Just posted the events that I’ll be hosting for the Portland Indie Game Squad‘s 2012 December!
First off, there’s our open-forum general meeting, at which attendees will be having in-person discussion about upcoming events, Global Game Jam 2013, our own projects, and anything else that needs to be brought up indie-games-wise.
The next evening, we’ll be having another boardgame night! Our first one was held last Monday, and everyone had a blast – about 25 people attended and brought about eight games in addition to the selection that The Side Door had already provided, there’s a great food and drink selection at the venue, and Mondays are dead so we almost had the place to ourselves! I also brought my first-person-shooter boardgame – FiercePeg Shootout – which I’ll be testing again at this upcoming boardgame night after having fixed a few mechanics from last week!
The Monday after, we’ll be revisiting The Side Door for our first ever half-jam! I had been considering whether December should entail a PIGSquad-hosted movie night, a pitch party, or a number of other evening-long events, but I was most excited by my idea of a half-jam, which is a scaled-down game jam where participants focus on concept work to bring a game’s basic structure to fruition, exploring gameplay mechanics, concept art, story, mood, scope, and marketing in a more rudimentary brainstorming setting, aiming to come up with a design document rather than a full game. It’ll be a lot less of a time investment, a lot less trouble for me to find a venue, and a lot less technical than a full-fledged jam, so I hope a lot of people of varying skill levels can make it and come up with some awesome game ideas!
See you soon, I guess ;D
“Fuck This Jam is a jam centered around the theme of making a game in a genre you hate. Through utter ignorance for conventions and hate for the established rules of a genre, beautiful things will happen.” Been thinking about doing this for awhile. I was super busy organizing things for the Guts for Glory Game Jam and Orycon and thought I might not be able to do it, but that prompt is bitchin’ and I’m more down than ever.
Currently working on mechanics for a first person shooter boardgame. I don’t hate the FPS genre, but I can never get good because of the people that dump so much time into it (knowing everything about the map, about the guns, about a n00b’s typical behavior, etc.). It’s also not a genre that’s especially interesting to me, so I don’t know if I’ll ever get good. I’m realizing now that I’m actually kinda sad that it’s the predominant multiplayer genre.
SO, let’s eradicate that! The premise of this boardgame will be that one must use pure reaction and more widespread reflexes to shoot enemies. Widespread as in using their body’s reactionary abilities from their fingertips to their shoulders.
Working on a peg board (kind of like Battleship) with different colored pegs – colors for enemies, different types of supplies, random special supplies, “nothing,” etc. Player 1 arranges these pegs on the board in any fashion they please while Player 2 is not allowed to look (perhaps working on their own peg board). When Player 1 is done, they place the peg board in front of Player 2, whose eyes are still closed. When Player 2 hears “go,” they have four seconds (arbitrary number so far) to place caps on all of the enemy pegs and remove as many supply pegs as they can. At the end of the four seconds, it’s hands off; any remaining enemies deal damage to them, and any leftover supply pegs are unavailable. That’s the very general premise, at least. I still have to work out a goal/map system, I have some card ideas for random draws as the “special supplies,” and there are some numbers that need to be set.
But damn, I’m excited. This all began last night and ends on the 17th, so I have time to make a nice pegboard (and show it off at an upcoming PIGSquad boardgame night), document my process with video, and get a bit of playtesting in. If this sounds stupid, comment telling me why – otherwise, follow my immediate progress on Twitter, keep coming back to this site for more expanded documentation, and keep watch for my “making of” and “learn to play” videos on YouTube!
THIS IS WILL LEWIS REPORTING FROM ORYCON 34 AND I’M HERE AND YEAH YEAH YEAH.
We’re at “Oregon’s Premiere Sci-Fi Convention” with PIGSquad showing off a couple’a projects and having a good ol’ time. We’ve got Eulogy, Rubicon, Mansfield’s Manor, Meta, some prototypes and info on display all weekend; things are going well. I’ve found that kids are the most encouraging at things like this, and they’re really doing well to get gamedevs in gear to consider what their projects need and to admire what they’ve done. A little 4-year-old boy stared at some Eulogy animation loops I had on display for about 5 minutes, smiling and daydreaming. SOYEAH THAT’S GOING WELL.
We also experienced success at the Guts for Glory Game Jam two weekends ago – we worked on the prototype for a resource management game that places the player in the shoes of a community organizer who must manage volunteers, money, and surrounding areas’ enthusiasm regarding the topic of organ donation (since our game is being created for Donate Life Northwest). It’s turn-based with the goal of reducing the organ recipient waiting list to zero, heavily relying on the strategy involved with managing your resources as well as educating the player about the topic from a real-world standpoint as players are exposed to information when training their in-game volunteers. We got pretty far and have some pretty good goals laid out; I was so happy to participate in a jam solely as a project manager (rather than a combination of a couple of different jobs) because I actually got something done. Now, we’re continuing work post-jam to develop a playable demo for Donate Life Northwest, and we’re aiming to have the demo completed by the end of the month!
Regarding other projects, I’ve finally developed a schedule for myself that actually encourages me to get stuff done, so I really feel like I’m on track to make some progress on numerous projects. IT’S SO EXCITING. Look out for some Mother 3 wallpapers, game news, STTG stuff, and other things. I’m, like, goin’ for it.
Man, PAX was a blast this year. I met so many great people, there were about 25 PIGSquad members present, I was actually super excited for some upcoming games thanks to the Megabooth, and I’m just all-around so encouraged by the international indie community and its patrons.
Now that I’m back in Portland, I’m having a hard time emulating that enthusiasm because this area has its work cut out for it. I don’t know what it’s like in Austin, Seattle, San Fran, New York, or other gamedev communities in the states or worldwide because I haven’t spent a worthy amount of time in those environments, but man, it’s been so weird to completely immerse myself in the thing I love most and then go back to a place where people couldn’t care less about game development, aren’t as enthusiastic about the medium but still name it their primary interest, or try to humor me without realizing the massive amounts of enthusiasm that keep people going in the scene. I felt so at home this past weekend, and I really want to create a similarly welcoming environment in Portland so that home isn’t impossible to achieve. And I feel that people with similar amounts of enthusiasm experience what I do upon returning to their more developed game communities even, which I guess is the long way of saying that moving is dumb and that I’m not going to do it.
ThAt BeInG sAiD/lOnG sToRy ShOrT, it’s weird to come home to worrisome things happening with regard to events like XOXO Arcade, the OMSI Mini Maker Faire (which you should go to), and a general PIGSquad meeting after having had a perfectly executed – and in some cases, serendipitous – weekend in the midst of so many awesome people and projects. That just sets a standard, though, and I’m in it for the long haul!
So dang, lots of cool stuff happened. The above is a group photo which a surprising amount of people made it to despite so many panels, tournaments, and dinner timez taking place then; you can see that a whole bunch of people wore the PIGSquad @ PAX 2012 shirt, which is awesome! I think everyone had a great time, and there were many reports of people asking about the group. I spoke with numerous developers and community organizers in Seattle who were interested in collaborating on “local” northwest events, which is great because I want to hop in at every turn! Also got to talk to some people about the details involved in volunteering/attending GDC and other conventions of a similar PAX-ilk, so I’ll be capitalizing on those opportunities when they arise, too!
Also finally got to meet Ashley Zeldin and John Nesky in person! I had been speaking with John for awhile regarding a Beep Box-related project and met Ashley through him, following their Game Jam games and IGDA endeavors since on Twitter and via other means. They’re so so great, and Ashley helped inspire me to look into the idea of hosting a panel on community organizing next year at PAX (which I believe the convention sorely needs)! Can’t wait until we can hang out next, and we’re already talking about ways to help each other promote projects like PIGSquad, Beep Box, games, and more..!
Had the pleasure of meeting developers from Octodad, Spry fox, Bootsnake, Mojang, and Vlambeer as well! Most everyone was super nice and wanted to talk about their games, which is great, because I had a lot to tell them! I’d have to say that I’m most excited for LUFTRAUSER and Leap Day; two beautiful (and totally different) games that are right up my alley. Look into them when you get the chance; they’re the first games that’ve gotten me excited to sit down and play something in awhile!
So yeah, that’s a sum up of my PAX. A super great time leaving me lusting for more upon returning home. But that’s good; I’m stoked to play the networking game (hate that word, though), am realizing lots about how to best help local devs and support our own community, have lots of people to call on for advice/help/collaboration, witnessed a huge boost in motivation to continue work on my own games, and gained a more positive outlook on the future of my personal interactions with game developers, game communities, and even non-game entities.
Here’s to friends, storytelling, and feeling at home!
Pfwhew, lotsa stuff has been going down of late. In addition to hosting PIGSquad’s Mayhem PIGJam this past weekend, I was interviewed for my friend’s show “Frope, it’s NOT Saturday,” I recently had a meeting about a music jam a friend and I are planning, I made a bunch of music, and I’m getting way too into the thought of animating things to throw on Newgrounds again! Gawdaym. And my car has to get a new fuel pump. Gawdaym.
Other than finding out my car felt all schloopy at the end of the weekend, the Mayhem PIGJam went well! There were around 43 of us there, I believe there were 9 teams, and everyone either got a good amount done, got a game engine up and running, or finished something! I was working on a non-Jam game with Chris and Matt, and I got a few tracks (project and non-project related) done. Click on this lil link right here to see some of what others ended up pumping out, stay posted for the official Postmortem (which’ll take place a liiiiittle ways down the road…), and here’s a bit of what I worked on that weekend in the meantime!
I’ve also been super inspired by watching some old and new things by popular Newgrounds artists, and I miss the prospect of making something out of nothing for all to see (and maybe even admire..!), regardless of how crappy it looks. Idk. Newgrounds just gives me that feeling – I’m a huge fan of goofy/stupid and more intelligent humor alike, and I feel that Newgrounds creators explore so many different realms of humor and skill to create a very whole and appealing experience. And of course there are all walks of life errwhere ya go, but it seems to all accumulate on Newgrounds, so it’s so easy to find great or not-so-great stuff (both of which I need). IDK. I’ve been uploading Bullet William tracks up in dat bitch lately, so, even though they’re the same thing on my Soundcloud, you should ship your shit over there to give my tracks a listen with the neat little “loop” feature and give ’em a mighty rating! I also started a new Facebook page that I’ll start actively pursuing once there’s a bit of content on it.
Scorecery and Frope stuff is/was cool, too. I met with Nick to discuss the Scorecery music jam and go over site layout and such, and we’re thinking that we’ll have something ready for September/October. So that’s cool. And my interview on Frope was cool, too, but the rest of the show and the musical guest were definitely the highlights in my opinion – show was funny, musical guest was unique and awesome! You can watch and/or download it here 😀
So yeah. Anyways, yeah. I think that’s all that’s happened in the past week.
It is 4:10am (in the AM) and I’m chillin’ at the Art Institute of Portland for PIGSquad’s third Game Jam, the Mayhem PIGJam! There are 40 of us here in approx. 9 different teams developing games from scratch in a period of 48 hours! I’m not working on something Jam-related, but it’s still a game. A shoot ’em up, in FACT. Here’s a track I’m in the process of writing for the Rain/Lightning themed level!
Everyone else is doing well with their shizz. The prompt is/was different for each team – people drew from a pile of cards with mayhem-like words written on them, and these were their prompts. Implosion, Explosion, Destruction, Madness, Doom, Anarchy, Disorder, Mischief, and Turbulence were a few of them. Mayhem and Peace were the two “special” ones (which means nothing), but no one drew Peace! Ah well.
But chyeah! All ‘n all, things are going very well – I was extremely prepared in my presentation of the rules ‘n such, and it was a breeze getting teamless people to assemble! I actually wrote down stuff that I needed for tonight, like, a few days ago, which is an absurd amount of preparedness for me (ooh, “absurd” would have been a good prompt…). Chris, Matt, and I are still working through what we’re specifically doing for our game, though – I had no time to prepare any sort of notes for my actual project 😛
Also, heads up – I will be appearing on my friend’s internet Livestream show this upcoming 12AM. The show is called “Frope, it’s not Saturday” (I assume because 12am is TECHNICALLY Sunday), and Jesse will be talking with me about the shit that I do and stuff, including what’s going on at the Jam at the time. Tune in and watch me talk with 3 hours of sleep (I plan on sleeping from like 6am-9am this morning)!