Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Utah Indie Night – March 2015

Posted by Rampant Coyote on March 25, 2015

The latest indie night was held on Tuesday, March 24, at Neumont University in downtown Salt Lake City. I hadn’t been to the new Neumont building before (I’ve missed the last couple of times it was held there), and while I am sad that they’ve moved from basically down the street from where I work, it was kinda cool that their new building is actually just a few doors down from the original Singletrac offices, where I started my game development career *cough*twenty*cough* years ago.

Adam Ames of True PC Gaming was supposed to give the presentation, but came down with the flu. I was going to jump in with an abbreviated version of my little talk at BYU a few months ago, but we had problems with the A/V equipment, and by the time we gave up on it, we had already burned up good game dev meeting time, so we jumped right into the gathering and show-off stages.

As always, there was much cool stuff on display. I played way too much of Eric Wiggin’s little phone-focused shooter called Space Goer. In it, your ship (which you can upgrade with points earned in the game) can move between a handful of lanes dodging enemies and shooting. The trick is that the enemies have different behaviors, and your ship fires at fixed intervals (which can be sped up through grabbing power-ups). It’s a cool idea to marry the idea of a top-down shooter with and endless runner. In practice, it had a lot more endless-runner feel to it than old-school shooter, but it was still fun (and at times, frustrating).

Darius Ouderkirk was showing Flame Warrior, which has been vastly improved even since the last time I saw it. I understand it’s undergoing a name change, as the title doesn’t really match the gameplay or the humorous storyline.

I played an extremely early version of a game tentatively entitled “The Chosen One” which was a little bit like Lemmings or The Incredible Machine meets a jump-puzzle game. Clever idea if they can pull it off – the “runner” is autonomous, but by setting obstacles or tools in the way, he (or she) can use them to navigate the environment. So something like a trampoline getting set to avoid falling to the death.

Loose Cannons, a 2D 4-player competitive shoot-em-up in the style of games like Towerfall, was also on display. I didn’t play this time around, but it┬áhad a constant audience. It’s just as fun to watch as to play.

And of course, there was the networking and chatting with fellow indies, getting an idea of what’s going on in the area, offering suggestions or just an ear. Great stuff. I always have a great time.

As things were winding up, we had a special meeting to discuss a potential game development event that we could pull together here in Utah. We have a really great game development community in Utah, between the larger studios, the indies, and the students at all the schools around here. It would be nice to actually add more “community” to the community and take advantage of the wealth of experience around here.┬áNothing was firmed up during our meeting other than the decision that there’s enough of a need locally for some kind of event, that we should continue to develop the idea. I’m not deliberately being cryptic, the meeting was awesome and full of fantastic ideas, but there’s really nothing yet to talk about.

Filed Under: Utah Indie Game Night - Comments: 2 Comments to Read

  • vazor said,

    Thanks for the writeup!

  • Rubes said,

    Nice writeup, thanks. Sorry to have missed another one. I’m interested in the idea of an event, so if there is any followup, let us know.