January — New Meeting Location!!

It looks like our run at Bellevue University has come to an end. Our usage of that wonderful facility was secured because Alex Meyers was teaching there for a few years. He is no longer doing so (he’s at Creighton now) but had penciled us onto the schedule through the end of 2014. Somehow, we seem to have reached the end of 2014! This means we needed to start hunting for a new location.

While we aren’t sure if this is a permanent arrangement or not, we have received an offer from the Omaha Code School to use their facilities this Saturday for our January meeting. We really appreciate them volunteering the location on such short notice. We really look forward to checking out their place and learning a bit about what they do there! In fact, some of our OGDA members are mentors there!

So, let’s get together this Saturday night and show them a bit of what WE are about! We will be meeting at the usual time of 6-10PM.

The Meetings page has been updated with the new location info and map.

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December Meeting this Saturday

For those of you not blasting out of town for an early start to holiday visiting, remember that we have our regular monthly meeting this Saturday the 20th at 6 PM. Come show off what you have been working on or explore what others have been doing!

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Meeting This Saturday, October 18th

And once again, it is time for another OGDA meeting! The October meeting is this Saturday, the 18th, at 6 PM at Bellevue University.

If you have something you have been working on that you want to show, please bring it along!

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Meeting Summary on GC Gamers Connect by our own Joe DeMarco

Nice writeup of the May meeting by our own Joe DeMarco (@Shad0fx) on GC Gamers Connect blog. Good to see the buzz!

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KillSmile Studio Submits “Feral Planet” to Indiecade

FeralPlanetLong-time OGDA members, KillSmile Studio submitted their flying side-scroller, Feral Planet to the Indiecade conference earlier this week. If they get accepted, they will be able to present it on-site as part of the festival of games. This usually means great exposure to a wide audience — especially if they win one ore more of the awards. Additionally, they could be considered for inclusion at the Indiecade “booth” at E3!

As part of the submission, they put together a gameplay trailer and have released it to the public. Check it out!

Good luck to our dear friends, Tyler White and Lucas Hartman — and their audio guy for hire, OGDA member Chuck Larish!

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Red Sparkle Studio Releases “Logic Cars” on Google Play

LogicCarsThe mother/daughter team of Red Sparkle Studio has released their game, Logic Cars for free on Google Play! It is a wonderful remaking of a popular graph paper and pencil game that entertained kids half a century ago.

Red Sparkle is comprised of Lina Spivak and her 11-year-old daughter. They have quickly become valued members in the OGDA.

The gameplay is relatively simple but requires some forethought and planning — in a way, just like driving a real car. Let’s just say that it’s not all about going fast!

To quote from the game’s page:

Logic Cars is an electronic version of an old logic board game.

About half a century ago me and my brother could play this game for hours. Back than it was simple. You take a sheet of graph paper, draw a “road” on it, take pencils to guide your “cars” through the road, and there you go! Who will get to the finish line in less moves wins! Nowadays computers replaced paper and pencils. They add tons of new adventures into this game. Now you can find a stone, or sand, or ice on a road. There can be an animal crossing road, or your tire can pop… As in real life, you name it… And since up to 5 drivers can race at the same time it can provide a lot of fun for the entire family.

Logic Cars is a turn-based racing game. Players are moving their cars along the track drawn on a checkered board following simple rules. Player who crosses the finish line using less moves – wins. Once you’ve mastered skills required for one level, you can move to the next. On each new level Logic Cars requires new skills and introduces new adventures that will keep you entertained for hours to come.

The video below shows some of the gameplay elements of the game.


Give it a try! (It’s free, remember?) Most importantly, support your friends and colleagues in the OGDA and spread the word!

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May Meeting – Special Guest – Please Read!

Our regular May meeting is this coming Saturday, the 17th, at the usual place and time.

makeawishAs I mentioned in the previous post, I was approached by a lady from the Make-a-Wish foundation about possibly helping out with a child who is interested in making video games. A number of you responded that you would be interested in helping out with this to some extent (some of you through fantastically nerdy Tolkien references).

While we aren’t exactly sure where to start with this guy, we figured the least we could do is invite him out to our meeting and introduce him to people. From what I have been told, he is likely going to be at the meeting. Depending on his interests (e.g. programming, design, art, etc.), we can then get him involved either through an over-the-shoulder sort of thing or in some sort of new, small project that he can be an active part in. I would welcome further discussion on this prior to the meeting.

That said, I think it would be really cool if we had a good showing at the meeting to get him introduced to a lot of people. As we usually do, it would be a good time to show off our latest creations and explain to him (and each other) how long it took us, what we needed to know to create them, etc.

FeralPlanetI’m assuming that the KillSmile guys will be having us do some serious playthrough action on the build of Feral Planet that they are sending off to Indiecade. I know a bunch of us are stoked for that.

As always, if anyone else has stuff to show, bring it on! This will definitely be the month for it!

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Can We Make-A-Wish Come True?

Last week I received the following email from a representative of the Make-A-Wish foundation.

Mr. Mark,

I am writing on behalf of Make-A-Wish Nebraska. I currently have a 17-year-old wish child whose wish is to to learn how to program animated video games. I am at a complete loss as to how I could go about making this wish come true for this child. He is looking for competence and knowledge. He is a smart kid who has started to teach himself but would really like to walk away from the wish being able to animate and create games all by himself. As the president of Intrinsic Algorithm and being in the industry, I thought maybe you would have some insights. If you all have any thoughts on how I can make this wish happen, it would be very much appreciated! Please feel free to write me back or give me a call to discuss.

Thank you!

I was wondering if we could do something to help this out. Obviously, the idea of the child being able to “walk away from the wish being able to animate and create games all by himself” might be a bit of a stretch. However, perhaps we can at least immerse him in what it is like?

I figure that either through studio or individual efforts, we can show this kid a little of what goes on in the biz. Let him sit in as a shadow while we work. Alternately, if the kid is an artist or has a simple game idea, we could use it as a game jam … that is, put HIS ideas or art into a simple game that we slam together for him.

At the very minimum, I would like to invite this child out to the next OGDA meeting on the 17th (I might not be there, BTW.)

Thoughts? I want to be able to get back to the lady that contacted me.

 

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April Meeting this Saturday, the 19th!

About that time again, isn’t it? Our monthly meeting will be this Saturday, April 19th, from 6-9:30(ish) at Bellevue University as usual.

For the moment, the plan is pretty open. As always, I’m sure there will be progress to show on people’s various projects. That is always welcome! Also, the videos from the recent Game Developers Conference have been added to the GDC Vault. I will be looking through them to see if there is a general interest one that we could watch together and discuss. (If you are not familiar with the Vault, there are many free sessions up there. Certainly worth checking out!)

I have also received an email from Nuke Con about this year’s convention in October. I would like to have a “booth” again this year and, with a little more preparation, I believe we can make it a lot better. We can have a short discussion about that — perhaps putting someone in charge of organizing it.

We’ve already had a number of people mention that they are bringing new people. Let’s have a big showing to get them involved!

See you soon!

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March Meeting this Saturday

Once again, we are coming up on our monthly meeting. it will be this Saturday from 6-9:30 at Bellevue University. Dave Homan (and likely others) will be running the show this weekend since Aaron and I will be on a plane headed to GDC.

I don’t know what to tell you to expect this weekend… for the past year, there has never really been a shortage of cool things for people to show off. If you have something you would like to show, please bring it along with. Also, feel free to tweet it at the OGDA account (@OmahaGameDev) and we will pass on the news!

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