I curated PIGSquad’s February Porkland Chiptune show this past Friday night, and it was a blast! We hosted Paul Owens of 2 Player Productions, Ovenrake, Operation Mission, Plain Flavored (with a bit of Spamtron), and Mechlo (in that order). Dos hooked up his Commodore 64 for a majority of the show’s visuals, and away we went!
We were moderately screwed into a late start/early close time slot, and the audience (which was greatly influenced by Operation Mission and his efforts) showed up fairly late, but it ended up being a very successful show – we had about 80 people show up, people had a great time playing with the Com64/Genesis visuals, we had a load of super talented performers, and I saw quite a few people that I hadn’t seen forever!
I also got a bit of video!
So yeah! It feels great to see support for all of these great/super talented d00ds while having good ‘ol partytimes in the meantime. I’d love to put so much more effort into a project like PIGSquadRadio to raise further awareness of these guys’ efforts (as well as selfishly listen all of der time), but I’m focusing much more on things like Space Eulogy and spending more social times with all’a deez cool people. AH WELL, we’ll do another one soon!
This past weekend’s Attack of the Flix (new website ;D) was super inspiring! In addition to seeing an AnImAtIoN take first place, there was a slew of really awesome content! I’m still a little leery of meh stuff due to some of the movies that’ve been submitted in the past, but there’re a few new hard submission requirements that seem to be raising the bar with each and every show! This month’s event was perfect for me to have invited a few friends who hadn’t been before, and I can’t wait to see what people come up with for next month.
I voted for Chef Antonio, A Hip Hop Minute, and… that… Febreeze one (or something). I’ll have to post Hip Hop/Febreeze in the comments of this post when I find out where I can see them online.
I really appreciated Chef Antonio for its animation quality and the upbeat universe in which it took place. The rhythm of the characters’ motions was super fun and happy, and the motions themselves were so extremely well done (Matt Dan knows what he’s doing). In retrospect, I feel that the story was a cliche, but I’m also realizing that I didn’t think of this until just now – the short kept a strong hold on me for the duration of its screening, and I really really enjoyed it! I couldn’t help thinking of the setting in the middle of it, though; simultaneously thinking “animation” and “restaurant” will forever make me think of how tedious it was to complete the layers in The Story of a Bullet during the Blackout Burger scene. I admire Matt not only for his skill as an animator, but also for his patience in the midst of assumed said tediousness. My individual projects have only experienced a fraction of the 1,500 frames he set into motion, and he worked with multiple voice actors (one of which happened to be a past teacher of mine..!) to boot!
So yeah! I may/may not throw together a STTG compilation for the next AotF, I’m going out to promote the chiptune show tomorrow, and I hope to iron out most of the event plans for March 28th’s screening of Indie Game: The Movie by the end of the weekend! I was excited about something else, but I forget what it was. Hoo hah!
I think it’s about time to essplain via Bloggy McBloggerson what my Space Funeral-related project is.
I’m developing Space Eulogy, the JRPG prequel to Space Funeral. I received permission from thecatamites to produce the game about a year ago after having played SF, the style of which I fell in love with and the story of which inspired me to expand on the canon. If you want to read about how the story pans out and stuff (and be a super dumby boring-head), I wrote a wiki so that I wouldn’t have to explain plot elements to other people who are working on it.
I started/finished that wiki up the day of a PIGSquad Art/Code Night that I hosted last week at the NW Lucky Lab, and I’ve been trying my best to complete certain other aspects of pre-dev stuff day by day. So far, after having worked out the basic plot, central characters, and the central characters’ backstories, I have a few non-pivotal characters mapped out and some more gameplayish stuff laid down. The party members all have at least three classes to choose from (the character “Mmm” has five), there are approximately 55 enemies and 12 bosses that I’ve divided into 14 leveling tiers, and Donny and I have defined quite a few gameplay elements regarding stats/level caps/encounter frequency/etc.
Regarding the team so far, I’ll be doing the main project development, writing, art for the prologue, and art for battle scenes; Donny will be doing stats and battle design; Jamey will be coding; and Wolfgang will be doing tile and NPC art. I’m excited to start working with everyone else soon (hopefully in the beginning of March), and I’m glad that the wiki’s all laid out beforehand.
With regard to MaNy ThInGs, I’ve been busy and worried and stressed and enjoying myself and all’a that over the past few weeks. The Lucky Lab meetup was fun/relaxing/helpful after having experienced a fairly depressing PDXFC meeting, where we explored some of the more hopeless corners of short film distribution (which has become our topic of the month as a result). There’re also quite a few big events coming up, such as this month’s chiptune show, Barcamp at the end of March, our hosting the Indie Game: The Movie screening, ‘n all that. I’ve decided to make my series “So There’s This Game” a Thursday-ly thing due to these commitments and other reasons, such as the fact that I’m going to burn myself out with zero audience if I do something like that twice a week.
Oh, but speaking of the CHIPTUNE SHOW, it’s THIS FRIDAY and it’ll be REALLY FUN. HAGEN made a REALLY COOL POSTER for the EVENT.
In addition to working on Space Eulogy, PIGSquad, and Film Collective stuff, I’ve been working on a few other creativy kindsa thangs lately.
One project that I’m super excited about is an animation series titled “So There’s This Game,” where I take a randomly generated game name from videogamena.me and explain what the game would be like in under a minute. I had the idea when we used videogamena.me for time-killing and mind-clearing at the Global Game Jam, and it’s turned out to be a pretty fun project so far. I’m considering releasing one every MF or MWF, so we’ll see what time allows. I’m currently working on Drunken Nazi Hospital, Legendary Hovercraft Jam, Frisky Mountain Climber Horde, and Undead Wrestling Online! Here’s the first one I finished:
I also taught myself the BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s Tamariu on the accordion lately, which I first heard when I played Space Funeral for the first time! It’s a very good song that I’m stoked to appropriately incorporate into Space Eulogy as well… which reminds me that I also finished Mother 3 recently… :’)
I SHOULD DRAW SOME SPACE EULOGY STUFF. I NEED TO WRITE A BLOG ABOUT WHAT THAT IS, TOO.
Our monthly PIGSquad general meeting was held last night! 20 people showed up, which was perfect for our varied agenda; we discussed Global Game Jam retrospectives, our Porkland Chiptune show coming up on the 24th at the Backspace Cafe, organizing art/coding nights, participating in a user-generated conference called Barcamp, and a bunch of projects that everyone’s been working on!
It was great to hear opinions on how the GGJ could have been better run – I felt that everything was executed appropriately, but there’s always room for improvement! There were lots of interesting points about the schedule for the first hour and a half of the Jam, mostly revolving around when the prompt was delivered in relation to when teams formed, when the keynote was shown, etc. There were also numerous critiques about the IGDA’s website, which I agree should be changed for those registering, those showcasing their games, those trying to have their games discovered, and the like. People were interested in playing everyone’s games at the end of the Jam as well, but everyone was super ready to vacate after 48 hours in the same building, so we’ll be saving that for the postmortem (the date/location of which is still TBA)! Perhaps a few things will be different when we do our next PIGJam in April.
Details about the Porkland Chiptune show will be out soon, I’m planning on getting everyone together for a art/coding hangout at the NW Lucky Lab late next week, and I’m continually trying to get feedback on the PIGSquad forums regarding the arcade cabinet we’re looking to construct and put in Ground Kontrol (if you have any opinions on that, please send ‘em our way). So yah, things are lookin’ good! Might also be worth mentioning that a large group of us hung around the meeting location to talk until about 10:30pm (meeting starts at 7); it’s great to know that everyone’s been having a great time with each other!
I’ve also gotten started on a video blog that I hope to start releasing every MWF, titled, “So There’s This Game.” It’s based on the fun we had at GGJ with videogamena.me. I’ll post when done!
I hosted Global Game Jam 2012 this past weekend! The event entails a race against a 48-hour clock, where teams of game developers must make a game based on a universal theme by the end of the period. This one’s “global” because 11,247 people participated in 244 locations around the world on the same weekend and following the same prompt! Our local Portland event hosted 41 participants, who formed 9 teams and created 6 playable games! Everyone had a great time, as is expected (/required) of any Jam, and I’m looking forward to GGJ13 as well as a Portland Indie Game Jam I hope to host in April!
The weekend went as follows:
- Introductions/Icebreaker Activity/Team Formation/Keynote Video
- Prompt Delivery
- Playable Version
The later steps had recommended deadlines, which all of the teams more or less followed, but everyone had to go through a similar process to be able to get a cohesive, complete, and working game by the end of these 48 hours of madness (which was honestly cut a bit short due to my being late and the IGDA’s requirement that people upload a bit earlier).
The prompt ^^^
An interpretation of the prompt ^^^ (thumbs fucking up)
My personal experience of the Jam was great. The past month or so was a little cray because I had to do my best to pump us up to our 50 person capacity, coordinate building dealz with the Art Institute and volunteers with the ACM SIGGRAPH, and sift through not-so-efficient communication methods that were provided by the International Game Developers Association, but everything worked out very well during the actual event. I guess my only huge complaint about that last ordeal was the promise that GGJ hosts would receive the keynote video as well as the prompt the Sunday before the Jam (five days), and, after frantically searching for it in the organization’s communication board, I realized it hadn’t even been sent out until 10:30pm the night before. So that was a relief.
But yeah, what a great weekend. I always get super inspired when I’m around a large group of people who pride themselves in creativity and problem solving, and I was completely immersed in these great minds’ entire weekend – a few people asked me about what I actually did, since I wasn’t allowed to make a game due to seeing the prompt ahead of time, and I had ended up just walking around and hanging out with teams the whole time (minus a few alonetimes on the intarwebs). By the time I had spent 15 minutes with each team, it had been an hour and a half since visiting the first one, so I’d start the cycle over again. It was so great to see art, gameplay, code, music, teams, and ideas grow, and knowing that at least 20 people were awake and working at any given time makes a Jam like this so communal and enveloping. I can’t wait for some of my other projects to start getting off the ground, because working with some of these people is half the fun.
So there’s having a good time with everyone, getting swarmed with ideas, and having had the honor to host the Global Gatdam Game Jam, but I honestly couldn’t really name any special milestones that happened at any specific time… I know I cheated and got six hours of sleep on the first “night” and four on the second, I beat my high score in Super Crate Box, we went out for sushi after everything was over, one team fell apart/tears fell hard/they got back together and made a game, SIGGRAPH came in for interviews and brought food, I had a great idea for a video blog, I worked on some Space Eulogy stuff, we went out for pizza at one point, a game developer from Norway stopped by, and… some other stuff. I’m not necessarily sure as to the order in which this took place, but here’s to Game Jams!
Please click on some of the image links to see what they’re all about! You can also view all of the game projects produced at the Portland site by looking under “Game Projects” on the right-hand side of our site’s page, and we’ll be hosting an official, open-to-the-public post-mortem event at the Art Institute sometime in the near future. Show these games some love!