Thursday, February 21, 2013


(Sfxr, speedy sfx generator.)

On Monday, we covered a variety of handy resources to use for our upcoming game jam. Here's list of the resourced we covered, highly useful for not only the game jam, but game development in general. All items here are free for most functionality, and are arranged in no specific order save for categories.

Before you jump into exploring these resources, note that 3D-related tools tend to have a much more significant learning curve, so we do not recommend attempting to develop a 3D game during the game jam without significant prior experience.

Game Development
Stencyl - popular 2D game-creation software with visual scripting and integrated physics engine.
Game Maker Studio - speedy game-development tool with extensive community.
Construct 2 - 2D game-development engine.
Unity - strong 3D game-creation tool.
Ren'Py - Python-based visual novel creation engine, no prior programming experience necessary.
Pygame - popular Python extension for game creation.
Unreal Development Kit - complete 3D game-development engine. Beware: high learning curve.

Graphic
Tigsource Assemblee Competition Part 1 - graphics for sound assets for public use
GraphicsGale - highly useful and (mostly) free pixel art creation program.
Photoshop CS2 - this old version of Photoshop is now free! Note that Windows 7 needs special support.
GIMP - standard free open-source program.
Pixen - open-source pixel-art creator for Mac OS X
Blender - free 3D graphics rendering software.

Sound
Audacity - powerful open-source sound-editing program.
Sfxr - instant 8-bit sound effect generator. Check out bfxr for flash version and cfxr for Mac version.
FreeSound - huge database of quality sound effects, under a variety of references.
Incompetech - another database of free sounds.
GarageBand - powerful tracking/SE tool for Mac.
Acid Xpress - free music recording and creation software for Windows.

Misc.
Tiled - map-creation software for tile-based games.
MakeHuman - random 3D human model generator.
PolyCount - community for 3D art creation and game development.
ModDb - community for game modding.

Comment if you have more resources that you think fits on this page, and good luck if you are attending the Game Jam!


Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Note: Don't forget about our game jam on Friday, February 22nd!

Once again, the GameDev Club is teaming up with the IEEE club to hold a game night! There will be food, and everyone is encouraged to bring their own games, snacks, TVs, computers, etc.
  • When: Friday, March 1st, starting at 5:30pm until midnight.
  • Where: Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) building, room 105 (map below)

Important Info

  1. Please RSVP using this form: http://bit.ly/IEEEGameNight.
  2. You can park for free in the parking lot by the ECE building (lot #3039) after 5:00pm.
  3. To drive to the Parking lot, you'll most likely have to get to 2nd St from Mountain Ave, because Park Ave is closed due to construction (see map below).
  4. The doors for the building, as well as the elevator, close at around 6pm, so call the IEEE room at 520-626-7324 if you're locked out. It's best to add that number to your contacts, just in case.
  5. In order to get to the bottom floor of the ECE building, please only use the South stairwell door, which will be left open.
  6. While we've never had any incidents before, the clubs are not responsible for damaged, lost, or stolen valuables. It's generally good practice to label your things to make sure they don't get mixed up.
  7. In accordance to university policy, no alcohol, firearms, or weapons will be allowed.

University Map

Below is a map of where the ECE building is. To view the map in another window, click here.



View Larger Map

Questions

If you have any questions, send an email to Robbie, the chair of the IEEE, at laityr@email.arizona.edu, or to Livio, the president of the GameDev Club, at ldelac01@email.arizona.edu.

Thursday, February 14, 2013



Click Here to RSVP for the Game Jam

Schedule


Friday (Feb. 22nd):

6:00 pm is the preferred arrival time of the jam. Coming early gives you time to socialize with other attendees, and will be helpful toward team-forming later on. We'll also be serving dinner at this time.

At 7:00 pm,  the theme will be announced, and the timer officially starts. That's the time to discuss with others jammers, and present your personal pitches to others. As the ideas become mature, settle in with a team whose idea you like and start prototyping!

If you wish to set up early, the room will be open anytime between 10am and 4:30pm.

Sunday (Feb. 24th):

The timer ends at 7:00am, which will be the deadline for submission to the Game Jam dropbox folder. After all the entries are in, each team will show off their results in the 36 hours, and we will hold a vote for the best games of the Jam.

After the winners are announced, we will have a breakfast to celebrate the end of the Jam and return to our usual Sundays.We will be recapping the Game Jam on Monday, so if you missed out on anything, make sure you come to catch up!

Peculiarities


The IEEE room does not have good cell signals, and doors to the ECE building will be locked during the Weekend. Please put down the room phone-number so you don't get locked out: (520)626-7324.
If you wish to spend the night at the Jam site, please bring your own blanket, jacket, and/or sleeping bags.
There will be about 3 tower PC's in the room for free use. If you want any software pre-installed, please contract us in advance.

Advice


Team Size


Do not form teams of more than five. The communication efforts involved to direct a large team will come at considerable expense in efficiency.
Ideally, one person should be working on the program, one person should be working on the graphic, and one person should try to piece everything together.

Scheduling


Get the game foundations set up by bedtime the first day, so you can jump directly to a good workflow by the time you wake up. Get at least six hours sleep on the first day! Alertness on the second day is extremely important.
In the last five or six hours of the Jam, don't try to add any new features unless your game is near complete. Also, use placeholder art!

Game Design


The most valuable way to learn about design is play-testing, and every attendee is a potential play-tester! The first-and-foremost priority should be to make sure that the game is fun, so take any chance you get to show your game to other designers!

Rapid-development Tools


While having tools like Game Maker and Construct is not required, they certainly make your life much easier. Avoid developing 3D games if you don't have considerate amount of experience in the area.

The upcoming meetings on the 18th will discuss the Jam in more detail, including helpful resources for creating or finding images and sounds, and a brief overview of rapid game development tools.

Happy jamming!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Another meeting and another week closer 'til our first UA Game Jam. If you plan on attending, please RSVP here. Also, we have found a camera man and so the meeting recordings should be up soon, hooray!

1. The Final Boss gives some words of advice.

Our Final Boss (President) lead a discussion on how to get an advantage in the game development career field.

Over the course of the discussion there was input from numerous members of the club and one reoccurring theme became apparent. This theme applies regardless of whether you want to be a designer, developer, programmer, artist, animator, sound designer, etc.

"If you want to create video games then start making them!"

It's said "your first ten games will suck so get them out of the way first," and that's what you have to do. If you're interested in game design practice making games and read books about creating games.

Programmers should mostly focus on learning C languages for both desktop and mobile games. Though there are development tools that help move the process of creating a game along faster (like Stencyl).

If your forte is art then mods are a great way to focus on adding elements to an already existing game, so you can see your creations in action. Also, great 3D animators are a rare find, so if your goal is that then start practicing right away.

Music has the potential to keep a badly designed game afloat, and so it's great to analyze the music and how it compliments the story/game-play. Personally I would listen to music from the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and if you haven't already, play it! For practice, adding or replacing music to games that already exist is great. And for those who just want a quick sound clip to make their game more engaging there is always Freesound.org.

- Save Point

Monday, February 4, 2013

Today was the second meeting of the Spring 2013 semester. We were visited by Alex Brown, an employee of the Speech/Language and Hearing department advertising a job opportunity. In addition there are some other announcements focusing specifically on the Game Jam. And we still need a camera man as well!

1. Programming Opportunity for Independent Study, Internship, or $$$



Alex Brown stopped by and allowed us to play a flash game he has been working on for the Speech/Language and Hearing department to survey the memory abilities of 2nd graders using a touch interface. The game itself had a troubled beginning, but as of now is operational. Regardless, Alex would like to recruit one to two more people to assist him in polishing it up. He's willing to teach you, and if you commit there will be opportunities to get paid, independent study credits, or perhaps credit for an internship. And if you stick around there's a good chance you can start on whatever project they start next. To get involved you can contact Mary Alt, the leader of the project. Details below.

Mary Alt
malt@email.arizona.edu // 520-626-6180
Speech/Language and Hearing
Associate Professor, Speech/Language and Hearing

 Speech And Hearing Sciences (#71)
 000318

Alex Brown

2. The Club Game Jam will be on February 22nd


Progress on the Game Jam is still in motion. Start brainstorming ideas for a game, but keep an open mind because there will be an over-arching theme we want your game to incorporate. The theme will be decided in secrecy, but we would like for everyone to contribute theme ideas. It'll be exciting to see the extra twist this theme adds to the event! Please RSVP here  as soon as possible so we can get an idea of how much food to supply, and all the logistical stuff that we don't want you guys to worry about. Also, let us know what kind of food options you want  for the event. More info here.

Prior to the Game Jam there will be a workshop for anyone interested on getting a crash course in Stencyl or GameMaker, so that everyone is better prepared to make some fantastic games during the vent. Details of when and where are still being hashed out. 

3. Spring Club Fair (Feb. 6) 10am to 2pm


We will have a table at the Spring Club Fair this Wednesday. If you have any free time between classes  stop by, hang out and have some fun. Lets try to recruit some new members!


4. Camera Guy


There is an officer position available to those who would like to film our club meetings. Our camera guy used to film and edit, but it has been decided to split up the roles to make life easier for both.


Friday, February 1, 2013


The first UA Game Jam is coming, and it will be held on the weekend of Feb 22-24! RSVP here.

What is a "Game Jam?" 
For those who are in the dark, game jams are usually 48-hour game-creation events, but vary in duration from 24 to 72 hours. The events often welcome newcomers and experienced developers alike. These events are both competitive and co-operative, as entrants form their own teams during the event, and friendly compete with one another to produce the best game within the time-constraints. The games are constrained by one or multiple themes announced at the beginning of the Jam, but aside from that, entrants are given maximum freedom to build any game they want.

Why Game Jam? 
As the advantages of game jams gain recognition, more and more game jams are held around the globe. You may have heard about the recent Global Game Jam, which attracted over 10,000 individual participants; or the Ouya Game Jam, an unusual 10 day jam that produced 166 game prototypes for the new console. So why are game jams so popular? Gamasutra recently had an article on why you should join a game jam. Let me mention some of my own: Game Jams allows you to forge friendships in multiple disciplines, ones that may well last beyond the event. They also allow you to take the first steps in creating your own game, and even better: it forces you to create a game in merely days! No more indefinitely-long game projects. Finally, game jams are fun! Just scroll down to our last meeting summary, and you will see a proof of that.

The UA Game Jam 
Despite the popularity of game jams, many students of the UA never participated in a game jam. This is a pity, since UA is a huge repository of multidisciplinary talents. The UA game jam hopes to change that!
Participation is welcome to all UA affiliates regardless of skill and expertise. The event is without charge, though we welcome any donation.

Since the event will be held during the middle of the semester, we reduced the duration to 36 hours. We will be starting the timer at 6p.m, but we encourage you to arrive at 5pm to enjoy some social time with fellow entrants, whom you may be forming teams with later. The development phase ends at 6am, after which we will display each of our game creations, vote on the best games, and enjoy breakfast before biding farewell.
The event will be held in room 105 of the Electrical and Computer Engineering building, where the IEEE Club and Gamedev club hold their meetings. Large nearby classrooms will also be open for use (and for sleeping), and food will be provided for the entire duration for the event. To make sure we provide enough food and room and electricity to you, please fill out a RSVP form if you are going to attend!

(Stay tuned next week for a quick game jam survival guide!)