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Month: August 2013

Oklahoma Game Developers’ Letter To Senator Coburn

The following letter is the letter we will be sending to Senator Coburn regarding the recent proposal to study the effect of violent video games on children. If you would like to sign on to this letter, please prove me with your name and your business. Please email me at zachary (at) okgamedev (dot) com if you would like to sign on.

The text of the letter is below along with the names of those who have signed on. I will be making some final edits and sending it out around noon on Monday August 12, 2013. 

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Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn Co-Sponsored Violent Game Research

Oklahoma Senator Tom CoburnYesterday, we alerted everyone to the ECA’s effort to defeat a bill that would approve funding for research into the effect of violent games on those playing them. The ECA cited numerous studies already performed that debunk that theory and exposed a strong potential bias in the bill’s author Senator Rockefeller.

However, new information has popped up that adds a strong incentive for game developers in Oklahoma to fight this bill. It has come to our attention that Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has signed on as a cosponsor of the bill, S. 134 Violent Content Research Act of 2013.

Why is this important? For one, Senator Coburn is one of Oklahoma’s two US senators. However, there is a more important point that many may have missed. Senator Coburn has for many years railed against wasteful government spending. Since 2010, Senator Coburn has released what he calls his annual “Wastebook” in which he highlights 100 specific areas of Federal Government Spending that could be cut and how much money could be saved. (see Wastebook 2010, Wastebook 2011, Wastebook 2012)

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What I Look For In A Crowdfunding Campaign

crowdfunding Indiegogo KickstarterPart of my regular routine is to do some location based searching on popular crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo looking for new game projects. I do this because I want to promote the cool game related stuff that people are doing in Oklahoma. Sadly, there are very few campaigns happening and many of the ones that are happening are not all that great. I want this to change. I know that game developers in Oklahoma are just as talented as those in other states and we can see the kinds of success stories you read about in the press.

I have been thinking about this for a while. There are a lot of things that can and should be done better that will certainly help make your campaign better. And by better, I mean get attention from gaming press and get money from backers. If you haven’t checked it out it yet, you can still listen to Goldfire’s Kickstarter Success presentation from a couple months ago. These, however, are my thoughts as both a member of the press and a potential backer on what I want to see done better in crowdfunding.

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From The BYOND Comes Green Orb Quest

Green Orb Quest by  Reia Interactive Studios

While Oklahoma doesn’t have a lot of professional studios dotting the landscape, what it does have is a whole lot of young aspiring developers doing cool stuff. These developers are teaching themselves and working to build a name. One such developer is Robert Holman.

Back in December of 2012, a game development challenge was put forth called One Game A Month. Holman decided to take on that challenge and begin making games. His first, and sadly only game at this time, for the challenge was Green Orb Quest. The game was creating using his knowledge of BYOND and a desire to recreate some of the mechanics of Sean “Squidi” Howard’s 300 Mechanics.

Green Orb Quest is a simple game with a lot of fun to be had. The goal is to get through a maze of traps, pits and spikes in order to collect as many green orbs as you can and reach the end. The traps are designed very well and have a way of guiding you through the path you need to travel. I had a lot of fun working my way through the traps and figuring out the patterns. The controls were a little sensitive and I found myself stepping too far and dying.

In the end, I collected every orb, but died 62 times. It took me over 30 minutes to make my way through.

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