bristol games hub

Bristol Games Hub/SW Mobile Crossover Event

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Join us at Bristol Games Hub on Wed 16th October from 7pm to 9pm for an amazing event where the communities of game and mobile developers are going to be coming together to share idea, technologies and experience. Jointly organised by Bristol Games Hub and SW Mobile it promised to be a fascinating evening, including:

  • A talk by Natalie Griffith. Natalie runs Press Space, a provider of affordable, bespoke PR and brand-building for indie game developers and technology start-ups, will be giving a talk on the subject of “Demystifying PR”
  • Tomas Rawlings, cofounder of Bristol Games Hub and Auroch Digital will be giving a talk on “How to be an indie games developer”.
  • A 15 minute ‘Demo Camp’ where members of both communities SWMobile can share things they’ve been working on, provide tips on games development and generally shout about what’s interesting to them! Including brief demos of games from Survivalist Games with Shelter and Large Visible Machine with The Battle for Hill 218.

Tickets are free but going fast….

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September 2013 Newsletter

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Bristol Games Hub has moved into its lovely new office, events and meeting space on the top floor of 77 Stokes Croft.  If you haven’t yet visited us, please feel free to come along to our monthly social on the last Thursday of every month from 7:30pm.  So the next one is this Thursday, 26th.
Many thanks to Unity for kindly funding 60 brand new chairs for our events space, which is now up and running.  If you have any ideas for events to support Bristol and the South West’s games development community, please get in touch.
Bristol Games Hub Events
The next Unity meet-up is Wednesday 9th October with Unity’s trainer, Ben Pitt attending to chat to the group about the community’s needs and we’re hoping to address the recent issue of too many jobs, not enough Unity devs at that so please sign up here; https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/8451301069
Anti-Social Talk: Chris Roberts of Survivalist Games on ‘Shelter’
At this weeks anti-social we’re happy to welcome Chris Roberts, creator of the excellent indie zombie survival game ‘Shelter’ who will be coming along to talk about his work. Check it out at: http://www.survivalistgames.co.uk/
Bristol Games Hub Life Drawing Classes
We are looking at running a regular life drawing class for the South West games development community so we’d like to gauge interest. The class would run one evening per week from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Bristol Games Hub Event Space. Each session would cost £5, with 2 models doing an hour each and we’d be looking for you to sign up to 4 weeks at a time. If you’re interested in attending these sessions, please send Chris Raadjes an email asap with your details to chris.raadjes at gmail.com. The sooner we know numbers, the sooner we can start.
Auroch Digital Launches Chainsaw Warrior on iOS Today (more platforms in the next couple of weeks)
Auroch Digital is pleased to announce the Games Workshop boardgame we’ve been converting into digital is now out on iOS http://bit.ly/CW00NYios and will be coming to more platforms very soon. We’d really appreciate any reviews, tweets and postings about it.  Here’s a tweet you can chainsaw-n-paste if you want:
Chainsaw Warrior rips into the App Store today! http://bit.ly/CW00NYios RT now as you only have #60mins to save New York!
TEDxBristol
This year’s TEDxBristol is centred around the theme of ‘Failure’. Local speakers with a wide variety of experiences and backgrounds will share their tales of all manner of failures, and how failure has shaped their ideas, outlooks and businesses. Our very own Tomas Rawlings at Auroch Digital will be speaking about failing to get a game into the App Store (Endgame:Syria), and Opposable Games’ Nat Al-Tahhan is this year’s curator & host.
The event will be on Monday 11th November from 10am – 6pm. Nat can organise a discount for group bookings for South West games developers, so let her know if there are a few of you planning to come: nat@opposablegames.com. Links to tickets and further event info can be found at TEDxBristol.com.
PM Studio
Lunchtime Talk: Richard Adams – The illiterate of the 21st century
Friday, 27 September 2013 1:00pm – 2:00pm, Pervasive Media Studio, FREE
Digital polymath and senior academic program manager at Microsoft Studios Richard Adams tells us that “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” Come and find out why he thinks that education needs to radically change to have a chance of being relevant in the 21st Century.
Lunchtime Talk: Magicians in residence
Friday, 4 October 2013 1:00pm – 2:00pm, Pervasive Media Studio, FREE
From finding connections between magicians and makers, to mind-reading robot pets, Kieron Kirkland and Stuart Nolan will share with us some of their ideas and inspiration for their impending residency.
Lunchtime Talk: Designing for touchy subjects
Friday, 11 October 2013 1:00pm – 2:00pm, Pervasive Media Studio
For 18 years Aerian has made some of the biggest and best web products in the world.  Managing Director Paul Goodenough and S’unya Dickman Head of Client Side Technology will be telling us all about their adventures and sharing what is involved from a creative and technical perspective when designing for touchable interfaces.
Objects Sandbox
Exploring Human-Experiences Within the Internet of Things
Objects Sandbox will fund six ground-breaking collaborations between creative companies and academic researchers around human-experiences within the Internet of Things.  Each collaboration will receive £50,000 and the opportunity to work intensively on their idea over three months, starting in March 2014. The scheme has extraordinary advisers from across the world of design, technology and Internet of Things and REACT is anticipating some brilliant competition.
Job Opportunities
 
Opposable Games
Opposable Games are hiring! We are currently looking for a full-time project manager, a full-time Unity developer, and a part-time marketing manager.  For more information see http://opposablegames.com/opposable-are-hiring/
Creative Technologist – £25k, full time
Watershed’s Creative Technologist works on a constant and wide-ranging stream of projects: from remote controlling pico projectors to international sprints, tracking balloons across London to a storytelling jukebox, and combining magicians and technology to tweeting dead people. This role requires the ability to understand and inspire, listen and communicate and then make brilliant ideas happen.
Red7Mobile is looking for experienced Mobile Developers to join our team at Temple Studios. If you have a solid computing background and have built apps and games for iOS, Android, Windows and Web we’re interested in talking to you. Its a vibrant creative environment, and our developers are encouraged to hone their skills across multi-platforms. To find out a more contact matt@red7mobile.com

August 2013 Newsletter

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Anti-Social – Thursday 29th Aug at 7.30pm
Thursday 29th Aug at 7.30pm is the next anti-social.  We’re really happy to say that Ionage (brilliant space RTS) developer Tim Wicksteed will be joining us to talk about his game – don’t miss out!
Opposable Games
Opposable are pleased to announce that the Bottom Knocker Street website is live, with the game to be launched early September.  Bottom Knocker Street is an odd-ball 52 episode kids TV show that starts airing on ITV next weekend.  The extended Opposable team produced a Paperboy / Jetpack Joyride style game featuring the characters of the show, and an accompanying responsive html5 website (www.bottomknockerstreet.com) in a very short timeframe.
Opposable are also looking for beta testers for their OneTouchConnect device connecting technology – more details will appear soon on their website.
Mobile Pie 
Mobile Pie are pleased to announce the launch of their latest game for the BBC – the CBeebies Playtime App! Available on iOS, Google Play and Amazon it’s a must download if you have little ones 🙂 You can read a great write up here: Guardian

Thanks to Nick Dymond and Tom Waterhouse for their help – and of course to the entire Mobile Pie team!
Auroch Digital
Auroch Digital to Release Chainsaw Warrior

We are releasing our Games Workshop title, ‘Chainsaw Warrior’ in the next couple of weeks – you can follow the game’s release on email, twitter and Facebook – http://chainsawwarrior.net – any RTs, likes, ratings and reviews would be very welcome!
Sun and Moon Studios
Dylan from Sun & Moon Studios will be showing a nearly finished version of “The Land of Welsh Tales” at the Hub social on Thursday, a series of five 2d games Sun & Moon made for South Wales police. The games are all based on “Stay Smart” (http://sunandmoonstudios.co.uk/our_work_animation.html#gwent_smart) an animated film S&M made for South Wales Police last year.
Thought Den
Thought Den and the National Portrait Gallery battle to bring 16 Century portraiture to the smartphone and desktop masses! Using HTML5! Wahey!
OK, fine. HTML5 and Javascript are a total pain. We need your help. Hit this Beta version and let us know what you think.
Email any screen grabs of dodginess to testing@thoughtden.co.uk. Thoughts on improvements and extra features also welcome. Hugs for all submissions.
Force Of Habit 

Busy month, here goes!
Dysbiosis – which some of you might remember from Wellcome Trust’s Gamify Your PhD event last year – has been released. You can play the game here http://www.kongregate.com/games/forcehabit/dysbiosis and view the release trailer here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qglzvn-frMg.
We teased everybody with a Toast Time teaser trailer and website update this month. View the trailer here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOLcUEcHrFU and keep an eye out for the release date being announced shortly. You can see it first by subscribing here https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1HMq5GVWpH6frDAn7qkj1O-mr3koWhKzqcn_5mDjNWHM/viewform
We featured in Develop magazine this month in the “New Studio” section. Check it out, we have big faces. http://www.develop-online.net/digital-edition
We wrote an article for Creative England’s “One Thing I Know” website. It’s about how we haven’t killed each other yet, kind of. http://www.onethingiknow.co.uk/making-your-friend-a-business-partner-and-not-killing-him/
Creative England’s Games Lab

Round 1, The Development Fund, is available for SME’s to apply for Grants between £10,000 and £50,000 to completely develop a new Game IP for commercial release. The Development Fund is open now for applications and the deadline is 16th September.  See here for more info; http://www.creativeengland.co.uk/index.php/portfolio/games/

Bristol Game Developers News 27th June 2013

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In no particular order, here is this month’s developer news;

Tom Melamed
I have no idea who this person is (and I can’t remember who tweeted the link) but I really like the idea of a full 3D model of Bristol in 1820. How cool would it be, to be able to walk down your road almost 200 years ago. If anyone wants to help out then it could be a fun project, I don’t have the required skills.

http://www.bristol-venice-of-the-west.blogspot.co.uk/2013_04_28_archive.html

Slingshot
Award-winning game designers, Slingshot, are marking ‘the year of the zombie’ by announcing the launch of Asylum, the sequel to their smash hit city wide zombie chase game, 2.8 Hours Later.

2.8 Hours Later: Asylum is a terrifying night-time zombie street game for hundreds of players. Four years into the outbreak the infection is at pandemic stage and UK cities are on lock down, isolated by the Government from the zombie-infected badlands around them. When these measures fail, the authorities abandon the city, and the once safe zone becomes a prison, overrun with zombies, vigilantes and scavengers. Can you escape state collapse before you are quarantined or infected?

2.8 Hours Later: Asylum will be in Bristol 6th and 7th September and tickets can be bought via http://2.8hourslater.com/tickets-and-dates

Keep an eye on the Facebook page for latest news and updates: http://www.facebook.com/2.8HoursLater

Auroch Digital
Gamify Your PhD Article Published

The Gamify Your PhD project produced by Auroch Digital and involving a number of South West based developers including Opposable, Force of Habit, Remode and Clockwork Cuckoo, had an article by Vickie Curtis of the Open University about the project published in the journal Science Communication.  The abstract can be found here:
Auroch at Games for Change
Auroch Digital’s Tomas and Debbie were at Games for Change in New York, thanks to the support of Bristol City Council and UKTI were they flew the flag for Bristol developers.  Tomas has written a summary of some of the interesting things that came out of the event on his blog:
And watch this space for some very exciting developments coming from Auroch!
Fayju
Fayju went to Los Angeles in June for the “OUYA park” to show Amazing Frog, meet the OUYA team and other indie devs. OUYA Park was a controversial, car park show outside E3. Hilariously, it was blocked by a big Semi truck and security guard courtesy of the mighty ESA (organiser of E3). Indies fought back and the turn out was huge. In short, it was an Awesome 3 Days and we were so glad to have been invited.

OUYA has now launched and Amazing Frog is available on it  – our Frog based, rag doll, ‘hardcore parkour’, unity based, physics game set in Swindon. If you get to play it, let us know what you think.

For now, aside from a serious amount of updates we are working on Amazing Frog, we are gearing up for Gamescom in August where we intend to launch ‘Cascade” and show a demo of it on Hal’s Oculus Rift.

Also check out our videos at http://www.youtube.com/fayjugames

Will Luton
Will Luton’s book Free-To-Play: Making Money from Games You Give Away is now out, covering everything you need to know on building, running and profiting from F2P game. There’s also a lot there including design and marketing theory that applies to non-F2P games. It’s available to buy at http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0321919017/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=0321919017&linkCode=as2&tag=will_luton-21

Opportunities

Auroch Digital are looking for a voiceover actor who can do an American accent, for some recording on a current game they’re developing.  If you know someone suitable please get them to contact me asap.  We only need an hour with them in a studio.  The project is under NDA currently though we will be making an official announcement soon.

Opposable Games are hiring a junior artist and part time marketing manager – for more details see
http://opposablegames.com/job-opposablertunities/

Ian Livingstone Opens Bristol Games Hub

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Games industry legend Ian Livingstone was the guest of honour on Tuesday at the official opening of the new Bristol Games Hub. The newly launched non-profit organisation runs free networking and training events and affordable desk space for many of the cities thriving community of games developers. The event saw over 60 people from Bristol and the South West gather to hear Livingstone talk about his personal experience of video games, the changing face and importance of the industry to the UK at large.

Ian Livingstone

Bristol Games Hub has grown through word of mouth with 23 developers signed up within 3 weeks. “The Directors have been running events and building the community in Bristol for the last 2 years, so it was a natural progression for us to develop a space where devs could also work together” said the Hub’s Director and coordinator Debbie Rawlings. “There is a real buzz for what we’re doing and all of our events, such as our monthly Unity group and the recent demo of the Oculus Rift, have been really well attended. New start-ups, young companies and freelancers need this kind of support to help them focus on creating and marketing their games and products so we wanted to create a vibrant, dynamic space to assist them.” Debbie is a co-founder of the Hub along with fellow Auroch Digital director Tomas Rawlings and Opposable Games’ Ben Trewhella. The Hub is supported by Digital Cultures Research Centre, UWE, The Pervasive Media Studio and Watershed, Creative England and Aquarela Developments.

The Games Hub is home now to 30 local developers and freelancers from new start-ups to more established teams. As well as multi-screen specialists Opposable Games and Endgame:Syria creator Auroch Digital, the Hub is home to Demon Apathy, Force of Habit, Large Visible Machine, ldexterldesign and Lo-Fi Games as well as developers from Qube creators Toxic Games, popular casual game developers Geek Beach and some very talented freelance designers, artists and illustrators.

Bristol Games Hub Logo

BRISTOL GAMESDEV NEWSLETTER – 28TH MAY 2013

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May Antisocial – this Thursday 30th May
Jaz Wilson is coming to show off his Oculus Rift, not a euphemism!  He says “Come try a Rift, if you want” at the Hub from 7.30pm. BYOB
Knowledge Share – free events
We held our first Knowledge Share at the Hub last month on Unity and it was a such a success, the group will become a monthly get together for anyone that wants to learn more about Unity and to share what they know already.  It was great to see so many of Aardman’s guys there too!
The Unity group will meet on the second Wednesday of every month, starting on 12th June from 7-9pm at the Hub. BYOB.
June’s Knowledge Share is on Kickstarter and Crowd Funding and is kindly being hosted by the PM Studio (our sister studio), within the Watershed if you haven’t been before. That’s on the first Thursday of the month, so 6th June from 6-8pm and we have a couple of people with real experience of successful and failed campaigns so a fountain of knowledge. Please sign up for this free event here; http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/6511288439
 

Pervasive Media Studio

Good for Food: Good for Nothing 48 hour social innovation hackathonFriday, 31 May 2013 6:00pm – Sunday, 2 June 2013 4:00pm, Pervasive Media Studio

A different kind of jam – Good for Nothing is a community of thinkers, do-ers, makers and tinkerers applying their skills and energy to accelerate the work of cause-led innovators and change makers; it’s about diverse groups of people collaborating together, working in new, faster, fun and better ways by supporting ideas and people that are leading the way to what a flourishing 21st century society might look like. This year the theme is food and the weekender will be supporting great local community growing schemes, The Severn Project and Fareshare.  www.goodfornothing.com/gigs/good-for-food

Auroch Digital
NarcoGuerra Launched!
The latest game from Auroch Digital’s GameTheNews.net project was released last week which looks at the war on drugs.  The press info is here:  http://bit.ly/1243tlE
The trailer is here: http://bit.ly/narco1youtube
Tweets about #NarcoGuerra, reviews of the game and any mentions gratefully received!
Cheltenham Science Festival – (Auroch Digital helped to curate this event)
Coding the Game – 6th June at Cheltenham Festival
From the ‘bedroom coders’ of the 80s to the studios behind many of today’s most popular international video games, the UK has always been at the forefront of games development. Dara O Briain joins Alex McLean, a 20-year games veteran most recently CTO at Codemasters and former head of their Bafta winning Birmingham studio, Chris Cummings, Senior Gameplay Programmer at Media Molecule and lead coder on the Playstation Move Content for Little Big Planet, and neuroscientist Luke Clark to get into the detail of modern video game
Game Connection Group Discount
Game Connection is on 3rd-5th December in Paris and is a meeting place for developers and publishers.  We can get discount on lots of us going, so let Debbie know if you are interested and we can gauge interest about getting a discount.  More on the event here: http://www.game-connection.com/gameconn/content/badgeprices-europe-2013
 
Mobile Pie
Mobile Pie are proud to announce the launch of Mint Master, our latest project for Historical Royal Palaces and the Royal Mint. It’s on iOS, Android and Web and can be played here: http://www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/stories/palacehighlights/CoinsandKings/MintMaster?ns_campaign=CoinsandKings&ns_mchannel=web&ns_source=carousel&ns_linkname=playgame&ns_fee=0
Thanks to members of the Bristol Games community for their help on this one, including Nick Dymond, Tom Waterhouse and James Parker.

Job Opportunities

Calvium – We are hiring! We don’t make a lot of games but we make fun projects and could really do with a good junior front end developer. The full job spec is here: http://calvium.com/front-end-developer-job-2013/

Red7Mobile – Red7Mobile is looking for a Web Developer to join their mobile games team at Temple Studios. Essential skills include HTML5/CSS3/Javascript with previous games development experience desirable. To find out more contact matt@red7mobile

Bristol GamesDev Newsletter – 29th April 2013

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Bristol Games Hub
Bristol Games Hub is thriving and we’ve had some more space opened up to us recently so we have some desks available to rent on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.  Contact Debbie for more info.
Our first monthly Knowledge Share is happening on Thursday 2nd May from 6-8pm and we’re kicking off with a session on Unity. These are free events and pizza will be provided for this one. Sign up on Eventbrite here!
Force of Habit
Along with a sizeable Bristol contingent, Force Of Habit attended the Launch conference up in Birmingham last Tuesday. In the unlikely (borderline irresponsible) event that you missed it, we put together a write-up of the day, offering all sorts of advice covering how to deal with the press. That’s right, we’ve also got a blog now. Head along to http://forceofhab.it/ for some juicy language snacks.

Will Luton
Will Luton’s book Free-to-Play: How to Make Money From Games You Give Away is now available for preorder on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0321919017/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=0321919017&linkCode=as2&tag=will_luton-21 and will be published by Pearson on 16 June. He has also just launched a new blog at http://www.will-luton.co.uk/

Auroch Digital
XX Game Jam Workshops
Following on from the highly successful XX Game Jam which Debbie produced back in October 2012, the first all female game jam in the UK, Auroch Digital are running a number of workshops in May for women with tech and/or creative skills to make the crossover from other disciplines into games.  The workshops are free to participants and funded by the DCRC and FiG (Females in Games) to encourage more women into the games industry.  There are currently only 6% of women working in games when you take out the supporting roles.  UKIE along with many other partners are now working to change that!  Please contact Debbie for more info.
 
Get £2K+ to Game Jam Cutting Edge Science into Fun: Deadline 1st May
The Royal Society is looking for experienced games development studios to take part in a new initiative that will turn some of the research on show at its annual Summer Science Exhibition into video games. The Royal Society will host a 12 hour game jam on 24th May that will see developers work with the scientists behind exhibits to produce five exciting new games. Five development teams of up to 4 developers will be partnered with the selected exhibitors for an all-day game jam from 10am – 10pm. Each development team will receive £2,000 to further develop their games after the game jam so that they are ready to be played at the Summer Science Exhibition which runs from 1st – 7th July. The games will be available free online and at the exhibition itself so that the public can cast votes for their favourite game. The team that receives most votes will receive an additional £2,000 to further develop their game once the Exhibition closes.  This is a great opportunity to get your name known, make some amazing games and get paid too!  Reasonable travel costs, food and refreshments will also be provided. Interested developers can find out more about the competition and how to apply from the Royal Society’s website at http://bit.ly/RSgamejam
Pervasive Media Studio
Ken Eklund – Transmedia For Change
Tuesday, 30 April 2013 1:00pm – 2:00pm, Pervasive Media Studio, BS1 5TX, FREE
The Pervasive Media Studio and UWEs Digital Cultures Research Centre present a very special, one-off lunchtime talk with game and experience designer Ken Eklund.
From World Without Oil to Ed Zed Omega and Evoke (and Future Coast, upcoming), much of Ken’s work enlists the hypothetical context of Alternate Reality Gaming (ARG) to pose questions about social change and societal challenges. He’ll discuss “authentic fiction,” the art of designing for mass participation, and the potential of play in social change.
Lunchtime Talk: Mitch Altman on Hackerspaces, and the Pluses and Minuses of Technology
Friday, 10 May 2013 1:00pm – 2:00pm, Pervasive Media Studio, BS1 5TX, FREE
Godfather of hackerspaces, pioneer of VR and creator of TV-B-Gone Universal remote will be joining us for a good chat/rant/argument about who owns technology, global open developer communities, and what happens when profit drives progress.  Will this change be good?  Can we have influence over it?  Will hackerspaces be an ameliorating and positive influence?
Mobile Pie
We’re proud to announce the launch of Mobile Pie Stockholm! Read more about our second studio here: http://www.mobilepie.com/2013/04/mobile-pie-sweden/
With Pavilion Dance South West and UWE we’re working on an innovative new social game and are looking for a freelance community manager. If you happen to know anyone who might be interested there’s more information here: http://www.paviliondance.org.uk/page/3312
Job Opportunities
 
Rumpus Animation

Rumpus Animation are looking to take on a Unity developer for a point and click game we are making. If anyone is interested email seb@rumpusanimation.com

Opposable Games

Opposable are looking for some Uni interns / recent grads to help with 3 things: some networking tech which requires Android chops, then some Unity and web work. Students are initially preferable, but if we don’t hear anything by end April then it’s open to everyone. Please pass on to any students you may know!

 
Geek Beach

We’re looking for a full-time 3D artist to come and help make cool mobile games at Geek Beach in Bristol. If you are, or know someone, who has lots of experience creating low poly characters and environments as well as animating them (as an example see our game Battle Monkeys) then please get in touch. You can find more info here –http://geekbeach2.squarespace.com/3d-designer/ Thanks!