Explay monthly meet-ups return in style, with indie developer and Unity3D expert QuickFingers coming all the way down from “that London” to talk about his work, and the Adobe games team providing amazing sponsorship, freebies and prizes, including a full copy of Creative Suite that we’ll be giving away! Plus all the usual silliness and a chance to meet and chat to other people interested in making games.

It’s at The Roundabout Pub, Plymouth… 

In the *3rd FLOOR* upstairs room - NOT the 2nd floor balcony. KEEP GOING UPSTAIRS UNTIL YOU FIND IT! :D

Speaker: http://www.quickfingers.net/

Sponsor: http://gaming.adobe.com/

Venue: http://www.screampubs.co.uk/theroundaboutplymouth

I’d like to offer a belated congratulations to all Game Jam participants at the ExPlay Festival the other week. There where 13 teams in total who managed to create some fantastic games in just 15 hours!

For those who didn’t participate, a Game Jam is a hack-a-thon for game developers, artists and creative’s allowing them flex their creative muscles and create something awesome in an intense period of game-creating action.

Each game was judged on 3 criteria: Innovation, Fun and Concept. The judging panel consisted of four experienced indie game developers: Andrew Smith from Spilt Milk Studios, Ana Kronschnabl from Fluffy Logic, Ed Fear from Curve Studios and Paul Taylor from Mode 7 Games.

The Teams

  • Team Gold Team
  • Theme Potato
  • Mongoose
  • Theme Appropriate Name
  • Name Appropriate Theme
  • The Mystery Squad
  • Team Stuther
  • Love Lamp
  • The Latecomers
  • Fun Saturated
  • Team Hat
  • Lasers of Understanding

The Winners

Theme: Mirror

  1. Space Buds - Men in the Mirror Galaxy
  2. Mirrornaught
  3. Team Vanity - Vanity is Sin

Theme: Colour

  1. Team Gold Team - Radiant Spectrum Rangers Endless Battle
  2. Team Hat - Racest
  3. Fun Saturated - Pantone Pooch

For a more detailed write up, check out the fantastic blog post on the average gamer.

Again, congratulations to all participants, it was a fantastic weekend.

If you attended the Extended Play festival this weekend you probably saw (and hopefully played) the UK’s first Winnitron arcade cabinet: The Plymitron!

A small group of people - Rich Searle, Gaz Williams, Dan Stubbs and myself (Mike Cobb) - spent numerous evenings and weekends renovating an old yellow cab donated by PCAD into a sleek black and neon blue beauty. Sarah Welland and Chris Mayoh collaborated on the marquee, and it was all made possible by donations from the Plymouth Indie Game Community. Thanks everyone!

Of course, the real stars are the games! The Winnitron Indie Game Arcade Network is an awesome (and growing) collection of fantastic Indie games - all free to play on the Plymitron.

The Plymitron now resides in the Roland Levinsky Building on the Plymouth University Campus. It’s open to the public, so everyone can drop by and have a play.

Here are some photos of the launch (more on my Flickr page):

Team Plymitron in a cheesy pose

Dan beating Ian Livingstone at Nidhogg

The 'tron in all its pristine glory

Hello Ex Players… we have managed to secure a deal with out lovely friends across the coast in Dorset, Meet Draw, who have said they will slash the price of their conference Silicon Beach by 50% for you lot!

Silicon Beach is a two-day exploration of the most innovative advertising and design techniques taking place in Bournemouth at the end of September and South West Design Forum members are being offered an exclusive discounted package on tickets AND accommodation.

A collection of the UK’s leading experts from organisations such as Ogilvy, BBH, Skype, Adobe, Virgin Media, Made by Many, Grape Digital, Microsoft and more; will spend two days at this intimate conference delivering talks and engaging with the audience, all the while being steered by David Worthington, the Chair of the UK Design Alliance.  They’ll be offering insights into the latest brand building techniques, how they implement them and how they measure the impact and Return on Investment on behalf of their clients.

The themes of this conference are perfect for client service teams - who will learn about all the latest innovations, how to offer them to their clients and how to charge for them.  They’re also perfect for the creative and planning teams who will not only learn how to use these same latest techniques but also they’ll learn how agencies such as Ogilvy and BBH use Innovation Labs with their clients to dream up new propositions.

It’s going to be an exciting and informative two days.  But don’t worry, if you don’t think you can afford to lose one person out of the studio for two days: Share the Ticket - one person attend Day One and another attend Day Two (you’ll miss the party on the night of Day One mind).

Meetdraw Presents… Silicon Beach is the inaugural conference organised by the Dorset Design Forum (Meetdraw) and they would like to extend an exclusive offer to all South West Design Forum members to ensure the whole of the region gets to benefit from this exciting event.  They’re offering a 50% discount to members, so tickets are now just £99 (normal price £199) and they’ve arranged a deal with the fantastic Trouville Hotel who are able to offer B&B for just £49pppn.

If you’re interested in taking up this offer and attending this awesome event, email the conference organiser and SWDF Vice Chair, Matt Desmier: matt@wiseolduncle.com for more details.

Another great Extended Play Monthly last night. The new venue at the
Roundabout worked out well, giving us more space. As always a huge Thank you to everyone who came to the event, any feedback on the structure of the evening would be fantastic.

A special thanks to Ella Romanos and Ben Reynhart for opening with the line up for Plymouth’s first interactive games festival: Extended Play 2011. Please find all the information to get involved here: http://explay.co.uk/ 
Thank you to Phorxy Bastin with an insightful presentation about ‘How we can make games and education work’, Iain Lobb's talk about HTML5 games and love for Math, Matt Sephton lost art form of intro/attract/menu screens, the wonderful sounds of Jamie Hamshere with Building Blocks and Dissecting Music, and Gareth Williams ingenious silent disco radio game experiment. 

Look forward to seeing you all next month 6th October 2011 :)

Hi Everyone, here is my crowdfunding page again for anyone who would like to join the project and send something cool to someone anywhere in the UK. Theres only 10 days left, so hurry if you want a ticket :)

Hi guys,

As you all know, Extended Play festival is going to be held this 3rd-5th November.  The festival is being announced nationally this week and has already had some great press on the Guardian site.

We have been working over the last couple of months to get things organised and the website has been updated today to reflect that, with some speakers announced and info about what is going on: http://www.explay.co.uk

On the Friday and Saturday of the festival we are hosting talks, panels and fun activities throughout the day and we would really like the community to get involved by submitting ideas for more activities.  

Some examples which are already in the pipeline are Thunderchats (a chance for designers, developers and creatives to talk for 5 minutes about their best work, new ideas, live coding, mashups, etc.) and a LAN gaming event, other ideas could include ARG’s around Plymouth, a Winnitron machine which needs public access all day, use of the 4D cinema (ask us for spec & more info), multiplayer gaming sessions, live demo projections, interactive experiences or anything else you can think of!  We want ideas that will engage audiences through them either participating or watching.

Any activity submitted will be organised by the person or group who have submitted it, in coordination with the rest of the festival.  We have a few different spaces available, including the green room, which is (approx) a 4x4m space and the auditorium which seats up to 100 people. If you have equipment requirements let us know and we will work with you to try and source those.

These activities will be hosted within the main Aquarium conference facilities and we are looking for submissions which fit into an hour slot.  However, we don’t want to discourage ideas that might be a bit more crazy and need more space or time, so if you want to run something which doesn’t fit within those restrictions please submit and we will see what we can do to support it!  

Ben from Mutant Labs and myself will be doing a short talk at the next meetup (Thursday 1st September @ Roundabout) to give you an overview of the festival, but we are open to ideas now, so any questions or submissions please email me at ella@explay.co.uk by 16th September.  



I’ve published Deep Chalk 4. It’s a Kongregate exclusive, so you play it here:


Thanks to those at explay for their feedback and encouragement.