Which Framework Is For You? – July 10th, 2016 Meetup

Coming Up Soon: CodeStock – July 15 – 16

Knox Game Design will be hosting a panel this year at CodeStock on game jams.  The panel time is 12:55 PM on Friday July 15th and will be in room 301-A.  If you will be at CodeStock this year make sure to drop by!

Next Game Design Chat Podcast Game is Fran Bow

This month’s game is Fran Bow (available iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux)

Fran Bow is a creepy adventure game that tells the story of Fran, a young girl struggling with a mental disorder and an unfair destiny.

After witnessing the gruesome and mysterious loss of her parents, found dismembered at their home, Fran rushes into the woods, together with her only friend, Mr. Midnight, a black cat that Fran had previously received as a present from her parents.

In the forest, Fran goes into shock over the loss of her parents and when she recovers, she’s at Oswald Asylum, an oppressive mental institution for children, and Mr. Midnight is nowhere to be found.

After having a dream about her beloved cat, Fran decides to escape from the mental institution to find him and go back home to Aunt Grace, her only living relative.

The podcast is recorded after the regular meetup ends.  Anyone is welcome to join the discussion with the only requirement being that you have played the game.  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!

You can check out all previous episodes at knoxgamedesign.org/podcast and subscribe to the show on iTunes, Google Play or via the direct feed.

This Month’s Topic: Which Framework Is For You?

There are a lot of game engines and frame works available and it can be daunting to know which one is the right one for you.  This meetup well go over many of the options and share thoughts and experiences from the group.

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 June Meetup – June 12th, 2016

Coming Up Soon: MakerPalooza 2.0 – June 18th

Knox Game Design will join Pellissippi State at MakerPalooza 2.0 to celebrate the National Day of Making (and all things STEAM)! The event will be held Saturday, June 18th from 9AM to 4PM at the Megalab on Strawberry Plains.  If you would like to show off your game at our booth and have not contacted Michael please do so ASAP!

Next Game Design Chat Podcast Game is Shovel Knight

This month’s game is Shovel Knight (available Wii U, 3DS, PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Xbox One, Windows, Mac, and Linux)

Shovel Knight is a sweeping classic action adventure game with awesome gameplay, memorable characters, and an 8-bit retro aesthetic created by Yacht Club Games. You play as the eponymous Shovel Knight, a small knight with a huge quest. Shovel Knight has come to this valley with two goals: to defeat the evil Enchantress and save his lost beloved. He wields a ShovelBlade; a multipurpose weapon whose techniques have now been lost to the ages. Always honest and helpful, Shovel Knight is a shining example of the code of Shovelry: Slash Mercilessly and Dig Tirelessly!

However, between Shovel Knight and his beloved stands a cadre of villainous knights. These terrible foes, known as The Order of No Quarter, have been dispatched to prevent Shovel Knight from reaching the Enchantress at any cost!

The podcast is recorded after the regular meetup ends.  Anyone is welcome to join the discussion with the only requirement being that you have played the game.  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!

You can check out all previous episodes at knoxgamedesign.org/podcast and subscribe to the show on iTunes, Google Play or via the direct feed.

This Month’s Topic: Things and Happenings

This month is an open Q&A / Show’N Tell but with some known topics of discussion.  Well talk about recent Unity and Itch.io news and changes, and discuss plans and promoting your game for MakerPalooza with knowledge gain from Open Streets.

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 Jam Results – May 8th, 2016 Meetup

Designing an Android Game Meetup

Special announcement this month, the Knoxville Coding Dojo Meetup is holding an Android gamedev with Android Studio 6PM Tuesday May 3rd.  For more information, please visit and sign up on the Knoxville Coding Dojo Event Page.

Next Game Design Chat Podcast Game is Axiom Verge

This month’s game is Axiom Verge (available from the website, Steam, and Playstation 4 / Vita):

A failed scientist dies in an accident, only to awaken in a mysterious, alien world.

Where is he? How did he get here? And why do the fundamental laws of reality appear broken?

Life. Afterlife. Real. Virtual. Dream. Nightmare. It’s a thin line.

It’s Axiom Verge.

The podcast is recorded after the regular meetup ends.  Anyone is welcome to join the discussion with the only requirement being that you have played the game.  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!

You can check out all previous episodes at knoxgamedesign.org/podcast and subscribe to the show on iTunes or via the direct feed | Subscribe on iTunes

This Month’s Topic: Game Jam Results

Several members of the group entered games in the April 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.  Also, if you have any in progress game or maybe you didn’t finish the jam please feel welcome to join us in sharing!

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 Jam: Ludum Dare April 15th – 18th 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 April 15th @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, April 17th, 2015

We’ll share and recap our entries at the following meetup on May 8th, 2016.

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.

Gamedev Potluck – April 10th, 2016 Meetup

Next Game Design Chat Podcast Game is Dark Maus

This month’s game is DarkMaus (available on Steam):

DarkMaus is an indie action RPG with challenging, skill-based combat that punishes careless play. In DarkMaus, you play a lonely wanderer searching for what’s left in a corrupted world. The odds are against you – you will certainly perish.

The podcast is recorded after the regular meetup ends.  Anyone is welcome to join the discussion with the only requirement being that you have played the game.  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!

You can check out all previous episodes at knoxgamedesign.org/podcast and subscribe to the show on iTunes or via the direct feed | Subscribe on iTunes

This Month’s Topic: Gamedev Potluck

This month bring your tool recommendations, in progress projects, and questions for an open roundtable of sharing and Q&A!  We’ll also spend some time recapping announcements that came out of //Build and GDC related to game dev.

Next Ludum Dare Game Jam is April 15-18th, 2016

The next Ludum Dare is April 15-18th, 2016.  We will again meet Friday night at 7PM for the kick off and the theme announcement at 9PM.  More details to come, but now is the time to mark the date on your calendar if you plan on joining in the fun!

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.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities – March 20th, 2016 Meetup

Next Game Design Chat Podcast Game is Crashlands

This month’s game is Crashlands (available on Steam, iOS, and Android):

Crashlands is a story-driven crafting ARPG set in an outlandish world of hidden magic and high technology. Fight and tame alien beasts, craft resources into menacing weaponry, befriend the locals, and go toe-to-chin with a world-domineering maniac.

The podcast is recorded after the regular meetup ends.  Anyone is welcome to join the discussion with the only requirement being that you have played the game.  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!

You can check out all previous episodes at knoxgamedesign.org/podcast and subscribe to the show on iTunes or via the direct feed | Subscribe on iTunes

This Month’s Topic: Upcoming Events and Opportunities

This month will be a break from the normal and look at upcoming local events KDG can be a part of.  These events are to not only promote the group, but the individual developers and studios in the Knoxville area.  We’ll discuss how we’d like to participate in the events and also talk about other things the group can do to raise awareness of the indie scene here in Knoxville.

Next Ludum Dare Game Jam is April 15-18th, 2016

The next Ludum Dare is April 15-18th, 2016.  We will again meet Friday night at 7PM for the kick off and the theme announcement at 9PM.  More details to come, but now is the time to mark the date on your calendar if you plan on joining in the fun!

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.

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 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.

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.