for GameHackDays, you should have received an invitation via the email you used to sign up on Eventbrite. The group is to help you find a team, share tips and allow you to post questions if you get stuck! If you haven’t got an invite or are having issues getting access to it, get in touch!

Tips for making a game in 24hrs

Now that GameHackDays are officially SOLD OUT, it’s time to get thinking about what you want to make or learn about! Learning a new technology and trying to make a game in 24 hours is quite a challenge, so we asked some game jam veterans for their top tips in making a game in 24 hours!

Simplicity and avoiding too much planning are the key themes, or put as Facebook puts it

See you in February!

GameHack Q&A: Mutant Labs

Who are you?

Ben Reynhart, Creative Director for Mutant Labs

What is your favourite game of all time and why?

My favourite game is Portal, because it’s challenging and has tonnes of character. I never really played puzzle games before that, so it introduced me to the genre. I’m a big fan of anything Valve make generally :)

Do you regularly attend Game Jams? Or was GameHack your first one?

Yep I try to! Our company (Mutant Labs) has a great ethos for hacking together projects, especially games. I would say that our entire company partakes in around 3-5 game jams a year, in fact we are doing one this weekend!

How did you find it?

I loved it – probably the best Game jam we’ve been to. The organisation was top notch, catering, location, etc. Everything was ideal.

What was your idea?

Having 7 members  in the Mutant Labs gang, we decided to split up into 3 different teams and work on 3 games:

  1. Burger Rush - This is a cross platform Android and iOS multiplayer game of Jet pack tag. Airborne burger junkies battle it out for precious time holding the meaty treat, whilst building up their burger bar.
  2. ChaseBook - What if all your Facebook friends turned on you? What if you wanted to avoid any social interaction? It’s up to your finger to save your lonesome existence in this iPad game built in iOS Flixel by avoiding all your friends and staying out of the way.
  3. Treated Accordingly - This game was inspired by the dedicated security team at Pinewood studios who serve and protect the star-studded list of actors and actresses found on set – mess with them and you will be treated accordingly! In a multiplayer top-down game, one player sneaks around the map taking photos of celebrities, while another plays a hardened security guard with a hatred for paparazzi.

How did it work out?

  1. Burger Rush - “Pretty good actually, Chris and I have worked this way a few times before and have the process down quite well. We initially struggled a bit at the start comming up with ideas as we are used to working with a theme, but after a few cups of tea and some snacks, we settled on the idea for Buger Rush.” – Rich
  2. Chasebook - “We were pretty happy with the outcome of Chasebook. We managed to get the core gameplay of making your friends chase you down, and got big boss Zuckerburg in to round things off at the end. All in all we were keen to make something challenging and a little bit silly, which i think we just about managed to pull off.” – Alex
  3. Treated Accordingly - “I think we were overly ambitions with our idea (at least technically), however we got the majority of work done, and had a playable demo by the end. We where also lucky enough to have a talented animator/comedian on our team, who made a killer game trailer that added loads to the project.” – Ben

Did you continue working on your idea after GameHack?

We saw real potential in the Chasebook game mechanic, so we took the idea and developed it into a commercial game: Half-Inch Heist – an action-packed diamond heisting game on a tiny scale. The game will be released on the iPhone App store in Autumn 2012 – see www.halfinchheist.com for details.

Any tips to share about making a game in 24hrs?

  • Don’t be too ambitious! Start with a simple idea with a neat hook and expand from there.
  • Don’t waste time with using source control / setting up tools  - just dive in.
  • Teams of 2 works best, artist and coder. Having 2 coders is sometimes problematic. Bigger groups need more organisation and are less efficient.

Anything else you would like to share?

It’s not a bad idea to have in mind who you might like to work with before going to the jam. At the same time it’s a great chance to meet new people and learn new skills. Also don’t try and learn a new programming language! Use tools you are familiar with to get most bang-for-buck!

Event: The State of HTML5 Games

If you’re interested in HTML5 gaming,happen to live in Brighton and have no plans for this evening then this event is for you!

“With Angry BirdsCommand & Conquer and other big-name games being created using Web technologies, it’s obvious that HTML5 and JavaScript games here to stay.

In this talk, Rob Hawkes will cover the state of game development for the Web; highlighting key events and technologies, as well as shedding light on what is coming in the near future.”

http://asyncjs.com/games/

If you manage to get to the event, send in a report!

Event report: London Game Developer Workshop

Yesterday we attended the London Games Developer meetup, this was a meetup with a difference as rather than just talks and networking, there was *shock horror* actual coding!

A meetup about more than just beer and pizza? Crazy talk!

Anyhow, the subject of the first workshop was Turbulenz, a HTML5 game engine that not only gives  high quality visuals but also helps with adding social functions to your game.

One of the most interesting features of the product is the Hub, which offers the ability to not just rapidly iterate but that it enables you to set up private testing groups quickly and easily. This means real feedback from actual users, which is incredibly important, as you do not want to burn through cash and development time on a feature that users don’t like or understand.

And the best bit? Its royalty and license free!

 

 

 

Game development workshop series – Session 1

http://www.meetup.com/London-Game-Developers/events/62787542/

London Game Developers are hosting a game development series starting next week! The first session will introduce Turbulenz an HTML5 social gaming engine (and one of the sponsors of this years GameHack). Its a great opportunity to meet up with other developers and find out more about some cool technology, see you there!