Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Utah Indie Night, November 2012

Posted by Rampant Coyote on November 16, 2012

This month’s indie night was held at the University of Utah. I can’t say this is my favorite venue, particularly as parking is such a nightmare. But the EAE (Electronic Arts & Engineering) department was kind enough to volunteer the space, and we got a few student indies from the department joining us for the evening, so that was good.

At this point, I have very little interest in developing games in Flash, but that didn’t make Tom Beatty’s talk on the new Stage3D stuff any less fascinating. Two or three years ago, I’d have been all over this, and probably not given Unity a second thought. But now…  I’m not so sure. The future is murky, though if it has any chance at all of weathering the competition from HTML5 and whatnot, by the end of the talk I was pretty convinced that Stage 3D is the reason. As Tom put it, it has “Changed what Flash is.”

Well, anyway, I’d recommend anybody interested in game development to take a serious look at it.  For 2D gaming, there’s the Starling library (open source), which takes advantage of graphics acceleration and makes Flash powerful enough to do things like particle systems. For 3D gaming, the free options include Away 3D and Alternativa 3D (Tom’s flavor of choice). There’s also the rather pricey Flare 3D which is a popular option for established companies, but maybe not for an indie just starting out.  (And Tom pointed out earlier – for traditional Flash development, indies should consider Flash Develop and Flex SDK for *free* development tools).

After the talk, we broke out into our usual game presentations & general meeting. Steve Taylor of NinjaBee showed off his (or rather, his company’s) new Microsoft Surface. With detachable keyboard. Gotta admit, it was pretty impressive. They keyboard and “real computer” status might be enough to convince me of having it as an alternative to an iPad or Android tablet.

Curtis (Califer Games) showed the current state of his Japanese teaching game. There was another game that was written in — I think it was Shoshone — with a grant from the tribe? I only caught a few details, on the periphery of another discussion, but it was interesting. A student game, “The Great Mouse Escape,” illustrated some of the efforts from the students at the U of U in the EAE department. There was another game called “Converse,” which was something of a (digital) card game to play out a dinner conversation which looked interesting, but I never got around to playing that one. Greg Squire also showed me his new incarnation of his game Antibody, made in the latest version of GameMaker.  It’s a SHMUP. As a child of the 80’s and the arcade scene, I have a soft place in my heart for SHMUPs.

I should write a SHMUP. Actually, I should continue my port of Apocalypse Cow into Unity. I spent a Saturday doing it a few weeks ago, and really only got the main menu done, which was primarily an exercise in learning NGUI.

But that’s always how I feel at the end of a Utah Indie Night… inspired to get cracking and make… and complete… more games. Just gotta get FK2 done…

Hopefully Greg will weigh in today with a complete list of games that were shown during the evening. I’ll post an update then.


Ah, here’s Greg’s report on the evening…

and here’s a report from Rainblade Studios.

Filed Under: Utah Indie Game Night - Comments: 4 Comments to Read

  • Xenovore said,

    Sigh. Another one I had no clue about. Eh, I guess I can’t get too bent since I wouldn’t have gone all the way up to the U of U anyway. =P

  • UgLee Games (Spencer L.) said,

    It was a pretty good turnout. Luckily, I live right next to UTA’s Red Line, so I just hopped on to ride to the U.

    I’ve never did put any serious thought into Flash development, but this presentation intrigued me as how Flash is being transformed with all these neat APIs and libraries. You could’ve shown those videos of those browser game without reference and I would’ve assumed something other than Flash.

    I also wanted to put up the question of Adobe’s Edge, but for whatever reason, I withheld it. Though Edge is suppose to be the successor to Flash, I can’t help but feel that Flash is still widely used, and experience in Flash has only helped make it stronger and more stable. Plus, the “Free” incentive is pretty nice for Flash Development.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Heh – yeah, don’t complain. 🙂 The next one may be at Wahoo / NinjaBee… and there’s a good chance I’ll be out of town and once AGAIN not see their new offices.

  • vazor said,

    Thanks for the writeup! I knew about the event (since I’m on the mailing list http://www.utahindiegames.org), but couldn’t make it this time due to some work-related business.