Category Archives: South African Game Development

Competition 23 Results

Competition 23 ruffled a few feathers when it was announced: Apparently marketing an existing game is not something that many developers really want to think about, preferring instead to keep writing new and interesting prototypes and games for themselves. It’s not hard to see why this would be the case though, that fascinating process of “finding the fun” is the thing that most of us enjoy about game design, after all. But it’s equally not hard to see the unfortunate ramifications of this reluctance to think about your games’ exposure…

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Rage Rundown – In pictures

Every year the Really Awesome Gaming Expo (known as rAge by close friends and relatives), held at the Coca Cola Dome in Johannesburg, acts as an undeniable and almost irresistible force, drawing in gamers and game developers alike from all over South Africa and some parts of the Rest of the World™. Naturally, this can only mean a weekend of pure pulsating joy, happiness and companion cubes that cannot possibly be expressed in any number of words. We’ll do it in pictures instead.

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The Game.Dev Comps – Part 2

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 27, released in November 2006

The Game.Dev Comps evolved considerably since they started, with sponsors and prizes being obtained, and a larger, more experienced (and larger) community facilitating the creation of even more advanced games. We take a look at all the competitions held since August 2006, 10 competitions over 2 years.

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The Game.Dev Comps – Part 1

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 26, released in October 2006.

Compared to most other game development competitions, Game.Dev’s fondly-named “Comps” have always stood out on one particular front: each new incarnation has always set out to challenge, direct and develop entrants within the field of game development. Instead of the oh-so-typical “create a game about kitties and/or mudkips” mentality that many mainstream events focus on, the Game.Dev competitions have always sought to home in on an aspect of game development that people don’t always consider and try to train new developers in the techniques that it describes. Although some may frown upon this method and drop out as a result, those who engage with the competitions often emerge from the experience as more mature and insightful developers.

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Comp 22 Results

Ask any gamer to imagine their favourite games cross-dressing as different genres and you’ll have yourself an entertaining waste of an afternoon. Turn that into a drinking game somehow and you’ll have some of the best ideas that nobody can remember (“Hey! What about Bejewelled as a drinking game! You’d have a grid of colourful shooters…”) and probably the most fun hangover ever. There would probably be rules to where and how you could feel bad and an inexplicable set of text parser puzzles to solve. These things happen.

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The Forum that Could

Not every origin story involves radioactive spiders, murdered parents or babies sent from planets with silly names. Sometimes a single idea, an offhand conversation or an innocent post on a forum can find a life of its own. Let’s throw a party. Let’s start a band. Let’s make a game. Like a snowball tossed down the side of a mountain, these ideas can gather speed and strength. And over time, that one little idea becomes something that makes people sit up, notice, and occasionally get a face full of snow.

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The truth about institutions

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 4, released in July 2006

So, off to a tertiary institution? Studying for your future? Excited about the opportunities in professional game-making that your studies will present? Well, know now that there’s another side to going to university, something that’s overlooked by a lot of students. You’re going to be surrounded by tons of interesting people while you’re studying, and if you don’t use that time to make contacts and learn about things “not in your field”, you’re missing a big opportunity to get ahead as a game creator.

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Spacehack

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 27, released in November 2008.

SpaceHack is one of two Game.Dev DreamBuildPlay 2008 entries. It eventually placed among the top 20finalists in the competition. The following is a discourse by one of the game’s two creators about the creation process and the story behind the game.

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Ultimate Quest

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 27, released in November 2008.

Ultimate Quest is one of two Game.Dev DreamBuildPlay 2008 entries. It is an expansion of a ASCII-styled text adventure that was originally entered into a Game.Dev competition, polished and completed for Microsoft’s annual competition. The following is a discussion by one of the game’s two creators about the process of creating the game.

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Overseer Assault Postmortem

This article originally appeared in Dev.Mag Issue 13, released in April 2007.

Overseer Assault is a freak of nature. Now that statement may seem harsh, especially coming from the game’s creator, but it’s true – Overseer Assault is a game that shouldn’t work, but through some dark and twisted means just does. One need only look at the description to understand: OA is a hybrid top-down shooter/turn-based strategy game. It also happens to be the first game that I ever made. Ambitious? Absolutely. Flawlessly executed? Not entirely…This is an overview of the Making of Overseer Assault, and new developers would do well to heed the painful lessons contained herein.

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Jamming in 48 hours

Earlier this year, three noble South Africans participated remotely in the annual Global Game Jam in a quest for truth, glory and really rapid game development.

Teams all over the world were given 48 hours to make a game using a handful of keywords and whatever tools they could get their hands on. Local developers Danny “dislekcia” Day, Marc “Aequitas” Luck and Rodain “Nandrew” Joubert banded together and managed to get together a little offering which they called the 48 Hour War. It was built as a satirical jab at the madness and futility of modern warfare.

Here’s their account of how those two days went and what they learned from making this game.

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