Kickstart some Collateral Damage

Orange over a purple futuristic screen, reads Collateral Damage, Battle over Tyzanite. In the background is the shape of a robotic skull.

Grab your buddies and prepare for battle! There is only one month left in the Kickstarter for Collateral Damage, the well-oiled robo brawler by local studio Artisans Games.

“In an environment that is slowly collapsing and the gravity spectrum has started to shift to the point where rock platforms have started to float around the molten core; robots known as the Gizma fight over the last remaining resources available. Welcome to the world of Collateral Damage: Battle Over Tyzanite, a devastating battlefield of robotic carnage”

Check out the video below for some beautiful bot battles and chaotic combat, then head on over to the Kickstarter page to stake your claim.

Job Opportunity: 3D Character Artist

Black Lab Logo. A triangular scientific beaker of green liquid tips to the right, with the stream of liquid coming out of the open end splashing into a square pixel droplets

Local studio Black Lab Games is on the look out for a freelance 3D Character Artist for a short term contract. You may remember them from such titles as Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock, and StarHammer: The Vanguard Prophecy. So prepare your portfolios ready to show off your skills in creating realistic-looking people, and get in contact with them asap. Here are the details:

We are looking for someone that can make realistic characters, including excellent clothes and hair, and has experience with blend shapes, rigging, and generation of LODs. Experience with Maya/XGEN and Unity also preferred. If this sounds like you, please get in touch by sending your portfolio to jobs [AT] blacklabgames.com.au

Remote work is indeed an option for this role so don’t delay; get your applications in and you may soon be working with the Black Lab crew! If you have any questions or queries relating to this job, please email Paul directly or add a comment on their facebook post in the LMG discussion group.

UPDATE: Please note email address was originally incorrectly posted as job@ – please use jobs@ instead.

November Games Events: A Guide to PIGW

Bottom left text reads "A cheeky guide to your #P-I-G-W, xox Sof." In the centre of the image sits a Circular logo for Perth Games Festival 2018, obscuring a blank and white photograph of Sofie Mather, an event organiser within the W.A. game development community. The logo has an angled ring around it similar to the planet Saturn, and a collection of stars sit in the top left corner.

November is packed full of events showcasing West Australian games, and bringing people together in Perth to appreciate them. So local community champion Sof, pictured above, has prepared for you a guide to what is lovingly being referred to as #PIGW – a cheeky reference to a certain popular games week elsewhere that some of you may know…

______

SO WHAT’S ON OFFER AT PIGW 2018??
Pronounced “Pig-Wuh” this is the annual developer scramble to relish in the delights of the Perth game scene in all its dimensions. This year we’ve got a humble but tasty line up for you including some hard-hitting questions for local Kickstarter success stories, a questionable but lovable house party to celebrate Perth made games, some high-quality student showcasing, plus much much more!

 

1. Playup Perth – Friday, Nov 9 

As a delicious entrée to #PIGW you’ll be able to catch the latest 18+ Playup Perth event TONIGHT (Friday, Nov 8) at Riff in the CBD. Tickets include entry, nibbles and softies with a cash bar for those who like something a little stronger. Here’s a sneak peek at the lineup, but for more details head to the Playup Perth website.

Thumbnail images from games and studious showcasing at Playup Perth. From left to right, top to bottom these are: Project:Singularity, TeleBlast, Ned, Rhythm Hunter, Bongo Cowbellie, Panda Pilots, Monumental Indonesia, WOOZE – Ladies Who Lunch With Me, and Nurse Shark Games. URL links to Playup Perth event page.


2. Let’s Talk Games – Friday, Nov 16

Back again for a second round of chilled chats and some neato hangz at 48 Lake ST, Let’s Talk Games will be bringing together some Perth success stories to discuss what it takes to make it through Kickstarter alive. Registration is FREE but seats for the panel are limited. For more info check out the Eventbrite page!
This event has been generously supported by Lets Make Games, King Tide Studio and Stirfire Studios.

A room of people sitting, listening to a talk. Over it, the text reads "Let's Talk Games". URL links to eventbrite ticket page for next talk.

 

3. Potluck Bootleg Edition – Saturday, Nov 17

After a big year of trashy alt-game house parties, the Potluck Collective will be celebrating the Perth Games Festival with their Bootleg Edition! They’re matching dev against dev and doing a call to to arms to reproduce, remake or demake the game hits of Perth! Expect heartfelt homages, disappointing sequels, homemade beers and some house party vibes.

NOTE: Why not bootleg a Perth game this weekend and submit it to the party?!

A crude and childlike fan art drawing of a selection of Perth games, from left to right: A red flower person from Bramblelash, a smiling waving yellow cube from Square Heroes, a cat with stomach exposed from Catnips, a blobby headed mutant from Paradigm, and an angry girl all in pink wearing a crown from Freedom Fall.

 

4. Murdoch Senior Showcase – Thursday, Nov 22

Murdoch’s senior students will be bringing us the goods with a full day of games, playtesting and talks. Check out what they’ve been working hard on all year, grab a cuppa and hear from a few industry professionals to round out the day. Come play some senior student games!

Text reads "Murdoch Games Showcase", and Art by Solomon Anthony. A xbox game controller sits in the foreground with the text, in the background an illustration of a samurai-like robotic warrior with a skull face showing beneath his helmet.

 

5. Perth Games Festival – Saturday, Nov 24

YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS! #Perthgamesfest

Perth Games Festival 2018 Logo

 

6. Extended Play – Unconference – Sunday, Nov 25

A Perth favourite [?¿] , if you haven’t been before you should this time; If you haven’t spoken at this before, you should this time. This baby is all goodness. Just a casual afternoon of informal talks, discussions and probably a BBQ.

Text over a doubled image in pink and blue tones, of a square window, an arch window, and a circle window. Text reads discuss/ relax/ BBQ/ chat. Extended Play. Playful Unconference. Sunday 25th November 11am - 4pm.

 

Everything that you enjoy and see at #PIGW is put together with much love and sweat.
Make sure you have a great time and be good to each other.
XOX [Guest blogger] SOF

Travel Funding Grants for Game Devs

Text reads Games Industries. Four Icons below it represent a virtual reality headset, two hands holding and touching a phone screen, two hands holding a gaming controller, and the side profile of a head containing a stylised circuitboard or brain-like outline of Western Australian.

As part of the WA Government’s New Industries Fund and the Games Industry Growth Pilot initiative, up to 10 local game developers will be able to access the new International Access Pass program which provides funding to assist with travel to major industry conferences. Individuals can apply for up to $5,000, and applications are open until until 5pm AWST on Thursday, 22 November 2018.

Free Information sessions will be running for the next week across the Perth metro area, as well as a teleconference for WA developers further afield. Check out the details below, and get ready to head off to the likes of GDC and GamesCom.

Information Session Dates/Times:

For more details on the International Access Pass, including Financial Fact Sheets and Budget Templates, head over to the News Industries WA Website.

Winners of the PAXAus WA Games Passport

On the left, a man sits facing a screen with a game controller in his hands. Two other men stand watching the screen, their backs facing the camera. On the monitor is the game Teleblast; for green oblong obstructions are present, with triangular player characters present.

Well PAX Australia was a whirlwind of a three days; All five of the West Australian devs who attended were literally swept off their feet and made to feel welcome, so thank you all for the amazing experience. But now we are down to the brass tacks in terms of prizes for the WA Games Passport, with three gaming explorers being rewarded for their successful navigation of the showroom floor in search of our local studios and secret codes. So without further adieu the winners are…

    • First Prize: Joshua L from Delaney.
    • Second Prize: Jansen W from Somewhere South of Murdoch.
    • Third Prize: Leah J from Castlemaine.

Congratulations! Keep an eye on your inboxes as we will be in contact with you shortly to ensure you get your prizes. And once again, we appreciate you keeping an eye on the WA game developers for us while they were busy representing at PAX Aus.

BONUS: BEST FROM THE WEST

As part of the WA Games Passport draw, we also surveyed participants on their favourite title as a bit of extra fun. It was a fairly even field all up, but at the end of the day the most popular game was TeleBlast followed closely by The Dark Room! We would like to extend a massive thank you once more to all the studios involved, as they helped make this quest possible: Collateral Damage: Battle Over Tyzanite, Ghoul Britannia: Land of Hope and GoryLittle Bit Lost, TeleBlastThe Dark Room.

We hope you enjoyed our little passport quest and remember you can join us at the 2018 Perth Games Festival later this month!

Upcoming Event: Playup Perth #15

PlayUp Perth Logo, with text "Accelerating creative innovation in WA since 2013". URL links to PlayUp Perth Website.

PlayUp Perth is back again, with a selection of nine new local games for you to test out. There’s an excellent lineup of both tabletop and digital games on show, so here’s the full list of the fun things you’ll be able to get your hands on: Fluttering Souls by Nurse Shark Games, Ned by PeeBee Games, Project:Singularity by Glitched Umbrella Studio, Monumental Indonesia by Jeremy Snyder, Panda Pilots by Echidna Studios, Bongo Cowbellie by Nathan Scott, WOOZE – Ladies Who Lunch With Me by Ellie Balson, Rhythm Hunter by Different Game Studio, and TeleBlast by Tim Velette.

What: PlayUp Perth #15
When: Friday, 9th November, 6pm – Late
Where: Riff, 45 St Georges Tce, Perth WA 6000 (Wheelchair accessible)
Tickets: $15 via EventBrite

For more details on the games, and the excellent event that is PlayUp Perth, head on over to http://playupperth.org/playup-perth-15/

Boxes of the butterfly-themed boardgame Fluttering Souls, by Joel Lewis. Three are stacked on the right, one is flipped on it's side on the left.A small but grizzled Ned Kelly stands looking at a winding trail of rock-like platforms, dotted with glowing bars of gold. Gnarled trees stretch into the distance, and an ominous green mist hovers over the ground beneath the platforms. URL Links to PlayUp Perth Event Page
A retro styled scene with an orange/yellow sun against a purple/pink sky. Two palm trees sit in front of the large sun, as a bird chaaracter sits on the back of a dashing bear, and looks back at a menacing giant bug boss flying behind them. URL links to Playup Perth event page

Explore WA Games at PAX Aus and Win!

This week is Melbourne International Games Week and right at the very end is PAX Australia. In 2018 we have five great developers showcasing their games at PAX Aus as part of PAX Rising. Together they decided that doing something neat was the order of the day; So we present to you the WA Games Passport!

The idea is simple, visit any of the booths listed below to pick up your WA Games Passport and start your journey. Each developers will also have one of five secret letter; Find all these WA developers, write each letter down, and it forms a secret URL you can enter here on letsmakegames.org to enter the draw to win one of three EB Games vouchers (valued at $100, $30 and $20 respectively).

To start, just visit one of the five WA Games booths and ask for a passport!

Oh and one final thing, massive thanks to these developers for coming to the table AND to Lisa Rye for doing the brilliant cover art for this project!

 

THE GAMES

TeleBlast LogoTeleBlast

By: Tim Veletta
Stand: AIS4
Website: https://teleblastgame.com

Explosive and fast-paced multiplayer game where you have to teleport and blast to win!

Created by Tim Veletta at this years Perth Global Game Jam, Tim has smoothed off the rough edges, built out the game and it’s now about to hit EA on steam! Oh and it’s part of this year’s PAX Australian Indie Showcase, so they’ve done a great job!

Collateral Damage - Cover ArtCollateral Damage: Battle Over Tyzanite

By: Artisans Games
Stand: Booth 30
Website: https://artisansgames.com/collateral-damage

Fight against your friends as one of many unique robots, brawling to secure the last resources of their crumbling planet.

After having been built over the past year and a bit, the team has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to finish the game which you can also check out here.

Ghoul Britannia Key ArtGhoul Britannia: Land of Hope and Gorey

By: Binary Space
Stand: Booth 50
Website: http://binaryspacegames.com/land-of-hope-and-gorey

The UK has caused the worst to happen, the dead now roam the earth. Help Hope and her zomBFF, Dave, get out safely.

Saxon Druce and the Binary Space team have been working for over a year on this unique point-and-click adventure game. This project has been a joy to watch and you’ll be able to check it out in more detail this weekend!

Little Bit Lost - Ants on a CanLittle Bit Lost

By: King Tide Studios
Stand: Booth 41
Website: http://littlebitlostgame.com

Being small in size means you’re in for a big adventure! You awake to find yourself smaller than an ant, can you fight to survive?

Grae has been working on Little Bit Lost for a while but this year formed a team with other Perth devs. It’s early days but this survival game is shaping up well and it’s already on itch.io!

The Dark RoomThe Dark Room

By: Stirfire Studios
Stand: Booth 55
Website: http://thedarkroomgame.com

YOU AWAKE TO FIND YOURSELF IN A DARK ROOM! The abusive retro-styled comedy puzzler! Drink in the horror of 1980’s gaming!

Gather what’s left of your wit, outsmart and survive the horrors that the dark room has set out for you. From the twisted comedic genius of John Robertson. Also the team will be there with a Pinny-Arcade pin of The Dark Room too!

SO…

In summary, check out these five great games at PAX Rising and there will be plenty of others to play along the way. We can’t wait to see you there!

 

Disclaimer: In the interest of transparency, please note that the author of this article is associated with one of the games listed in this initiative.

Beginning French – Week 1

Today marks the end of the first week I’ve spent actively trying to learn some french. I’ve decided to use this as a chance to re-start this blog, as a way to consolidate my thoughts on my progress.


The Plan

I’m using the experience of learning french to experiment with a different approach to language learning than my previous attempts with Japanese and Esperanto. (Largely class and textbook based or Duolingo style apps). This time I plan on focusing heavily on input-

This time I plan to focus input over everything – Listening and reading will be my main focus of study time. After an initial burst of input and once my comprehension reaches a level I am happy with, I will likely start to introduce more output into my studies.

Learning tools

So far I’ve used the following sites/resources:

Duolingo – I started with the first maybe quarter of the Duolingo french tree in the first day of deciding to try French out, I dropped using it about as fast as I picked it up –  I think Duolingo is a fantastic tool for exposing completely  new learners to a foreign language but I don’t actually think its a very good tool for learning a language- Its early vocabulary and phrases are boring, it makes it far too easy for the learner to cheat themselves through hints in the multi choice answer format, if you do use it I suggest using it on the computer where it should at least have you type answers.

Anki – Anki is my go to flashcard program, by far the best one for me I have tried and it’s extremely versatile. I currently have around 450 cards and hope to expand that with words I didn’t understand during my input study.

Forvo – A website for native pronunciation of words and phrases, this paired with Anki has been extremely valuable and I would use the combination in any future language studies.

LingQ – I’ve only used this one today but its looking to become a core component of my reading input and a source for my Anki deck.

Input resources

I don’t really know much about french culture/media so for week one I’ve just been using the following for my input:

  • Journal en français facile – French news broadcasts spoken in a simple way for comprehension (Listening to episodes as well as reading the transcripts)
  • Jay’s Gaming – A french speaking lets player
  • l’etranger – Novel by Albert Camus
  • French Voices Podcast – I’ve been listening to this while paying less attention to it/working – It’s a bit beyond me just now but works well for hearing french.

Where am I at now?

So I’m still very clearly a beginner, it’s week one and I’m not some kind of wunderkind or even a “smart guy” – However, after a week of just trying to absorb as much as I can through input, I can look at a phrase from the news such as:

“La sécurité est au cœur de l’élection présidentielle au Brésil. Jour de vote demain. Le candidat d’extrême droite Jair Bolsonaro pourrait arriver en tête.”

And despite missing particular words/expressions such as “arriver en tête”, I can still understand the message being conveyed and most of these words. Continuing to see these words in further news reports should hopefully cement them in for future output, key words or words I don’t know get popped into the anki for review. For a week of learning, I’m pretty happy with that.

 

 

Schiphol 23: Airport Missions MMOG

Schiphol 23 mockup

I had an idea for a video game a while back. It's a multiplayer mission game with rogue-like elements, set in various procedurally generated airports through which you can transit.

Airport ambience by wichiogarcia on freesound.org

Everybody's missions are all mixed up together, so you might have a mission to deliver a package and somebody else's mission is to stop you. You might be trying to transit throuh several airports and other people are trying to catch you. You might be trying to find an item that somebody else has hidden. You might be chaperone to a VIP and the VIP is another player. Missions would last an average of 5 minutes each and feature a count-down timer as in the game Counterstrike.

The visual style would be vector based similar to those isometric maps you sometimes see in airports.

Amsterdam airport map

Brussels airport map

I don't play many video games but I very much enjoyed the pace and aesthetic of the game Rymdkapsel by Martin Jonasson.

Rymdkapsel screenshot

I found it was an easy game to put down and pick up again for short bursts of play.

Probably my favourite video game is Another World by Eric Chahi which features a vector style and is similarly easy to play in small increments.

Another world

The Dark Room awaits you on Steam Early Access

Scratched Text reads: The Dark Room. On the left, what appears to be a young white-haired man leans in closely and stares as you, with a wide evil grin, intense eyes and a raised brow. On his shoulders sit dark layered armour covered in spikes, and in the distance an eerie yet unrecognisable glowing object.

Comedian and noted Perthonality John Robertson’s “The Dark Room” is a show that many have had the chance to enjoy, but few have had the chance to escape. If you fall into either of those camps you may find yourself dreadfully delighted to see the new PC version of The Dark Room, cooked up by the fine folks at Stirfire Studios. If you haven’t seen it yet? Oh my. Well, we really shouldn’t spoil the macabre surprise.

But we will though. Just a little bit. You will die.

This is the Dark Souls of text adventures, the BDSM of RPGs, it’d be a walking simulator, but only if you were walking through a minefield.

– via Steam

Tasked with finding a light switch buried somewhere in the depths of the logic-defying Dark Room, this love-letter to brutal 80’s text adventures is angling for laughs, but there’s no ignoring Stirfire’s top-notch motion capture work as well.

…to be quiet honest, the team behind producing the game have certainly brought the live show to smaller monitor screens brilliantly.

– via Blazing Minds

If your curiosity is piqued, you can check out the trailer below or pop over to the official website, but to give too much more away would rob you of the twists of gleeful malice that await you in The Dark Room. You can pick the game up on Steam Early Access as of today.