Game Jam

November Newsletter – How to Start a Games Studio…

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Special Offer on New Desks! Bristol Games Hub is offering 5 desks to new residents at half-price for the first month ie just £55 (that’s internet, all bills, tea &coffee and of course a desk and chair). Please email Debbie if you’re interested at debbie at aurochdigital dot com

SW Freelancer/Company Dev Directory
If you’re looking for people to help on a project, or you are available for work, just add and update your details. Please only list info you’re happy to have in the public domain: http://bit.ly/bghdirectory
SW Game Dev Jobs Facebook pageFind and post new opportunities here…

Next Games Hub Anti-Social: 27th November, 7.30pm – New Starts! level 1 Begins! Four amazing talks about kicking it all off!

How to Start a Games Studio
Auroch Digital’s Tomas Rawlings will share his top tips for how to start your own games development studio. Whether you’re thinking of taking the leap or already on the road to Indie Stardom, there will be pointers from over 10 years running his own studios to help you along.

Green Capital Digital Challenge – Find out all about it!
Debbie, producer of the Digital Challenge, will talk about this great opportunity to take part in an amazing gamejam/hack event where the best game/app will win £50,000 to develop it. More info here too.

WebStart Bristol
Mike Jackson, Founder and CEO of Bristol based incubator WebStart Bristol will talk about his programme based at the Engine Shed and the challenges and opportunities of getting further investment.

Kickstarter Top Tips
Constance Fleuriot will share her knowledge on using crowdfunding to support your game project, after attending a Kickstarter presentation organised by TIGA in London. Constance is about to launch her own call for funds to develop a game, Lux & The Shadowmaker, as part of Creative England’s Queen Of Code initiative with Crowdfunder UK.

Unity Developer Group – 24th November, 7.30pm

For this month’s talk, Unity meetup members David and Jeremy have stepped up to take you on a whirlwind deconstruction of the development of their kids App:  Alpine Train 3D  “We are going to whizz through loads of topics from Unity techniques and bespoke tools to monetisation. We want to share with you all that we have learned along the way and hopefully inspire you to get your idea out there too. There will be something for everyone in this talk, as we cover the whole process of development, publishing and marketing all within about an hour”  Ambitious!

P.S. If you’d like to give a talk at a Unity meetup, just get in touch.

Dev Scene News

Join Bristol Games Hub!

The Bristol games hub is a non-profit that offers very cheap & flexible dev space – £110 per desk per month. That’s everything – rates, internet, desk itself, tea, coffee, access to meeting rooms, events etc. Plus you’re in a supportive community of fellow devs to chat with and share knowledge. There is no contract and you can expand/contract the number of desks on a per month basis as your project needs change. Contact geoff at aurochdigital dot com for more info or to book a time to visit the space.

Don’t Die, Mr. Robot! for PSVita – made in Weston-super-Mare

The game was released on 29th October for PSVita in the EU, and 4th November for the Americas. It’s an arcade style dodge-em-up with loads of game modes, unlockables and a rather tasty soundtrack made by us too. You can learn more about our game here: http://infinitestategames.com/games/ddmr/Infinite State Games is a two man team based in Weston-super-Mare.  We have developed the game and published it entirely by ourselves, and hope to bring it next to iOS platforms while working on our next release for PSVita. If you want any more information or maybe would be interested in a talk from us don’t hesitate to ask. All the best, Team ISG.

Victory at Sea TIGA Win!

Evil Twin Artworks’ WWII Naval battle game – Victory At Sea was nominated in two categories at the 2014 TIGA Awards. The game ended up winning the Best Action/Adventure by a Small Studio Award at the event on London’s Southbank.

Auroch Digital

One of our newsgames, NarcoGuerra, has been nominated for a Media Innovation Award. Fingers crossed! Full info here
We have also announced our latest Games Workshop collaboration – Chainsaw Warrior: Lords of the Night. More info here and a nice article on RPS!  We also have other exciting news but that’ll have to wait til next month when we can talk about it publicly 😉 Auroch is thriving and now has a permanent staff team of 13.

Force Of Habit

We’ve released two updates to Friendship Club since the last newsletter, adding a new character and the ability to play in teams. Get your 2 vs 2 or 3 vs 1 (or even 2 vs 1 vs 1) on everyone! We may be hosting a small gathering in our studio for the next Ludum Dare. Shoot me an email if interested as we have limited space: ashley@forceofhab.it

Opposable Games

Opposable Games have had an exciting month, starting with winning 2 awards at the Sparkies: the ‘Good’ Award for Pesky gNATS, which uses game environments to assist adolescents with anxiety issues, and their managing director Ben Trewhella winning the ‘Individual Contribution to Technology‘.

Opposable also announced a partnership with Motion Experiential to create some awesome Virtual Reality experiences, and are in the early stages of organising the SouthWestVR conference that will take place on February 26 2015, showcasing everything that is most awesome with Virtual Reality, and put Bristol and Bath in the center stage of this new exciting technology. They have also begun full production of their multi-screen (and now Virtual Reality based) game Salvaged, and in doing so welcome three new members to the team – Thomas Greener and Rob Brooks as developers, and Mike Parker who is joining the 3d team.  Opposable are on the lookout for volunteers / temp staff who are able to help out with virtual reality events, and thinking about hiring for a sales manager if the right person came along, interested people please get in touch via jobs@opposablegames.com

RTS Awards Open for Entries

The Royal Television Society in the West of England is calling for submissions for the 2014/15 RTS WoE Awards. There are interactive/games categories. All entries must have been broadcast or published between 1st December 2013 and 1st December 2014. Submission forms and a list of categories can be downloaded from the RTS website: www.rts.org.uk/bristol DEADLINE for submissions is Monday 1st December 2014. The Awards Gala will be held on Sunday March 8th 2015 at Bristol Old Vic, more details in the New Year.

Jobs & Opportunities

Green Capital Gamejam/Hack Event – £50,000 for best game/app! (Application Deadline 4th December)

Bristol 2015, the company established to facilitate Bristol’s year as European Green Capital, is asking Europe’s brightest minds to identify new ways that software can be used to tackle environmental challenges in cities in the European Green Capital Digital Challenge. This will include a 48-hour Digital Challenge Hack Weekend on the 6-8 February hosted during Digital Bristol Week, produced by the BBC. This two stage challenge will see teams of developers compete for the chance to scoop cash prizes of up to £50,000 to stimulate innovation in the development of software applications and games, addressing five environmental challenge areas: energy, transport, food, resources and nature.

Teams can find out more information and register to take part now at:www.bristol2015.co.uk/digitalchallenge to express your interest in being selected to attend as a team. The deadline for expressions of interest is 1 January 2015 and the selected teams will be notified by 16 January 2015.
For moreinfo see http://www.bristol2015.co.uk/digitalchallenge or emaildebbie@aurochdigital.com

The Writing Platform Bursary 2015

There are two bursaries of £4000, available for writers and technologists to embark on a writing – or writing-related – collaboration over a period of three months.  This is a fantastic opportunity for writers and technologists to collaborate, experiment and learn together, and to make work they wouldn’t be able to make on their own. Writers and technologists can apply individually or in pairs. The programme is open to UK residents aged 18 and over. The deadline to apply is Thursday 4th December. More info:http://www.thewritingplatform.com/bursary2015/

Develop.me Training Courses

</develop.me> are providers of web design and development training for businesses and individuals, from beginners through to industry professionals. Founded by industry experts they are funded by Creative Skillset and supported by Creative Skills Hub. They will be running workshops and short courses focusing on the many facets of web development. From introductions to the fundamentals of web development through to specialist tools of the trade for professional developers. Up coming courses/events are:
Introduction to Web with HTML & CSS
Getting Started with WordPress: Installing, Theming and Plugins
Version Management with Git and GitHub

Events

Green Capital Digital Challenge Informal Chat (20th Nov, 6pm)

Bristol 2015 has just launched the Green Capital Digital Challenge. The Challenge is seeking professional teams to develop new software to address 5 environmental themes. More details can be found here. This meetup is for individuals looking to form a team to take part. If you have creative, tech, project management or green skills and experience this should be a great opportunity for you. Come along and meet other interested people over a beer or coffee at the PM Studio. More info here.

TIGA’s Cardiff GameDev Night

It’s on the 20th November. Sign up here!

Quick Links

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Popathon! – A one day hack jam presented by Mozilla & i-Docs/DCRC – PM Studio 22.3

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There is a new opportunity for hacking!

Popathon! – A one day hack jam presented by Mozilla & i-Docs/DCRC – PM Studio 22.3

Calling all JavaScript coders/hackers & Graphic/UI designers!
Popathon – Saturday, March 22
PM Studio 
10:00 – 17:00
£5 (to cover all day refreshments)
On Saturday, March 22nd Bristol’s first Popathon will take place at the PM Studio. A day-long creative hack-jam giving participants hands-on experience creating interactive stories on the web. Visual storytellers, JavaScript coders and Graphic & UI Designers get together to exchange skills and collaborate on real-world projects.
We’ll introduce open source tools like Popcorn.js, a JavaScript library that integrates the web into media production. You team up to design interfaces, create new open-source code and demo prototypes of your own interactive web-native stories.
Teams compete against the clock, not against each other. The hack jam is a great opportunity to learn about new tools and tricks by creative collaboration.
The event will be run by Philo Van Kemenade and Gilles Pradeau – who present the FridayLunchtime talk at PM Studio on March 21st.
To find out more and sign up for spot, visit: http://bit.ly/1i3sFh2
Please feel free to circulate at will – this is an open call to participation.

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.