Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Developed Right Here: IGDA NL Chapter Demo Night

The Newfoundland chapter of the International Game Developer Association held a demo night on November 29, 2011, with approximately two dozen attendees packing the Computer Science seminar room at Memorial University, listening to three local video game studios show their latest efforts.
Roddie Kieley, of Binary Dawn, discussed the evolution of his company's games. They've touched on several genres including space shooters, word games, a drinking entertainment game - all on iOS devices. Their next tittle however would be a break away from that platform.

Although early in development, Roddie outlined some of the technology going in to their next game, of particular interest to myself was the use of Apache Maven to build a Flash based application. Unfortunately no playable demo was available to be shown.

Concluding his presentation Roddie answered several questions from the audience spanning his experiences with various tool chains, frameworks, and game platforms.

Colin Walsh, of Celsius Game Studios, took the audience on a tour of his game studios' first two tittles, then provided an early developer build demonstration of his up coming game Drifter.

The procedurally generated galaxy that Celsius is building into Drifter (10,000 star systems) was very impressive to see! I fully expect to hear great things about this game when it hits the market (see demo video below).
Chromodyne Red Nova Drifter

Following Celsius Game Studios was Best Boy Media Inc, represented by Dylan Fries.

Two game demos were presented, one for Mickey's Farm (a preschool child oriented game), and an augmented reality Christmas tree decorating game Yule Tree. Despite their younger target audience these games represented some of the challenges developers encounter when producing games for younger users. Color pallets, user interface design, and the technical issues of being able to provide large lively environments with in the platform resource budgets available all presented unique challenge. As well, designing an Augmented Reality App for a general audience who often have never seen AR before highlighted the importance of iterative testing and user feedback. Mickeys Farm is playable online at and Yule Tree is available for iOS in the iTunes app store now!
Mickey's FarmYule Tree
After all of the presentations the group started discussing the local video game industry in general, touching on topics from where to find classes on animation, graphics engines, and development, to the kind of software packages / tools the presenting companies used to make their games.

I think this was a very successful meeting for the IGDA Newfoundland chapter. It was a treat to see the kind of video game development talent / industry we're growing here.

1 comment:

Gord Peach said...

It was an epic meeting. Everyone interested in gaming in any way (art, design, programming) should be attending these! :-D