Category Archives: News

Gaming bar launches Kickstarter, eyes Tempe location

A video game bar has its eyes on a space on Mill Avenue in Tempe – but it’s dangerous to go alone.

Endgame Bar has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money and support for its bid to move into the 7,000 square foot space at 699 S. Mill Ave., owned by Arizona State University, by the fall

Ryan Scott is the project founder and a former ASU student. He said in a interview with Arizona Gamer that he has plans for Endgame to provide console-based entertainment in a gamer-friendly bar atmosphere.

He’s joined in the project by Nikki DelRosso, the lead designer and website manager, and Mike Goosens, the project’s marketing coordinator and head bartender.

Scott said in an interview with Arizona Gamer that there are two main goals for the Kickstarter campaign: to raise additional funds to pay for a liquor license, which costs around $70,000 in Arizona, and to demonstrate to ASU that there is interest in such a venue.

“We wanted to be able to use the Kickstarter to show the people that have doubts that this is something that people actually want,” Scott said.

Continue reading Gaming bar launches Kickstarter, eyes Tempe location

Arizona developers present games for Education Hackathon

Above: Justin McCandless explains his game, Mathpx, to Education Hackathon judge Mario Vassaux.

Local developers demonstrated the educational potential of games May 16 at a Game CoLab Education Hackathon pitch event.

The hackathon began April 22 and asked participants to create an educational game over the course of about three weeks and then present it to a panel of judges.

Four judges evaluated the eight games on four factors: fun, creativity, marketability and assessment. The winning game would be fun, feature original design, have a marketable concept and be able to measure a student’s progress and achievement.

Game CoLab partnered with Pearson to host the event and provided $600 in prizes divided among the top three finishers, with $300, $200 and $100 going to first, second and third place, respectively.

Justin McCandless won first place for his game, Mathpx, a learning game built in HTML5 that teaches students addition and subtraction through number visualization. A traditional math problem appears at the top of the screen while pixel balls are shown on the lower half, allowing students to manipulate problems and picture the math as they go.

Continue reading Arizona developers present games for Education Hackathon

Puzzle platformer TesserAct heads to Steam

Portal was about using physics to your advantage. TesserAct, a puzzle platformer from Phoenix-based Propelled Bird Software, lets you bend it to your will, lead developer Clay Walters said in an interview with Arizona Gamer.

TesserAct was greenlit last month and Walters expects the game to hit Steam this summer. The developers also recently received backing on Indiegogo to pay for licensing fees.

The game is set in a “universe based on scientific theory,” Walters said. It follows Sam, a student who is inexplicably teleported to an abandoned moon base in another dimension.

She stumbles upon the Catalyst, a tool that can manipulate the laws of physics, and sets out to find a way back home.

Continue reading Puzzle platformer TesserAct heads to Steam

Game CoLab announces incubator program

Local gaming co-working organization Game CoLab has announced plans for a gaming entrepreneurship program funded by two sizable grants.

Co-founder Ben Reichert announced the Game CoLab Incubator Program on Tuesday. It’s funded by a $33,798 grant from the city of Phoenix.

The program will assist local game developers with innovative and disruptive ideas, according to Game CoLab’s website. Its goal is to create three new jobs in within three years.

Game CoLab is accepting applications for membership in the program. Four teams of developers will be selected and receive a monthly stipend of $300 as well as free workspace, classes, mentorship and networking.

There will be two four-month sessions beginning in June and October with space for two teams each. Some of the classes will be open to members of the Game CoLab for a to-be-determined fee.

Mind games: Researcher to kick off education hackathon

The world needs more games like Age of Empires. The series not only required strategic thinking, it taught an entire generation of gamers about medieval history through an engaging story mode. And it did so without the player even noticing.

Kristen DiCerbo
Kristen DiCerbo

Kristen DiCerbo, a Pearson research scientist and member of gaming education organization GlassLab, thinks games can be an excellent learning tool. The key to a successful educational game, she said in an interview with Arizona Gamer, is its ability to both teach as well as assess student work.

She’ll try to impart that idea to local game developers Tuesday, April 22, at a kick-off event for the Game CoLab Education Hackathon. The challenge gives participants three weeks to create an educational game that will be judged on its capacity to teach, assess and engage its players.

Continue reading Mind games: Researcher to kick off education hackathon

Made in Phoenix: Devs showcase work at Indie Game Demo Day

Alex Osuna, above, demonstrates the mechanics of Zwarms, a science-based RTS for mobile devices.

Game developers from around the Valley shared their work with the community Sunday night at an indie game showcase in Scottsdale.

Game CoLab hosted the event, Made in Phoenix 2: Indie Game Demo Day, as part of the Phoenix Film Festival.

The purpose of the event was to give the public a chance to “check out and support the hard work local video game developers have been up to,” according to a Game CoLab email.

“It’s a community thing,” said Ben Ruiz of Phoenix-based Team Colorblind. “I like setting up and talking to people. I do the local stuff because it’s fun.”

Ruiz attended the event to demo Aztez, a hybrid real-time strategy and fighting game set in the Aztec empire. The game tasks the player with managing an empire while handling uprisings and other challenges through fighting sequences, Ruiz said.

Continue reading Made in Phoenix: Devs showcase work at Indie Game Demo Day

Grave developer talks survival horror, Oculus VR, Kickstarter

A group of Tempe-based developers has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Grave, an open-world survival horror title with randomized gameplay and surrealistic elements.

Tristan Parrish Moore, creative director, spoke with Arizona Gamer about Grave, its use of Oculus Rift, the Facebook buyout, and Kickstarter campaigns as a whole.

“We’ve heard people refer to Grave as Alan Wake meets Amnesia,” he said in an interview with Arizona Gamer. “It’s a reasonable comparison.”

Continue reading Grave developer talks survival horror, Oculus VR, Kickstarter