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Calgary Game Developers Announce Surprise “Partnership” With Facebook

Local Meet Up Group To Be Assimilated By Social Network

(Calgary, April 1st, 2014) - Local Meetup group ‘Calgary Game Developers’ announced today that it has reached a definitive agreement to be acquired by Facebook – leader in virtual reality technology, giant social network, and all around benevolent corporation. The Calgary Game Developers Meetup group is the leader in gathering local game developers into a single room approximately once a month, and has already built a strong following having received more than 130 members sign up on their Meetup page.

Combing these two giants of the tech world seems like it would take some time, however Calgary Game Developers group organizer Craig Pfau excitedly explained how his group was conquered in only three days:

“They offered us an exceptional amount of money. With Facebook’s support and financial backing we can finally take our Meetup group to what we always dreamed it would be – a Facebook group. That is how we will reach a mainstream market”.

It is difficult to tell at this point whether Facebook intends to consume the local group or simply enslave them, however some members of the meet up are quite excited about the amalgamation.

“I’ve absolutely, 100%, always, from day one been onboard with the recent Facebook acquisition”, says member Russ Dawson, whose face is obscured by an Oculus Rift,“I for one welcome our new Facebook Overlords, and would like to remind them that as a trusted group Event Organizer, I can be helpful in rounding up other members to toil away in their underground data mines”.

Go to
http://www.meetup.com…­

or

https://www.facebook….­

for more info.

Flappy2

Ghostly Wings of a Postmodern Bleakness; or, The Obfuscation of Interactive Media as Art in Consequence of Magniloquent Phraseology and Anatomizing

I stare into my iPhone like a madman stares into a fire. The incandescent glow of my phone, while soft, pains my eyes as those hauntingly familiar words are burned yet again into my corneas: ‘Game Over’. Poised with limited options by my ornithopter overlord I touch the ‘Ok’ button and submit my self, my spirit, my time, to another attempt to reach that etherial ending. In the brief respite allowed to me by the time required to load another round I look over at my striking fiancee – she too, is hypnotized by each flip and flap of the puffy, one eyed animal she holds in her hands – I am cuckolded by Flappy Bird.

My screen flickers to life again and I press ‘Start’. A now familiar scene unfolds in front of me, its impact remaining as powerful as the flames of a newly risen phoenix. ‘Get Ready’ reads the text on the screen, but I’m never prepared for the utter bleakness which presents itself so grotesquely, like the smeared lipstick and shoddy makeup of a Victorian harlot. This unspeakable bleakness in the guise of a colorful cartoon landscape stretches across the screen: green grass, rolling hills, and a shinning cityscape rises up to the fluffy white clouds and blue sky. Such a perfect landscape to the unwitting, casual observer, but anything more than a quick glance reveals the vast emptiness hidden in plain site. The endless desert crowned by that horrid green grass, practically smirking as it accelerates quickly to my left and out of sight, perpetually in motion. Juxtaposed to the wasteland below are the sky and clouds above, never moving, unnaturally frozen like mannequins taunting me with a taste of the real but unwilling to participate. And finally the skyscrapers, each finger housing dozens of tiny, complex digital lives completely independent of me or my actions so long as this game entertains my gaze. I am their life-force. I am their everything. I am their God.

 

My moment of virtual sonder is broken as I try to comprehend the emptiness which lies beyond my line of site. The infiniteness of what I cannot comprehend deprives me of any sense of self I have left; I break, lost against the nothingness around me. Engulfed by a black could that surrounds this impossibility I scream and I cry; I reach out for something – anything – to catch me, guide me to where I need to go. “What am I supposed to do?”, I shout, but it is only a whisper in my head. Despair sets in and I begin to doubt my own presence in this virtual world. I am not a God, I am nothingness itself.

 

Hope flickers in the image a tiny little hand. I stare at The Hand as a blind man stares at the Sun, trying to comprehend its meaning. The wise, omnipotent Hand, guides me to ‘Tap‘ the screen, and as my finger bows to the Hand’s demands, my soul bows to the will of the game. I am compelled.

The magnificent bird on screen flaps to life and I feel my heart pump with each flutter of Flappy Bird’s wings. My taps are too strong, too frequent and Flappy soars up through the sky. I am struck with a brief moment of pause as I glance upwards towards Flappy’s current target, an ad banner, resting atop the screen like a balloon waiting to be popped. The advertisement catches my eye as it displays an image so offensive, I am nearly crippled with disgust. It is a match three game, an enthralling adventure through a land so sweet, so coated with ostentatious candy aesthetics that the vulgarity of its mere presence before me is offensive. Curiously, located somewhere deep in my sub-conscious a vision is laid out before me whereby I am laughing, tapping, and crushing my way through that candy-coated hell. My stomach drops as I realize I am considering abandoning Flappy Bird, the God who crushes Kings. I quietly condemn the carnivalesque consumerism which has ruined my art, and praise Flappy Bird for giving me the strength to carry on.

Gathering myself together again I refocus on the task at hand. I release my tap, and Flappy Bird dives back down through past the first set of green pipes. The pipes are spread like enormous tentacles of a mean, green, perhaps familiar looking monster. I proceed to maintain a pace through each gap the likes of which no man, woman, or machine has likely ever witnessed. I know my success is temporary; with each gap cleared the sound of success rings in my ear like church bells tolling, anticipating my death at any moment. But I refuse to succumb to the appendages of the green monster, and my confidence swells with each gap cleared. I have crawled out of the depths of emptiness contained within and arisen; my scars, my wounds, they are my unprecedented understanding of this work of art. I can now see myself in the game. Flappy Bird is just a visage, I am the true character in this game. There is no Flappy Bird – I am Flappy Bird.

And then it ends, instantaneously and irrevocably. Echoing in my ears is a pop, followed by a slide whistle. I am reduced to nothing; the cartoon soundtrack of my death lampoons the notion that I ever existed at all. I yet again stare at the ‘Game Over’ which mocks my spirit. Hundreds of questions roll through my mind, the loudest of which simply asks “How long will you keep playing?”. I begin to weep uncontrollably and I throw my phone in an indiscriminate direction. The phone stops short of my living room roof before descending back towards earth. In my mind’s eye I feel myself tapping an imaginary screen, pathetically attempting to flutter the phone upwards with some newly discovered telekinetic prowess; however, unsurprisingly, my imaginary taps are futile and my phone smashes to the ground. I hear a non-existent slide-whistle mock me.

I have been defeated by Flappy Bird. I have accepted its inevitability. I have chosen to wade no more in the pool of ignorance and disgrace, but follow my flappy guide, who like a phantom flag-bearer, silently heralded in the postmodern age of interactive media. This work of art has asked for nothing from its audience, instead it gives itself fully and un-remorsefully to the masses, like a cloth to wash the colorfully mass-produced waste  off society’s face with the dark, bleak emptiness with which our society so unrelentingly admonishes.

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Postmortem – You Only Get Juan – Jam Entry LD28

Massive Explosions! Full 7.1 THX Sound Surround! Sexy Characters!

…our LD28 entry didn’t actually contain any of these things, but we still had fun making it. Our team consisted of Ludum Dare newbies (first LD for one member, second LD for the other two) and despite having to work around a couple of christmas parties, our entry turned out pretty good.

Juan Track Mind

Our group of local game devs all met up at a nearby Starbucks just prior to the start of LD48, and from there smaller groups were formed as the theme was announced. While brainstorming concepts related to the theme, @craigpfau came up with the title ‘You Only Get Juan‘ while the mechanics and story by @JackTai_ and myself followed suit.

What Went Right

To make the most of the theme (and not just rely on the ‘Juan’ pun) the game mechanics all revolved around the theme of ‘you only get one’. The game mechanics matched this theme in three ways:

  • Juan is the only character that the player is allowed to ‘catch’ for points
  • The Juan Direction bus used to get Juan can only move in one direction (to the right)
  • You only get one shield charge (used to deflect ‘non-Juans’ away from the bus) per Juan caught

The use of the theme to direct multiple aspects of the game mechanics is something we are quite proud of.

What Went Wrong

Time was a major factor (as with each Ludum Dare I suppose!). However, with everyone having Christmas parties and other social functions that same weekend, time was more limited than ever. Most of the work got done on the Friday night and Monday morning (at least on the programming side). There were some glitches that certainly would have been worked out if the full weekend could have been dedicated to our entry.

Another issue was the use of GameSalad as the engine. While GameSalad made it very easy to prototype the game Friday night, exporting to HTML5 from GameSalad leaves something to be desired. The game had multiple different issues across browsers, specifically sound being intermittent or non-existent, text displaying improperly, and general physics nuisances. In the end the game seemed to work best on Chrome, but unfortunately it still did not quite run as intended.

TL;DR

Another Ludum Dare down and another good time had. Happy New Year Everyone and see you in April.

Russ, @EvilObjective

Play it here: http://evilobjective.com/ludumdare28/

Happy I Finished My First LD, ‘Day In A Life’

This was originally posted on the Ludum Dare website on August 25, 2013.

What an experience! I finished my first ever entry for Ludum Dare called ‘A Day in A Life’. You play as an easily irritable man who must make it through daily mundane experiences without losing control and turning into his alter ego, ‘Hulkster’. Tools I used:

Engine: GameSalad

Art: Sketch

Sound: GarageBand and cfxr

Here is a picture, I hope you play it and enjoy it!

A Day In  A Life

 

Play it here: http://evilobjective.com/ludum-dare-27/

ConsoleWar

New Consoles Set For Holiday Release, Grandparents Prep To Purchase Wrong Ones As Gifts

As the next generation Xbox was revealed to an excitedly indifferent crowd in Seattle, sleepy fanbois roared to life across the internet signaling the beginning of a new console war…

The Battle for the Basement; 
The Melee on the Mantle;

The Rumble In The Recliner

This is it folks, the battle dome is setup and the fans are in the stands! Two consoles are about to enter, but only one console will leave…however the defeated console will be ‘aight because it’s likely to still be doing better than the Wii U!

To console us during this latest console war are the adorable antics of our elderly population. Even as I type this, grandparents everywhere are preparing to purchase the wrong console for their grandchildren as gifts. Some, like Norma Grey, are warming up to the holiday shopping season with some Summer-time birthday and graduation gifts.

“I’ve got two Nintendos for my twin grandsons birthdays”, says Norma, holding out two halves of what appears to be a severely burnt PSP Go. “I hope these are what Ryan, uhh I mean Brad, er…Richar..[expletive]…Byron and Randell wanted”.

Another grandparent, Edwin Winward says he’s going to prep himself much better this year, after coming too close to the right gift last year when he purchased a Wii instead of a Wii U for his granddaughter Elise.

“It was a close call”, Edwin admits, “but in the end I still got the wrong one. Poor Elise wanted the Wii a couple of years ago, not last year. I could see her torn between the crushing disappointment of not getting the right console, yet trying to not appear upset as I smiled and gave her my best ‘This is the one you wanted, right?’ look.”

“It probably didn’t help that I pwned her at Wii bowling shortly afterwards,” Winward added.

In the end, however, regardless of which console ‘wins’ this next generation of the war, a whole new generation of kids will be able to experience the fully immersive, DRM free, “always on” feeling of crushing disappointment when they receive the wrong console as a gift.

 

Photo Credit: Flickr

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Pope To Intelligently Design Own Video Game

In his final hours in the Papacy, a new rumor has emerged from the Vatican confession booths that suggest the Pope will be trying his hand at video game development after he retires.

To some Vatican observers, this seems like an appropriate step forward for a technologically savvy Pope who known for using Twitter under the handle ‘@Pontifex‘, and plays on Xbox Live under the handle ‘PopeBenedictTheAssKicker’. The Pope is apparently quite fond of the game ‘Halo’.

“He loves Halo,” says a Vatican insider who asked to remain anonymous. “Though he does have some problems with the game. He would much rather play as the Covenant than against them”.

There remains much speculation on the theme and content of the game, but it seems certain the players will have a sexual-abuse covering, condom-destroying, homosexual-converting, textbook burning good time. And also women won’t be allowed to play.

 

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