Sign up for this weekend's AI Workshop here!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

This week, our glorious leader Chris Klimowski showed us how he keeps his sanity while programming games in JavaScript. How does he do it? Well, it's mostly a combination of hard work, determination, and Phaser! Phaser is a lightweight, easy to use, and powerful game engine for producing your own browser games! Chris is a big fan of Phaser, and has used it to make multiple games, including Blast Down

If you're looking for a place to start, Chris has generously shared with us his starter project skeleton. Feel free to use it in all of your future Phaser endeavors.


But that's not all that went on at the meeting, we also got to show off the visual novels we made last during last weekend's Valentine's Jam! Check them out here

Special thanks again to everyone who participated! The winner (by popular vote) was the Skyrim dating simulator, by our man Riley Driscoll!

Here's a gallery of some highlights





Remember to sign up for our AI tutorial this Saturday in CSC 914 from 1 - 3 pm!

Sign up for the workshop here!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


We have an exciting announcement to make!


After years of dwelling in various rooms in the ECE basement, we will be moving all of the club's events (weekly meetings, workshops, game nights, and Game Jams included) to the Gould-Simpson 9th floor!

This change makes sense for us since we are primarily a Computer Science-based club. All CS majors have after-hours access to the GS back door, and the being in the same building as our own department will make event planning much simpler on our end.

And so, starting on March 12th after we return from Spring Break, we will be meeting in GS 914 for our weekly meetings.

See you there!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Have you ever read a book and thought, "Man, I wish this was a video game!"

Have you ever played a video game and thought, "Man, I wish this was a book!"

What if I told you there was a medium that combined the best of both worlds? Enter the Visual Novel! A Visual Novels are interactive stories where you control the fate of the characters!

This week, resident VN expert Christi gave a talk about what makes Visual Novels so great, and what to avoid when making your own.



Then, Chris and Riley showed us just how easy it is to make your own visual novels using the fantastic application, RenPy! Thanks to everyone for helping us create that monstrosity...


Thanks for this masterpiece, Riley!


RenPy is a free, python-based game engine for creating visual novels quickly and easily. Even if you've never used python before, RenPy is an incredibly accessible tool for programmers of all experience levels. If you want to learn more about RenPy, check out their website! They have great documentation too!


If you're curious about making your own visual novel but don't know where to start, come to the Valentine's Jam! This coming Saturday, February 17th 1 - 4pm in ECE 104! bring your friends!

Sign up for the Jam here: Valentine's Jam Sign-up


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Welcome back to another semester of Game Dev Club! I hope you all had a great winter break.

It's been a while since a real website post has come up, and for that, I do apologize. Here's what you might have missed at our meetings!




Basic game programming in Love2D - During this meeting, Chris Klimowski and I programmed a simple galaga-style game in the game engine Love2D. Love2D is a simple, flexible, and free engine written in lua! Still curious about this powerful little engine? Check out it's website!

Love2D Download page

The Love2D wiki has really great documentation, so if you have any trouble with lua syntax, it's a great place to check first

Love2D Wiki

Implementing Co-op in single player games / Successful horror elements - This two-part meeting was put on by our wonderful interns, Emily and Stephanie! These talks went over some of the pitfalls involved in tacking on Co-op elements, as well as what makes horror games so, so terrifying. To cap it all off, we combined what we learned to brainstorm frightening co-op horror experiences.

You can find a link to the slides here:

Implementing Co-Op into Originally Singleplayer Games

Horror Elements


EVENTS THIS SEMESTER

The Valentine's Day Jam will be held February 17th in ECE 104 - Make dating simulators and other fun Valentine's Day-themed games!

The Spring Game Jam will be held April 6th!

Fall semester, you participated in the 2017 UA Fall Game Jam! All of your submissions were amazing, as always.

This semester's theme was... ALCHEMY!




Here are all the games! Let us know if we missed any!

Ascend - An ambitious Metroidvania game!

Alchemy Dungeon - A halarious visual novel!

Alchemy Mama - An alchemy-themed cooking game!

AL-chess-EMY - Chess, but with alchemy!

Ether Pursuit - A frantic multiplayer potion flinging party game!

Downfall - A stylish platformer!


This Can Be Erased - A puzzle-platformer with different potions to play with!

The winning game this semester was....



"This Can Be Erased"



Congratulations to everyone who participated! You're all officially game developers now! 



Check out this photo album from the jam!

See all of you next semester for our 2018 April 6th Spring Game Jam!


Thursday, October 19, 2017



Sign up for the Fall 2017 Game Jam here!

What's a Game Jam?


You have one weekend to form a team and build a game! Game Jams are exciting and fun opportunities for students of all experience levels to engage in game development.


When and where does the Game Jam start?


The event starts on Friday, October 27th in ECE 104 (Electrical and Computer Engineering, Room 104). We encourage participants to show up at 5:00 PM to socialize and form teams, and kickoff starts at 5:30!

When does the Game Jam end?

Games are due at noon on Sunday, October 29th, and the closing ceremonies begin shortly after. There, teams present their games to the judges and contestants, and we announce the winners!

Do I have to stay at the event for its duration?

Nope! Most teams do choose to stay at the event, but the only parts of the Game Jam that participants absolutely have to attend are the kickoff and the closing ceremony. On the other hand, the event runs continuously for its duration, so some teams choose to stay overnight!


But I don't know how to make a game!

You don't need to have prior game development experience to be a valuable team member! If you can write code, draw art, make 3D models, design levels, compose music, record sound effects, or write a story, your team can help you learn how to apply those skills to game development!


Can I form any team?

There is no restriction on team size, but we recommend sticking to no more than two people of any skillset (art, programming, music, etc.), since that makes it much harder to designate tasks.

Can I make any game?

Pretty much! We only ask that teams make new games, instead of working on existing projects, which is why the Game Jam has a mystery theme to be announced during kickoff that all teams' games should use as inspiration! Reusing individual assets from past games, such as existing art, code, or music, is fine.

This all sounds great! How do I sign up?

The link's at the top, remember? But because you've been such a good listener, I'll link it again here.

Wait! I have more questions!

You can contact us with any other questions you might have! The organizers for this Game Jam are Riley Driscoll, Joseph Scheidemandel, and Dani Jaramillo, so they're the best officers to ask.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Do graphics matter? 

Hell yeah! Well, maybe not quite graphics, but.....

-a s s e t s-


This week, we talked about asset creation. What are assets? In games, assets are everything! An asset is any element that is used by the game to represent something in the game. Sprites, models, textures, animations, music, sound effects, you name it! The thing is, not all of us are professional artists. Where do you even begin? 

Fortunately, there are some great options out there! 

--Music and Sound effects--

Audacity - Audacity is an amazingly simple and powerful sound editing program. A favorite at game jams, Audacity allows for easy mixing and recording sound and music to be used in video games, movies, or anything else!


Freesound Project - The Free Sound Project is a huge, ever expanding library of free sound effects completely royalty free! They have a massive selection of sounds to fit even your most obscure needs!
https://freesound.org/forum/freesound-project/

Gamesounds.xyz - A library of great sound effects, all royalty free! Browse to your heart's content!
https://gamesounds.xyz/

--Digital Art--


Adobe Photoshop - What??? Photoshop?! I thought these were free assets!! Don't worry! If you're a student at UA, you're given free access to the entire adobe suite! Photoshop is an incredibly powerful, almost industry standard tool for digital art and photo manipulation. Making animations and repeating tilesets has never been easier. Special thanks to our talented Dani Jaramillo for showing off her amazing Photoshop skills!



Piskel - oh boy... Piskel is a personal favorite of mine. Piskel is an incredibly simple and easy to use browser based pixel art program. Gone are the days of MS paint pixel art, Piskel comes loaded with tons of really great quality of life tools like layers, color targeting, an entire animation suite with onion skinning, and probably the best part, easy exporting of sprite sheets! With just one simple download, you can take your finished animations and load them into your favorite game engines, ready to go! Plus, since it's all done in browser, you can just open it up on any computer and have all your files on the cloud.


--3-D Assets--

Blender. 

Yep that's basically it! But for good reason! Blender does it all! Modeling, rigging, animation, texturing, image editing, video editing, it's own game engine for testing levels, open source-- it's got it all. Blender is an incredibly powerful tool for making anything and everything in the third dimension! 


And there's way more out there! We only had time to talk about a couple at the meeting!

Talk about more asset creation stuff on our Discord! :  discord.gg/zfjSHkc

If you want to learn more about this crazy powerful tool, and how to make your own 3D models for games or animations (but mostly games :P) Come to the Blender Workshop that I'm running this Saturday from 2 - 5 pm in ECE 104! I'll see you guys there!




Monday, September 25, 2017

        If you're interested in game development and you're not a masochist, you'll need to use a game engine. A game engine is a program that comes packaged with a bunch of things that make making games and other applications much, much easier! You've probably heard of them before, even if you know nothing about game development! Ever heard of Source? Frostbite? Unreal Engine? Unity? Gamemaker? At the last meeting, we went over everything you need to know about game engines, so that you can choose the one that's right for you!



        This weekend was the Unity Workshop! Everyone who came learned how to make a complete video game in the Unity game engine completely from scratch! Great job everyone who came!

Here's an album full of pictures from the workshop!  https://imgur.com/a/OZrN2



        At the next meeting, we'll be discussing our struggles and successes when it comes to game development. A few of us officers will be giving talks and showing off different games that we've finished (or not) at different stages of development. We'll be going over why we cut features and added features, give insight into our design process, and answer technical questions!


Keep in the know by joining our Discord!  https://discord.gg/stkYfWU


Our next meeting is this Monday September 25th - 5:30 pm in ECE 104!





Sunday, September 17, 2017

Don't worry, the new blog post is here!

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great time at last meeting's game design mini-challenge! Sorry this blog post is going up so late (the day before the next meeting....), I'll try to get them up much, much earlier. 

Last week, we split into groups of 5-6 and were tasked with modifying a simple card game to make it more fun and interested! We were blown away with your creativity and passion for game design!!! Keep it up! 


Here is a link to a gallery of photos from the event: https://imgur.com/a/ObwVG


Last Friday, (sept. 8th) was our first Game Night! Sponsored by American Express, we all enjoyed free food and games! A great time for all involved! We hold club-wide game nights once a month! Be sure to come to the next one!

Here are some of the photos from the event: https://imgur.com/a/iyRJJ


Here are some of our upcoming events : 

Our next meeting is this Monday, September 18th at 5:30 pm in ECE 104! (Yes, that's tomorrow!)

The Unity workshop will be happening this coming Saturday, September 23rd from 2-5 pm in ECE 104! We'll be going over some of the details of what you need to bring to maximize your experience. Learn how to use one of the most powerful and accessible game engines ever!

Want to join in the discussion? Join our discord here! https://discord.gg/stkYfWU


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Break time's over.

It's time to get back into the full swing of things with another exciting semester of Game Dev club! If you're a new member, welcome! If you're a returning member, welcome back! We hope to make this year of Game Dev Club the best it's ever been, with new talks, workshops, and personal project showcases!

At our first meeting last Monday, we showcased some of our club member's personal summer projects! We showed off some amazing games, animations, and text-adventures this week including...

Joseph Scheidemandel's Twilight Prophecy:
Hey, that's me! This 3D animation project took up most of my summer, totally around 2 months of solid work! I made it entirely from scratch in Blender, a free 3D modeling and animation program! Featuring an amazing musical score by Enrique Ponce, this Fantasia-style music video follows a robot on his quest for an ancient weapon.


Check it out! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUmjfihIebI&t=22s


Chris Klimoski's Blast Down:
Who knew our club president was such a talented game developer?? This innovative combo/dexterity game made in Phaser challenges the player to take control of an upside down rocket pack in order to trampoline there way through waves of killer robots.

Chris Klimoski's Blast Down

Play it now! - http://chrisklimowski.com/projects/jetpack.html


Previous semester's Game Jam games:

In addition to showing off our summer projects, we also looked back on previous games developed during our bi-yearly Game Jams. These include....

Gravidude - A gravity manipulation puzzle-platformer that's never gonna give you up.

On Death and Dying - A stylish 2D platformer with a dark and oppressive atmosphere.

B.R.E.A.D. - A cute and polished 2D platformer that challenges you to collect bread-based-baddies and use them as flaming toast ammunition!

More Coffee Mr. President? - Can you stay awake long enough to fulfill your presidential duties? This hilarious Wario-Ware style game might just be the key to understanding the current administration...

And a whole bunch of other currently-in-development games and projects that I don't have the assets or permission to share! (But they all looked great!)


Here are this week's announcements:

The club fair is this Wednesday, September 6th, 9am - 2pm. Come check out our booth on the mall!

Our first game night will be next Friday, September 8th. This event is sponsored by American Express! There will be free food and games for everyone who shows up! Bring your friends! This event takes place in ECE 102, 104, and 105 from 6pm ~ 12am!

Join in the game development discussion on our discord! We discuss upcoming events, give each other advice, share resources, and show off our projects!

https://discord.gg/stkYfWU


I hope you all have a great semester!


Friday, April 28, 2017


This week, at our penultimate meeting of the semester, Jeremy hosted a discussion about elevator pitches.  How do you talk to someone about a game you're working on without coming across as a complete madman?

Imagine it: You're in an elevator, when suddenly Hideo Kojima gets in!  What is he doing here?  It doesn't matter!  Now you only have about a minute to get him to remember your game.  Oh no, his floor is coming up, and you can't quite communicate why your game is so exciting!  If only you'd rehearsed!


Suddenly, you realize... this isn't real!  You're back in 2017, and now you have time to come up with your pitch before that once-in-a-lifetime encounter.  Whew!

We also talked briefly about affordances in game design!  Affordances are an important concept in UX, especially so in something as complex as a video game.  There's no need to teach something which your design naturally affords!

The slides for both of these topics are here!  See you next week, at our last meeting of the semester!  There will be food!

Sunday, April 23, 2017


This week, club-renowned 3D artist Joseph Scheidemandel delivered his best advice for producing fluid, consistent 2D animation!  Stop being so good at so many things, Joseph!


His slides are here!  You may recognize Joseph's animations from this Spring's game-jam-winning Wulfric and Pip, the only game I know of with a 20-frame animation for throwing a box.

Also, art professor Joseph Farbrook gave us an overview of the classes being offered for 3D art next semester!  They're open to students outside of the art department, but only if you get his permission first, so be sure to let him know if you're interested!

Weekly Announcements

  • Our final game night is this Friday!  We'll be going all-out on this one, with more snacks than we've ever offered, Smash Brothers and Hearthstone tournaments and, of course, the usual smorgasboard of board games.
  • We finally have a Discord server!  This will be the best way to stay connected with other club members.  Share things you've made, ask for advice, or just talk!  Click here to join.