From Blender to Unity – February 14th, 2016 Meetup

We have a Podcast! – Next Game: The Beginner’s Guide

This email is being sent a little early (the meetup is next week, not this week) to give everyone who wants to participate in the podcast.

Each month a game is chosen, generally a popular indie title (but not from the group – that would get awkward) to play and discuss.  It’s like a book club but for games. This does mean those who join in have to buy and play the game, so while there may be an occasional exception titles will be $15 or less.

Last month’s game was Undertale – listen to the episode here.

This month’s game is The Beginner’s Guide (available on Steam). 

The Beginner’s Guide is a narrative video game from Davey Wreden, the creator of The Stanley Parable. It lasts about an hour and a half and has no traditional mechanics, no goals or objectives. Instead, it tells the story of a person struggling to deal with something they do not understand.

I highly recommend taking notes while playing so you have a good set of taking points for the podcast and have less of a chance of forgetting something! 

The podcast will be recorded after the regular meetup ends.  The last order of business for the regular meetup will be as a group deciding on the game for the next podcast episode.

This Month’s Topic: From Blender to Unity

This month Mike will demonstrate creating a model in Blender and loading it in Unity.  This includes creating the mesh, mapping the textures, and rigging for animation for mecanim and retargeting.  It’s a short description but it will be a big topic.

Location and Time

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.  We start at 2PM and open with some roundtable discussion and 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.

Game Design Chat Episode #1 – Undertale

Game Design Chat is a monthly podcast by members of the Knoxville Game Design Meetup discussing a single game each episode. Please be aware the full game is discussed and the entire episode should be considered a spoiler for anyone who has not played the game.

This month’s game is Undertale and next month’s game will be The Beginner’s Guide.

The hosts this month are:
Dylan Wolf – @dylanwolfdylanwolf.com
Levi Smith – @gatechgradlevidsmith.com
Michael Neel – @ViNullvinull.com

[ Subscribe to Podcast ]

Game Jam Results – January 10th, 2016

New Year’s Resolution Suggestion – Speak Up!

Most meetups last year were led by myself, Levi, or Dylan.  It’s extremely likely all three of us will lead a meetup in 2016, and there is nothing wrong with that.  It would be great however if more members spoke up!  Now is the time – just pick a month this year and send me an email at michael.neel@gmail.com.

If you’re not comfortable putting together a slide deck and a prepared session, that’s fine – lead a discussion or just open your laptop and talk through your process as you go.

If you don’t feel ready to show how to make a game or assets for a game, that’s fine too – talk about the design of an existing game or genre.  What games came before it that influenced it?  How do the mechanics fit the theme of the game?  How can developers apply these things to their own game?

Reminders and Announcements:

Open Game labs are held on the 3rd Sunday of the month (the Sunday after the regular meetup) and take place from 2PM – 5PM.  These labs are 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!

Facebook and Twitter: You can also stay up to date with members of the group on Facebook.  The group is closed, so you’ll need request access and it make take a day or two to get approved.  If you don’t get approved in a few days, send me an email at the address above.  There is also a twitter list maintained by Levi.  For info on joining the twitter list, contact Levi @gatechgrad.

All this too much to keep up with? The Knox Game Design website has a calendar!

This Month’s Topic: December’s Game Jam Results

Several members of the group entered games in the December Ludum Dare and will share the behind the scene tales of each.  The entries below may not be the full list, so if I missed your game please send me an email and let me know!

Location and Time

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.  We start at 2PM and open with some roundtable discussion and 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.

KGD Ludum Dare #34 Roundup

Several games were submitted by Knoxville Game Design members to the 34th Ludum Dare this month.  The theme was tie between “Growing” and “Two button controls” so participants could choose one or both for their game.  Here are the games submitted by Knox Game Design members!

Button Flower by Jacob

Play the game here

Jacob (age 11.9) has created a different game this time. He did all the art and coding with Gamemaker Studio with built in sprite editor. Dad is helping compile and post the entry but that is all the help dad has done.

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Super Autoscrolling Space Robot GROWZINGER by Dylan

Play the game here

Flying through space, constantly growing, SUPER AUTO-SCROLLING SPACE ROBOT GROWZINGER is hot-blooded forced scrolling giant robot action.

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Survive by Paul

Play the game here

Now the game is called Survive, and all you have to do it that.

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Mutant Veggie Arena by Levi

Play the game here

Save the world from the mutant vegetables!

Postmortem | Time Lapse 

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Game Jam: Ludum Dare December 11th – 14th 2015

It’s time for another Ludum Dare game jam!  If you’ve been to a jam in the past, it will be very similar. 

We will meet Friday December 11th @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 we won’t have a meetup Sunday, December 13th, 2015. (We’ll still have our normal open game lab December 20th, 2015)

We’ll share and recap our entries at the following meetup on January 10th, 2015.

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.

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
  • Make an account on Itch.io (optional, but great place to host your entry)
  • Check the Ludum Dare site to vote on themes
  • 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.

Project Management for Game Design or Tools That Help You Stay On Track – November 8th, 2015 Meetup

Reminders and Announcements:

Important! There will be no regular meetup next month (December 13th) due to the Ludum Dare game jam – this will be the last regular meetup for 2015.  We’ll still hold the Open Game lab the following week (December 20th).

Open Game labs are held on the 3rd Sunday of the month (the Sunday after the regular meetup) and take place from 2PM – 5PM.  These labs are 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!  

Call for Topics! If you’ve been to a meetup you know that the group is very informal and you do not need a well timed and polished presentation.  A presentation can simply be discussing a topic while showing a demo on a laptop.  If you are interested in presenting or have a request for a topic you would like to see covered please contact Michael at michael.neel@gmail.com

Facebook and Twitter: You can also stay up to date with members of the group on Facebook.  The group is closed, so you’ll need request access and it make take a day or two to get approved.  If you don’t get approved in a few days, send me an email at the address above.  There is also a twitter list maintained by Levi.  For info on joining the twitter list, contact Levi @gatechgrad.

Next Game Jam: The next Ludum Dare will be held December 11-14th, 2015 – mark your calendars now! Details on the kickoff meetup to be held on Friday the 11th to come.

All this too much to keep up with? The Knox Game Design website has a calendar!

This Month’s Topic: Project Management for Game Design

With the holidays upon us, you might find yourself with some alone time to work on your game ideas.  The topic this month will be about how to get the most out of this time.  The format will be a discussion lead by Mike with plenty of room for Q&A and suggestions of alterative approaches you may have experience with you.  No system is perfect, and everyone needs to find the thing that works best for them so this will be less a prescription for success are more a presentation of what some options are.

Location and Time

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.  We start at 2PM and open with some roundtable discussion and 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.

Unity Potluck – October 11th, 2015 Meetup

Reminders and Announcements:

Important Update!  The Tuesday Open Game labs have been canceled. The Open Game lab on the 3rd Sunday of the month still takes place from 2PM – 5PM – no change.  These labs are 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!  

Call for Topics! If you’ve been to a meetup you know that the group is very informal and you do not need a well timed and polished presentation.  A presentation can simply be discussing a topic while showing a demo on a laptop.  If you are interested in presenting or have a request for a topic you would like to see covered please contact Michael at michael.neel@gmail.com

Facebook and Twitter: You can also stay up to date with members of the group on Facebook.  The group is closed, so you’ll need request access and it make take a day or two to get approved.  If you don’t get approved in a few days, send me an email at the address above.  There is also a twitter list maintained by Levi.  For info on joining the twitter list, contact Levi @gatechgrad.

Next Game Jam: The next Ludum Dare will be held December 11-14th, 2015 – mark your calendars now!

All this too much to keep up with? The Knox Game Design website has a calendar!

This Month’s Topic: Unity Potluck

Put your Unity tips in a crockpot and bring them down to TechCo (that’s a metaphor, don’t actually do that).  Since many of us use Unity as our main game engine, this meeting will be a chance to share tips and features we’ve found useful.  As an example, I’ll be showing how to import models from Blender with multiple materials and texture them with substance file for some really nice looking objects for little effort.  I’ll also show how to bring in Make Human models with a Unity Mecanim compatible rig for animating and IK.

Location and Time

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.  We start at 2PM and open with some roundtable discussion and 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.

Update to Open Game Lab Hours

Starting this week, there will no longer be a weekly Open Game Lab on Tuesdays.  There will still be an Open Game Lab on the 3rd Sunday from 2 – 5PM and the monthly meeting will still be taking place on the 2nd Sunday at 2PM – no changes there!

The reason for the change is to allow the TechCo to focus on in-school programs more and the attendance for the Tuesday labs was often zero.  If you have any questions please contact me at michael.neel@gmail.com

Game Jam Results – September 13th, 2015

Reminders and Announcements:

Open Game Labs:   The group hosts an Open Game Lab every Tuesday 5:30PM – 8PM and on the 3rd Sunday of the month 2PM – 5PM.  These labs are 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!  Special note this month – no Open Game Lab on Sunday April 19th due to the game jam.

Call for Topics! If you’ve been to a meetup you know that the group is very informal and you do not need a well timed and polished presentation.  A presentation can simply be discussing a topic while showing a demo on a laptop.  If you are interested in presenting or have a request for a topic you would like to see covered please contact Michael at michael.neel@gmail.com

Facebook and Twitter: You can also stay up to date with members of the group on Facebook.  The group is closed, so you’ll need request access and it make take a day or two to get approved.  If you don’t get approved in a few days, send me an email at the address above.  There is also a twitter list maintained by Levi.  For info on joining the twitter list, contact Levi @gatechgrad.

All this too much to keep up with? The Knox Game Design website has a calendar!

This Month’s Topic: Game Jam Results

Several members of the group entered games this past month in the Ludum Dare.  This month we’ll look at the entries and share the behind the scene tales of each.  The entries below may not be the full list, so if I missed your game please send me an email and let me know!

Location and Time

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.  We start at 2PM and open with some roundtable discussion and 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.

August 2015 Meetup Links

Here is a big o’le list of links from today’s meetup!