If you're in Wellington during November the Retcon event looks like something worth checking out! Classic 80s and 90s games from the PC, Megadrive, SNES, Dreamcast, Gameboy, Master System and Arcade will be featured as well as art on sale from the Drawfest NZ community.
It's hosted by RetroActiveNZ who run a site / blog on the history of games, according to their About page. Anything retro arcade is a good thing in my book and if November wasn't such a busy month for me I'd be down there on the 19th with bells on!
Ret-con is 'The Gamer's Convention' and is scheduled for Saturday the 19th of November in Wellington Central Library on the Level 1 Mezzanine. It's free entry all day for all ages from 10:30am to 4:00pm.
AUCKLAND, 15 May, 2011- Fast-growing Auckland-based social game SmallWorlds has received $2.5m in an investment round led by TradeMe founder Sam Morgan to capitalise on the booming market for games played via social networks. Gaming is the fastest growing entertainment sector globally, and has already overtaken both the music and film industry in revenues.
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - 3 August 2011 - After four years of development, the indie studio Grinding Gear Games has announced that their online action RPG, Path of Exile, will enter 'closed beta' on August 10th. They have also unveiled plans for a range of Player vs. Player combat options designed to encourage a competitive online playing field.
With the closed beta, members of the game's online community at www.pathofexile.com. will be periodically selected at random and granted access to the game's beta. Players will be added continuously to stress test the game's servers, as the game is played entirely online to facilitate a secure item-based economy. The beta version of the game includes the first two acts of gameplay and five character classes at first, with more content added frequently.
Just before the July Auckland Game Developers Meetup, elections were held for the NZ Game Developers Association committee.
We now have a committee of nine people who will lead activities:
• Stephen Knightly, InGame – Chairperson
• Jonathan Rogers, Grinding Gear Games – Secretary
• Maru Nihoniho, Metia Interactive
• Frances Valintine, Media Design School
• Damien Caine, Pixelati
• Peter Vullings, PixelThis
• Mario Wynands, Sidhe
• Benjamin Dellaca, Cerebral Fix
• Tim Nixon, Runaway Play
It’s great that we have a mix of people from up and down the country. Drop any of us a line if you have suggestions or questions. Many other people have also indicated that they’re willing to help out, which is greatly appreciated.
So, what’s next:
Here are the nominations for the new PlayMaker, the NZ Game Developers Association, Committee. Elections will be held at 4.30 this Wednesday at the Media Design School, Auckland. Details (including dialing-in from around the country) will be emailed out to everyone who has indicated they want to join up.
If you cannot make the AGM in person you can still vote by emailing your votes to chris[at]grindinggear.com before 3pm on Wednesday. He will reply to acknowledge your email. If you don't receive an email in reply, your vote may not have gone through.
There is currently no limit on the number of Committee members, and no position has more than one candidate standing. If you wish to save time, when you email your vote in you can just tell Chris "I vote for everyone standing." You can also vote for only a few people.
Committee member nomations:
We're incorporating PlayMaker, the NZ Game Developers Association, as an "official" incorporated society and we want every game developer and artist in New Zealand to join.
The 'NZGDA' was originally formed nearly ten years ago. With the recent growth of the gaming industry in NZ, a group of volunteers from up and down the country have put their hands up to reinvigorate the organisation, officially register as an incorporated society and do stuff. We’re gamers, so don’t want bureaucracy but actions.
Please join, please tell your friends, and consider joining the Committee at the inaugural General Meeting on 6 July.
Why join PlayMaker, the NZ Game Developers Association?
Tim Train is the Studio General Manager for Zynga East, where he released the smash hit Facebook game Frontierville. A recent Wall Street Journal report potentially valued Zygna at USD$10 billion, and Frontierville had 30 million Monthly Average Users at its peak.
But Tim is not just a ‘social gaming’ guy. He has serious hardcore gaming credentials, having worked on the original Sid Meier’s Civilisation, Magic: The Gathering, X-COM: UFO Defense, Rise of Nations and more.
Next Tuesday 21 June is your chance to hear one of the most influential people in gaming today, in Auckland for one night only.
Cost: $20 special offer
We have arranged a special deal for Playmaker and Auckland Game Developer Meetup members - you are eligible for the $20 members tickets.
Auckland's Media Design School are holding a series of one-day concept art, character concept art and life drawing workshops in June, July and August for budding game and 3D artists. The school offers New Zealand's only dedicated graduate programme in Game Development and has a host of international talent teaching at the school. The one-day workshops will be facilitated by Media Design School's leading Game Art tutor, Mike Porter. Mike has over 15 years experience in the games industry and his roles have included Art Lead, Environment Art Lead, Vehicle Art Lead and Level Design Lead. Mike has this to say about the upcoming workshops:
"Our one day short courses are designed to kick start your creativity and your understanding of concept art for various industries. We will cover the basics of concept design and how you can become more effective in your visual communication skills. Each course is designed to build your skills and confidence in the shortest time possible and the instructor feedback gives you a personalised insight into how you can hone your skills."
The workshops are on the following dates:
Concept Art: 11 June/16 July/13 August
Character Concept Art: 12 June/17 July/14 August
Life Drawing: 12 June/17 July/14 August
The One-day workshops run from 10am - 4pm and are $250, a set of three is discounted to $650. For more information visit http://www.mediadesignschool.com/courses/short-courses/ or email email@example.com.
Grinding Gear Games is an independent game development studio working on an online action RPG, Path of Exile. Every two weeks we post an entry in our development diary to give people some insight into our development process.
A few weeks ago, we deployed a major update to the Path of Exile Alpha realm and invited a dozen or so lucky forum members (and many of their friends) to help test it. This development diary entry describes how we’ve handled the transition from development to maintaining a live game service that supports players playing from around the world.