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Bristol Games Hub Newsletter

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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

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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

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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!

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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 :*)

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.

Games Jams with Orangutangs – Thurs 24th 1pm

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We’ve organised for an interesting speaker to come to the hub next Thursday (24th) at 1pm, Hanna Wirman.
She’s got all sorts of stories from her recent work in Hong Kong, running Games Jams with Orangutangs, and other crazy stuff.
You can of course just come along, we’ll also have people from downstairs and the Pervasive Media Studio but it’s open to all so if interested you might want to book a seat at
http://hannabristolgameshub.eventbrite.co.uk/ – Tickets are free but places are limited!
There may be tea and cakes provided by the downstairs lot as well, in case you need another reason to come along.
See you there!
(This is a joint event with the Digital Cultures Research Centre)

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