December 2014 Meetup Links

News discussed at the start of the meetup:

Mike’s Idle Games Links:

AI Book Forrest referenced: Programming Game AI By Example

Levi’s Playmaker Links:

KGD Ludum Dare #31 Roundup

The past weekend was another Ludum Dare game jam, and once again several games were submitted by Knoxville Game Design members.  The theme this time was “Entire Game on One Screen” though many of us were hoping for ☃(not “snowman” but the unicode symbol for snowman was a possible theme).  I think you’ll see that many of us included some cold love for unicode Frosty…

Ice Fishing Derby by Dylan

Play the game here

Ice Fishing Derby is inspired by David Crane’s Fishing Derby for the Atari 2600 (where the entire game was played on one screen–there wasn’t even a title!) My goal was also to make a retro-style game.

This game is a bit more complicated, however. You’re ice fishing, so you have to cut holes in the ice, and you can use bait to attract fish.

Each fish is worth $1 to $3. In addition to being your score, you can use this to buy various types of bait. Each bait has different properties: some attract fish at greater distances, some keep fish interested longer, and some are less likely to be lost once you reel in a fish.

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TV World by Levi

Play the game here
Watch Time-lapse

Make your way through the nine channels of the TV World!
Collect remotes… shoot everything else!

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Snowman Simulator by Jacob

Play the game here

Jacob (age 11) has his interpretation of the theme presents: Snowman Simulator
play with: WSAD, arrows, mouse — secret stuff to click on and do. can you find multiplayer mode? Get the high score?

Made with GameMaker Studio and Tile Studio.

Dad helped with minor debugging, encouraging, and cleanup for submission. Jacob did 99% of the work.

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Click For Dragons! by Mike, Rachel, Hannah, and Cicelie

Play the game here
Watch Time-lapse

We decided to combine the fun of idle games like cookie clicker with the RPG setting of games like Dragon Age. It’s a game you can play while playing other games in Ludum Dare!

The development team was myself, my wife, and my two oldest daughters (we entered the game jam as a team). Even though this is a jam entry, everything in the game was made by us.

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Build A Snowman by Paul

Play the game here

I have to admit, the original idea was all based around the fact that the ‘uni-code snowman’ may have won, but the theme still allowed me to build this.

There are 8 boxes at the bottom of the screen, and falling from the left and right you have parts of a snowman, two snowballs, hat, coal and a carrot. The idea being you catch it, and drag it down to the box, as you do, a piece appears in the box, get all the pieces the snowman starts to dance, click it, you’ll get points.

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Winter Potpourri! – December 14th, 2014 Meetup

Our next meetup will be a combination of Ludum Dare recap and some micro-talks on gamedev.  Currently the Ludum Dare “Jam” is still happening and the list of KGD entries isn’t complete, but here are some of the games so far:

If you have a game not listed, please send an email to michael.neel@gmail.com to make sure it’s listed in the full roundup to be posted later in the week.

For micro-talks we currently have Levi talking about Playmaker and Mike covering initial impressions of Unity 4.6′s new GUI features.   More micro-talk topics are welcome!

The meetup will be held at the Technology Cooperative located at 13 Emory Place, Knoxville TN.  Parking is available in front of the Technology Cooperative.  As always we will start at 2PM and open with a Show ‘n Tell where everyone can show a bit of their in progress game, favorite tool, mechanic they love in another game, or anything they find helpful and want to share with the group.

Open Game Lab Hours

Starting with this Sunday – November 16th, 2014 – the Technology Cooperative will be open the third Sunday of the month from 2PM – 5PM for an “Open Game Lab”.  In addition to these Sundays, the Technology Cooperative will also be holding a weekly Open Game Lab every Tuesday night from 5:30 PM – 8PM.  Because these are on going events, please check the Technology Cooperative Program Calendar for any last minute cancellations or changes.

These labs will be unstructured time for anyone to come to the space, hang out and work on their game.  If you are just starting out this is also a great time to come ask questions of other game designers.  There will be no presentations scheduled during the labs, those will continue to be held on the 2nd Sunday of the month at the regular meetup.

The Technology Cooperative does have a few older laptops and Raspberry Pis available for use running open source software that can be used.  These systems are not super fast and may limit the tools you can use in making a game.  If you have the means to bring your own system to work from it is highly recommended.

November 2014 Meetup Links

Some of the news and things discussed at the meetup:

Unity for Playstation Mobile Vita and TV notes:

“Ludum Dare” Game Jam – December 5th – 8th, 2014

Update: We will not be meeting up on Sunday December 7th.  Instead we will share our games the following Sunday (the 14th) at our regular monthly meetup.

We will again take part in the Ludum Dare game jam this December.  If you’ve been to a jam in the past, it will be very similar.  Some Notes:

Your game does not need to be complex and you don’t need to spend every hour of the jam devoted to making the game.  Simple is better, and seeing friends and family is a good break to keep you fresh.  The goal is to finish, and the reward is having completed a game!  You can enter solo or as a team and parents, this is a great activity to do together with your kids.

We will meet Friday December 5th @7PM at the Technology Cooperative – The Ludum Dare officially kicks off at 9PM when the game theme is announced.  This will be a good time for any last minute questions on the jam, software, or process you have for making your game.

From Friday until Sunday work on your game.  We won’t be keeping the Techco open the whole weekend for the jam (and there is a group that will be using the space Saturday morning).

We will meet again Sunday December 7th @6PM at the Technology Cooperative – The Ludum Dare “compo” ends at 9PM on Sunday, and the “jam” at 9PM on Monday.  Your game must be submitted by then, so if you need to skip / come late to finish your game, by all means do.  The Ludum Dare servers are notorious for being overloaded in the last moments so do not wait too long to submit your game.  We’ll meetup to share our games, war stories of success and failure, and check out other entries.

What you should do before the jam:

  • Read over the rules of the Ludum Dare and decide if you’ll be doing the “compo” or “jam” version.
  • Get your development system ready to go – figure out what software you’ll be using and make sure it’s ready to go.
    A list of common tools others have used in Ludum Dare is listed on the Tools page, and links from previous meetups can be found on our site.
  • Make an account on the Ludum Dare website
  • The week leading up to the Jam, check the Ludum Dare site daily to vote on topics
  • It’s common to live stream your game development – if you plan to do this then:
    • Setup a Twitch.tv account
    • Install Open Broadcaster Software – a free, open source app for live streaming
    • Test out Twitch and OBS (don’t wait to the jam to start learning about live streaming!)
  • It’s also common to make a timelapse video of your development, and there are some tools to help with this too.  Again, test this out on your system before the jam beings.

Viva la Vita! – November 9th, 2014 Meetup

This month’s topic will be led by Michael C. Neel  and discuss using Unity with Sony’s Vita and PlayStation TV (aka Vita TV):

The Vita, Sony’s handled console, is often described as an also-ran to the Nintendo 3DS.  While the Vita’s estimated 10 Million units sold may not be enough for the number #1 slot, it is a large market and it is a market that is open to indie developers for free.  The recently launched PlayStation TV (aka Vita TV) extends the Vita platform reach with a $100 micro-console.

Is this session we will cover how to join the PlayStation Mobile Developer Program, setup retail (no devkits required) Vita and PlayStation TV consoles for testing, and how to use the free version of Unity for development.  The session will not go into game development in depth but we will cover Vita specific features experienced Unity developers need to be aware of.

Disclaimer: I cannot guarantee there will be no Coldplay references during this presentation

About the Speaker:

Michael C. Neel (aka @ViNull) is an active community leader who organizes the Knoxville Game Design group, co-founder and volunteer at the Technology Cooperative, a non-profit focused on technology access and education, and founder of CodeStock, a developer’s community conference in Knoxville TN.  Michael’s hobbies include writing about and creating videos of games and game design at GameMarx, and via FuncWorks, LLC. He is proud to be blessed with three amazing daughters and a wife who not only inflates and pops his ego as necessary, but works with him on his many, many projects.

The meetup will be held at the Technology Cooperative located at 13 Emory Place, Knoxville TN.  Parking is available in front of the Technology Cooperative.  As always we will start at 2PM and open with a Show ‘n Tell where everyone can show a bit of their in progress game, favorite tool, mechanic they love in another game, or anything they find helpful and want to share with the group.

Getting Approved – October 12th, 2014

Our speaker will be Ryan Waller of local Knoxville indie studio Forthright Entertainment.  Ryan will be discussing their recent experiences working with Nintendo as an Indie, and advice for others looking for a platform holder’s approval.  Forthright Entertainment is a console and mobile game developer in in the heart of the Tennessee Technological Corridor with a goal of delivering innovative, fun and engaging games that enables players to just have fun.  You can check out and support their latest game Fake Colors on Steam Greenlight.

We also may have some special guests this month.  A group of 2nd grade students in the Lego League may come buy to ask some questions about game development.

The meetup will be held at the Technology Cooperative located at 13 Emory Place, Knoxville TN.  Parking is available in front of the Technology Cooperative.  As always we will start at 2PM and open with a Show ‘n Tell where everyone can show a bit of their in progress game, favorite tool, mechanic they love in another game, or anything they find helpful and want to share with the group.

September 2014 Meetup Links

Thanks to Dylan Wolf for breaking down tabletop game mechanics and how these mechanics can be used in video games.

Some of the things mentioned at the meetup:

Shows playing tabletop games: Tabletop | Watch It Played

Some of the games mentioned (not all of these are done by the above shows, so I found the best video I could!):

A Tabletop Game Mechanics Primer – September 14, 2014

This month’s topic will be led by Dylan Wolf on his analysis of tabletop game mechanics:

What can a video game designer learn from tabletop games? This talk will discuss the overlap between analog and digital game mechanics. For those new to board gaming, I’ll cover some of the categories and genres of modern board and card games. I’ll also highlight particular games that are good examples of these genres or have interesting implementations of certain mechanics.

The meetup will be held at the Technology Cooperative located at 13 Emory Place, Knoxville TN.  Parking is available in front of the Technology Cooperative.  As always we will start at 2PM and open with a Show ‘n Tell where everyone can show a bit of their in progress game, favorite tool, mechanic they love in another game, or anything they find helpful and want to share with the group.

PS. Last month was the Ludum Dare game jam and you can check out all the KGD entries here.