What is the Full Indie Summit?

I want to talk about conferences. Game conferences, specifically. There is a group in Vancouver called Full Indie who is organizing the second year of their Full Indie Summit.

I am one of those organizers and want to explain what the Summit is about and also talk about conferences in general, what they are good for and how to get the best out of them.

What is the Summit?

The Full Indie Summit is a conference on game development with a focus on the independent developer. The Summit features presentations and panels on all matters of interest to game developers, with the goal to inform, educate, inspire and motivate.
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Indie House: Developing Games Professionally From Home

I’m sad to say that my duration as a full-time instructor here at VFS Game Design is coming to an end. It was a very difficult decision for me to make, especially since working here has been a wonderful and fulfilling experience for me, because of both the students I have had the pleasure to teach, and the other instructors and TAs I got to work alongside.

The reason I am leaving is because I am entering the game industry as a full-time indie developer once again. But this time things are a bit different, this time, I’ll be working out of Indie House. So this post will be about Indie House, what we are doing, and hopefully will serve as an inspiration to those of you who want to get into making games.

WHAT IS INDIE HOUSE?

Indie House is a large house located in Richmond, BC, Canada, and is currently occupied by four full-time indie game developers who are all working from home. We have all known each other for many years, have collaborated on many games and projects together, and all make a living doing what we love… making video games.

WHO IS INDIE HOUSE?

  • Chevy Ray Johnston – Yours truly, a programmer, artist, and game designer most famous for creating the widely-used FlashPunk game engine
  • Matt Thorson – Creator of dozens of indie games such as the Jumper and Give Up Robot series, and the upcoming multiplayer combat game, TowerFall!
  • Alec Holowka – Unity master, creator of the award-winning Aquaria, wonderful musicvideo tutorials, and the popular Infinite Ammo podcast
  • Noel Berry – Creator of many web games including Prism Panic, Broken Robot Love, and Chunkadelic, also a talented web designer and artist

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Ludum Dare 26 Results In Some Great Games By Faculty and Alumni

Ludum Dare 26 - screenshot from Nick Yonge's Time-Lapse

Last week, Game Design instructor Chevy Ray Johnston wrote a post for Arcade telling us about Ludum Dare 26, the 48hr rapid game development competition, which took place over the weekend of April 26-29, 2013. The judging is still going on at the time of this post, but it will be completed around the end of May. In fact, you can be part of the judging by going to the Ludum Dare Compo site, playing the games and rating them. Of course, if you don’t want to play judge, you can just play the games, or even just view them.

Chevy Ray said, “This was the largest Ludum Dare yet, by quite a large margin, so it will be interesting to see the results.”

In fact, there were so many games created this time around, that it’s become impossible for the oganizers to play all the games themselves. As a result, they’ve decided to try and create a 10-second clip of every game produced and put them into a compilation video. That should be interesting.
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FULL INDIE SUMMIT

Held by the organizers of the tremendously successful Full Indie monthly meetup, the Full Indie Summit saw hundreds of independent game developers from all over the west coast pack into the Rio Theatre on Saturday, April 20 to listen to more than a dozen short talks by independent game developers and others. Attendees included a significant number of VFS students and grads. It was great to see so many familiar faces!

Nels Anderson of Klei Entertainment opened the summit with an excellent talk on his strategies for developing Mark of the Ninja. He covered all the typical elements of stealth action games, and how he went about both converting and inverting them when creating a 2D stealth game.

Next up was Jeff Isselee from Skull Theatre who spoke about the fascinating photogrammetry art pipeline they are using for their Unity-powered game, Rustclad. Photogrammetry essentially means creating 3d models from photographs of real-world models and objects. The results are both impressive and unique.

Joel Green gave a talk called Game n’ Farmer, in which he prognosticated on the possibility of game development outside of cities — specifically, from a rural homestead on Vancouver Island. As a game developer who dislikes city living more and more every day, I found his talk intriguing and inspiring.

VFS Game Design alumnus, Nick Yonge of Krang Games spoke about his strategies for rapid development, offering tons of great tips when developing prototypes or vertical slices.
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2013 Global Game Jam Vancouver

Global Game Jam Banner

This past weekend, around 15,00 people gathered around the world for the Global Game Jam with one simple purpose: Create a game in less than 48 hours. This kind of rapid development is the essence of the different game jam events around the world, like Ludum Dare,  the Nordic Game Jam, the Toronto Game Jam (aka T.O.Jam) and VFS’s very own 2Jam.

What is a Global Game Jam?

You might think, “Ok, got it — a game jam is something like a game making marathon.” And you’d be right to think that, but you’d also be wrong. Sorry. A game jam is not only a game making marathon — it’s also a great chance to network with industry professionals and celebrate a common interest: game design.
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