The Philly Geek Awards, first held in 2011, highlight outstanding achievements in Philadelphia’s geek community. For the past 5 years, they’ve honored a myriad of comics, films, makers, missions, startups, and much more.
This year, the three nominees for “Game of the Year” were all games created within our very own community. In fact, two of them were created as 2-week prototypes for our monthly game jam challenges: RESISTOR_ by Carboard Fortress and Breaker Blocks by Spriteborne.
The third nomination, Tailwind: Prologue, was created by Cipher Prime, whose studio hosted Dev Night for its first several years of existence.
Nicole Kline and Anthony Amato created RESISTOR_ in August 2013 as a response to “Oasis Jam”, a theme that challenged its participants to choose an Oasis song title and make a game out of it.
“The song we chose was called “Roll it Over” which was what lead immediately to the flip over mechanic. Anthony’s line of thinking was, what if you had cards that were double-sided, and you had to flip them over to try to connect a line? And what if those cards were in your hand, but you could use yours or your opponent’s?”
– Nicole Kline
After a long road of play testing, prototypes, and production (which you can read all about here,) RESISTOR_ went on to become one of the most decorated games that has ever come out of Dev Night. Cardboard Fortress has visited Philly GamesCon, UnPub 5, GenCon, PAX East, South, and West, Too Many Games, and beyond, to showcase their Oasis-themed jewel and the new projects they have underway. It’s no surprise at all for us to see a game from this powerhouse of a game dev couple in this year’s Geek Awards.
Jake Vander Ende created Breaker Blocks for the April 2015 “Profit Jam” at Dev Night. The goal was to come up with a prototype in the usual 2 weeks allowed for a game jam, and then spend an additional 4 weeks producing and marketing the game, with the goal of making the most profit.
“My first release was Yomi’s Gate, a tabletop game I started in 2014 and debuted in March 2015 at SXSW where it was nominated in the Gaming Awards.
It was on my three-day drive home that I came up with the foundation for Breaker Blocks based on the community response to certain aspects of Yomi’s Gate. I prototyped in the following few days and released to the public later that week and I’ve been tweaking the rules ever since.”
– Jake Vander Ende
Ever since, Breaker Blocks has exploded in recognition and popularity. Players really take to it–especially at the various places it’s been showcased over the past year. Indie Arcade Coast, SXSW, and PAX East & West, to name a few. We highlighted Breaker Blocks in our own Dev Night Jammy Awards–an internal celebration of our most noteworthy jam games–for the “Hipster Hallmark” award, and are happy to see it on its way to yet another accolade at the Geek Awards.
One of the last things the people of Dev Night did in the late Philly Game Forge before it closed last summer was to celebrate Tailwind: Prologue‘s release. Cipher Prime worked on this magnificent game for three months, and consistently showed off their progress during our Show-and-Tell hour every week. Dev Nighters had the opportunity to watch this game grow, critique its progress, and play test it all the way to the fleshed-out final version. Tailwind: Prologue was released exclusively in the Humble Monthly Bundle as a Humble Original in April 2016.
From Cipher Prime’s website:
“The whole process was daunting. We started with 1 little promo graphic. This graphic was our touchstone for the whole creation experience. We also wanted to create a story, unlike any Cipher Prime game to date.
This was a process of self-growth and discovery, and we’re unbelievable happy and proud of the experience.”
It’s been a transitional year for Dev Night. We’ve gone through lots of changes, but seeing recognition of the tremendous talents that are fostered within our community is a reminder of just how important one little night a week has been to some people.
Game on, and we’re looking forward to the Geek Awards on October 16th at the Free Library!