Friday, April 20, 2018

Hey everyone! We hope you had a great time at the Spring 2018 UA Game Jam! I know I did!

This semester's theme was Sonoran Desert...







You can find the link to all the games here!

If you can't find your game in this list, send us an email at uagamedevelopers@gmail.com!

Here are your winners!
  • Best Art - Shifting Sands
  • Best Writing - DnD - Dogs in Desert

  • Popular Vote  - Our Glass

  • Most Ambitious - SagaurCraft
(no photo at this time)

  • Best Sound Design - WOOD
(no photo at this time)

You guys really brought it this year. The games made at our game jams get better every year, and this year was no exception! I think that these games we made were some of the best yet! Everyone who participated should be proud.

See all of you next year for the Fall 2018 game jam!


Announcements:

The last game night of the semester will be held on Friday, April 27th in Gould Simpson 914! Bring your friends!

Friday, March 30, 2018

How do artists decide on what their game will look like? Concept art is an amazing field which assists in creating and expanding on elements of visual design. How does x creature look? What color is it? How does it move? What shape are it's eyes? All of these questions and more fall under the umbrella of concept art.



lucky for us, we have some very talented artists who were able to help us understand the thought process of creating inspiring concept art. 



Here's just some more of the amazing art courtesy of Dani and Emily 




We are hosting a Blender Workshop on Saturday, March 31st in Gould-Simpson 914!


Just a reminder that the GAME JAM will be happening April 6th at 5:30pm in Gould-Simpson 914!




Sunday, March 25, 2018



Sign up for the Spring 2018 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, April 6th in Gould-Simpson 914. We encourage participants to show up at 5:30 PM to socialize and form teams, and kickoff starts at 6:00!

When does the Game Jam end?

Games are due at noon on Sunday, April 8th, 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! Many teams 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!


Will there be... food?

Yes! Meals and snacks will be provided all weekend, free of charge, to all participants.

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.


If you or your team need a crash course in basic game development, we'll also be hosting a Unity tutorial on the first night of the Game Jam, so don't worry about needing to study beforehand!

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 email us with any other questions you might have, or join our Discord server to chat with us and other club members!

Thursday, March 1, 2018



This week, Vice President Riley Driscoll hosted a guided discussion about developing games with industry trends in mind. Some notable topics: Horror game scare tactics, 3D platformers, Battle Royale games, and zombies just to name a few.

Here is the presentation : Game Development Metas

Want to talk about metas more? Want to join in live discussions with other UA game developers??


A reminder that Game Dev Club is moving! From now on all of our meetings and workshops will be on level 9 in the Gould-Simpson building!

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!