The Scary October Jam #Scarejam

The votes are in and the jam has begun! The mechanics are:
Loss and Important Sounds.

It’s time to get your games development costume on and make some awesome games in a weekend! We’re putting on this jam to give everyone a chance to experiment with their chosen software: be you a first year looking to challenge yourself with GameMaker or a second or third year looking for a taster in Unity this is your chance. You can use whatever software you want as long as you’re prepared to make game in it! (You could even make a console text adventure if you want, that’d be pretty cool actually…)

Since it’s October, it makes sense to think about spooky games. Games like Amnesia, Silent Hill and Limbo that get our skin crawling and our senses startled. Games that just don’t sit well with you. Games that give you an adrenaline rush. Games that make you scream.

This jam will require you to vote for a core mechanic that must be somewhere in your game! You can vote for a potential mechanic here. It is our hope that these mechanics will make you think outside the box and become better games designers!

The jam isn’t just for games students. All students from the school of computer science are welcome! In fact if you happen to have someone from one of the more artistically gifted courses (animation, graphic design, etc.) who’d like to join in with the fun then feel free to invite them along!

If you’re interested in participating then come to Complab B on the Third Floor of the MHT Building at 5:00PM on Friday 18th October. This will be the official start of the jam where we shall reveal the mechanics that you must include in your game. The jam will then last 72 hours and we’ll be judging on Monday at 5:00PM in the same place!

Games Computing Degree Receives Commendation in Lincoln Student Union Awards

The BSc/MComp in Games Computing at the Lincoln School of Computer Science was commended in the Lincoln Student Union Awards 2013, under the “Best Course Award” category.

The recent upgrade of  facilities for this course has been greatly appreciated by students. The exemplary use of blackboard as a timely communication tool particularly stood out to the panel as a leading example of how virtual learning spaces can be used effectively.

Well done to everyone involved in delivering this programme!

Sir, you are being developed! (2/2)

“The Seven Day Gentlemanly Game Challenge”, as organised by Sean Oxspringhas officially started today. It is a week-long Game Developing Challenge for any students and staff in the Lincoln School Of Computer Science to take part in! As the name suggests, The Seven Day Gentlemanly Game Challenge will require you and a team of up to four others to make a game based around the general theme of gentlemanliness and well-to-do things (e.g. top hats, monocles, steampunk etc.) in seven day’s time! Ladies are also very welcome and highly encouraged to partake in this challenge, of course.

We announced that mechanics from a voting poll will be used for the challenge. The mechanics are:

[Survival], either [Rock, Paper, Scissor] or [Round-Based]

We are hoping that you will be able to come up with innovative and creative ideas based on the themes we are giving you. If you are finding it difficult to come up with an idea – do not panic. You have a whole week and plenty of time to develop your game! Please recall that both themes must be used in your game to be eligible to enter the competition.

Feel free to chat about your game development towards the game challenge on Facebook, Blogs and Twitter! We even got our own hashtag: #7DGC .

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Sean Oxspring for any enquiries!

Sir, you are being developed! (1/2)

Voting is now closed!

It is time once again to spend a week doing what everyone loves – developing awesome video-games! Based on the success of The Seven Day Game Challenge, Sean Oxspring has decided to put on another game-jam to celebrate the end of the year and the founding of his new games company Top Notch StudiosThe Seven Day Gentlemanly Game Challenge!

As the name suggests, The Seven Day Gentlemanly Game Challenge will require you and a team of up to four others to make a game based around the general theme of gentlemanliness and well-to-do things (e.g. top hats, monocles, steampunk etc.) in seven day’s time! Ladies are also very welcome and highly encouraged to partake in this challenge, of course.

Similar to last year, there is a voting process involved, this time around, partakers are requested to vote on the game mechanics the games that are being developed should include! Click here to vote! Choose up to three mechanics to vote for. You can vote once every six hours. Please recall that you can win up to £100 of gentlemanly prizes!

If you are interested in participating in The Seven Day Gentlemanly Game Challenge, then come along to Complab B, 3rd floot MHT Building, at 5:00PM on Friday 24th May 2013. Bring your team of designers, programmers and artists. In this session we will be going over the rules of the game jam and revealing the extra mechanics that you game must include!

We’ll see you there, and let’s make some jolly spiffing games! Ho, ho, fabulous!

Book Review: Mastering UDK Game Development

Mastering UDK Game Development

Epic Games released the Unreal Development Kit (UDK) in late 2009, as a Standalone Development Kit (SDK) for Unreal Engine 3 (UE3). To support their standalone release, Epic Games spawned an entire developer community comprising forums, technical documentation and video tutorials.

Mastering UDK Game Development Hotshot builds on the community foundations laid by Epic Games, aiming squarely at advanced UDK users. The author, John P. Doran, is a software engineer working for DigiPen Institute Singapore, with experience working in the games industry, as well as higher education. He co-authored UDK iOS Game Development Beginner’s GuideThe Hotshot series comprises two games development titles, and seven technical topics , including Adobe CS6 and jQuery. 

The flexibility of UDK is greatly demonstrated throughout this book. It looks beyond the standard out-of-the-box first person shooter that UDK provides and focuses on how to use UDK as a game development tool for any genre. The project based nature of the book keeps the content fresh, and challenges readers onto further work. Mastering UDK Game Development Hotshot is aimed at designers and non-programmers who will use the editor based tools of UDK.

Each chapter is formatted to each cover a practical project, with sub-chapters tackling the more specific elements entailed within each project. The book steers away from touting the features of the engine and focuses on how to use the engine as a general development tool. This means covering useful topics such as creating a custom HUD for an RPG, creating loot and managing a loot system, as well as enriching environment and user interface. Strong emphasis is given to UI creation using Flash tool Scaleform. Advanced application of Kismet features heavily in this book, with code segments being well explained and reusable.

The UnrealScript primer at the end of the book is very blinkered in terms of application and scope, and does not add anything more than Epic Games have provided. It would have been nice to see a larger portion dedicated to UnrealScript, because used in combination with the level editor, Unreal Development Kit becomes a very flexible and usable development platform.

The book is available in both traditional printed version and as a PDF eBook via Packt’s website. The PDF version was reviewed, and features a fully linked Table of Contents and Index system. Each chapter spans approximately 30 pages and has lots of colour screen captures with clear and concise explanations. There is an online repository for resources used in the book.

Mastering UDK Game Development Hotshot is an excellent book if you have exhausted Epic’s tutorials and are looking to hone your skills using the UDK editor.