Latest Event Updates
Next Games Hub Anti-Social: 26th Feb, 7.30pm
We’ve got two demos! Infinite State Games and Lukas Roper from Opposable Games.
Lukas will be showing a short presentation (or possibly a demo) on a VR hardware, technical side project that he’s been working on.
Mike from Infinite State Games is going to show us his Frutorious HD on iOS. It is a completely re-designed and re-polished remaster of Frutorious SD. The SD version released in 2012 was nominated for two TIGA awards. This version has totally HD art, every single level has been polished and re-balanced to within an inch of its life, and has had innumerable tweaks and improvements made over the last 3 years. It has 144 levels of goofy puzzle platforming action and NO IAP! Oh also, the voice of Frutorious F.I.G. is provided by Bristol based rapper ChetMega. Come and have a play and give feedback & ask questions….
So join us on the 26th Feb at 7.30pm – we’ve got a buzzer! The entrance is off Thomas Street, just up from the junction of Thomas St/Stokes Croft, above what was DHS Heating.
Games Hub News:
We’ve got the new board games night on 4th March at 7.30pm – full info below in ‘Diary’ section…
Dev Scene News
Knowle West Media Centre – Visible You
A group of 8 Junior Digital Producers at KWMC are creating a documentary to address the issue of reported increased numbers of 13 – 19 year olds who are socially isolated. The team has started a Made Open crowd funding campaign here to contribute towards equipment that they need and promoting the project. You can read more about it here and get in touch with them on Twitter and Facebook.
Bristol based Allicorn Games proudly launches their first title this month. “Heckabomb”, a twin-stick shooter for PC, will be available on Steam and other stores from Feb 27th.
Auroch Digital – Chainsaw Warrior: Lords of the Night hits Steam!
Our 2nd title with Games Workshop has just hit Steam. It can be found here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/307600/ – if you are a reviewer and want a review copy, drop us an email to geoff at aurochdigital.com. We’d appreciate if you could Like this Facebook post, Upvote this Reddit post and/or RT this tweet! Thanks :)
Barbara-ian Hits Greenlight
Barbara-ian is a super fast paced twin-stick dungeon crawler focused on pure action. Using a physics-based combat system where 1 hit kills kills anything and everyone (including you), collect randomised weapons and master the procedurally generated dungeons. Unlike other dungeon crawler heroes, Barbara-ian has no inventory, no skill system, no health bars. She doesn’t want to duel with her enemies, doesn’t want to carry a bag full of calipers OR tongs, and she doesn’t need a spreadsheet to tell her how to kick ass. She just wants to smash. Our greenlight page is here. There’s a beta-testing build available here (which everyone is welcome to) Aaaaand the trailer, featuring a beautiful rendition of O Fortuna with the lyrics… adjusted, performed by myself, Sam Chester & colleague Kristian Andrews, is here (Watch the volume on that one). Follow us on twitter for more updates! @SamChesterD & @KristianAndrews
Force of Habit
Busy busy busy! Let’s go with bullet points…
- We released a mobile mini Sinking Feeling to iOS and Android. It was featured for a bit, which was awesome.
- Our long-awaited bullet hell party game Friendship Club is coming to Steam Early Access very soon!
- Finally, we’ve been working on a tool to help indie devs and small studios (like you!) manage their PR and marketing. More info on that in the next newsletter!
Jobs & Opportunities
2 Roles at Play Nicely
Play Nicely (www.playnicely.co.uk) are looking for an experienced freelance Unity 3D developer & a3D character animator. Experienced freelance Unity 3D developer to work in-house for an exciting project starting in the next couple of weeks. 3D character animator for rigging and animating high res human characters, AAA game quality. Can anyone interested in this role email megan at playnicely.co.uk with your availability, day rate and a link to your most recent portfolio please?
Unreal Offers Dev Grants
More info here.
EU Fund for Games is Open
More info here.
Bristol Anime & Gaming Con – Looking for Devs
…to show their games off at the event. Find out more and get in touch…
24th Feb: South West VR Conference
On Tuesday, 24th February, Opposable Games will be hosting the SouthWest VR Conference. Tickets have now sold out and the office is buzzing with excitement. We’ve got some incredible speakers coming to talk about aspects of narrative, storytelling and the way virtual reality will shake up the entertainment industry. After three months of hard work, planning and late nights, the team is almost ready for the event. As you can imagine, the event’s organiser Dan Page is over the moon! All the hard work is now paying off and in just under 4 days time, the fruits of the team’s labour will be realised.
Recently additions to the lineup include local tech start up Ultrahaptics, which has been continuously making headlines with its award-winning tactile technology. Delegates of the South West VR Conference will be given the chance to try out this impressive technology. Another recent addition is the mindbogglingly impressive company Nozon, who’ve somehow managed to add positional tracking to 360 videos.
Adding to our great features, exhibitors and speakers, we will be live streaming the event in virtual reality in Riftmax Theatre! This means viewers can put on their DK1 and DK2 Oculus Rifts, meet up with the rest of our virtual reality community and watch the event’s talks for themselves. In addition to this, we’ll be filming the event in 360 with the help of immersiv.ly, and making the talks available and viewable in VR at a later date.
During the day we will also be fundraising for UK charity GamesAid, a great organisation that helps disadvantaged and disabled children and young people. We’re on the lookout for volunteers to help out with the running of the conference. If you’re interested in virtual reality and want a chance to brush shoulders with some of the most influential people in the industry, this weekend is your last chance to contact us! It’s going to be an amazing day, we’re looking forward to seeing you.
26th Feb: 7.30pm – Games Hub Anti-Social
See above for details.
26th Feb: New European Media Meeting
New European Media is an industry association that advises the European Commission on its funding programmes. Its constituency includes all major European organisations working in the networked and electronic media area: content providers, creative businesses, broadcasters, network equipment manufacturers, network operators and service providers, academia, standardisation bodies and government institutions. NEM is currently developing a proposal for a major European fund to accelerate the development of ‘immersive entertainment technologies’. On February 26th the organisation is hosting its General Assembly in the UK for the first time. This will be a major event, featuring leading figures in the fields of media and entertainment technology including a presentation by Colin Davidson, Chief Scientist at The Imaginarium Studios. Colin is a double Academy Award winner and a world expert on 3D, computer vision, VFX, performance capture, and image-based modelling. You can get more information and register for the event here: http://nem-initiative.org/19th-nem-general-assembly/
4th March: BGH Board Games Night
Join us on 4th March from 7.30pm at Bristol Games Hub to play board games! We’ll have a few here but also bring yours along to play. Last event was great fun and lots of new and classic games were played… Email tom at aurochdigital dot com if any queries…
4-6th March: GDC
- Valve’s economist has become Greece’s new Finance Minister. Fear the hat event horizon
- Could Godus’ failure fuel a crowdfunding backlash?
- Video games in museums: fine art or just fun?
Bristol Games Hub Newsletter
Below is news from the hub, news from Bristol & SW developers, jobs, opportunities & events.
Bristol Games Hub is a non-profit space for games and play. We run this news letter, host events and also rent desk space at a cost price with no strings attached so you can get on and create amazing games. Contact geoff at aurochdigital.com for more information or with news items for the next newsletter and let us know news for the next one by 15th February please!
SW Freelancer/Company Dev Directory
If you’re looking for people to help on a project, or you are available for work – put your details in. Please only list info you’re happy to have your information in the public domain: http://bit.ly/bghdirectory
SW Game Dev Jobs Facebook page – Find roles and post new openings here…
Next Games Hub Anti-Social: 29th January, 7.30pm
This month we’ve got:
Jack the Ripper: Shadow Over Whitechapel – An Anatomy of our Crowdfunding Campaign so far..
Auroch Digital and their GameTheNews.net project are about to launch their crowd-funding campaign for the playable documentary title on the Jack the Ripper murders. Auroch’s community manager @AurochJake & designer @TomasRawlings will give a tour through the extensive prep work that has gone into the campaign and the particular challenges with launching a campaign based on real events.
So join us on the 29th January at 7.30pm – we’ve got a buzzer! The entrance is off Thomas Street, just up from the junction of Thomas St/Stokes Croft, above what was DHS Heating.
Plus - if people are good, there will be a special post-social bit of gaming (shhh)…
Unity Developers Group
The first Unity meetup of the year is to take place on 28th January 7.30pm. A new year awaits and with Unity 5 looming in the horizon it is going to be an exiting one. The meetup will follow the traditional format with us gathering at the Games Hub, showcases of what people have made or a chance to ask for questions to the problems the members are facing in their current development. Signup for the meetup can be found here: http://www.meetup.com/Bristol-Unity-Game-Developers-Meetup/events/219916255/
We hope to see a lot of cool prototypes since the meetup lies after the Global Game Jam. As always we will be heading to a nearby pub at around 10pm after we finish..
Dev Scene News
On 24th February, 2015, Opposable Games will host the SouthWest VR Conference at the At-Bristol Science Centre
SouthWest VR Conference is a one-day event with a focus on narrative and storytelling within virtual reality. The format will consist of quick-fire talks from significant industry-leading figures with plenty of time to network and try out the hardware, software and 360 degree movies on show.
Taking place at the At-Bristol Science Centre in Bristol on February 24, the conference has already attracted big-name official guests such as Oculus, the developer of the Oculus Rift virtual reality head-mounted display, Aardman, Pinewood, The Imaginarium and Yogscast, with quick-fire talks by Atlantic Productions’ Alchemy VR, Unity 3D, nDreams and Innerspace lined up. Other high profile speakers will be announced in the coming weeks. We’ll touch upon the challenges and lessons learnt telling stories and making games, experiences and films for virtual reality devices, but don’t plan to be too hung up on the technical side of things in the main track. For those that would like to talk tech however, a second track will feature demos and talks on VR input, gesture, facial recognition and more from some of the smartest minds in the business.
SouthWest VR, which is to be hosted by renowned games journalist Will Freeman, will also provide delegates with a chance to try out the latest in virtual reality technology including the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 and Samsung’s Gear VR Innovator Edition, powered by Oculus along with a few special surprises. The line-up of speakers and guests at SouthWest VR includes: Callum Underwood, European developer relations manager at Oculus; Phil Harper, creative director at Atlantic Productions’ Alchemy VR; Patrick O’Luanaigh, CEO of virtual reality-focused games studio nDreams; and Nick Pittom, director of critically acclaimed VR studio Fire Panda.
SouthWest VR will be fundraising for UK charity GamesAid, which will be running a GamesAid Tenner collection. Attendees are asked to bring £10 with them to donate to GamesAid.
The conference is supported by Invest Bristol & Bath, Creative Skillset, the Digital Cultures Research Centre, Webstart Bristol, the Centre for Digital Entertainment, the BMT Group and Unity 3D. For more information, tickets and links to our social media visit www.southwestvr.com
Skills empowerment workshop for women working in the games industry – 3rd Fed 10am-5pm in Bristol
Following on from the UK Gender Balanced Workforce Survey last month, which had an overwhelming response of over 300, this series of workshops across the UK supported by renowned industry speakers is set to empower women involved in the games industry by focusing on the skill areas women identified as wanting to advance in more… Sign up to take part here:
Global Games Jam 2015
We’ve had this at the Watershed, Creative England and Bristol Games Hub. This year UWE is hosting the event and it’s FREE to enter! – UWE is hosting GGJ15 Bristol! Registrations are now open! The Global Game Jam 2015 is taking place around the world on the 23rd January with UWE as a registered site. Doors open from 4pm at Frenchay Campus. It is a chance to come together, be creative, share experiences and express ourselves in a multitude of ways using video games. Be it programming, iterative design, narrative exploration or artistic expression, after a 48-hour development cycle you will have taken part in the world’s largest game creation event. Many participants have gone on to release their titles, but taking part is also an excellent way to expand your portfolio of work. We encourage people with all kinds of backgrounds in game development and creativity so if you are interested please register at the UWE Global Game Jam Site with your team details at the following link: http://globalgamejam.org/2015/jam-sites/gamestech-university-west-england
First off we’d like to say congratulations to our Director of Operations (and hub director) Debbie Rawlings as she’s been listed in the Top 100 Women in Games! Also we’re gearing up to launch our first Kickstarter in Feb – our project on the Jack the Ripper murders. You can get a flavor of it here. We’re also giving a talk about the project at the next anti-social to share our planning process.
Have been awarded support by Creative England after successfully meeting the crowdfunding targets in the Queen of Code competition. Work on their first game has begun! http://www.prettydigital.co.uk/
Jobs & Opportunities
Aardman Digital are looking for talented Flash Animators and HTML5 Developers to work on a number of exciting new projects looking to kick off around early February! If this sounds like your cup of tea, and you’re interested in joining the best team EVER, please contact digital at aardman.com for more information.
Game Jam Co-ordinator
As part of the GamesLab South West programme, Creative England are looking for a delivery partner to organise a 2-day Game Hack for indie devs in the region. If you are interested in applying to run the jams, please email ella.waving atcreativeengland.co.uk for more info. Do so quick as the final deadline for completed applications is 30th Jan.
Our Game Simulation Post for Bloodhound SSC is now live, and has a closing date of19th January, so if this is of interest, act quickly. £24k / 1 year fixed term with possibility of extension. Looking for experience of making things pretty and go FAST in Unity. Click through to Computer Science & Creative Technology. See here: http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/AKH006/games-technologist-vehicle-educational-simulator-project/
23rd Jan, 4pm+ GGJ15
Global Games Jam! It’s at UWE – see above.
28th Jan, 7.30pm Unity Developer Group
At the hub – see above.
29th Jan, 7.30pm – Games Hub Anti-Social:
Auroch Digital will give a tour though the extensive prep work that has gone into their new crowdfunding campaign – see above.
30th Jan, 1pm: Syncself 2 – How Tech can enhance the Storytelling Experience (PM Studio)
Friday, 30 January 2015 13:00 to 14:00: Karen Palmer will introduce us to SYNCSELF 2, a Transmedia Parkour Neurogame, an immersive storytelling experience in which the obstacles that the freerunners face within a film are determined by the user’s mental focus. http://www.watershed.co.uk/pmstudio/events/fri-30012015-100pm
24th Feb – SouthWest VR Conference
Full info is above!
- Games Hub type space launches in London
- Lyst – an event about love, sex & relationships in games…
- Unity adds analytics.
- How console publishers are trying to break into mobile.
Special Offer on New Desks! Bristol Games Hub is offering 5 desks to new residents at half-price for the first month i.e. just £55 (that’s internet, all bills, tea &coffee and of course a desk and chair). Please email Debbie if you’re interested debbie at aurochdigital dot com (Update! Four desks have gone now – so just one left!!)
SW Freelancer/Company Dev Directory
If you’re looking for people to help on a project, or you are available for work – put your details in. Please only list info you’re happy to have in the public domain: http://bit.ly/bghdirectory
SW Game Dev Jobs Facebook page – Find roles and post new openings here…
Next Games Hub Anti-Social: 29th Jan 2015, 7.30pm
We will be giving more info about what is in the session in the January newsletter. There is a lot happening in early 2015, so do watch this space! If you want to do a talk – drop us an email to geoff at aurochdigital.com with the idea and info.
Dev Scene News
Siobhan Reddy to Judge Digital Challenge
Siobhan Reddy of Media Molecule is confirmed as a judge for the Green Capital Digital Challenge! Time to get in the action before the deadline closes and the spaces fill up! https://www.bristol2015.co.uk/digitalchallenge/
Peter Simon (Demon Apathy) – Silly Village
Hey everyone! My interactive children’s book, Silly Village is finally finished! Check it out if you have an iPad and a kid. Or just an iPad.
It’s a tiny tale about a bunch of forest animals who are…well, not the brightest.
Hope you’ll enjoy!
Auroch Digital’s GameTheNews.net Listed in Nominet 100
Auroch Digital are honored to have been included in the 2014 Nominet 100 – a list of technology organisations, companies and individuals doing amazing things for the social good with tech. Auroch Digital were included for our GameTheNews.net project, which is exploring newsgames as a means of engaging people with real-world issues via gaming. There is more information on the nomination here and the full list is here.
Make It: Technobabble – Online free game maker for kids
Aardman have just released a public beta version of a game making and digital creativity tool they are making for the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/games/make-it-technobabble-game-maker
We’ve been doing lots of user testing which going to feed into the release version to be launched in February. All thoughts from Bristol Games community appreciated, please email: George.firstname.lastname@example.org
Queen of Code – Lux and the shadowmaker Crowdfunder
Constance Fleuriot is one of the women making games who have joined the Queen of Code initiative recently launched by Creative England and Crowdfunder UK to encourage more women into developing their own game projects. Now live on Crowdfunder UK, her game, Lux & The Shadowmaker, has until December 22nd to hit its target of £5000 – achievable if 172 people each pledge £20!
There’s more information about the game itself on PrettyDigital.co.uk or follow@prettydigi for updates. The first phase of development of Lux & The Shadowmaker will focus on making the mac/pc game, with plans for an immersive VR/Oculus Rift version as soon as possible.
Constance is more than happy to talk non-stop to anyone who is interested in the story of the game and how it will look, feel and sound.
Jobs & Opportunities
Creative Industry Finance Loans
Creative Industry Finance is an Arts Council England initiative, delivered by Creative United, offering business development support and access to finance for creative industry enterprises – including games! Find out more at https://www.creativeindustryfinance.org.uk/
Adventurous Android and software developer position open at Reach Robotics, we’re developing the world’s first gaming robots. Have a look at our main site here: www.reachrobotics.com for context and job description here:www.reachrobotics.com/openings
PlayWest / @UWEGames have an exciting opportunity for a Unity dev to work modelling (bringing to life) live data from Bloodhound SSC and it’s world land speed record. Full ad. will be live imminently and I’ll update this post with details, but until then, if you’ve done “pretty” or “realistic” or even “FAST” In Unity there could be a 24k fixed term post at Frenchay campus with us, with potential for more work with PlayWest in future….oh, and access to the 1000mph car, the team and the achievement of involvement with this prestigious project itself! Any questions, tweet @andy_m_k / @playwesthq
The Daredevil Project is a venture-backed start up based in the PM Studio building a competitively social mobile app. We’re on a fast paced journey and looking for a Backend Developer to make a significant contribution to our team.
The ideal candidate will be managing all of the backend requirements for the app and our online presence. We’re after an excellent communicator who wants to help define the business, own the backend development and work closely with our frontend team. Contact us: email@example.com
What an adventure! Bertram Fiddle launched on iOS.
Rumpus is proud to announce that the first episode of our point and click series staring Bertram Fiddle, leading Victorian explorator can now be found on the App Store. To our delight we even got featured on the front page!
The game is currently on launch sale at £2.99 for the rest of December so if you fancy a bit of adventure then now’s the time to get our little quirky game.
Get it here.
Opposable Games to host South West VR Conference
On February 24th, 2015, Opposable Games is to host the inaugural South West VR Conference at the At-Bristol Science Centre with guests including Oculus, Alchemy VR, Unity, The Imaginarium, Bossa, nDreams, Tammeka Games, Ana Ribeiro, Fire Panda, Triangular Pixels and many more to be confirmed. With a large focus on narrative and storytelling, SouthWest VR will look at the ways in which virtual reality is set to shake up the entertainment industry by completely transforming the way we interact with films, games, TV and animation. Early bird tickets are on sale via Eventbrite until 24th December, visit SouthWestVR.comand follow @SouthWestVR for more info, or get in touch with Dan Page if you’d like to speak, sponsor or exhibit.
We recently worked with local firm Simpleweb on a prototype augmented reality game for McDonalds by the name of Picca Pirates, you can read all about it from Simpleweb’s perspective here. Make sure you check out the presentation for an interesting look at how social games in “restaurants of the future” can feed useful data into a CRM.
- Ella makes the case for gender balanced dev teams.
- Seeing games dev as a business.
- The Speccy returns!!