# TIGJam UK games. Also, flixel

When bandwidth permits it, I like strolling through threads like this to pick up on all the teensy little games that people make at events like the UK TIGJam. After seeing the announcement on IndieGames and checking on one or two of their recommendations, I decided to browse through some of the other games and was startled to find just how many of them relied on the flixel framework to get the job done in a just few hours.

Flixel has been on my mind a lot recently, and I’ve also used it to make one or two Flash game prototypes in a startlingly short time period: it’s very easy to learn if you’re already acquainted with ActionScript in some form, and seeing all of the TIGJam entries that it has produced fills my heart with joy and bunnies. In fact, I’m off to get said bunnies surgically removed right now, since they’re starting to screw up my blood circulation.

If you’re looking for just a few games to try out, IndieGames recommends I’m Not A Bad Person Really, I Just Have Low Self-Esteem and This Is How Bees Work. I recommend Solar Defense because it has bloom effects. Wheee!

# Making a tester’s life less miserable

Most game developers know that sharing an early prototype of their Next Big Thing™ with friends and fellow devs is usually a good move. It’s a great way to iron out bugs, gather ideas and start moving in the right direction. It’s also incredibly encouraging to receive positive feedback early on — as long as your audience doesn’t consist of the sort of people who foam at the mouth and start gnawing at every half-arsed pixel push you make.

# Game while you write?

Right, so as I’m typing up this post, making good use of all of Word’s fancy productivity features, Ribbon Hero‘s running in the background, scoring my performance. Or, rather, it would be if I had realised that an additional .NET 3.5 SP1 download was required to get it running, the requirement of which was, unfortunately, undisclosed.

However, the theory goes like this: Office 2007 (with its nice new controversial Ribbon) means many people have to relearn everything all over again. The blokes over at Office Labs figured that if something can be learned, and that leaning can be measured and rewarded, a game can be made out of it. So Ribbon Hero tries to do this for the three big names in Office 2007 and 2010.

How well does all this work? Well, the trailer videos seem to show what is simply a competitive tutorial, but I’m going to withhold judgement until such a time as I’m able to test it out. I’m only giving it this much chance because Daniel Cook was involved anyway. I have faith in his game design skill, even if whether or not this is a game is disputable. I shall post my thoughts then.

# IGF Student Showcase top 10

An often overlooked half of the IGF is the Student Showcase, where up and coming devs who are still learning the ropes compete for recognition. And it’s often quite naïve to disregard them, having successes like Narbacular Drop originating from academic sources like DigiPen.

Aaaand go!