Friday, November 18, 2016

Hi everyone!  Thanks for coming to this week's meeting to listen to my snobbish opinions about controls in mobile games.

In all seriousness, the meeting really was a lot of fun, with plenty of back-and-forth discussion and scribbling on the whiteboard as we tried to reach a consensus on an extremely challenging aspect of design: controls.  Specifically, designing a touch-screen control scheme for genres that were clearly not created with those devices in mind.  It's a difficult problem, and one without a "right" solution most of the time, but we were able to put together some fairly robust interfaces and learn what not to do in the process.

If you missed it, the slides are here!  Sadly, you'll just have the imagine the 10-minute segments of brainstorming we did for each genre.

This week's important announcements:
  • If you're interested in going on our GDC trip and you haven't spoken with Joseph Corona yet, that is a thing that you should do!  Do that thing!
  • We're hosting a game night this Friday, November 18th!  Come to the usual room starting at 6pm for board games, video games, and an exclusive look at the pinnacle of human achievement now celebrating its 10th anniversary, Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
See you next week!

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Fall 2016 Game Jam was our biggest yet, with over 50 participants creating 15 games in 42 hours!  Needless to say, it was an overwhelming success.

The theme this year was...  CLONE

Firstly, here are links to every game!  (If we missed one, please let us know!)
The winning game this year was Duplicate:Complicate.  Congratulations to the winners, and to everyone else!  Remember, you are all game developers now.  Pat yourselves on the back, you deserve it.

Secondly, due to an unprecedented number of musicians attending the Game Jam, we were able to put together... *drum roll* ...

Thanks to all of the artists who contributed their music!

Finally, here are some photos from the weekend:

Opening ceremonies!

(Yes, that's a rowing machine.)

That about wraps it up!  Thanks to everyone who attended this year, it was absolutely wild.  See you in the Spring!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

This week, Freddy Pang gave a talk about Live-Action Games: Playing them, designing them, and running them!

First, a quick primer: A Live-Action Game is a game played not with code on computers or cards on a table, but with people in real locations!  The most popular LAG (an ironic acronym since, contrary to popular belief, real life does not have any network latency) is Humans vs Zombies, a game which pits a team of well-equipped, intelligent humans against a larger team of more primitive, but no less intelligent zombies.

Freddy's talk was framed around the design process of a HvZ-style LAG.  Thanks, Freddy!  If you want to know more, the slides are here!

This week's important announcements:

  • If you're planning on going to GDC this year, we need your travel deposits!  Deliver $100 to Joseph Corona to make sure you can come.
  • We're now accepting applications for an officer intern!  Want to get more involved with the club, learn how it's run, and possibly move into an officer position next year?  Apply now!
  • Our next game night is next Friday, November 18th!  Come to the usual room starting at 6pm for board games, video games, or whatever other games you can think of!
See you next week!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Happy Halloween!  In this week's exceptionally well-timed meeting, we talked about horror games, and what design considerations go into building them.  We definitely didn't do anything else.  Nope, just had a normal talk, and...

...oh, right.  That.

So Jeremy may or may not have played a game called Sonic Dreams Collection, possibly the most disturbing of all Sonic fan-games (yes, it does have competition).  If you're feeling exceptionally brave, the collection is free to download here.  Just... don't tell anyone we sent you there.

Back to sanity.  In our main talk this week, Jeremy and I talked about the design of horror games, and what makes them different from normal games.  Near the end, I did a case study of sorts on Five Nights at Freddy's, one of the most beloved and be-hated horror games of all time.  Does it do horror well, despite relying mostly on jump scares?  Yes, actually!  Is it a good game overall?  Um... kind of?  I'll let you figure that one out.  Here are the slides!

Finally, here are this week's important announcements:

  • Deposits for GDC are due this week!  If you're planning on coming on our annual trip, email Joseph Corona at jdcorona96 (at) to arrange a $100 initial deposit.
  • Galatea Studios, a game development studio right here in Tucson, is looking for a graphic designer!  If that sounds like something you'd be interested in, be sure to apply!
See you next week!