I’m halfway with a mega-post that I’m not getting around to finishing with work madness. It’ll get there, but for now, here are some extra pics of the previously-blogged-about SFA Super Interdisciplinary Jam that we held at Miao.
This past week I have the pleasure of attending another MGSA meetup. After announcing the meetup, the community received the sad news that we’d need to find a new home, with our old venue of City Varsity no longer available to us. Luckily a great Plan B was easy to devise as we relocated to Miao, already the Wednesday night home of Cape Town maker-gang, The Modern Alchemists.
With the amount of time I seem to to be spending in Miao, I should consider remaining this blog “No magic, Just Miao”. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine a more excellent space to be frequenting, and the unique venue was a great new home for The Make Games meetup. Quite a change from the serious environment we were used to at City Varsity, the playful venue found itself over-run by game devs. We were possibly a little too spread out for my liking (for future nights setting up more consolidated seating could be good), but past that I thought our new home was an awesome one.
Nic gets things going with Community News. Our touring friends are welcomed back from GDC. Nic provides some much needed clarity on the troubling policy document that the Film and Publication Board published. Then there’s a bit of MGSA housekeeping to do before Nic hands over to the night’s first speaker.
Next month Formula D‘s Marco Rosa will next month be flying to New York to speak at the Annual Games for Change Festival. With the awesome work he and Formula D have been doing, we really couldn’t ask for a better person to be representing South Africa in this setting.
Still formulating his speech for the festival, Marco takes the opportunity to chat to the rest of the community about games for change in South Africa, if people have any suggestions for points he should bring up or messages they’d like to see carried across. I find this subject one of the most fascinating aspects of the potential games hold. I’m personally coming into game design with some quite ambitious long-term plans for making The World a better place through games. After he gets back from the festival, I’d love to see Marco give a report back on the event, what he landed up speaking about, and what he learned from others.
Next up Retro Epic’s Megan takes the stage. Observant readers would note this is the third meetup in a row where the studio has had something to share. It really seems they’re one of the most constantly busy and driven collectives within the community.
This month Megan is showing off the completed trailer for their upcoming iOS puzzler, A Day In The Woods. As I mentioned in last month’s post, this game looks beautiful and I’m dead keen to try it out. With the title launching this Thursday, I’ll be able to do that very soon!
Peter gives a pretty long talk about the whole thing. How they prepared for it and how things played out. It’s pretty heartbreaking that a game as beautiful and special as Cadence couldn’t gather the attention it needed to reach the goals set on The Kickstarter. That said, it’s amazing to see how Peter’s turning that around into a positive, providing the community with a priceless insight into running a Kickstarter campaign. (If anyone’s interested, bits of the talk have been rehashed and discussed on the Cadence thread on the forum.)
Peter ends the talk with a tweet that launches the next step. Pulling out his phone while he speaks, he unveils that Made With Monster Love will be launching a new campaign, The World’s first Noodle Starter.
As you might guess from the above image, I was in on the plan, contributing some art for the campaign. Designed as a way to still harness the support shown during the Kickstarter campaign, The Noodle Starter allows fans to pre-order the game right now, gain access to the beta and help Peter and Rodain not starve to death as they finish Cadence. I see it as rolling with the punches in the coolest way possible and I’m so very proud of the guys for bouncing straight back into the fight.
After Peter steps down, the social bit of the night starts. I get to play a bit more of the Alien Infestation campaign of Broforce. It’s great. There are lols.
Then someone asks about my cats and I remember that Earthling had been away from home all day. I check my phone and discover he didn’t come home for dinner, so I’m now all panicked. I try racing home, but have a few pressing conversations to conduct. One is about a mega exciting future Cool Your Jets projects. The other is all Super Friendship Arcade. Both great chats, but I’m constantly worried about the missing feline. I race home to discover a familiar pair of faces on my couch. And with that, all is well in Kittenville.
Things have been quite calm on the Super Friendship Arcade front of late. In part, this has been the result of the party’s founders (Peter and Richard) traveling the world to promote their respective games (Broforce and Cadence) at a bunch of events across The States (GDC, PAX East, SXSW Interactive). The guys returned to Cape Town last weekend and we made some very last minute plans to magic up an SFA Jam, this time focusing on getting as many different sorts of people there as possible. The concept of the first Super Interdisciplinary Jam was born.
I set to work on chopping up photos of cherry blossoms, a tiger, office morale stock photography and kittens in leather jackets. Richard got in touch with our favourite venue, the awesomeness palace known as Miao, to see if they could host us. And so, in the space of a few hours, the jam suddenly had a poster and a home.
Fast forward to Saturday morning, and I’m very happily walking through Miao’s front door. The venue’s been an awesome home-base for the weekly Modern Alchemist meet ups, and was a wonderful home to the previous SFA jam. Anja, Dan and I arrive to find Richard had already befriended the handful of people who arrived early. I start to set up my workstation. Our friend Mhlaks arrives, commissioned to document the day, and from here, things become a bit of a blur.
Looking back on the day, bouncing between making things and meeting people, I’m mostly just left with lots of warm fuzzy feelings and very few concrete memories. The turn out grows by the hour, with people tapping in and out.
Past Richard, Peter and I, we’ve only got a handful of old Super Friends in attendance. This leaves the vast majority of people in the category of new faces – and what excellent faces they were! I’m also really stoked to have my long-term, but-never-see-you-enough friends (hi Leigh, Egbert, Dean, Daniel!) from outside the MGSA gang there. I don’t even get to meet everyone, but we’ve managed to entice a small army of people into getting together and making things.
Between welcoming all these new Super Friends, Richard and I try get some work done on Bear Party. This is a 4 player platformer about a ball full of bears smashing it’s way through people’s lives. We’ve designed the game for use on Quadrabutt, and while we don’t manage to get the game running on the cabinet on the day, the progress refuels my excitement for what it will be.
Meanwhile, Dan is modeling 3D whales. The other Ben (not me) is working on a platformer of his own. Jason’s making musics.
Egbert’s melting brains with his light drawing magics.
Mhlaks is bouncing between drawing and photographing the fun.
Nanna is working on her not-yet-announced new comic.
Dean and Daniel are finishing off a song for their not-yet-announced new band.
Jeanne is making lines for her awesome Lunimaries 2015 playing-card-based project.
Frank’s actively blowing my mind, playing around with feeding elements back and forth between Unity 3D and an excellent piece of VJ Software called Resolume.
Shaun was studying quadrabutt and drawing up plans for a MK 2.
Leigh’s was creating illustrations for a children’s book.
All too soon we need to wrap things up. Richard ropes some jammers into playing a bit of Spaghetti Stand-off and on that fun note we start to pack things in.
We high-five our ways out of Miao, with a bunch of fun work finished and new friends made.
The gang is currently making plans for the next Super Friendship Arcade, so watch this space for details!
*pics by Mhlanguli Gcobo and Nanna
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”!
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!