Philly Dev Night talk!

Cape Town, super friendship arcade, Talks, Team Lazerbeam

Tomorrow night I’ll be speaking at Philly Dev Night, the weekly meet up for Philly’s game-making community. I’m currently in town visiting some of my dear music-making friends, and figured I should totally see what’s happening in the city in terms of game development. I’m really looking forward to meeting some of the city’s local developers and sharing some stories about the exciting things happening in Cape Town.

Ben alt games poster

I’ll be chatting about Super Friendship Arcade, and the experimental events we’ve been putting together, as well as the endeavors of my alternative game band, Team Lazerbeam. The night’s happening at the Philly Game Forge, kicks off at 7PM and I’ll be up at 8!

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SF <3s SK: Cross-continental Alt Game Romance!

Cape Town, Community, events, Local Multiplayer, super friendship arcade

A couple weeks back the gang and I got busy with Louis Roots – head honcho of Australian gamer punk collective SK Games. As the first stop on his international tour of alternative gaming communities, Cape Town welcomed Louis with a Super Friendship Arcade where we joined forces and brought people together for a night of custom controllers, weird games and high fives.
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The night was documented by Jamie-Dimitra Ashton. Her pictures speak volumes about our ramshackle arcade, the wonderful people that filled it and the awe and joy shared during the night. For me, having worked pretty tirelessly over the course of the night, it’s pretty damn incredible seeing the impact of our endeavors on these faces.
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While I think Jamie’s pics tell you most everything you need to know about how this night went, I will mention a couple of observations:

1) It was super lame not having SFA dad, Peter-Cardwell Gardner there.
2) Seeing Louis in action was a true inspiration. He’s a proper wizard.
3) Louis seemed pretty damn stoked on what we’re doing. Yay Cape Town!
4) We wanna collab with more kindred spirits from abroad.
5) Tiny toy whales make for great controllers.
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I’ll do a proper post on it soon, but if you didn’t know, we’re bringing our game punk circus to Joburg, and it’s gonna be magic!
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Mehrgerzerd-sized high-fives to Jamie for the fantastic pics! Check out more of her great work here and read about her time at the party here!

Event: SFA <3s SK!

Cape Town, Community, events, Illustration, Local Multiplayer, super friendship arcade

South Africa’s favourite alternative gaming super-party is back and do we ever have an awesome surprise for you!

The Super Friendship Arcade gang are ecstatic to announce a special, one of a kind event happening on Friday the 31st at The Manila Bar. “What happening?” you ask, staring at a team of koala bears riding a roaring lion? Well, for this next event we’ll be joining forces with none other than Backyard.sk!
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Hailing from Perth, Australia, SK Games have toured their home country, breaking boundaries and bending minds with an ever changing array of incredible custom-built controllers and the best in underground local-multiplayer games. Now, SK Games are bring their game-punk antics to the rest of The World, on an international tour called “Around The World in 80 Games”!

We are so happy to have SK visiting Cape Town as the first stop of this world tour! What’s more, we couldn’t be more stoked to be teaming up with our Australian friends in bringing you a one of a kind night that will see SFA and SK controllers and games smashed together in an orgy of buttons, pixels and high fives!

Our lineup! For the night!

Catnips – AUS
Evan Greenwood’s Magnetic Assholes – SA
World’s Fastest Super Pizza – AUS
Raptor Polo – SA
Regular Human Basketball – AUS
Physics Cricket – SA
Super Pole Riders – DK
Cowbell Hero – SA
Seed – AUS
Feathers and Finn – SA
KRYP – SWE
Rope Jacks – AUS
Pat Cat Pat – SA
Hot Date – UK
Snow Cones – SA
Coming out Simulator – USA
Cunt Touch This – DK
Finger Twister – SA
Realistic Kissing Simulator – USA
Robo Bros – NZ
Mehrgehrzerds – SA
Hype Snake – SWE
At Dawn Draw – AUS
Fingle – NL
Super Massive Crate Dash – SA

… and many more!
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Are you gonna be able to handle all this awesome? We hope so!

Strictly no under 18s.

ROAR (like a lion)

Be excellent to each other!

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SFA 2 Players 2 Buttons Jam!

events, jams, super friendship arcade

Super Friendship Arcade, South Africa’s favourite alternative video game party, is gearing up for another night of smashed pixel and melted minds! Join us in preparing for our next night by jamming with us on Saturday the 11th of July!

2 button jam

The theme for this jam is: 2 players, 2 buttons! Team up with friends and make a two player game that gives each player 1 button only! All genres welcome! Custom controllers encouraged!*

There’ll be a secret ingredient in the jam, to be revealed once we’re all together on the morning of the 11th!

The jam will run from 10am till 7pm and take place at the lovely Cafe Viva so there will be no shortage of delicious food, coffee and beer! The jam will end with a short presentation, where you can show off and discuss your masterpiece or epic train smash.

We want our community to be a safe space where EVERYONE is welcome (except dicks)! Failing is just a healthy part of challenging yourself, so don’t worry if you’ve never made a game before, or don’t know anyone else. The super friends will be happy to help you out! All you need is heart!

Running order:

10AM – arrive at Cafe Viva, reveal secret ingredient, drink coffee, form teams, discuss ideas!

11AM – JAAAAAAAMMMM!

7PM – Creation presentation!

2 button banner

RSVP here!

* – If you’re the crafty type, please feel free to start working on controllers before the jam. If you’re not, don’t worry, we’ll have some fun creations that everyone is welcome to use for their games!

SFA Beta Thank You!

Cape Town, Community, Illustration, Local Multiplayer, Make Games SA, South Africa, super friendship arcade, Thanks

This past Saturday a small army of friends banded together to throw Super Friendship Arcade: Beta. The night was a phenomenal success, leaving all involved with feelings warm and fuzzy and hands red and tingling from so very many high fives.

I’ll soon pen a proper report back on the night, but for now I figured I’d share the extensive, heartfelt “thank you” that we sent out to all involved. And it starts like:
IMG_6042“Wow! We’re completely overwhelmed and blown away by what went down last night! It couldn’t have been more awesome. We want to say some massive thank yous to everyone who made the night the amazing event that it was.

Thanks so much to The Manila Bar for giving us such an ideal new home. The space felt like a perfect match! The Karaoke was such a nice addition!

Thanks to all the international developers who’s games we showed off.

Special thanks to all the local game makers for their awesome contributions to the night. Thanks to all who built hardware and controllers. Thanks to everyone that joined us for any of the jams that helped shape this party. We couldn’t have been more stoked with the huge collection of fantastic, locally-built elements we had in The Arcade last night.

Thanks to all the friends that volunteered to help make the night happen. Your time, energy and support means the world to us.

Thank you to all that helped spread the word about this night. To anyone that got the gospel out there, we really appreciate your posts, shares, words and enthusiasm!

Lastly, thanks to everyone that came through, played games, high-fived strangers and made this night the amazing success that it was. We couldn’t have asked for a more awesome collection of superfriends! Thanks to each and every one of you for being a part of our little utopia! With your support, we were able to cover the night’s expenses, and beyond that made a profit on the whole venture. While we still need to figure out what we want to get with it, these funds will be going towards procuring electronic components to build new custom controllers and buying elements for new gaming stations. We’re very grateful to be able to throw these parties, and beyond that, it’s amazing that we’re able to build up our resources to make each arcade bigger and better than the last.

Once again our most sincere thanks and atomic high fives to you all. We love you guys!”

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And on and on and on…

Uncategorized

I have a lot of actual, exciting, game-related news to share, but first, here’s a small explanation as to why recently there’s been so little (read: zero) recent posts on exciting, game-related news. I’ve been busy. Very, very busy.

In the space of the last three weeks, from start to finish, Cool Your Jets made:

A 1 minute trailer for a South African game studio.

A 3 minute animation about recycling in Finland.
A 3 minute, pitch video for film-makers in The US.

There was also the juggling of the beginnings and endings of various other projects over this stretch. And sandwiched between all that, I squeezed in a poster design for the next Superfriendship Arcade, a poster for the UK tour of SA band Al Bairre, the finishing of a logo design for a friend and the co-creation of a little icecream cone dating-sim. Through all this, I’ve also been chipping away at a certain psychedelic, space-horror comic-book, which, as things have played out, might have been the most challenging project I’ve ever taken on.

I’m busy.

The past three weeks have been especially extreme, but mostly it’s just in keeping with the way this year has been heading. Day after day, week after week, it just feels like there’s more and more that I have to do. Finding the time to do what I want to do becomes an ever-growing challenge. And so, it’s now May. Four months into the year, I’ve barely posted any magic up here and the sum total of my game-making endeavors for 2015 are a half-baked dating-sim and a not even half half-baked platformer about dancing bears.

I don’t want to dwell on this for to long, but this blog is after all here to document the story of me making games. Right now this is the story: Ben has no time to make games and is barely keeping his head above water. I’m grateful as hell for all the work, and I do love my day job. But at the same time, it breaks my heart that I’m left with so little time to do the best thing I can imagine using my hands and brains for; making games.

This post isn’t me complaining, or acting defeated. The bottom line is only this; it’s tough trying to follow your dreams. Regardless of what kind of dreams these are, most anyone that does follow their’s will tell you the same. Right now, the only way I can make little bits of time for games is at the expense of sleep, or hanging out with Anja and that really sucks. So it goes.

I hope that not to long from now this story will be different. It’d be amazing if I just got to dedicate one solid day a week to making things for people to play. I hope that’s what my story will be in the not too distant future. For now, I’ll keep fighting to find the time, loosing out on sleep, scribbling messy sprite sheets and pushing on and on and on…

SFA: Super Interdisciplinary Jam!

Uncategorized

Good news everyone! Tomorrow some Super Friends are congregating at Miao for a day of making things of all different kinds!

While you can be sure there will be some of the usual working on games and custom hardware, we’re encouraging anyone to come through and work on anything. Our dream is to see the SFA community grow into a mega-diverse beast. We want to pull together a really wide variety of people, focusing a broad spectrum of creative talents into making all sorts of things to make people happy. In that spirit, we’re proud to announce the first “Super Interdisciplinary Jam”!

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We’re encouraging people to come by and work on anything. It doesn’t need to be game related, or even be something that could tie into our nights at all. Mostly, we just want to see people coming together to share in the joy of making things!

If you have any interest in making just about anything, we’d really love to see you there tomorrow! To help us reach people beyond our own groups of friends, please invite others and spread the love. We’d really love to see a lot of new faces at this event and rope in as many new Super Friends as possible! SFA-Jam-poster