“Character Texture Generator” for my #RainbowJam16 Game

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Hey,

So Here is my “CharacterTextureGenerator” script i used for my incomplete #RainbowJam16 project “Chatr”.

So a quick run through of what it is actually doing:
Basically i had 3 folders with sprites in (Backgrounds, Accessories, and Bodies), what the script does is load those textures, and then combines a randomly chosen background, body, and multiple accessories o get the given result.

I’m making a lot of assumptions about the size of the sprites, so i knew my sprites were all 16*16 and that they should be aligned perfectly when placed on top of each. And there was no intelligent checking that multiple “Hair” or “Clothes” accessories were being layered on top of each other unfortunately, but that could be rectified with further work. I’ll be sure to further expand upon this in the future!

#RainbowJam16 – Creating a inclusive game jam in 5 weeks!

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“Rainbow Game Jam ‘16”, a 2 week game jam organised by myself in order to celebrate and promote diversity within the game industry.

The original idea for a game jam is a product of some planning and feedback through the “Rainbow Game Dev. Group”(facebook.com/groups/ScottishRainbowDev/). The group was created to create a community around the LGBT+ identifying and allied community in Scotland, to allow for a safe space for communication, meet new people, and to be able to host regular meetups in the various Scottish cities.

In this post I’m going to discuss several key points in the development of Rainbow Game Jam, and I hope this can give some guidance and ideas to anyone else who wishes to plan a game jam in a relatively short period of time.

Rainbow Jam 16 Promotional Poster

1. Setting a date!

I started Planning Rainbow Jam on the 20th July, just over 5 weeks ago at the time of writing. I had a few discussions with friends and colleagues about organizing a game jam for Scottish Rainbow Dev. Group, so I picked a few dates suitable for the general group (the group contains a large number of students from local Scottish universities, so the intention was to have the jam end before the new academic year began).
Having set the date for the jam gave me a goal to actually kick things into gear. I’m not sure about other people, but having a definitive date that i have to meet really allows me to work towards that a goal, whether that be for project development, or in this instance planning an event, having a date set and announced that in a public forum meant I HAD to have an end product. A great motivator!

2. Finding supportive collaborators and sponsors!

One of the initial things i wanted for Rainbow Jam was prizes: this was to help in the promotion of the event by enticing people into wanting to participate. When you have events such as Global Game Jam and Ludum Dare running successfully and with a large number of participants, i really wanted to get people interested in Rainbow Jam.

The first few sponsors I managed to get on board, Blazing Griffin, Tag Games, and Ant Workshop, were all hugely supportive of the jam, and really helped drive the initial promotion of the event. This isn’t to say that other sponsors haven’t been: all the sponsors for Rainbow jam have been immensely supportive of the jam and myself during the planning, and I couldn’t than them enough. If it wasn’t for the huge support of the sponsors the jam wouldn’t be the same.
Rainbow Jam Prize List

3. Deciding on an audience

The initial idea for the game jam was to to make a jam for members of Scottish Rainbow Dev group, to support and celebrate game development for LGBTQ+ developers and allies in Scotland. After the first sponsors were announced I started speaking with IGDA LGBTQ+ Sig about their plans to run a game jam, I realized there was a potential for a bigger event just by opening up the event to a wider audience. Although the event now is open to anyone regardless of location, sexuality, gender, language, religion, etc, the main “message” of the jam is still to celebrate LGBTQ+ diversity within the games industry.

 

4. Picking a theme

Themes seem to be a cornerstone of game jams now. Having participated in a few game jams with decidedly “bad” themes it was important for me that the theme for Rainbow Jam:

  1. Didn’t dictate mechanics or style of the games
  2. Wasn’t too abstract or vague that there was no common coherence between the games
  3. Was part of the main message of the jam: to celebrate LGBTQ+ diversity

I also didn’t want to limit creativity with a theme, so entrants for Rainbow Jam don’t have to follow the theme if they don’t want to!

A had a few informal chats with friends and colleagues to shortlist a few ideas, and ran these past a small group of people to get an idea for preference from them. In the end we came up with a theme that met all of the above criteria.

I hope this can be of some help to someone! Rainbow Jam 2016 kicks off on the 20th August 2016. If you would like to see more about the jam you can check out the links below.

https://itch.io/jam/rainbowjam16

www.facebook.com/events/1747902232145017/

Promoting Diversity through what we do best: Making Games!

RainbowJam16

So over the past few weeks I’ve beeb planning “Rainbow Game Jam ‘16”, a 2 week game jam organised to celebrate and promote diversity within the game industry.

The game jam is a product of some planning and feedback through the Scottish Rainbow Game Dev. Group. The group was created to create a community around the LGBT+ identifying and allied community in Scotland, to allow for a safe space for communication, meet new people, and to be able to host regular meetups in the various Scottish cities.

The game jam will run from 20th August to 4th September, to encourage as much time as possible for participants to create and submit games. The game jam is open to the public.

The itch.io page and facebook event for the game jam are now live, and the support so far has been fantastic!

I’m currently looking for sponsors for prizes for the game jam, in a way to reward jammers for participation and for quality games. If you like to discuss this drop me a message or an email at steven@insertimagination.co.uk.

An Indie Developers Journey from Origin to VR

Last week the Tag Team was in force at Develop 2015 in Brighton. While Paul and Nina took care of business, myself, Joanna and Hannah attended the conference sessions and reported back on their highlights from a week of inspiring talks.

My highlight from the conference was a talk from Ana Ribeiro from Pixel Ripped, who shared her journey from Pie Maker to VR Developer!

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Ana kicked off her talk by discussing her origins as a government employee in Brazil where she experienced an overwhelming lack of creativity and to compensate, Ana began creating pie recipes which she baked. Ana explained that her pies soon developed a large demand which led her to start up her own pie company. Ana was often asked where she saw herself and the business in five years’ time and struggled to answer. This was a turning point in Ana’s career where she realised developing computer games was really where she saw her future leading and processing a new found confidence in her creative ability along with her freshly learnt business skills, she developed from her pie making business, emigrating to England to study games programming. Ana is now the brains (and insanity) behind Pixel Ripped – a game development team of six, creating retro VR games.

The thing I found most inspiring about Ana’s talk was the manner in which she applied her previous life experiences to game development, from creating recipes/designing games to selling pies to customers/dealing with players. It was fascinating to hear real life skills translating into practical development skills, and to hear her pure and genuine passion for game development. Ana’s inspirational story is an example that no matter what you do, if you pursue your dreams nothing is out of reach, something which I believe in too.

This blog post has been taken from the Tag Games blog. To see the original post, click here.

Showcasing To-Tum at XpoNorth

On the 10th of June we had our second public showing of To-Tum, at the fantastic XpoNorth, Scotland’s leading creative industry festival! I (Steven) travelled up to Inverness for the festival to showcase the android and iOS versions of the game to the public, getting some invaluable feedback.

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I had an amazing time at the festival, spending time with other Scottish Game Developers, and meeting a mixture of students who were passionate for game development, the general public, a number of parents with their children enquiring about getting careers in games, and of course a few people coming to see To-Tum! (This may have also been from the large tub of Haribo I had on the table…)

It was nice to finally see the general public play To-Tum myself, especially after hearing the feedback from Radio 1 Academy! It was a great opportunity to see how people got on just picking the game up without any prompt, and how quickly they figured out how to control and play though the game. Nobody particularly struggled with the game, and everyone grasped the concept quite quickly, which was very rewarding to witness. The feedback from everyone was great, with a lot of the sentiments being stuff we as a team were already aware of.

Since this was the first time i had showcased the game at an actual event it was really nice to see a few familiar faces from Dundee, as well as getting to meet a few people who I had spoken to through social media. The room we were in was luckily quite small, allowing me to talk to the other developers at the event, and try their games as well throughout the day.

One of my highlights from the whole event was being approached by a woman and her 11 year old daughter, and discussing her daughter’s interest in making stop-motion animations! Aparently she has been making them herself for several years, and it was fantastic to see such enthusiasm and interest from someone so young, in both animation and the industry! I got a chance to talk to her mother about looking into schools and universities that do Computer Arts, especially games, if she was ever interested in exploring further into that field. It was great to see both parents and children interested in games and the game development process, and to be able to share with them the work that goes into developing a game.

XPONorth Steven

I would like to thank the organisers of XpoNorth as I had a fantastic time, and hope to be back next year. The blend of the creative industries showcased at the event meant that our players were really diverse in both their interests and backgrounds, helping us gain some great perspective on To-Tum.

This blog post has been taken from the Insert Imagination blog. To see the original post, click here .