Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kickstarting Magnetic by Nature

Yesterday we received word that our Kickstarter had been approved and we went live with it. It coincided nicely with the EAE Fest which went on for the better part of yesterday. At EAE fest we were able to watch a lot of people play and enjoy our game! The feedback was very positive and people seemed to genuinely enjoy our game - what a great feeling!

In less than 24 hours our Kickstarter is 17% funded. We're very happy with the start we've made and hope we can maintain momentum and get this thing 100% funded by May 24th.

Click here to check out our Kickstarter page.

We pushed our game for final certification this morning to XBLIG. This version of the game is called Magnetic by Nature: Awakening, as it is a sort of condensed version of the game. As of now we are over half way approved (in less than 6 hours).

It's an exciting time for Tripleslash studios and we can't wait to see where we can go with our passion and creativity!

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Shameless Plug

Now that my time in the EAE capstone class here at the University of Utah is at its end, I would like to take a moment to talk about the experience.

Ever since I was a kid, I knew I wanted to work with computers. I have loved games and technology as long as I can remember. Eventually, I decided I wanted to be a software engineer. Then, in 2007, I became aware of "game development schools." This seemed, honestly, ludicrous. I had no idea that making games  could actually pay the bills for an average guy like me. (You can tell how little I had researched the prospect at that point). My interest was piqued and I began the journey into the rabbit hole. I had my sights set on such institutions as The Guildhall at SMU and DigiPen. "Well, a master's degree could be pretty cool," I thought. Soon, I discovered the University of Utah's EAE (Entertainment Arts and Engineering) program. "What?! A game development program for undergrads?! This is too good to be true!" I had attended a semester at the U studying Computer Science and finding out that I could still do CS but with a game dev emphasis seemed ideal. Let me tell you, it was.

The capstone course, specifically, has been the single most educational, useful, and enjoyable course I have ever taken. At the end of it all, we have a product we are very proud of and that will serve us well in starting our careers. The team I worked with is amazing and I am sure we will remain good friends and helpful contacts in the industry.

I am now set to graduate in a couple of weeks and joining the EAE program was the best choice I could have made. I have made roughly 10 video games during my stay at the U. Everything from Flash and Unity 3D games to Half Life 2 mods and full fledged Xbox games. It's all possible at the University of Utah. The combination of a CS degree along with 2 solid years of game development in multi-disciplinary teams has given me a resume that, frankly, most recent grads would drool over.

If you are reading this and pondering the idea of attending a game development school, I highly recommend you check out the EAE program at the University of Utah. The undergrad program was ranked #1 in the country and the master's program was ranked #2. You won't be disappointed!

E3, Salt Fest and EAE fest, OH MY!

This last Friday, we were able to submit Magnetic by Nature to the E3 / ESA 2013 student game competition. We were up till 2 am the night of, trying to get things ready. We are very happy with what we submitted and are hoping to get some great feedback! Will my dream of attending E3 come true? Only time (and a panel of epic judges) will tell...

We were also invited to demo our game and hold a panel at this year's Salt Fest on May 10-11th in Salt Lake City, Utah. This will be a fantastic opportunity to share our experience as student game developers and we are happy that a large group of people will get to demo our game. The game development scene in SLC is thriving and we are thrilled to be a part of it!

Finally, EAE fest 2013 is being held on April 23rd. This event is always a riot and it is amazing to see the incredible work coming out of the EAE program. Both undergrad and grad students will have the opportunity to show off the project's they've been working on all year.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

GDC Goodness

WOW it's been a while. This semester has been crazy so please excuse my lack of blog updates.

The team just got back from a fantastic trip to San Francisco and GDC 2013. We joined the EAE master students and faculty in exploring the world of professional game development. The EAE program had its very own booth and we were fortunate enough to demo our game in its current state to a ton of people. It was very, very well received and gave us a ton of drive to finish the game and release.

Magnetic by Nature at the EAE booth
The conference was a lot of fun and we were able to make many useful connections with industry folks. We were also able to check out the latest tech:

Latest Tech?

Ok, ok. No, no one was announcing a flux capacitor; but DeLoreans are awesome anyway.

The latest Tomb Raider on 5 monitors

Who's excited for PS4?

Crytek and Nvidia

One of my favorite parts of the trip was playing all of the amazing indie games. My personal favorite was "140" made by Jeppe Carlsen (Yeah, Limbo guy). This game is AMAZING and you all need to check it out.

"140" and the back of Jeppe Carlsen's head
Roger got together with Gene and Daniel, U of U alumni, to hook us up with a sweet tour of Zynga's studios in downtown San Francisco. It was pretty cool to see a big time studio and learn more about what life is like in the trenches.

Zynga's Front Door

Zynga's Kitchen - Nom nom

What's a trip to San Francisco without a trip to Fisherman's Wharf for some amazing sea food and sourdough bread? We took full advantage of the dock's vittles. 

Mmmm... Clam Chowder...

All in all. It was a great trip and well worth the time and money. My biggest take-away was: indie dev is awesome and is what I want to do. The look of fulfillment and satisfaction on those devs' faces as people played and loved their games was inspiring. By far the most exciting part of the expo floor was seeing the amazing things these guys and gals are doing. I hope to join their ranks!