Friday, November 4, 2016

GDEX 2016: Midwest Gaming Showcase




So we meet again, Columbus, Ohio, in gaming conventions!

The weekend of October 28-30 was a special time for gamers and game developers who are based in Ohio and the Midwestern United States, but more so the renaming of the Ohio Game Developer Expo (OGDE) to GDEX signaled the invitation of other game developers who are based elsewhere in the United States and abroad. Thankfully some game devs from outside Ohio did show up for this event, which was cool to see.

I was fortunate enough to get another chance of experiencing something that I found interesting, and that was to play games and demos of games in a public environment. GDEX clearly expanded in 2016 compared to 2015, and there were some good developments to come out of this event. I ended up playing some of these games. I got in contact with Lantern Light Studios once again to get more info on what has been happening with Gloobs, a scientific bacteria wipe 'em out game. I ended up getting a poster by playing a simple Plinko mini-game. I will show that poster here on the blog so you can see for yourself. It looks cool!

The one demo I got to play again was an updated version of The Pedestrian. This game will be a surefire winner whenever the completed version comes out. It's a simple concept but it gets the job done. The concept is also very marketable since the main character of The Pedestrian is just the stick figure guy you see on street signs. It's a puzzle game where you have to connect one room to another, collect keys and puzzle pieces and advance as far as you can. I wanted to play this demo for a while, but there was a line for this demo so I had to cut it short. 

Trust me! You'll enjoy playing Tipsy Raccoons!

I also had the pleasure of playing an arcade style game that caught my interest. I was hooked when I played this because it's something that I can see myself playing at any arcades with friends. Now I am not a beer drinker by any means, nor am I a soda pop drinker since I gave that up in 2014, but this arcade style game was F-U-N! What is it called? The game is called Tipsy Raccoons, and it features a gauntlet format of gameplay between 6 players. 

A series of 13 mini-games are played and whoever does the best (score points) wins. Whoever loses a mini-game has to take a drink of his or her favorite beverage. This is a very intriguing concept that I can see gamers having fun with. This game has the variety people look for when wanting to have a fun time. Free For All, 2-on-2-on-2 and 3-on-3 are all featured in this game. When you see one of these at your bar or arcade, please play this!  The creator of this game is Adam Wray of Glitchbit. (awray@glitchbit.com)

Stupid Dot Game: Strike an awesome pose!
Now a mobile game that caught my eye features another simple concept, locate the highlighted colored dots. This game is called Stupid Dot Game, but if you were to play this game you'd realize that there is nothing stupid about this game at all. This simple concept is smart and very marketable. I can see many people, including casual gamers, getting into a game like this one. I played SDG for quite a while and I understood the concept right away. It's the kind of simple fun that can reach many people. This challenges your memorization skills and your hand-eye coordination, so the appeal is with SDG.


Next up we have Bombfest, a fun 3D party game developed by Zac Pierce, a.k.a. ZacFierce. Bombfest reminded me of games that I played before such as Bomb Squad for the Ouya and the original Bomberman games for the NES and SNES. Mix that in with Mario Party elements and you get something that's very fun here in Bombfest. In many rounds of play you just have to knock out opponents by throwing bombs at them, and whoever wins the marathon of contests will be awarded with a nice-looking golden crown! How sweet is that?

Contact Zac: @MagmaSpire (Twitter)

Looking for explosive fun? Bombfest has it!

I also had the honor of playing with Kris Jones of Play Legit, a group that features gameplay and gamers just hanging out and having a fun time. I actually got to play a game on the Sega Dreamcast with Kris, a game that I had never played before. I missed out on owning a Sega Dreamcast so the controller I played with wasn't like other controllers I had played with before. Needless to say, though, I enjoyed myself playing Power Stone 2, a party fighting game that kinda reminds gamers of Super Smash Bros. and arcade games like Street Fighter. 


 
Procore3D
I would have a "blast to the past' experience at one booth at GDEX, which would be the demo of Procore3D, a new modeling technology that makes it easier for aspiring game devs to design the levels they want. I say this was a blast to the past for me because years ago I was working on a version of 3D Studio Max, making shapes and objects with that technology, which is really outdated when compared to something like this. I was very impressed with Procore3D. It looked sharp and powerful, and it's basically what you get when you access the tools in Unity. 


Lastly I should mention that I got to chat with both Peter and Justin of Sketchy Games, two guys who have helped me bring Punchy Business, the demo that I have discussed on this blog earlier, and these guys were awesome as always. We discussed what we were going to do for Punchy Business at the end of its development (as I said it's around 90% complete right now), and we also got to chat about GDEX and what this event means to us. 

I even got to play one of their other demos that they have been working on. It was a game where you shot at enemies (not space ships) very similar to that of Galaga, Space Invaders, Asteroids, etc. I was comfortable with the controls because I knew where they were going with the development of this game. I even got a Top 5 score when I got my Game Over.   


Adding on to my chats with Sketchy Games, it has been long clear to me that being at events like GDEX is where I truly want to be going forward when it comes to game development. I want to progress as a game developer. I want to have that open platform where I can show people what I know about game development and how I can put my ideas to work through my creative input and through the written content that I provide. 

I have a direction now. I know what needs to be done when 2017 begins. I want to be a part of a booth at GDEX in the future, and I want to be available for interviews if that's possible. I want to make games. I want to write stuff for games. I want to help game development in Ohio and in general. That's my main mission.

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