Boardgame Jam

Bristol Games Hub January Newsletter

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Steam Dev Days Talk & Steam Machine Demo at the next antisocial!
Auroch Digital’s Tomas Rawlings was at the Steam Dev Days in Seattle and so got one of the proptoype Steam Machines and controller. We’re going to be talking about what developers can learn from the event and giving you a chance to have a play on the Steam Machine at the social on Thursday 31st January. Note while attendance is free, the venue capacity is limited so come early to avoid disappointment. Join us from 7:30pm and BYOB.
So kicking off with this month’s news, in the order they were sent to me;
Firstly, a massive congratulations to Leanne Bayley and Alex Trowers for their gem of a game Glyph Quest – it’s set to become a massive hit and couldn’t have been created by a nicer team. Definitely give it a play at https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/glyph-quest/id792412685?mt=8
And here’s a great wee article Leanne wrote about some of the adversities they faced developing their game and highlighting the difficulties trying to get a job in the industry as a pregnant woman:
Mobile Pie

DanceTag has recently been released on Andriod and iOS! DanceTag is a dance game which invites you to create 15 second films of you and your friends dancing in all sorts of locations, and tag those locations with your dance.

Also we have a competition to win a £50 iTunes voucher for doing a dance which ends on the 31stJan. Find Strode Theatre, Street on the DanceTag app map for further details.

Finally if you know of any musicians that want to have their music in DanceTag we are currently looking for new work. Contact Joe – joeryandesign@gmail.com  http://www.dancetagapp.com/


Puppy Games
Over the Christmas holidays, Puppygames had a Humble Weekly Sale. As you can imagine, we all pretty much spent the holidays hitting F5 over and over to check on its progress. The outcome was that we sold a whole bunch of games and generated over $32000 for UK games industry charity GamesAid ( gamesaid.org ).
Industry legend Ian Livingstone provided voice-over for the promo video which set a new bar for Humble campaign trailers. ( http://youtu.be/kMumwL7w7Mw )
We’re very pleased with how it went and the income from the sale should keep us fed for a few months while we work on our next game, Battledroid.


Thought Den

If you hate games, hate animals and always mute the sound, don’t play this crap game we made about woolly mammoths for National Museums Scotland. Play link – tdn.lv/MammothGame

Concept, design & build – thoughtden.co.uk

Sound – forceofhab.it/

Client – nms.ac.uk/mammoths

Bonus motion graphics piece here, with additional cute mammoths. Bleugh! vimeo.com/84038014



Auroch Digital
We are about to release our most exciting project to date, though we’re under strict NDA so this newsletter is too early for me to tell you, ha!  We will be making loud noises in the next week or 2, so please keep up to date on our fb page (Auroch Digital) or on the website; aurochdigital.com

Opposable Games
Opposable recently brought on board Ben Curtis as a production manager with a wealth of digital and mobile project experience.
The team will be launching Legends of Xor into closed beta in February as the first part of a stream of releases until March, after which they begin work on their upcoming original IP second screen title Salvaged, more details to follow shortly.
Opposable Games are looking for community managers, a marketing assistant, and a business development executive – get in touch if you know anyone suitable.


Force of Habit
Force of Habit will finally be releasing Toast Time for iOS on the 6th of February! On the same day we will be throwing a joint party with Andalusian Games, who are celebrating their game Tangiers being Greenlit. Head along to the upstairs room of The Big Chill in Bristol for drinking, DJ’s, toast (selection of spreads available), 8-player Bomberman and a Nidhogg tournament. It goes without saying that it’s free to all.  The new Toast Time teaser trailer is viewable online here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0-FbITKRlA and everyone’s invited to the party: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BeBTLWZCYAAbvU7.png:large

Demon Apathy
Hi all!  Check out our game Space Fort, we’ve done a few major updates since its release to the point where it’s actually enjoyable, even to other people!:)
There’s a LITE version of it on each store aswell.  Have fun!”

East West Games
Ed Relf a local (Bristol based) games industry executive freelancer (www.eastwestgames.com) has teamed up with 5 other people from across the gaming/cryptocurrency industry to work on a very exciting but top secret project focussed within the area of BitCoin/cryptocurrency. The team are currently working on a prototype and will be raising investor finance in the next 4 – 6 weeks so now is a great time to join the team. The team are looking for programmers/ developers with a particular strength in front end visual development but also interested in hearing from anyone with interest in this exciting space. Find out more at www.atopsecretproject.com


Funding Opportunities

Wellcome Trust Grants Deadline Approaches!
The Wellcome Trust have a number of funding streams with deadlines looming; A reminder that the deadlines for the next rounds of Wellcome Trust funding are coming up:
24th January – Development Awards (Broadcast, Games and Film) – up to £10,000
31st January – People Awards – up to £30,000 and also Co-Production Awards – £30,000 to £300,000
The awards support broadcast, games and film projects that engage the audience with contemporary or historical biomedical science in an accessible way.
Development Awards (Broadcast, Games and Film) are for up to £10k to support the development of broadcast proposals and games in any genre. The awards should enable ideas to be developed into high impact, well-researched proposals to help secure a UK platform and production funding.
People Awards are for up to £30k and can support television programmes and series, films, games, websites and cross-platform projects. This includes production funding.
Co-Production Awards range from £30,000 – £300,000. These support broadcast, games and film projects that bring science stories to the heart of pure entertainment. To be eligible, projects must have a secured distribution platform prior to applying and the Co-Production Award must only part finance the project, i.e. at least matching funding should already be secured.
The January deadline for Co-Production Awards is for Expressions of Interest. Details can be found on our website: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/Funding/Public-engagement/Funding-schemes/Broadcast-games-and-film-awards/Co-production-awards/index.htm
If you are successful at this stage, you will be invited to submit a full application. You will also be invited for interview (approximately six weeks after the Expression of Interest deadline).
NB: Please note applications are now made via an eGrants online system. Registration of your company on the system takes two days so we would advise you to register now.

Job Opportunities
Freelance Creative Coder Needed at KWMC
Creative Coder: 20-day freelance contract
Bristol-based arts organisation Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) is looking for a creative coder to animate data-sets that are derived from local resources. The animations will explain aspects of community life in South Bristol. The ideal candidate will be someone who can creatively interpret data and present the results in a modern web browser.
The Creative Coder will work with a team of eight Junior Digital Producers (JDPs), aged 18-24, in developing the data visualizations. The coder will share their knowledge and enable the JDPs to create their own animations from the collected data-sets. The role of the Creative Coder will also include supporting the JDPs to create a “Data Toolkit”: a web page which will display the data visualisations alongside detailed tutorials of how they were produced, providing examples of the completed work.
This freelance contract is for 20 days during February and March 2014. Further opportunities for this type of data visualisation are also likely in the future. Please note that this is not a salaried post – it is a commissioned one-off fee for a 20-day freelance contract.
For more details and information about how to apply please visit www.kwmc.org.uk/jobs
Events you should attend!
UKTI Increasing Business through your Website – 20th Feb, Bristol Games Hub
UKTI are holding a half day session on how to internalise your websites, and how to access £3000 in matched funding to make that happen. The free seminar, led by an expert in international website communications, will take you on a web internationalisation journey and provide hints and tips to structure, design and optimise your website for international visitors and customers. The seminar will include case studies of UKTI clients who have already gained new international business through the web and you will also be able to learn from, and network with other companies that are doing so already. UKTI will also be on hand to talk through the range of free services to access wider funding for visiting tradeshows, markets and customers overseas.
http://10essentialsteps18feb.eventbrite.co.uk
 
Pervasive Media Studio – Watershed
Bristol Playable City award winner Hello Lamp Post has been nominated for a Postscapes 2013 Internet of Things Award, in the Smart City Application category. The ‘People’s Choice’ Awards are decided entirely by public votes and the team at the Games Hub’s sister space, the Pervasive Media Studio would love it if you’d help us take home the title!
Lunchtime Talk: Forget the economy, acquire Cryptocurrency
Friday, 24 January 2014 1:00pm – 2:00pm, Pervasive Media Studio, FREE
Former Games Hub resident Sam Phippen is giving a talk at the Studio all about Bitcoin, the secure form of currency that exists purely on the internet. In this talk, Sam will explore how Bitcoin works, take us through some of the controversy that surrounds it, take a look at some of the motivating reasons for its creation and ask what the future holds for cryptocurrency.
Lunchtime Talk: Loving Games, Gaming Love
Friday, 31 January 2014 1:00pm – 2:00pm, Pervasive Media Studio, FREE
Whilst the media tends to focus on ‘bad love’; obsession, negative portrayals of sexuality and misogyny within games, love itself is a vastly complicated, individual experience which plays a fundamental role in our daily lives. Esther MacCallum-Stewart will be investigating love in the context of games – how it is mis/represented, how it might be developed, and how designers are trying to challenge our expectations of gaming itself by engaging with some of love’s more complex iterations.
Playing for Change – A conference about games for change.
Wednesday 19th February 2014 (10am to 4:30pm)
To mark the establishment of the Games and Social Change Network hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University and supported by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, this FREE one-day event will provide participants with an introduction to explore some of the diverse potentials of play and games as agents of change.
Games for Change Festival – New York
Tom and I from Auroch Digital attended this event last year and aswell as some great talks and inspirational content, it was a hugely successful trip in terms of building our international trading partners and we signed a big deal (the one we’ll be telling you about next week!), so we can’t recommend it highly enough.  Make sure you get some time to check out the city too, particularly Central Park, the High Line and the view from the top of the Rockefeller Center at sunset 😉
Ahh lovely memories of summer, remember that? 😉
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Games Hub November Newsletter – Events, News and Opportunities!

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Games Hub Events…
Bristol Games Hub Anti-Social – Learn what makes games like League of Legends so popular! – ‘MOBA games and the role of emergent play’ – 
This Thursday 28th Nov at 7.30pm

The past three years has seen the ‘Multiplayer online battle arena’ (MOBA) genre become one of the most popular and pioneering genres in the games industry. As the most played online genre, a genre that is pioneering new modes of fair ‘free to play’ and a genre that is leading a thriving e-sports industry it has become impossible to ignore, however underpinning this incredible success story is an equally profound role of emergent play. Through drawing on past and present research surrounding MOBA culture, Josh Jarrett explores the development of this young genre and argues that at its core is an elevated role of players in the ongoing innovation of the genre.

Join us at the hub, 77 Stokes Croft at 7.30pm – see you there!

Her Game Collective – Mon 9th Dec 6.30pm
To celebrate the festive season Her Game Collective want to use our regular get together to make up a game about Xmas. There may be a little bit of prosecco to fuel our ideas, in which case we may not get past the paper planning stage. If you want to suggest which elements of Xmas we should do things to in a game then please come along onMonday 9th December from 6.30-8.30ish to Bristol Games Hub in Stokes Croft.

We will also be sharing our plans for 2014. More info here: http://hergc.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/xmas-spirit-fuelled-game-plan-session/

Boardgame Jam a Huge Success!
We’d like to thank all who took part in our first ever Boardgame Jam and the first game jam hosted at the Hub’s base in Stokes Croft.  The event was a huge success with people traveling from far and wide to take part (kudos to those who travelled from Brighton and Cambridge to join in!).  We had 5 teams of developers and students creating 5 amazing boardgames based on the theme of ‘Winter’, produced with a huge amount of energy, creativity, meeples and sweets to go around.  There are photos from the day on our Tumblr account: http://bristolgameshub.tumblr.com/
We’d also like to thank our sponsors for the event:
– UK Trade & Investment (who supported the event!)
– Aardman (for help with refreshments!)
– Unity 3D (for the chairs in the event space!)
– Plus thanks to Excelsior Comics and boardgameextras.co.uk
Developer & Organisation News…
Aardman
Aardman Digital are excited to announce the release of ‘Wizards vs. Aliens’ created for the CBBC website. The game contains 3 chapters, 30 levels and over 3 hours of game play! Play the game here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/games/wizards-vs-aliens-eye-of-bashtarr

Their project  http://www.gruffalo.com/ has also gone live! The site was created for Pan Macmillan with games and activities to play in the deep dark wood!

Auroch Digital
Chainsaw Warrior AMA on Reddit
We’re going to be taking part in a Reddit AMA along with lots of other licensed Games Workshop developers on 3rd December at 8pm – http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/ – so if you’re about, come and join in! We’ll be talking ChainsawWarrior.net and joined by a lot of other talented developers (Warhammer Quest, Bloodbowl, Space Hulk and many more) and up-votes are welcomed.
JtR125 – Gamifying Jack the Ripper
We’ve announced our current GameTheNews project which is part of REACT.  JtR125 is one of six new collaborations between filmmakers, academic researchers and creative companies as part of the REACT Future Documentary Sandbox, a nationwide programme to explore the theme of Future Documentary funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.  There is much more about the project here: http://aurochdigital.com/2013/11/11/gamifying-jack-the-ripper/
 
Force of Habit
November saw Ash and our buddy Joe Williamson showing Neon Caves at Explay. We managed to come away with the Audience Award/Game of the Show award. Neon Caves is part of the Indie Statik Kickstarter that ran recently. You can view the teaser trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rE3bgI5-q-o
We also managed to win two other awards: the TIGA award for Best New IP for Toast Time and the TIGA GameHack award for Best Game for Timmy Bibble’s Friendship Club. The latter of which is available now for FREE:http://forceofhab.it/games/#timmy-bibbles-friendship-club

Also, as we’re sure you’re all aware, this Thursday (28th Nov) is National French Toast Day. To mark this most gloriously pointless occasion we will be putting Toast Time on sale for a day and giving the soundtrack away for free. So check inon Thursday to grab a couple of bargains:

Toast Time OST: http://forcehabit.bandcamp.com/

Finally, Nick was part of the indie contingent invited to attend Minecon for his work on Maia, which will be hitting Steam Early Access soon. He has now fully recovered from his hangover.

Opposable Games 

Opposable Games beat 95 other entrants to win the ICTomorrow Second Screen competition in partnership with Sony.  The prize was funding for their first major own IP game Salvaged, which will be released in Q3 2014.  Opposable also had 2 teams attend the recent TIGA game jam, creating 2-4 player physics based beat-em-up called Placenta the Dragon, and their first own Oculus Rift game TearBears, all in 24 hours.

PM Studio
DCRC Presents: Learning from Digital Lives – Nicole Matthews
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 4:00pm – 5:30pm, Pervasive Media Studio, FREE
The Digital Cultures Research Centre is delighted to welcome Nicole Matthews (Macquarie University, Sydney) for a special Wednesday afternoon talk
Workshop: Data Visualisation with WikiVOIS & Data Unity (only a few places left)
Thursday, 28 November 2013 10:00am – 3:30pm, Pervasive Media Studio, FREE
To celebrate the launch of Data Unity, we’re hosting an Open Data workshop with its founder, Kev Kirkland on 28 Nov and you’re invited to attend. The event will be held alongside Nominet Trust and WikiVOIS. The workshops will start with a brief introduction to the new products then we’ll go hands on to discuss any data that attendees bring along. We want the workshop to be user focused and we’ll suggest ways to overcome any data issues the attendees are facing.
Lunchtime Talk: Parasitic Products and Designing Deviance
Friday, 29 November 2013 1:00pm – 2:00pm, Pervasive Media Studio, FREE
Parasitic Products explores an alternative route to product design through deviance, trickery and parasitism. Inspired by parasitic organisms, and their role in nature, Studio PSK created a number of radios which behave as parasites, surviving at the expense of other domestic products. As we move into a time of more and more connectivity between objects, how might parasitic devices fit into this product ecology, and what is their role?
Lunchtime Talk: Door Into the Dark
Friday, 6 December 2013 1:00pm – 2:00pm, Pervasive Media Studio, FREE
Join brand new Pervasive Media Studio residents Amy Rose and May Abdalla from Anagram as they introduce their company and the big ideas behind their new immersive documentary project Door Into the Dark.
Lunchtime Talk: What Can You Do with a Shadow?
Friday, 13 December 2013 1:00pm – 2:00pm, Pervasive Media Studio, FREE
Can you innovate with something as simple as a shadow? For centuries people have told stories with shadows, but they are less used today in our world of digital projectors. For the last 5 years, Tom McDonagh has been casting shadows in new and weird ways to re-imagine how we can tell stories. By experimenting with the light source, the shadow puppets and even the screens, he has found unique ways to bring characters and the environments they inhabit to life.
 
Thought Den
Deskspace available at 25-27 Stokes Croft! For freelancers or small companies, charged per desk per month. Incredible rates, super fast broadband, balcony, courtyard and back deck all in the heart of Bristol’s creative quarter.
Contact ben@thoughtden.co.uk for rates and to book a viewing.
Opportunities…
Remode in Plymouth are looking for a junior/grad programmer: http://remodestudios.com/assets/files/Remode_JobOpp_JuniorProgrammer_2013.pdf
AppCampus with Microsoft and Nokia are offering grants to develop games for their platform: http://www.appcampus.fi/about/appcampus
There are 10 lumps of 10k on offer for new web-startups (deadline 2nd Dec!) http://www.webstartbristol.com/
 –
That’s all folks!
Merry Christmas from everyone at BGH :*)

Board Game Jam a Huge Success!

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We’d like to thank all who took part in our first ever Board Game Jam and the first game jam hosted at the Hub’s base in Stokes Croft.  The event was a huge success with people traveling from far and wide to take part (kudos to those who traveled from Brighton and Cambridge to join in!).  We have 5 team of developers who created 5 amazing games made on the theme of ‘Winter’ created and a huge amount of energy, creativity, meeples and sweets to go around.  There are photos from the day on our Tumblr account.

We’d also like to thank our sponsors for the event:

Plus thanks to Excelsior Comics and boardgameextras.co.uk

Board game jam is in effect!

The consensus seems to be that the event went really well and more would be welcome so we’ll be looking to do another one – as well as the Global Game Jam in January – so watch this space!

Tickets Available for our First Ever Boardgame Jam!

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There are a few tickets available for Bristol Games Hub’s first ever boardgame jam! Starting on Friday 22nd November at 6.30pm and on Saturday the 23rd, the jam challenges game developers and other interested participants to create a new board, card or other non-digital game in just 24 hours. While the games need to broadly be non-digital, using digital to augment the real-world experience is also encouraged. Prizes will be awarded for the best creations. The event gives an opportunity for those interested in finding out more about the games industry to work alongside experienced developers and together create a new game.

Dice, card, counters, meeple and other helpful props as well as food and refreshments will be provided for all participants. Tickets for Bristol Games Hub’s Boardgame Jam are free, but going going fast – you can sign up here.

This event is very kindly sponsored by UKTI and Aardman Animations.