IGDA Scotland Scholars @ GDC 2017

igda_scot_gdc_fb_banner_2

There’s only one more week left until the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, and we hope you’re as excited as we are! Over the years we’ve had a multitude of scholars that have represented Scotland at GDC and this year is no different. We have 4 scholars across the IGDA Foundations IGDA Scholars, Women in Games Ambassadors, and Next Gen Leaders programs.

Every day this week we’ll be doing a feature interview with each of our scholars – James Wood, Mona Bozdog, Kirsty Keatch and Llaura Ash McGee – so that you get a chance to know them a bit better and what this opportunity means to them.

We’re extremely lucky to have such a close and thriving development community here in Scotland, and we’d like to thank James, Mona, Kirsty and Llaura for agreeing to be interviewed.

Are you going to GDC this year? The IGDA have a schedule of events available here. Our next monthly event will be a GDC Round up in Dundee in March. If you’d like to speak, get in touch with us at info@igdascotland.org.

IGDA Scotland Play Parties 2017

igda_playparty_fb_banner

All of us at IGDA Scotland want to give a huge thank you to everyone that came along to our play parties last week! Whether you exhibited or simply came along to play the exceptional range of games created at game jams throughout the year, we really hope you had as great a time as we did. We’d also like to thank everyone that made the play parties possible; We Throw Switches, Creative Scotland, our venues Hemma, Unit 6 at The Vision, and Drygate, and everyone that hosted a Global Game Jam site in Scotland.

This year we collaborated with our friends We Throw Switches who offered the opportunity for one game from each play party site to be exhibited at their upcoming event GamesAreForEveryone on the 21st of April in Edinburgh. So, we’d like to present to you, our winners!

Edinburgh: Frack The Planet

FrackThePlanet_image

“You are the driver of a Fractor-Driller. It’s your job to drive around the planet, scanning with your GeoSonar for valuable shale gas deposits underground. They’re worth money–the bigger the better! When you’ve found one, you stick your drill into it, and start fracking! You have to pump every last atom of the gas out of it if you want to get paid. And you have ninety seconds in which to frack as many gas deposits as possible. Oh, and try to avoid running over those pesky protesters–those lawsuits are expensive!”

Frack the Planet was created at the GCU Global Game Jam site by team “Muling Kittens”; consisting of Aaron Dron, Aidan Dodds, Andy Durdin, David Farrell, Gordon Brown and Luke Drummond.

Dundee: Ola de la Vida

OlaDeLaVida_image

“The game is called Ola De La Vida, it is a three player game where each player’s physical movements are used to manipulate on-screen gameplay.   To play, players must physically form the ‘Wave of Life’ by holding each others hands and our two maraca controllers whilst standing on Wii balance boards.  Once the wave is active, players must shift their weight from one side of their balance board to the other in order to tilt their part of the on-screen wave of life.  Together, the three players tilt to and fro on their balance boards, whilst holding one another’s hands to help luchador pinatas to make it from one side of the wave (the screen) to the other.  The winning team is the one which saves the most Pinatas before time runs out – but if the players let go of one another’s hands or the maracas at any point, the game is over.”

Ola De La Vida was created at the Abertay University Global Game Jam site by “Smash it Open and See What’s Inside”; consisting of Mona Bozdog, Danny Parker, Lynn Parker and Alex Pass.

Glasgow: Rootin’ Tootin’ Typin’ Tide

rootintootin

“Our game, Rootin’ Tootin’ Typin’ Tide, is a quick, competitive two-player game with literal hand-to-hand combat on a keyboard battlefield. Using only one hand, players must hit more keys than their opponent to keep their character, and pride, afloat as they coast down treacherous river rapids. ”

Rootin’ Tootin’ Typin’ Tide was created at the GCU Global Game Jam site by team “Multiflair Games”; consisting of Thomas McLuskie, Kevin Martin, Fionn Innes, Rhiain Flaherty, Connall Reid and Paul Hamilton.

Global Game Jam – Talks and Advice!

This past September we hosted a night of talks on the topic of game jams, and with Global Game Jam this weekend in it seemed right to share them again with you all! Here is some advice for both participants and organisers, as well as some words from a team who decided to develop their idea further after the Global Game Jam.

First up was new board member Steven Taarland, talking about his experiences in organising Rainbow Jam ’16. He discusses some of the issues he faced regarding organisation, getting sponsorships, promotion and more.

Next was the winner of several of the Play Party Awards: Team Curvish. They spoke about how they came together during the jam and developed their game further after the play parties, including showing Curvish at EGX Rezzed, sourcing funding and how they plan to bring the game to market.

Finally Brian McDonald spoke about the Global Game Jam, his experience in helping to organise it as a site and as a board member, and several tips for people looking to take part in not only them but other jams.

Scottish Global Game Jam Sites!

It’s January, and that means that the Global Game Jam is upon us once again! Scotland plays host to a number of sites in a few different locations, so if you’re interested in taking part, be it to further your skills, develop new ones or just meet others interested in making games then do try get along to one.

IGDA Scotland will also be hosting our Play Parties in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee in association with We Throw Switches early in February, so please bring what you’ve made and have fun!

Here are some details about Global Game Jam sites this year:

Dundee

Abertay Game Lab – Abertay Uni

Abertay’s Game Lab will be hosting a GGJ site in celebration of their 20 years in games education.The site will have some equipment available to participants, but ask that jammers try to bring their own to avoid disappointment.

Tickets are currently available for students or invited non-students here.

Makerspace

The Dundee Makerspace will also be hosting a GGJ site. It is open to anyone who is 18+ years old. They are currently looking for sponsors to help pay for food for jammers, and encourages participants to bring their own equipment where possible. They also have on-site equipment such as 3D printers, laser and vinyl cutters and soldering tools for those looking to make a physical game.

Tickets are available here.

Edinburgh

Napier University

The Napier University Game Dev Society’s site is open to anyone over 18 years old, or over 16 if you are in college or university. They have some equipment available at the campus and will be providing food, but recommend people bring their own laptops to be safe. This site is also looking for some sponsorship.

More details here.

Napier are also hoping to livestream the site on Twitch here

Glasgow

Glasgow Caledonian Uni

Last but by no means least, Glasgow Caledonian Uni will be hosting their annual GGJ site in the Saltire Centre at the university.

They will be hosting about 200 jammers, a mix of students, industry professionals and keen amateurs. Alongside the jam, some documentarians will be making a short film to be shown at the end of the jam. Finally, a relaxation area with games will be provided by We Throw Switches.

Tickets are currently sold out, but a waiting list may be available. For more details head here.

Upcoming Event: Game Think 2.0 – 3rd Feb 2017

Building on the original event in 2015, Game Think 2.0 is a half day mini-conference that will provide students, researchers, and games industry practitioners with an opportunity to share their current video game-related research and development interests in a fun, informal way. You can register for the event at https://game-think-2.eventbrite.co.uk
This year, the headline speaker is renowned game theorist (and occasional game developer) Jesper Juul. Jesper is currently Associate Professor at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and Visiting Associate Professor at Comparative Media Studies/Writing, MIT. He is the author of The Art of Failure: An Essay on the Pain of Playing Video Games (MIT Press, 2013) and Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds (MIT Press, 2005) and has published extensively on topics relating to game design and theory. A second headline speaker, and the full line up of talks, will be announced shortly.

The event will take the form of a series of short ten-minute talks with an additional five minutes for discussion following each talk. The line-up includes talks on topics including: successfully obtaining a UK Games Fund Grant, organising games exhibitions, the design of serious games, queerness in games, the impact of game audio in modern culture, and more. The mini-conference will be followed by informal drinks and networking is actively encouraged.

A limited number of modest travel bursaries are available to support UK-based postgraduate students – please contact Matthew.Barr@glasgow.ac.uk for details. Funds are also available to support follow-up meetings between attendees from industry and academia, with a view to developing future collaborations.

 

#GameThink

Film Student looking for game devs and academics to interview

Jack Hunter, a student at Glasgow University, is looking for Scottish game developers and academics to interview as part of his final Masters project.

He is producing a documentary on the question of “Are Games Art?”, and seeking input from:

  • Gamers
  • Developers
  • Academics; specialists in Video Game studies and History of Art

He is currently in the research stage and looking for input from developers at this time, specifically regarding:

  • what do video games mean to you personally?
  • what do they mean to you as a creator?
  • what are your opinions on the ongoing debate as to whether or not video games should be considered an art form?

If you are interested in taking part, and comfortable being on film, please contact Jack at: jackhunter56@hotmail.co.uk

Call for Action: Team Rock Job Losses

Rock and metal music media publisher Team Rock recently went into administration, causing immediate layoffs across its departments just before Christmas. Team Rock also branched into Games with Team Rock Games, which was based in Scotland, all of whom have been hit by this sudden development.

We are issuing a call out for support to help those at Team Rock Games in finding new employment. If any games companies have any vacancies they are looking to fill, or are taking in prospective applications, please reach out to Brian Baglow at: brian.baglow@gmail.com

Additionally, if you are looking for additional staff with expertise in publishing, journalism, broadcasting, social media or any other number of fields please contact Brian who will pass those details along to the relevant people.

Our thoughts go out to everyone who has been affected by these job losses, especially at this time of year.