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All posts by E. Zachary Knight

crowdfunding Indiegogo Kickstarter

Every Monday, We link to the crowdfunding pages of games from Oklahoma developers and other interesting crowdfunding projects from Oklahomans. Music, comics, table-top games and more. If it might be of interest to gamers and game developers we will show them off.

Here is the primary list of crowdfunding campaigns.

Returning Campaigns:

8-Bit Battle by Geym Theori. Geym Theori is back with their PvP card game with an 8-bit theme. They are looking to raise $250 and have raised $391 with 12 days left.

Currently Funding:

Squishy Finger Frenzy by Pixel Burrow. A mobile and PC game in which you tap on squishies to earn points. Pixel Burrow is looking to raise $150 and has raised $150 with 4 days to go.

STEM Career Comic Book by Paris Gamble. Paris is creating a comic book to help promote STEM education. This is for the first edition David, Software Engineer. Paris is looking to raise $16,000 and has raised $2,959 with 9 days left.

Heathen by Natasha Alterici. A comic about a warrior woman taking on the rule of Odin. Natasha is looking to raise $7,500 and has raised $5,135 with 11 days to go.

That’s it for this week.  If you know of any campaigns we missed, please tell us so we can share.

crowdfunding Indiegogo Kickstarter

Every Monday, We link to the crowdfunding pages of games from Oklahoma developers and other interesting crowdfunding projects from Oklahomans. Music, comics, table-top games and more. If it might be of interest to gamers and game developers we will show them off.

Here is the primary list of crowdfunding campaigns.

Currently Funding:

Squishy Finger Frenzy by Pixel Burrow. A mobile and PC game in which you tap on squishies to earn points. Pixel Burrow is looking to raise $150 and has raised $150 with 11 days to go.

STEM Career Comic Book by Paris Gamble. Paris is creating a comic book to help promote STEM education. This is for the first edition David, Software Engineer. Paris is looking to raise $16,000 and has raised $1,862 with 16 days left.

Heathen by Natasha Alterici. A comic about a warrior woman taking on the rule of Odin. Natasha is looking to raise $7,500 and has raised $3,292 with 18 days to go.

That’s it for this week.  If you know of any campaigns we missed, please tell us so we can share.

The Curse of the Crescent Isle by Adam MoweryBack at Super! BitCon, I had the pleasure to spend some time playing The Curse of the Crescent Isle DX by Adam Mowery. Adam had created this game as an XBLIG game several years ago and it was well received by many fans.

Curse plays very similarly to Super Mario Bros. 2 for the NES. However, instead of attacking and killing enemies, you use them as tools to help you solve puzzles and advance through the game. It is a clever mechanic that doesn’t get used often enough as far as I am concerned.

Recently, Adam had taken the effort to update the game from its original NES style to a much nicer looking SNES style. He gave this updated version the DX moniker similar to many remakes from that era. He also made the choice to place the remake on Steam Greenlight.

The Curse of the Crescent Isle GameplayAs of yesterday, Curse has been officially greenlit by the Steam community and Valve has reached out to Adam and his team about releasing Curse on Steam officially.

This is pretty big news for Adam and Oklahoma game development in general. Adam is the first Oklahoma game developer, that I am aware of, to have a game accepted by Steam for release. Adam has done a great job leading his team of artists, musicians and others in making this game something that a significant number of people want.

If you hadn’t already checked the game out, you can visit the Steam Greenlight page for Curse and checkout a few videos and follow the rest of its journey through development to release.

Follow Adam on Twitter.

crowdfunding Indiegogo Kickstarter

Every Monday, We link to the crowdfunding pages of games from Oklahoma developers and other interesting crowdfunding projects from Oklahomans. Music, comics, table-top games and more. If it might be of interest to gamers and game developers we will show them off.

Here is the primary list of crowdfunding campaigns.

Funding Unsuccessful:

8-bit Battle Card Game by Geym Theori. Geym Theori has a new card game in which players use cards representing 8-bit styled characters and items to beat their opponents. They were unable to reach their $500 goal having only raised $401.

New Campaigns:

STEM Career Comic Book by Paris Gamble. Paris is creating a comic book to help promote STEM education. This is for the first edition David, Software Engineer. Paris is looking to raise $16,000 and has raised $1,762 with 23 days left.

Heathen by Natasha Alterici. A comic about a warrior woman taking on the rule of Odin. Natasha is looking to raise $7,500 and has raised $2,489 with 25 days to go.

Currently Funding:

Squishy Finger Frenzy by Pixel Burrow. A mobile and PC game in which you tap on squishies to earn points. Pixel Burrow is looking to raise $150 and has raised $150 with 18 days to go.

That’s it for this week.  If you know of any campaigns we missed, please tell us so we can share.

Representative Steve RussellFor a number of years, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn had published an annual Waste Book, highlighting what he considered wasteful spending by the federal government. In almost every edition of that report, Senator Coburn highlighted at least one government agency or government program that was spending money on something video game related. Whether the money was spent on game related research or on funding game development, he would comment on how he felt it was not something on which the government should be spending money. Last year, Senator Coburn retired from the US Senate. With that, he published his last Waste Book report.

Taking up the mantle of highlighting wasteful federal spending, Freshman US Representative Steve Russell of Oklahoma has published his first Waste Watch report. While not nearly as extensive as Coburn’s reports had been, he does point at one spending program that relates to games.

Russell points to a National Science Foundation program that has spent nearly $700,000 on helping people make better machinima.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) spent nearly $700,000 researching ways to help amateur moviemakers produce “cinematic movies created by manipulating avatars in 3D computer game worlds.”

The researchers believe this form of amateur filmmaking, which they call “machinima,” has a high threshold of entry due to the technical skills required. The goal of their project was to find ways to reduce this threshold by designing digital media production software to help improve video game movies by “suggesting, autonomously creating, and critiquing” film content.

In the report, Russell states that this spending is not needed as the machinima community has done quite well using current tools and methods.

Software of this type may very well have a future. However, the world of online gamers, YouTube shows, and digital art is notoriously free-wheeling. Innovations in this area will come through the organic, ingenious efforts of millions of independent artists, gamers, and programmers—not a $700,000 grant administered by a federal agency. The findings of this study are not likely to contribute to the development of software that will gain popularity among this vibrant, proudly independent online community. Moreover, at a time of restricted budgets, projects of this kind are not a priority.

In an aside to this section, Russell highlights the popular machinima video series Red vs Blue as an example of the machinima community at work without government funding. Another example not listed here would include Valve’s own Source Filmmaker which the company has spent significant time and money developing and and has gained increasing popularity with the online gaming community.

It is not clear how often Rep. Russell will publish this report, but we can likely expect an annual report from him. It will be interesting to see what video game related areas of federal spending he will highlight in the future.

Source – Congressman Russell Announces Waste Watch

Originally published at Game Politics

crowdfunding Indiegogo Kickstarter

Every Monday, We link to the crowdfunding pages of games from Oklahoma developers and other interesting crowdfunding projects from Oklahomans. Music, comics, table-top games and more. If it might be of interest to gamers and game developers we will show them off.

Here is the primary list of crowdfunding campaigns.

New Campaigns:

Squishy Finger Frenzy by Pixel Burrow. A mobile and PC game in which you tap on squishies to earn points. Pixel Burrow is looking to raise $150 and has raised $25 with 25 days to go.

Currently Funding:

8-bit Battle Card Game by Geym Theori. Geym Theori has a new card game in which players use cards representing 8-bit styled characters and items to beat their opponents. They are seeking $500 and have raised $272 with 3 days left.

That’s it for this week.  If you know of any campaigns we missed, please tell us so we can share.

crowdfunding Indiegogo Kickstarter

Every Monday, We link to the crowdfunding pages of games from Oklahoma developers and other interesting crowdfunding projects from Oklahomans. Music, comics, table-top games and more. If it might be of interest to gamers and game developers we will show them off.

Here is the primary list of crowdfunding campaigns.

Currently Funding:

8-bit Battle Card Game by Geym Theori. Geym Theori has a new card game in which players use cards representing 8-bit styled characters and items to beat their opponents. They are seeking $500 and have raised $200 with 17 days left.

That’s it for this week.  If you know of any campaigns we missed, please tell us so we can share.

Beat Bop Beat by Picardy ThirdBack in December of 2014, Picardy Third’s Ross Pinkstaff took part in Ludum Dare 31. During that game jam, he created a wonderful take on the music genre. Here is how Ross himself describes Beat Bop Delicious.

Do you know what those people working on the sound board are really doing? Neither do I, but I’m pretty sure this game is a spot on accurate simulation. :)

Beat Bop Delicious! is a frantic little button pushing, knob spinning, switch switching game.

When Ludum Dare ended, I spent some time playing the game and had a lot of fun with it. Of course we would all like to know where such a great idea for a game come from. Unfortunately, Ross has no idea.

I don’t quite know how to explain the ideas that pop out after the Ludum Dare theme is announced, but I wish I could bottle it. You brainstorm on a couple possibilities, but you never get the themes you’ve prepared for. Eventually, the pressure of time ticking and a blank code page starts popping ideas out.

Regardless of the idea’s true origins, the game was well received by the Ludum Dare community. The game was played by more people than his other Ludum Dare games, but he considers that to be based more on the fact this one was a web game while his others required people to download and install the games and third party libraries.

Ross didn’t drop the beat after Ludum Dare. Due to some encouraging comments from the Ludum Dare community, but mainly the encouragement from his wife and kids, he decided to expand the game and release it on iOS.

Ross used the HaxeFlixel framework which made the game a lot easier to port to mobile than some other game engines out there.

The basics of the gameplay were done in the first 48. So the bulk of the work was already done… Right? Ha!

I made a list of all the things that needed to happen for an iOS release… Running on iOS, Game center integration, IAP, ads and lots and lots of polish. With HaxeFlixel and Openfl this should be no problem. This is a multi platform project with a ton of extensions that cover all these bases. Just check the items off the list.

Of course not everything was smooth sailing. A new version of iOS and XCode was release earlier this year and Ross spent a lot of time dealing with bugs in HaxeFlixel’s implementation as it was trying to catch up.

Had I started this project today, all would have been really smooth, as HaxeFlixel/OpenGL is an amazing platform and community effort. My timing then however, was a little off, coming in behind a new iOS and Xcode release. I initially had a lot of issues building for iOS, and many of the extensions were broken by the updates as well. The community was extremely responsive, and many of the issues were taken care of quickly. Some of the others I was able to resolve after a bit of research/ hacking.

As for his general thoughts on HaxeFlixel and how it compares to other engines he has used, Ross had this to say.

It’s powerful and very easy to learn and use. It’s a little higher level than I’m used to, but as far as capable, cost effective game libraries go, it’s a great choice. Im planning on using it, or at least taking a step down and going with Openfl, for my next projects.

I’ve tried engines like unity, and they just do not fit with my workflow/programming style. I’m not saying HaxeFlixel is superior, or the better choice for everyone, just not the one for me.

Beat Bop Beat GameplayWith this iOS release, the game got a face lift with improves graphics, a new game mode, new controls, new music and a new name. When asked about the new name, Ross says it was out of respect for the name and IP of an existing game. Something more developers should take into account.

It was a little too close to another game that’s out there. For a 48 hour jam game.. You know.. Like whatever. But for an actual release, I feel it’s the respectful thing to do. Not only that, but if you’re not being overly cautious about all things IP, you’re doing it wrong.

The two modes of the game is Classic mode, which is pretty much what the Ludum Dare version is. The new mode is Jam mode which introduces new controls as well as randomization of the controls. But there is a surprising twist to Jam mode. In this mode, every now and then, the game switches to a brand new set of controls that keeps people on their toes. Something that Ross enjoys.

It was a balance decision. Some controls feel easier than others. It was a way to mix it up if you got a good initial “roll”. That, and I must admit I like the slight panic when I see someone experience it for the first time.

If you haven’t had a chance to play the game, you should certainly give it a go. It is free to play on the iPhone and the web version at the Ludum Dare link is still great if you don’t have one. But don’t worry. Ross has plans to bring Beat Bop Beat to Android as well as bring the new features to the web version. He will also be bringing new controls and game modes soon.

You can learn more about Beat Bop Beat and watch a gameplay trailer at Picardy Third’s website. Ross will also be at this weekend’s Super! BitCon with this and two of his other games available to play. So come and meet him and try out his games in person.

Get Beat Bop Beat for iOS.

Follow Picardy Third on Twitter.

crowdfunding Indiegogo Kickstarter

After an unplanned, but much needed, break last week, we are back with more crowdfunding news.

Every Monday, We link to the crowdfunding pages of games from Oklahoma developers and other interesting crowdfunding projects from Oklahomans. Music, comics, table-top games and more. If it might be of interest to gamers and game developers we will show them off.

Here is the primary list of crowdfunding campaigns:

Funding Cancelled:

Wordcrafter Card Game by Geym Theori. Geym Theori is back with a new card game billed as a cross between Scrabble and Texas Hold’em. They cancelled their campaign after raising only $360 of their $500 goal.

Rule Breakers by Jonima Games. Jonima is creating a card game in which players must shed their cards by following strange and interesting rules. They cancelled their campaign after raising only $487 of their $10,000 goal.

Divine Knight Gaming is going to Super! BitCon. Divine Knight is looking to raise some funds to help pay for banners and swag to give away at Super! BitCon. They ended their campaign after raising $35.

Funding Unsuccessful:

TechJoynt Wants to Bring STEM education to students. TechJoynt is looking to raise funds for their next round of education programs in the STEM fields. Funding was unsuccessful after raising only $608 of their $50,000 goal.

Currently Funding:

8-bit Battle Card Game by Geym Theori. Geym Theori has a new card game in which players use cards representing 8-bit styled characters and items to beat their opponents. They are seeking $500 and have raised $200 with 17 days left.

That’s it for this week.  If you know of any campaigns we missed, please tell us so we can share.

crowdfunding Indiegogo Kickstarter

Every Monday, We link to the crowdfunding pages of games from Oklahoma developers and other interesting crowdfunding projects from Oklahomans. Music, comics, table-top games and more. If it might be of interest to gamers and game developers we will show them off.

Here is the primary list of crowdfunding campaigns:

Funding Cancelled:

What The Fact – Party Card Game by MnO Game Co. MnO is creating a party game in which players match up question and answer cards to describe the other players. They were seeking $8,000 and cancelled funding after only raising $922.

Currently Funding:

Wordcrafter Card Game by Geym Theori. Geym Theori is back with a new card game billed as a cross between Scrabble and Texas Hold’em. They are seeking $500 and have raised $390 with 5 days to go.

TechJoynt Wants to Bring STEM education to students. TechJoynt is looking to raise funds for their next round of education programs in the STEM fields. They are seeking $50,000 and have raised $605 with 4 days left.

Rule Breakers by Jonima Games. Jonima is creating a card game in which players must shed their cards by following strange and interesting rules. He is seeking $10,000 for printing and have raised $445 with 10 days left.

Divine Knight Gaming is going to Super! BitCon. Divine Knight is looking to raise some funds to help pay for banners and swag to give away at Super! BitCon. They are looking to raise $500 and have raised $35 so far.

That’s it for this week.  If you know of any campaigns we missed, please tell us so we can share.