My first post about Rockage SJ focuses on what got us to the show, our arcade cabinets and our games. This post is about some of the great things that happened to happen at the show.
Friday at 5:45 we did a Game Development Panel! JP Bruneau handled the tech and the slides and our panelists included student developers from both Global Game Jam and the Game Dev Club. On stage were Byron Custodio, Kristina Lum, Chris Lindsay, Chris Victa, Angelica Cabanlit, Andrew Puentes, Neal Salud and Kristi Loo. JP and I talked about the various initiatives to include more gaming in SJSU curriculum as well as the tried and true paths thru CS or Animation. We also mentioned the various interest in studying games and learning, and how the library has enthusiastically adopted the club as we got too big for the Art building. Angelica talked a little about the club and how we welcome anyone who wants to make games and how you don’t need any knowledge to start. Angelica is a communications major and has little experience with art or programming but found that she could produce, voice act among other things that make a video game a reality.
Byron and Kristina demo’d their Global Game Jam game 4 Sides which is a horror game that relies on dark light and attention to the screen. The audience (well some of the audience) did jump at the first scare. The premise of the game is that you are in a square room with a flashlight and monsters are coming at you from all sides. You need to scare them back before they get you.
Angelica’s team demo’d Laser Cat y Laser Dog. This adorable coop game is set in some far off future place where Laser Cat and Laser Dog have to clear the living room of invasive robots and vacuum cleaners to proceed thru the house. This team did a great job during GGJ but added a bunch of levels (a total of 10!) for Rockage. “What do we do meow?” asks Laser Cat.
We had originally planned to have a table with arcades set up around it, but when we got there our table was on one side and the plan was to put the cabinets on the other. As it turns out this worked amazingly well, except we had not planned to be out in the open as a vendor. Thankfully our friends came thru with a little distraction. Danny Geisler brought out the Teeny-Tiny arcade cabinet with a brand new game on it. This thing was super fun, and the game really tight for such limited hardware.
Girls Make Games were amazing neighbors and I managed to play the prototype for the Hole story. I have to say I love the humor, the art and the story and am eagerly waiting for the release. We were also able to host Super-Duper Garrett Cooper and Black Ice on Saturday. So many cool things to play and such deals he offered for people on site ($5 for a key). Ben Prunty also stopped by and we talked about having a music jam session with Game Dev.
Tiny cabinet vs big cabinets in the background! I have to say that I also love the lips on Funk’d up in the background…
Okay, one last comment on learning, because that is what I do. Our developers had an amazing series of days. Cameron Sands looks on while someone plays his team‘s brand new Recycle Game. For us Rockage and the arcade cabinet are an extension of the game lab, and though the lessons can be hard they are genuine. Cam’s team got most of the game functioning during the club meetings in Fall 2015, then demoed early this spring. The game is so beautiful it would have been a shame to not showcase it so they updated for the cabinets. There were of course issues and team member Mitchell ended up recoding the timing in my office the day of move-out because it ran differently (read broken) on the PC vs the Mac. Finally there was watching and working with folks as they figured out how to play on the cabinets. It is amazing to see someone playing your game, better yet really enjoying it and figuring out what needs to be updated to make it easier.Oh yah, and there was music: MegaRan kicked butt on stage, and the stage layout was off the hook amazing with one stage out in the open on the second floor so we got some great musical infusion. Still waiting on the Ghosts n Goblins marathon video (ahem).
Finally the Thermals played! It was sweet seeing them in such an intimate space and they totally rocked. But guess what, they also made a video game which you can play: http://www.theswordbymyside.com/
Now to start getting ready for the next show…