Global Game Jam 2014 - A Musical Postmortem

During the last weekend of January, the 6th annual Global Game Jam was held at hundreds of sites in 63 countries. It is the single largest annual game design event in the world, and it is challenge I eagerly await each year. I won't go into the history of the Global Game Jam, but the basic function of this event is to work either alone or in teams to create a game within 48 hours based around a universal theme. The games can come in any form, and all finished products are uploaded to the Global Game Jam website on the final day of the event to share with the world for free. Once the 48 hour deadline has been reached every group at a given site can present their work to the rest of the site participants, showcasing their work and discussing their technical and artistic intentions. The theme of the Global Game Jam changes each year, it can take various forms such as images, sounds, or phrases, and every developer must strive to build their game around this theme. Developers are free to interpret the theme in a literal or abstract way, and it is fascinating to see how game developers around the world interpret a single theme in radically different ways. This year, the theme was the following phrase: "We see things not as they are, but as we are."

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Oregon Whale 1.1 Coming Out

Hey, The Internet!

Here's a preview of the upcoming 1.1 edition of Oregon Whale!

Whaleblazin' adds a lot of new features to Oregon Whale and it really fleshes out the gameplay. The update was originally pitched around the pie invincibility bonus, but I think that the seagulls are what really nail the Fun button. I'll do a little post-mortem once the game is live.

Unity Gizmos Examples

If you were at the recent Cleveland Game Devs "Intro to Game Jams" Meetup you may have seen my quick-and-dirty presentation on Gizmos in Unity. Gizmos are really useful for a variety of things and worth poking at. I've uploaded the project file in case you want to play around with the examples from the talk.

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2012 Games Retrospective #3 - Johann Sebastian Joust

2012 was a busy year. I changed day jobs, released a game, did a ton of groundwork for another... But that's boring. Here is a short list of my favorite games of 2012. For the sake of argument, let's assume I forgot to include one or two. Some of these sort of came out before 2012 but that's when I was exposed to them. They are presented in no particular order.

JS Joust is one of my favorite games of all time and I've only ever played it once (but my KickStarter kit is coming soon and I am as excited as all get out). Read about it!

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2012 Games Retrospective #2 - 30 Flights of Loving

2012 was a busy year. I changed day jobs, released a game, did a ton of groundwork for another... But that's boring. Here is a short list of my favorite games of 2012. For the sake of argument, let's assume I forgot to include one or two. Some of these sort of came out before 2012 but that's when I was exposed to them. They are presented in no particular order.

This one is sort of a gimme; Blendo Game's periodic forays into the blocky world of Citizen Abel are regularly brought up in the "Art" vs "Not Art" vs "Shut up it's Art" vs "Your mom is Art and Games are at best Design" vs "Screw you man, you lost the Dream" debate that bounces enternally admist the fractured hall of mirrors of the game development world (and the indie game development world in particular). In case you managed to get through that last sentence, I typically see Citizen Abel- until recently in the form of Gravity Bone- enlisted as a foot soldier in the Games Are Art battalion. (Read more!)

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Game Jam Music Composition Part 1: Getting Started 

Hello Everybody!

First off, my sincere apologies for a long absence from the blog. I know it's been difficult for you, but I promise you that my laurels were not overly rested upon during my silence. I had hoped to get some kind of retrospective post out before the end of 2012 but with the holidays that got pushed way to the bottom of my list. Soon I will be branching out into reviews of games and/or soundtracks I've really enjoyed over the past months. But first, I want to kick off the new year at WhileTrueFork with a look ahead to the upcoming Global Game Jam 2013.

Leading up to the Global Game Jam I will be releasing at least two short articles on composing music in the context of a game jam. The topics and suggestions can apply to any short term game dev project and I hope to appeal to experts and novices alike. While I may include some other general points about game audio, I want to keep the focus specifically on music. Composing music for games presents a dual challenge in that it requires not only technical knowledge of sound editing in various programs, but also at least a basic understanding of music theory and principles. In today's post, I will begin with some general tips for structuring your track. If you attended the Cleveland Game Developer's Meetup on Saturday the 12th, these posts will connect to many of the points in my presentation.

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2012 Games Retrospective #1 - Frog Fractions

2012 was a busy year. I changed day jobs, released a game, did a ton of groundwork for another... But that's boring. Here is a short list of my favorite games of 2012. For the sake of argument, let's assume I forgot to include one or two. Some of these sort of came out before 2012 but that's when I was exposed to them. They are presented in no particular order.

Frog Fractions- Made by TwinBeard, this game is an amphibious romp through the world of rational numbers.

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Oregon Whale Video Trailer

Sara put together a trailer and game introduction for Oregon Whale. Watch it here!

Design Notes + Concept Work for Oregon Whale

Sara has posted some of her process notes for The Oregon Whale on her Tumblr; check them out.

And we're back! Also: Oregon Whale!

Hello internets! It's been a while... We've got a few projects in active development (hence the relative radio silence- but that is hopefully about to change). One of these, a quick collaboration between we WhileTrueForkers and incomparable TwoBitArt, is set to release on the App Store today...

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