Our annual TIGJam is approaching! It’s once again taking place at the spacious Hacker Dojo in sunny Mountainview, California. Check the website for more information, including how to sign-up. The sign-up fee is $50 and pays for, among other things, a TIGJam t-shirt, refreshments during the Jam, and the traditional Indian dinner at the end. There are about 20 seats left, so git on it!
For the uninitiated, the jam lasts 4 days and is open to anyone interested in creating something, whether it’s a game, artwork, or music. You do not need to show up with a project in mind! Just be ready to build and play. Last year at TIGJam we played a lot of Street Fighter (IV and Third Strike) in between game-making and also held impromptu tournaments in Madhouse and NIDHOGG. There’s always a good chance of trying out some cool in-development indie games at TIGJam (or rediscovering old ones).
Many thanks to Matthew Wegner and Jeff Lindsay for organizing the jam, and thanks to Kyle Pulver for designing the jam’s website.
TIGForums: Get Togethers
The development of the team-based multiplayer platformer King Arthur’s Gold continues at a fast clip, with builds 67 and 70 offering all kinds of new changes and features, like a capture-the-flag mode (now the default mode), an in-game map editor, and the addition of collapsible walls with improved physics (no more sky bridges!). What I only found out recently, however, is that the game rose quietly from the ashes of Link-Dead, Michał Marcinkowski’s dark and brutal sci-fi shooter. I had no idea!
Anyway, Michał goes into great depth explaining his reasons for dropping Link-Dead to work on King Arthur’s Gold, and as much as I enjoyed LD, it’s hard to argue against the success of KAG. The explanation is worth a read, if only for all of the insights into game design and development.
Stencyl is a newly-released, free game creation tool that comes with a suite of drag n’ drop editors to simplify the development and publishing of Flash games. There’s a big emphasis on collaboration – StencylForge and StencylTalk let you easily share resources and chat with other developers while you work on your project. For designers who are not so fond of drag n’ drop interfaces, there is a “code mode” for Stencyl’s game logic editor that can be used in conjunction with its simplified “design mode”.
There’s been quite a bit of news recently regarding game engines and game creation tools:
CryENGINE – In an “open letter to the Crytek Modding Community”, Crytek’s Cevat Yerli announced (via Crymod) that a free CryENGINE SDK will be released to the public in August 2011. This free SDK will be well-documented and kept up-to-date with the advances being made to CryENGINE 3. Developers looking to sell their work digitally will be offered “an innovative low-cost licensing model”.
In September 2010, at the UK game festival GameCity, Jonathan Blow spent over an hour playing through Braid and providing commentary. This is a shaky-cam recording of the session, which, according to Jonathan, is “by far the most I’ve said about Braid in one place”.
His current project is The Witness, a first-person puzzler – you can follow the game’s development here.
Stephen Lavelle’s browser-based extension of the free sound effects tool sfxr is complete, and has been dubbed “Bfxr“. Bfxr allows for the creation of more complex sound effects and includes features such as a mixer and a persistent list of created songs. A downloadable version is also available.
Tonight, onstage alongside the esteemed Game Developers Choice Awards, the winners of the 2011 Independent Games Festival were announced. This lucky thirteenth year’s festivities were kicked off by now-veteran IGF Chairman Brandon “Real Brandon” Boyer, who you may know from Offworld, once one of the finest and most indie-friendly blogs around. (And source of countless aped posts back on TIGSource That Was.)
The ceremony proper was helmed by another Indie Apostle, Anthony Carboni of Bytejacker, perhaps the first host to date with actual hosting experience (nothing personal, Andy). And he did quite the bang up job! Of course, it just wouldn’t be the IGF Awards if the live feed‘s audio wasn’t mixed by a partially deaf clown. Despite Anthony’s every breath being the only thing audible, inside sources have confirmed that, yes, people did in fact laugh at his jokes.
There were quite a few memorable moments peppered throughout the show, some of which I’ve listed at the end of this post. And, while I didn’t stick around to watch, word on the street is Limbo and Minecraft grabbed a number of GDC awards as well. Yet another landmark year in the growing History of Indie Games! But enough prevaricating about the bush.
Indicated by pink superlatives, The 13th Annual IGF Award Winners are…
Increpare has modded Tom Vian’s Flash port of sfxr, a simple sound effects creation program by Dr Petter. Aside from the improved interface, as3sfxr-b adds a number of new features, including a playlist of created sounds, triangle waves, and the ability to share sounds with friends via a link. Increpare is currently taking suggestions for the app at this TIGForums thread.
Wolfire Games has hardly missed a beat with their steady stream of blog posts over the past few years, covering everything from the development of Overgrowth, their latest game, to the Humble Indie Bundles, to topics like DRM, software piracy, and iPhone clones. They’ve even created a number of helpful tutorials about stuff like art and linear algebra. Pretty inspiring lads, they are.
I thought this new Photoshop painting tutorial, by Wolfire artist Aubrey Serr, was worth posting on the front page. It’s not the first timelapse painting session they’ve put up on their YouTube page, but it’s certainly the most in-depth, with Aubrey discussing his process and giving tips as the video plays out for 23 minutes. Apparently there’s a Blender tutorial planned at some point, too – I’ll be sure to post it on TIGSource when it comes out!
For more tutorials, check out our Tutorials subforum. For a recent Overgrowth alpha video that I think is cool, hit the jump:
Alec Holowka, whom I worked with on Aquaria, has written an article about the new direction of Marian, his current project, including his decision to switch from 3d models to 2d sprite art. Alec, as always, is very honest about the challenges he’s faced as a game creator, and explains in depth what has happened with Marian these past two years. It’s a heart-wrenching and inspiring read.