Tag Archives: Game CoLab

Sketchcross aims to fill void in PS Vita market

When Sudoku and crosswords collide, the result is Sketchcross.

The logic puzzle game for the PlayStation Vita from Tempe-based Spiky Fish Games, led by Kendal Cormany. He’s hoping to fill a void in the Vita market for a nonogram-based puzzle game with multiple game modes and a wide array of puzzles.

He said he was encouraged to make the game in part due to the success of a similar title, Picross 3D, for the Nintendo 3DS. That game sold more than 140,000 units in 2010, its first year of release, according to VGChartz.

“There’s a market for this type of game, and there wasn’t a type of game like this for the Vita,” he said.

Sketchcross uses nonogram puzzles, which feature cells in a grid that must be colored or left blank according to numbers at the side of the grid. When complete, it reveals a hidden picture.

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The numbers are ordered to correspond with number of unbroken lines of filled-in squares in any given row or column. So a clue of “3 5 2” would mean there are sets of three, five and two filled squares, in that order, with at least one black square between each group.

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Phoenix Global Game Jam 2015: Jan. 25

Teams are already organizing for the world’s biggest collective game jam.

The Phoenix branch of the event is kicking off at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, at Arizona State University. It’s hosted again by Game CoLab and will last all weekend at ASU’s Digital Culture Studio.

Teams of amateurs and veterans alike will have 48 hours to make a game following a to-be-announced theme. It’s a great opportunity for developers to make friends, work together and learn about making video games.

There were no prizes at last year’s event, but Game CoLab is looking for interested sponsors.

The event will wrap up on Sunday at Endgame Bar with a demo night for game jam entries and other titles from local developers.

Phoenix Makes Games Jam tests skills of Arizona developers

Game developers from across Arizona participated July 18-20 in Game CoLab‘s Phoenix Makes Games Jam, a 48-hour challenge to create a video game.

Four teams built games for the event based around a dinosaur theme and presented them July 20 at Arizona State University in Tempe.

“We wanted to bring people together and show them what we could do,” Game CoLab co-founder Ben Reichert said. “I wanted to do something that kind of symbolized Arizona because we do have some archaeological things here.”

Game CoLab has hosted game jams in the past with the most recent being the Phoenix Global Game Jam.

“With the global game jam we didn’t have any prizes and I’m really excited we had some prizes this time,” Reichert said.

A panel of judges chose the winners based on theme, programming quality, art style and gameplay features.

Event sponsors included the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Ascendum, Arizona State University, The University of Advancing Technology, Unity, Cartel, Cosplay Fan Gear and “Indie Game: the Movie.”

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The winning team behind Dinosaur Story.

First place and the prize of a permanent Unity Pro license went to Dinosaur Story, a dinosaur exploration simulator that challenges the player with surviving in a 3-D world. The player dinosaur must prey on weaker dinosaurs while evading larger ones that can kill it, team member Tyler Knecht said.

“It’s a battle between surviving hunger and not being eaten,” Knecht said. “Eventually plants won’t suffice and you need to become a predator to survive.”

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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.

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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.

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