As we look back at the year 2015, We see a lot of great things happening for Oklahoma game developers. We had a number of successful tabletop game Kickstarters and quite a few games hit Steam and other platforms. This year was all about the developers and they games they make. So let’s review. Continue reading
With 2014 in the rearview mirror, we get the chance to look back with great fondness for what was accomplished this year. Oklahoma game developers have made great strides and impressive games this year and there is even more on the horizon. So let us look back at some of what we have seen.
Starting with Oklahoma’s own poster studio for success, we have Goldfire Studios. This year, they officially launched Casino RPG and have since made many improvements. The founders, James Simpson and Luke Simkins, have also been in the media setting a great example for what good developers can do for others.
Let us not forget Oklahoma’s oldest game development studio, Bonozo Apps. This year they started up The Tulsa Game Masters, a meetup for Tulsa Game Developers to get together and build their craft. They have also done a couple of game development panels this year. They were at Super! Bitcon along with Goldfire. They also organized the Wizard Comic Con Game Panel. These guys are also a core part of putting the upcoming XPO Gaming Convention together.
From the studio I feel is Oklahoma’s most promising young talent, From Soy Sauce has had two game launches this year and one great new game under development. After failing to fully fund Spheroid last year, they still launched a complete and fun game. Then, in just one month, they created an excellent platforming adventure Glass Wing. Following on that success, they began work on their next game Touhou Super Smash Battles. With these combined successes, they have also become the first Oklahoma game developer to become an official Wii U developer.
As for other game releases, we have seen quite a few. F5 Games became the first Oklahoma Ouya developer with its launch of House of the Lost on the system. Then they released a great twin stick shooter for the iPhone, The Hunted. Winter Stories also launched its endless runner Run, Frosty, Run. Finally, Adam Mowery launched a new platformer, Blue Beacon.
Game releases like that are not the only place we saw great gaming. Oklahoma also has quite a few active game jammers. Josh Maggard is a regular participant in Ludum Dare and released Space Driller and Now You See Me this year. Additionally, Oklahoma was host to a part of the Global Game Jam with some interesting and fun games. We also had two contenders in the most recent Ludum Dare with Critical Code’s Gorilla Rampage and Picardy Third’s Beat Bop Delicious. Finally, Divine Knight Gaming (Disclaimer, E. Zachary Knight is the owner of Divine Knight and Oklahoma Game Development) attempted one game a month, completing 6 games for the year.
In other news, we saw the first Super! Bit Con organized and hosted by the Oklahoma Retro Gamer Society. This event was so successful, they will be holding their second one in 2015. PL Studios, the creators of the Digital Tutors video training site, was bought by PluralSight for an astounding $45 million. And Oklahoma Christian University was ranked among the best game design schools in the nation.
As for us at Oklahoma Game Development, we went through a bit of rebranding. We started off as Oklahoma Game Developers, but felt that particular name was doing much better as the name of the Monthly Meetup group hosted by Goldfire and wanted to take a step aside and let them use it. We also took the time to put together an official disclosure policy to build greater trust in our site and reporting.
We cannot be sure what will happen in the coming year. What we do know is that there are a number of great looking games under development that will see a 2015 release. We look forward to the next Super! Bit Con and the new entry of the XPO Gaming Convention. We look forward to seeing and reporting on all these and more.
Wow. What a great year for game development in Oklahoma. When we came into the year, there was pretty much no established industry here. Then 2013 began and we have had an explosion of game development happening in this state.
It could all be said to have started with Casino RPG. In January, Goldfire Studios ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for their casino MMO. They raised over $20,000 toward development and have released a great product since then.
Spurred by their success, they have helped foster the community of game developers by hosting monthly meetups. These have been a great networking opportunity as well as time to learn new topics and skills.
Another success we have seen is with the board game Amerika. This game went to Kickstarter twice and succeeded the second time around thanks to some very creative strategies. It looks like a great looking game and shows us that video games are not the only game arena in town.
On the crowdfunding campaign side of things, we have seen a number of attempts at getting games funded. We had Spheroid, StellarBrink, Cymbil Spellcraft, A Wasted life, and more. While none of these games have succeeded at their campaigns, the developers are not sitting idly by. They have continued working toward bettering their games and we will hopefully see more come to completion in 2014.
But these crowdfunding games are only part of the grander side of game development in the state. There are plenty of other games being made quietly all the time. Some are being made by individuals, others are being made by small teams. As we learn about these smaller games, we are more excited about Oklahoma’s prospects.
2013 also saw our first real effort as a community of game developers focusing on political activism. Senator Coburn signed on as cosponsor of some problematic legislation authorizing potentially biased studies of game violence. We banded together as a community and wrote a letter to him. While the response we got back was not what we wanted, it put our thoughts out there and made him think. This is certainly something we plan to do more of as needed.
Heck, game development in Oklahoma even got featured on TV in 2013. I think this could very well happen again this year.
Which brings me to what we are looking forward to in 2014. With so many game developers actively working toward completing games, we can certainly look forward to seeing more crowdfunding campaigns happen in 2014. Many of those will not succeed, but many will. There are markets out there that are waiting for the games Oklahoma has to offer.
We also look forward to a year of events too. Not only will we continue to have meetups on a regular basis, we will also have local game jams and expos. There are already several events planned for 2014 with many more in the works.
Regardless of what happens, one thing is for sure. Oklahoma Game Developers will continue to report on all these to the best of our ability. We hope to grow and expand as the game development community grows.
With that, we wish you a happy new year.