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Bristol Games Hub Newsletter

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June 2014

Below is news from the growing Bristol & South West games development scene. You find news from the hub, news from Bristol & SW developers then 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 debbie at aurochdigital.com for more information or with news items for the next newsletter and let us news for the next one by 15th July please!

Next Games Hub Anti-Social: 26th June, 7.30pm

Talk: The development of Woopaloo, a music based platform game

Making games is hard. Making music based games is even harder! In this talk I will cover the development of Woopaloo, a platform game that generates levels to the beats of a piece of music of your choice. To start with I will cover the two ways music can be used to drive a game mechanic namely using predefined tracks or a full on procedural approach that analyses an arbitrary piece of music to determine where significant changes are happening. One approach on how to do the later will be covered and it will be shown how it was implemented in the Unity game engine. The end of the talk will be used to discuss the design implications of music based game mechanics, and what challenges they pose in regards to how the perception of music affects the game experience. A video showcasing Woopaloo can be found at http://vimeo.com/62236437

So join us on the 27th March at 7.30pm – we’ve got a buzzer now! The entrance is off Thomas Street, just up from the junction of Thomas St/Stokes Croft, above DHS Heating. All welcomed!

Other Games Hub News:

Techie Brekkie : Gaming Trends; Console vs Mobile – Who’s Winning (and does it matter?)
Date/Time – 2nd July, 8.15-9.30am. With around one in three of all UK citizens playing games regularly, it is no surprise that from pure entertainment to health to education, gaming is a hot topic. The global games industry was already growing year on year and then exploded with the advent of smart phones and social platforms. However the ‘old guard’ of gaming, in the form of console and PC game companies, have been making a resurgence to recapture their former dominance of the industry with a series of major technology and content announcements. Who will come out on top and as the sector diversifies its offerings, is it even right to think about a single ‘games industry’ to be on top of? Join us at the home of gaming in Bristol, Bristol games Hub, to discuss where this dynamic disruptive industry is going. Introduction from Dr. Tomas Rawlings, Design & Development Director of Auroch Digital. Thanks to the Games Hub for providing a fantastic venue for this topic, and the kind sponsors Elance, who are providing breakfast! Sign-up required! http://www.meetup.com/TechSPARKbristol/events/189574222/ (Spaces are limited!)

Kotaku Visit: Hi all, I’m Leon Hurley, the news editor for Kotaku UK and I’ll be visiting the Bristol Games Hub on July the 4th to speak with people about the UK indie scene, gender and representation in games, and hopefully see any interesting or experimental projects you have to show off. I’m hoping to arrange a couple of informal round table interviews for the first two topics and then see as much as I can for the games. I can’t guarantee everything and everyone will get coverage but I’m keen to push the ‘UK’ side of my remit and this seems like a good way to meet the industry on a local level.

Marketing Breakfast – We’re planning to run a morning event to discuss the best way to market our games. Email tom at aurochdigital.com if you’re interesting in coming along. Spaces will be limited.

Freelancer/Company Directory – We’ve created an open Google doc to list details of companies and freelancers in the SW offering game development services. 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

Dev Scene News

Auroch Digital

We’ve just put out a new newsgame – Camelina Caper – onto iOS & Android; it’s free to download so reviews & rating welcomed!   We’ve also released a demo of the JtR125 project to create a ‘playable documentary’ around the Jack the Ripper murders;https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rKprmntnAE 

Jobs & Opportunities

Pitch For Investment!

Following the success of the Silicon Gorge investor day in late March, SETsquared, WebStart Bristol and BathSPARK/TechSPARK have teamed up once again to organise the 2nd investor day for 2nd July (from 2pm). The event follows the same format as in March – 5-minute presentations from 15-20 startups to a room full of 30-40 investors from London and the rest of the UK. This event will take place at The Engine Shed on 2nd July, and the audience will be restricted once again to investors + those presenting on the day. The event is sponsored by Invest Bristol and Bath. The competition for presentation slots is fierce, and there are only 3 ways to get a slot:

  • if you are in the WebStart Bristol programme, you must talk to Mike Jackson about getting a slot;
  • if you are part of SETsquared Bristol or Bath you can talk to Simon Bond or Nick Sturge about getting a slot;
  • if you are neither of the above, you will need to go through a selection process which will include pitching to a group of judges (like a semi final) on the 25th June (from 5.30pm) at the Engine Shed. Only the best companies (and the most ‘investor ready’) will be allocated a slot for the 2nd July. Companies interested in entering this selection process need to apply via this Google form.
  • Deadline is 6pm Friday 20th June. Good luck!

And finally, don’t forget to visit TechSPARK.co or follow @techSPARKuk for information about Silicon Gorge and other news and events from the Bristol & Bath tech sector.

RPG Maker Dev Competition

Are you ready for the excitement of the 2014 Indie Game Development Contest? Make your dream game during the month of June for a chance to win huge cash prizes (up to $10,000), widespread acclaim, and possibly a review by one of our celebrity judges. Now is your chance to grab the spotlight and become a renowned indie developer! Deadline June 30th – http://contest.rpgmakerweb.com/

Crowdfund your games at Fundsurfer

Fundsurfer is a new Bristol based reward and donation crowdfunding platform for creative and social projects. We can help you create, manage and run your project. You only get the money if you reach your target, but we’re more relaxed and flexible than other platforms about deadlines, allowing you to extend your campaign if necessary. We’re looking for game projects of all sizes, so if you have something you want to build – and that people will want to play – then come and get started atfundsurfer.com!

UWE Internship @ Opposable Games

If you or anyone you know are at UWE and fancy an internship with Opposable Games we’ve got a placement for a web-based games developer coming up very soon! Get applying! https://infohub.uwe.ac.uk/workgroups/uwe-undergraduate-internships/jobs/779428 (need to log in before you can see this page)

Noise Festival – Call for Entries

NOISE FESTIVAL 2014 “CALL FOR ENTRIES” is now open for submissions until July 6. Emerging creative types can get their work seen by industry professionals. Curators across 14 creative categories, including Ian Livingstone (Games / New Media), Brian Eno (Music) handpick submissions to offer the best undiscovered creative talent, a unique opportunity for showcase, recognition, mentorship and job opportunities. See the full panel here! Submit via the www.NOISEfestival.com online NOISE portfolio

Sift Digital Apprentice Developers

Sift Digital are looking for apprentice developers. Details here:
http://careers.sift.com/ts2__JobDetails?jobId=a0Kb0000002NmSpEAK&tSource

Events

Bristol Video Games Social: Main Quest #1

Nick from Force of Habit has been amazing enough to help sort out a whole bar for a full group, so we will be upstairs in the Big Chill bar on Small Street, on Thursday 19th June. As we get into the flow of our regular meetups, we’ll gradually be able to plan these events further in advance.  We’ll have our own bar, a projector with a PS3 set up for some quick, 4-player action, and a laptop for games on Windows – as well as anything else you’d like to bring, of course.
http://www.meetup.com/bristolgamers/events/189061912/

8-bit Night 2.0!

Hexadeci + 2G1B + Spazrammer + Tommy Creep + Olive FREE ENTRY. Thursday, September 4 at 8:00pm. The Mothers’ Ruin in Bristol.  https://www.facebook.com/events/670037096404339/

Cardiff Meetup @TIGA

Thursday 26th June 2014 at 6pm in the Digital Cardiff Showcase, The Courtyard, County Hall, Cardiff Bay, CF10 4UW. (In the County Hall building opposite Atlantic Wharf.)
http://gamesdevsw.org/meetup-tiga-event-june-26th/

Quick Links

Full Indies UK & Bristol Games Hub Event Round Up

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24th April was last month’s Bristol Games Hub’s monthly antisocial, a night of games, drinks and pizza in association with Full Indie UK. After much games and alcohol assisted merriment, ten indies showed off their current projects and talked through some of their insights into the development process, before adjourning to the pub. The speakers and their projects are linked below.

Gareth Jenkins (36 Peas) – One Spear Arena
http://onespeararena.com/

Caspian Prince (Puppy Games) – Battle Droid
http://www.puppygames.net/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qObkxxxjyFI

Jake Birkett (Grey Alien Games) – Regency Solitaire, and the mobile port of Puppy Games’ Titan Attacks
http://www.greyaliengames.com/

Nils Hellberg (VODO) – Presented on his work with VODO, a publisher of multidisciplinary indie bundles
http://vodo.net/

Rich Bumpkin (Bumpkin Brothers) – Space Farmers
http://bumpkinbrothers.com/spacefarmers/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syPuG9_zoJQ

Alastair Aitcheson – Tap Happy Sabotage
http://www.alistairaitcheson.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZasqaLeszU

Heather Cooper (Auroch Digital) – Chainsaw Warrior
http://chainsawwarrior.net/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ef8NEL37uIc

Damien Sturdy (Sturdy Games) – Red Forest
http://sturdygames.co.uk/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8YpNlsj218&list=UUKHU7OvxDBnn7uLdmpzbnig

Ashley Gwinnell (Force of Habit) – Timmy Bibble’s Friendship Club
http://forceofhab.it/

James (Opposable Games) – Salvaged
http://www.opposablegames.com/

Thanks to all the speakers & Full Indie UK

May Newsletter from Bristol Games Hub – News! Opportunities! Power-ups!

Posted on Updated on

Below is news from the growing Bristol & South West games development scene. You find news from the hub, news from Bristol & SW developers then jobs, opportunities & events. We’ve had a bit of a re-organise at the Hub, moving desks around to make better use of the space and the ongoing building refurbishments are making the place look good!

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 debbie at aurochdigital.com for more information or with news items for the next newsletter and let us news for the next one by 15th June please!

Next Games Hub Anti-Social: Thursday 29th May, 7.30pm

Talk – Dan Pope: Calling Cthulhu

A study of the sound design process for the video game Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land. Dan will talk, and play audio examples, covering his experience in providing the music and sound design for this game. How do you create antique artillery noises without shooting people? How do you create an atmosphere of spiralling insanity? What sound does “The Spider of Leng” make? Find out the answers to all these questions and more. More about the game can be found here and the music is here.

So join us on the 29th May at 7.30pm – all welcome! Ring Tom on 07974793227 if you have trouble finding your way in! Map is here. Note: we’re having a new door fitted so entry might be via DHS Heating on that night!

Games Hub News: Get More Ca$h for Games Dev from Tax Breaks!

Just prior to the anti-social, UKIE are putting on a workshop for tax breaks in games ahead of the next social at the Bristol Games Hub. If you are building games on yourself or have a company (or commission games) you will find it very worthwhile. Sign up here! (FREE! But limited places)

Shader talk at the Unity Developers Meetup

Now with our own meetup page! The monthly unity meetup is back and we now have a shiny new meetup group as well. The next talk will be an introduction to shaders. Shaders are small programs that run on the graphics card and instruct it how the geometry and surfaces in the game should look like. They can be used to add a lot of flavor and uniqueness to games so they are a handy tool to know about. We will assume that the audience has a basic understanding of Unity but knowledge of shaders is not required. The talk will take about an hour and the remaining time will be used to answer questions and showcase demos, jam games and other cool stuff you want feedback on. After the Games Hub closes at 10 we are always a couple that heads to the nearest pub so you are also more than welcome to join us there. Sign up for the talk here:
http://www.meetup.com/Bristol-Unity-Game-Developers-Meetup/events/180345912/

Dev Scene News

Shaun’s Game Academy: teaching kids how to make sweet games!

Aardman have a launched a new project to try and get 8 -12 year olds making games using the drag-and-drop coding tool Scratch. Hoping to inspire a new generation of hot-shot game developers, Shaun’s Game Academy provides learning resources not just about coding but also game design theory, a pack of Shaun the Sheep assets to be used in the games, and also a competition that kids (or anyone) can enter their final games into. Go check it out here: www.shaunsgameacademy.co.uk

Demon Apathy – Jetpack Bull in a China Shop

If you like smashing plates OR delivering them intact to the valuable customer, Jetpack Bull in a China Shop is the game for you. As the Distribution and Logistics Co-ordinator (a.k.a. shopkeeper) at the local china shop you’re not only tasked with satisfying customers’ china needs, but bulls’ worldwide reputation depends on you as well! Of course having a jetpack rarely helps a bull in a china shop, but it’s store policy to have one. But don’t worry, you can actually be a bull in a china shop and smash everything in Smash mode if you so desire!
Trailer: http://youtu.be/LQSpwd8DAVA
Android: http://ow.ly/wfb6z
iOS: http://ow.ly/wmMhv

Auroch Digital

Auroch Digital was invited to open the first ever European Newsgame Hack event in Cologne, Germany. There’s a good write-up of the event in The Guardian and more links here.

Introducing Creative Territories

There is a DCRC research project, partners with Bristol Games Hub, looking at how co-working spaces such as the hub are created and can thrive. Check out the project site here and join them on twitter here.

Jobs & Opportunities

Aardman’s Digital

Aardman’s Digital team are looking for a Game Developer Intern to join them on a 3 month placement over the summer. This is an amazing opportunity for a budding game developer to get their foot in the door in the industry working on some exciting projects with high profile clients. See:
http://www.aardman.com/about-us/jobs/game-developer-internship-2/ for more details.

Eagle Transporter

Contract 3D Modeller/s Required; We are looking for an experienced 3D Modeller to create some 3D models for our website and forums www.eagletransporter.com on a per model freelance basis. 2D reference material and dimensions will be provided and resulting 3D models must be supplied in a file format agreed between us. If interested please contact chris@eagletransporter.com enclosing your CV, Linkedin profile and examples of work for more details.

Lofi Games

We are looking for an additional experienced C++ programmer to work on Kenshi (www.lofigames.com). It’s full-time employment, working in Bristol. You need to be awesome and somehow able to demonstrate this. Preferably with either industry experience or a degree in something like computer science. The job will likely involve a mix of both gameplay programming and low-level technical stuff. Email them at “contact at lofigames.com” with your CV and stuff if interested.

Games Lab £10K Fund

Creative England has another funding opportunity, this time there are £5-10K pots for new games project. Deadline is 1st June. For more info see here.

Events

Can you help the PM Studio host the ‘Young Rewired State Festival of Code’?

The Pervasive Media Studio would like to host a Young Rewired State Festival of Code at Watershed from Monday 28th to Thursday 31st July 2014. In order to be able to collaborate with Young Rewired State on their great programme we are looking for volunteer mentors. Do you have some time to support the next generation of coders? Do you know someone who might? The Festival of Code is an annual celebration of everything code for those aged 18 and under. It occurs in regional centres all over the UK and this year ends with a long weekend in partnership with i-DAT at Plymouth University, where everybody comes together and showcases their achievements. If you are interested in this, please email:Jess.hoare@watershed.co.uk by 21th May 2014 with  a brief summary of your skills and the dates you are available. More info is here.

Games Research Network Launches in UK

The UK Chapter of DiGRA will be launching on 17th June at the Digital Cultures Research Centre, University of West England. The launch event, entitled ‘Pervasive Provocations: The State of Games in the UK’, at the DCRC at The University of West England, Bristol, will interrogate key issues in Games Studies in the UK. You are encouraged to come along with a short provocation and get involved. Pop-up speakers throughout the afternoon already include Greg Foster (Larking About), Dan Hett (BBC Children’s Gaming), Prof Tanya Kryzwinska (University of Falmouth), with others to be confirmed. The afternoon will be followed by a DiGRA  inaugural meeting in the DCRC and a launch party in the Watershed. Please sign up for the event here as places are limited: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pervasive-provocations-the-state-of-games-in-the-uk-tickets-11446255057

Meet this Year’s UWE Graduates!

With the end of the academic year approaching, we are very proud to be launching yet another Games Technology graduate cohort into industry next month. Whether you are currently hiring, or just interested to see what and who we teach – why not come meet them and see what we have been up to?

Formally: Our students will be exhibiting final year individual and group projects at the Faculty of Environment and Technology Degree Show, on the evening of the 5th of June, Frenchay Campus.
Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fet-computer-science-and-creative-technologies-degree-show-tickets-11644363605?ref=estw

Informally: Join graduates from the range of Creative Technologies award for a social event / mixer at the Big Chill, Small Street, Bristol, on the evening of the 3rd of June.
Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/an-informal-evening-with-staff-and-students-of-creative-technology-tickets-11618652703

Quick Links

Thanks all!

Bristol Games Hub Newsletter

Posted on

April 2014 – SPECIAL NEWS!

Opposable Games has just launched the Kickstarter for their multi-screen tactical action PC game, Salvaged. The game has been getting really positive responses at Rezzed and Gadget Show Live with the public, and you can see exactly what they’re talking about on the Kickstarter page:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/opposablegames/salvaged

About Us

Below is news from the growing Bristol & South West games development scene. You find news from the hub, news from Bristol & SW developers then 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 debbie at aurochdigital.com for more information or with news items for the next newsletter and let us news for the next one by 15th May please!

Next antisocial will be 29th May... Also we have a UKIE tax breaks event on same day too!

Dev Scene News

Opposable Games

Opposable Games has just launched the Kickstarter for their multi-screen tactical action PC game, Salvaged. The game has been getting really positive responses at Rezzed and Gadget Show Live with the public, and you can see exactly what they’re talking about on the Kickstarter page:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/opposablegames/salvaged

It’s been a busy few days for Opposable because last week also saw the launch of Embarrassing Bodies: Angry Boils – a mobile game developed for Channel 4 and Maverick TV. Combining fast action and perplexing puzzle gameplay, it’s free to download and play, and is marginally less gross than the TV show! You can download it for iOS or Android at the following links:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/embarrassing-bodies-angry/id725489619?mt=8
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.channel4.embarrassingbodiesgame

Auroch Digital

Auroch Digital’s GameTheNews.net project has been invited to give the Keynote speech at the first ever European-wide Newsgame Hackathon in Cologne next month. Full info is here.

Open Device Lab Bristol: Your free web-testing haven

What is the point of having great content if nobody can find it? Responsive web design provides the best user-experience for every visitor’s device, whether that’s a smartphone, tablet, smart-TV, or a desktop computer. So you’ve designed your website to be responsive on every single device known to man. But, have you really? How do you categorically know that it works? Before you start adding every device available to your Amazon cart, let us help.

Bristol’s first and only Open Device Lab (ODL) has opened with 17 free-to-use devices and 8 different operating systems including Linux, Symbian, Android and iOS.  Digital marketing agency, Noisy Little Monkey, sponsors the lab, which is open to everyone to use for free because the company wanted to help Bristol’s creative industry.

Jon Payne, Director of Noisy Little Monkey, says: “Bristol has a wonderful heritage in advertising and creative technology. Enabling clever people to do their jobs better means that Noisy Little Monkey plays a small part in turning that createch heritage into a legacy.” ODL Bristol is the place to test your website across different platforms for free while enjoying a cup of tea at the same time. Jon added: “Developers and marketers can come in and test their new websites and apps on multiple popular devices. No more online emulators. No more testing it on your phone and your partner’s when you get home.”  You have one website, and ODL Bristol has the many devices. With mobile sales leading over desktop sales, can you afford not to test your website’s mobile responsiveness?  Book a visit: www.odlbristol.co.uk and follow ODL Bristol on Twitter: @ODLBristol

For more information please email: josh@noisylittlemonkey.com

VODO – Otherworlds Bundle

We just released another bundle over at VODO which includes some really nice indie sci-fi content. The bundle is called ‘Otherworlds’ and includes two Steam games (AI War and Bientôt l’été) as well as two great feature films (Drones and Ghosts with Shit Jobs) and some really nice ebooks and comics from the likes of Cory Doctorow and Apex Magazine. 5% of all proceeds go to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Check it out here: http://vodo.net/otherworlds

Coinbench

Coinbench recently started processing Bitcoin payments for Lo-Fi Games and their awesome game Kenshi.  Coinbench has provided an easy opensource platform for Lo-Fi to sell Kenshi with automatic fulfilment of licensing keys.  You can purchase a copy of Kenshi with Bitcoins here https://coinbench.io/kenshi/ The Coinbench team are based in Bristol, just a couple of roads behind the games hub. Coinbench urge developers, particularly indie ones to look at accepting Bitcoins for their games as it’s a great way to generate interest and has nearly next to no transaction fees.  If you’d like to chat about how you can start drop the team a line: http://twitter.com/coinbenchor mark@coinbench.io

Jobs & Opportunities

Lofi Games

We’re looking for an additional experienced C++ programmer to work on Kenshi (www.lofigames.com). It’s full-time employment, working in Bristol. You need to be awesome and somehow able to demonstrate this. Preferably with either industry experience or a degree in something like computer science. The job will likely involve a mix of both gameplay programming and low-level technical stuff. Email them at “contact at lofigames.com” with your CV and stuff if interested.

Mobile Developer needed to Develop Daredevil Project’s new Social Photo Challenge Game

TheThis project is to develop a first prototype on either android or iOS before expanding the team to deliver the game on both operating systems, testing, then launching to an international market.  We’re looking for a talented mobile developer with skills in either iOS or Android development to take ownership of this project, liaise with other freelancers, and bring the product to market on your chosen OS – you will be involved with every aspect of the process so we’re looking for somebody to really throw themselves into the project.  You will have developed mobile projects and bought them to market in the past, but extensive experience is not required. The game/app is an asynchronous turn based photo challenge built upon either game/play centre or Facebook, so an understanding or experience of developing gaming mechanics (and love of gaming!) would be perfect. Please email paul [at] daredevilproject.com for more info

UWE Tech & Games Tech Jobs

UWE has a significant number of new posts currently being advertised on the UWE and jobs.ac.uk web pages, with a closing date of 23 April. There will be an advert’ appearing in Times Higher Education next week. The posts are: Professor in Creative Technology, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science (2 posts), Senior Lecturer in Information Science , Senior Lecturer in Creative Technology, Senior Lecturer in Games Technology  & Graduate Tutors  (3 posts) The graduate tutor role is fixed term for 5 years and includes undertaking a PhD, teaching and completion of the ADP.

Events

Interface: A Digital Networking Event for the Cultural Industries

Applications are now open for Interface, a unique sharing event that is coming to Bristol this Spring.  Conceived by Shakespeare’s Globe as a space for discovering talent and forging links between large cultural institutions and young ambitious digital companies, the event is a fantastic opportunity to share ideas and network with the cultural sector’s leading digital commissioners. This years’ event is being organised in partnership with Watershed and Bristol Old Vic, and will take place at Bristol Old Vic on Mon 12 May.  Download an application form and guidelines:
http://www.watershed.co.uk/get-involved/opportunities/2014-04-21/interface/

UKIE Tax Breaks Event

Join us and UKIE to find out about what tax breaks mean for you as a games developer! Get a ticket now for the event on 29th May. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-to-get-your-uk-games-production-tax-credit-bristol-tickets-11315140891

Quick Links

Monthly Unity Game Devs Meetup at Bristol Games Hub Restarting on Wednesday 23rd April from 7:30pm

Posted on

Unity is a powerful and easy to learn game engine for 2D and 3D development that is becoming more and more popular. On top of that it offers a very capable free version and can build to a wide range of platforms including, desktop, mobile and web.

This free monthly meetup is to support the sprawling community of game developers that use Unity in Bristol. The goal is to create a place where new and experienced Unity users can share their experience and knowledge with each other. The programme for each session will roughly be:

  • 19.30-20.30 Talk on a Unity related topic. The first one will be an introduction to Unity for programmers and non-programmers alike.
  • 20.30-22.00 Mingling and mind sharing between the attendees. If you are facing any issues or have made a cool game prototype this is when we would like to see and talk about it!
  • 22.00-??.?? We end the event with a trip to the local pub for those that fancy a pint or two.

The meetup is run by Alexander Birke and Sam Chester, both local developers that use Unity in their daily work. On top of that Alexander has been teaching and given talks on Unity for over 4 years. The talks at the first couple of sessions will therefore be held by Alexander on a variety of topics.

Please sign up on Eventbrite here as we’re expecting a good turnout;http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/monthly-unity-game-devs-meetup-tickets-11268569595

Bristol Games Hub Newsletter March 2014

Posted on Updated on

Below is news from the growing Bristol & South West games development scene. You find news from the hub, news from Bristol & SW developers then 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 desks at a bargain price with no strings attached so you can get on and create amazing games. Contact debbie at aurochdigital.com for more information or with news items for the next newsletter and let us news for the next one by 15th April please!

Next Games Hub Anti-Social: 27th March, 7.30pm

Join us for two great talks!  This month we’ve got:

Kickstarter Preparation, Braving the Elements: Crowdfunding / Trials and Tribulations in the Tabletop Gaming Industry

After bringing his first board game, Medieval Mastery, to publication–as the co-founder of Chaos Publishing–Miles Ratcliffe is currently preparing a Kickstarter launch for their second title, Brave the Elements (going live April 16th). With many hard lessons learnt along the way, he has helped propel the sales of his games through distribution for over 1000 copies. Now, after building up a wealth of contacts and advice, his Kickstarter is on the horizon and is willing to share his experiences / what he’s learnt.

Tech Demo – SeePlay

SeePlay is a live musical composer and performer for visual media, developed as a final-year project by Jamie Henson, a computer science student at the University of Bristol (and brief Hub resident last summer). An example of application for SeePlay could be for a game with no soundtrack. Running SeePlay in the background, it would perform live visual analysis on the game and generate music as you play based on these visual features!  There will be a low-key demo, consisting of a simple Unity test environment, where you will be invited to interact with the environment and give feedback on the music that is produced as a result of your actions in-game.

So join us on the 27th March at 7.30pm – all welcome!

Other Games Hub News

Thanks to all those who came to our board-game night. We’re thinking of doing the next one on a Sat or Sun during the day so we can take on bigger games. Email tom at aurochdigital.com if you’re interested in taking part.

Dev Scene News

Twice Circled

Twice Circled has managed to successfully raise funding to develop its next game, a strategy/simulation title for PC, via a publishing deal. Development starts in May.

I wrote a piece for the Full Indie UK column on PocketGamer.biz (despite it being a PC title ;P ) about my experiences of raising funding which you can read here if you are interested. I barely managed to scratch the surface in that one so if anybody would like to know more just come and grab me next time you see me.

Opposable Games

It’s an exciting time for Opposable Games, where the team are hard at work on their new multi-screen tactical shooter Salvaged. You can find out much more over at theSalvaged websiteTwitter or Facebook and, if you’re planning on attending Rezzed(28th – 30th March), grab a play of an exclusive early build.

Elsewhere in the world of Opposable, the team have given their site a rather striking refresh at opposablegames.com, Ben’s adjusting to PDT at GDC, and new recruit Dan Page is getting stuck into his role as Marketing and Community Manager.

Home Groan Games

Our game The Grave Digger is now on Steam Greenlight, if you’re a Steam user please help support us by voting for it. Thanks!
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=233069775

Auroch Digital

It has been a busy month for Auroch Digital. A game we developed for BBC Radio 1xtra, Rap Battle, launched this week. Thanks to Force of Habit and Infinite Playground for their help with the game!  We were also short-listed for a GamesIndustry.biz Innovation Award for GameTheNews.net – you can vote for us here: http://bit.ly/1phjaLB  There is also an article about our JtR125 project on the AHRC website entitled ‘The Future of News’: http://bit.ly/1et8c3Z

Red Wasp Design

Red Wasp Design’s Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land hit Steam this month after successfully passing though Greenlight. See: http://redwaspdesign.wordpress.com/

Jobs & Opportunities

Aardman Interactive

Aardman Animation’s Interactive team are about to embark on a number of new interesting gaming and other app developments and are therefore looking out for talented, creative freelance people with experience in the games and web industry. Contact hannah.jones@aardman.com for more information.

Javascript/ HTML5 Game Developer
Developer with strong Javascript capabilities, experienced in HTML5 game development and Canvas animation. Some experience with game frameworks is required, preferably Phaser, otherwise Impact/ Flixel/ FlashPunk would be useful. – Available from w/c 24 March or as soon as possible from this date.

Interactive Developers
Developers experienced in producing high-end mobile games and apps using cross-platform technologies such as: Unity, Abode Air (preferably Starling), and HAXE.

Interesting Designers
Talented UI designers experienced in designing for mobile and online games, apps and responsive websites. Experience in childrens’ content would be useful, as would illustration expertise.

2014 Graduate and new talent competition (two places available)

Prize: £500 bursary and a minimum of one month in residence at the Pervasive Media Studio, Bristol.
http://www.watershed.co.uk/pmstudio/project/2014-graduate-and-new-talent-competition
For the second year, we are launching a competition to find 2 fantastic new Pervasive Media Studio residents to join our vibrant community of artists, creative companies, technologists and academics. The residencies will take place in September 2014 and will include a £500 bursary for each selected applicant. We are looking for two individuals who have recently emerged from education, or are at an early stage in their careers.

Jennifer Ann’s Group: Game Design Challenge with a first place prize of $7,000.

Can you create a video game about teen dating violence….without using violence in the game itself? Since 2008 Jennifer Ann’s Group, a nonprofit charity headquartered in Atlanta, has run a game design challenge to promote awareness of teen dating violence and provide educational information to protect teens. The contest is the largest and longest-running of its kind in the world and was recently named a 2014 Top 10 Trailblazer as selected by the National Youth Advisory Board. The contest is open to all over the age of 13 and receives entries from both the domestic and international video game community. The winning games for 2013 came from Argentina, Belgium, Ireland, and Thailand.Rules, sign-up information, FAQs, and previous winners are available through Jennifer Ann’s Group online at:
http://bit.ly/LifeLove2014

Events

Lunchtime Talk: Growing a community of web-native storytellers

Friday 21 March, 13:00, Pervasive Media Studio, FREE
http://www.watershed.co.uk/pmstudio/events/fri-21032014-100pm
What happens when you bring together filmmakers, web developers and designers for a weekend of story hacking? Gilles and Philo organise Popathon – a series of hackathon events that encourages multidisciplinary experimentation in the field of web-native storytelling. They will be sharing some of the lessons they learned and discuss the relevance for web documentary and also take the opportunity to demo some of the projects created during the weekend-long hackathons.

Lunchtime Talk: Overcoming the Resistance to Resistors; bringing art and technology together

Friday 28 March, 13:00, Pervasive Media Studio, FREE
http://www.watershed.co.uk/pmstudio/events/fri-28032014-100pm
Rachel Rayns is Artist-in-Residence and Creative Producer at the Raspberry Pi Foundation. She’s on a mission to make interesting things happen. At Raspberry Pi she is focusing on how we can support small art organisations with navigating investment and implementation of low-cost technologies.
Personally she’s working on Zoë Star, a herd of neurotic, humorous machines from an alternative reality. Funded by Art Council England, the project aims to explore how we, as users and makers, engage with technology: absurd outcomes are eagerly anticipated.


Thanks all!

Games Hub November Newsletter – Events, News and Opportunities!

Posted on

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 :*)