Down The Rabbit Hole Jam

The first game jam at G-Team, our interim space after the Game Forge closing, was a huge success!

We played 9 games, each inspired by the “down the rabbit hole” motif found in stories like Alice in Wonderland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Devs were challenged to make a game about stepping into an unfamiliar world–with laws and logic that are beyond our understanding.

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After lots of play testing and some multiplayer competition, we voted on a winner:
Oh, The Places We’ll Go by Josh Safran! His game–which he showed off on multiple devices–involved tapping yourself across a psychedelic map to master the awkward controls and collect points.

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Download Oh, The Places We’ll Go and see for yourself!

View the rest of this jam’s entries here.

What Happened to Dev Night?

On July 1, Philly Dev Night officially became homeless. The Philly Game Forge, a coworking space meant to foster support and collaboration between local indie game studios, closed its doors. You may have read about it in Tech Philly, or even on Engadget.

If you visit 239 Chestnut Street now, you’ll find that the old space has been passed on to The 215 Guys — local developers and cool dudes! However, Dev Night is not the same event that it was a few years ago. We’ve grown a lot, which made finding a completely new location a pressing matter.

Not only do we need the space for 70+ people to get together and jam every 3rd Thursday–we also need a particular environment that can foster the creative, crazy, and quickly evolving beast that our community has become. It’s kind of like a Pokémon, except we haven’t been farming any Pidgeys to level it up. This one is all natural.

Dev Night regulars and lurkers know that after the Forge shut down, beer gardens and parks became our go-to spot for meetups. But we were hesitant to call those gatherings a “real” Dev Night, because we don’t want to settle for just any old spot. Our event and community were lovingly tied to our physical home, the Forge. We know how important our location will be.

photo by Kotaro Fujita

photo by Kotaro Fujita

To answer the question — What happened to Dev Night?— this Thursday, August 4th, a brand new game jam will be kicking off in a new, transitional space.

And this place is pretty damn great.

G-Team is located at 1010 Cherry Street in Chinatown. Much of Philly’s gaming community knows about the tournaments they host. G-Team is interesting, because it’s poised to connect the worlds of gamers, tech companies, and developers. Dev Night is a rare, concentrated gathering of quite a few of the latter. Making meaningful connections has been a really special part of Dev Night, and that’s why we are looking forward to the mutual benefits that will come with being a guest in G-Team’s space.

So, this is your official invite. Bring yourself, some stuff to show off, and what do you say we gather at 7:00 to make a great impression on our new interim home?

 

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photo by Ryan Gerbino

 Dev Night lives on!

Philly Dev Night Podcast New #1 – What is elbow grease?

Philly Dev Night Podcast new #1! Join Tabitha Arnold , Nicole Kline, and Jake O’Brien for a podcast on Philadelphia’s game scene. Here the panel discuss game jams, E3, and possibly why people are running. Hosted by Shawn Pierre.

Find it on iTunes! https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/philly-dev-night/id1134081273?mt=2

Download on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/user-236925929/what-is-elbow-grease

 

Goodbye Forge + Patreon

First off if you are reading this, thank you so much for having an interest in games and game makers in Philadelphia and supporting this community. As you may know the Philly Game Forge is closing its doors this month. This, however, is not the end of Philly Dev Night. We’ve been working hard to find a new home for this amazing community. To stay on top of updates on future locations and everything you need to know about Philly Games please check out our Google Group.  We are also starting something in the works for a while which is our Patreon where you can help us grow. We have lots of plans and we really need your help to make it happen. So if you love Dev Night and want to see it continue and take the next steps into becoming something more please think about donating. Donors will also receive art and music from the community as well as access to the Slack channel and a curated library of help and assets for game making. So come on start making and playing games with us!

ICJ2 Winners

Philly Dev Night reprised its 1-night analog only Iron Chef jam for the second year in a row this month!

While most of our monthly jams allow participants to work on their games for 2 weeks, in any format, with any materials imaginable, the Iron Chef jam is different. We took some pointers from TV cooking competitions like Cutthroat Kitchen, where ingredients are limited and contestants are allowed to “sabotage” each other for the win. We were also inspired to bring in a squadron of local celebrity judges.

So, what was the result?

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The secret ingredient–hula hoops–was revealed, and each of the 6 teams was required to include one in their game. We jammed for 1.5 hours, stopping only to sabotage other teams with frightening extra challenges, like working with socks on our hands or completing the game in a dark closet.

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At the end of the jam, our panel of judges played each game. Judges included Lakota Theas of Autism Expressed, Kyle Turk (DJ of Philly’s Voyeur and Woody‘s), local artist Jilly Appleheimer,  and Chris Wink of Tech Philly.

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Finally, after a long and wild judging process, the clock struck midnight and we announced the winners: Adam Gross, Shan Hasan, Darryl Spencer, Alex & Andrew! Their game involved a chain of people moving through a hula hoop like circus performers. Congrats, everyone!

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author’s note: ICJ is only one letter off from ICP.

Regular Spotlight: Braden

For the first of many regular spotlights, it seemed fit to approach of one of the most interesting people you can find in the room on any particular Thursday:

Cipher Prime’s newest protégé, Braden.

​If you’ve been to Dev Night over the past several months, you’ve probably heard Braden showing off a piece of music during show and tell. He keeps other regulars twice his age on their toes, and always seems to be working on something new with glowing enthusiasm. So we asked him a few questions!

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What kind of work do you make? Can we see/hear it? 

Braden: “I do lots of music related things, although I only discovered what I could do in garageband about a few months ago. To me, its just really fun and I definitely have a habit of staying up until 1AM trying to work on a new project or loop every week.
Check out some of my first projects!”

https://soundcloud.com/decksson


​Who are your musical influences?

Braden: “Well, my dad for one. He used to create music for other groups and I kind of take from that and do the same thing in garageband. I also listen to other old school music and also try to pay attention to new music—the chord patterns especially. I try to incorporate what I hear into my projects with my own twist on it. I also appreciate the Philly Game Forge because they inspire me to make music creation a habit, because I always want to show them something new every week. It’s a great motivator when you find a place where you can feel appreciated for what you do and enjoy. It’s a great community!”


​Where are you from?

Braden: “I’m from Broomall (Woo, represent!). I have lived there for around eight years after my first house caught fire and we moved out. Most of the stuff I do is in the Philly area, so I’m used to (and actually prefer) being in the city.”


​What brought you to Dev Night?

Braden: “I first heard about it from my mom, when we were looking for cool places to do stuff around the city and it popped up. I’ve always loved games, so when I heard “Game Forge”, I was like, ‘Mom, do we have gas in the car?'”

Why do you keep coming back?

Braden: “I keep coming back because it’s a great place to be and the people are awesome. The show-and-tell on Thursdays drives me to show something every week, and I also really like watching what other people show off.”

What’s your favorite game?

Braden: “I’d say my favorite game by default is ​ Spiral Knights–and this is simply because I’ve put so much time into it that it’s required that I say it’s the best. 
Other than that, I’d say my next favorite game would be either ​ Terraria  or  Towerfall, because I enjoy pixel games a lot, and even more when the look is simplistic but there’s more to it than a game like ​Flappy Bird​.”

 

Braden recently started an internship with the guys at Cipher Prime. He recently showed off an original song that samples Dev Knight Jake O’Brien‘s name. He also just came up with a new, materials-free analog game that he’s been eager to play test with folks at the forge! Be sure to say hi the next time you stop by.

Iron Chef Jam 2

This month we are reprising Iron Chef Jam, a jam that produced one of the nuttiest nights in Dev Night history when we held it last year. Here’s some video highlights:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYp31_RXlc0&w=480&h=270 ]

Iron chef jam is an analog-only, one night jam where teams make games in two hours using only a set of provided materials and a mandatory “secret ingredient”. Due to time constraints for judging, the games must also be able to be explained and played in by the 5 judges in a short amount of time.

This will all take place on Thursday the 21st, starting at 8pm.

*** HOW TO PARTICIPATE ***

Because of time limitations, we have to limit the number of teams to 6. And we need teams to sign up ahead of time. So,
– If you have a team: let me know your team name and members, on the google group or in person
– If you want to be on a team: introduce yourself on the google group
– If you have room on your team: let people know on the google group

Recommended team size is 3-5 people. You can go larger if you are confident your team can work well together, but being creative in a short amount of time with a big group is challenging.

 

Cipher Prime releases TAILWIND: PROLOGUE

If you’ve stopped by Dev Night over the past 3 months, chances are you’ve heard Will Stallwood or Dain Saint presenting their weekly updates on Cipher Prime’s upcoming game. And making lots of changes. And becoming more and more sleep deprived each week.

Well, this week, we celebrated the end of that!

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TAILWIND: PROLOGUE is here, and it’s stunning!

 

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“You are the last survivor of an alien invasion that has all but destroyed your homeworld. Barely escaping the atmosphere in your ship, the Keravnós, you realize you don’t have enough fuel to survive. You are going to die. Well, if this is your time, you might as well spend it doing what you do best: aerial ballet! Rain from the heavens as a bolt of lightning in one final blaze of glory.”

 

T:P was released exclusively to subscribers of Humble Bundle‘s April edition.
Check out the trailer on Youtube! 

If you’re bummed that you didn’t snag a copy, you can always stop by Dev Night for a chance to demo the game!

Also, have a look at the rest of Cipher Prime’s games. But whatever you do, don’t bother Will or Dain.

They’re sleeping.

 

 

Breaker Blocks @ SXSW Results

Attention festival hopefuls, analog game developers, and anyone interested in what goes on at SXSW: Jake Vander Ende has returned from competing in Austin!!!

If anyone’s curious how his weekend went, he wrote an extensive reflection on the whole experience. Check it out here on Jake’s blog.

We’re feeling smarter already after reading these observations and tips for future festival participants!

Frenemy Jam

We played and judged the contenders for March’s jam: Frenemy!

There was a broad range of analog and digital games this month, including blind knights and singing swords, jousting BMX bikes, and a game about the New York mafia!

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The winner: Hug or Thug by Jim White, Sophie Triska, and Crystal Vu!

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We now host the games from every jam online!!!

Frenemy games are here. 

The rest of Philly Dev Night’s games are archived here.