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.

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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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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!

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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!

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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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SFA Beta Lineup and promo video!

super friendship arcade

Last week a did a post lamenting my life becoming a case of way to much work and way too little play. I’m very happy to report the tides have changed since then; work has calmed down quite a bit and I’ve had some really good time to work on Saturday’s Super Friendship Arcade, and a trio of games for the night.

I’ll post more on the games soon, but for now, I thought I’d share my two latest creations for the event. First, we’ve got the lineup poster for the night:
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We’re really excited about this collection of games we’ll be showing off. It’s especially great being able to count so many “SA”s next to titles. The night is going to be a great representation of the combined efforts of developers from across SA and I look forward to there only being more local games ansd hardware to show off at future parties.

Then there’s this little sucker. I’ll let him speak for himself:


As I type this, I’m on the tail end of having worked through the night to get this video finished. Under any other circumstances I’d be feeling a little sorry for myself. However, having pulled an all-nighter for something as great as an SFA promo, I can only be filled with joy.

Super friendship Arcade Beta is going down on Saturday night at Manila Bar. If you’re able to make it through, this night might just change your life.

Super Friendship Arcade Beta!

super friendship arcade

The Super Friendship Arcade is back!

South Africa’s greatest video game celebration will return on Saturday the 16th of May. The third night in the SFA series, the party will see The Arcade invading a brand new home; the excellent Manila Bar.

I’ve written at some length about the immense impact these nights have had on me. I’ve also written about awesome jams and hangouts and fun times that our gang has enjoyed in preparation of this next episode of SFA. Needless to say, now that it’s finally happening, I’m stupid exited for this.

We’re busy finalising the killer lineup of games that we’ve handpicked for the night; watch this space for details. If you’re the facebooking type, head here to RSVP and invite some of your own superfriends while you’re at it. Mega-godzilla-high-fives are guaranteed!

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Super-interdisciplinary-friends at Miao!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Meanwhile, Dan is modeling 3D whales. The other Ben (not me) is working on a platformer of his own. Jason’s making musics.

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Egbert’s melting brains with his light drawing magics.

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Mhlaks is bouncing between drawing and photographing the fun.

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Nanna is working on her not-yet-announced new comic.

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Dean and Daniel are finishing off a song for their not-yet-announced new band.

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Jeanne is making lines for her awesome Lunimaries 2015 playing-card-based project.

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Ryan, our youngest super friend, spends the jam building a voxel-based world.

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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.

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I didn’t get to meet  Caitlin, or find out what she was working on, but we spent part of the jam listening to a record of instrumental songs she made with her friends and it was rad.

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Shaun was studying quadrabutt and drawing up plans for a MK 2.

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Leigh’s was creating illustrations for a children’s book.

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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

SFA: Super Interdisciplinary Jam!

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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

My favourite moment of 2014

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Heads up: this is a cop out post. Cool Your Jets has been keeping me crazy busy. This has left me with zero time to write about all the magic I’m dying to blog about. However, I realised that I’d already written a bunch of words about some of this magic. I’ll be recycling those words now.

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Last year, my friends from Another Day sent me a set of questions. They sent the same set to another 29 people across South Africa, and over the course of a few weeks, released all the replies as a series called “30 people on 2014”. Each participant looked back on the year, commenting on movies and songs that had stood out to them, what they looked forward to in the year to come and what their favourite moments of the year had been.

My reflections on the year were (predictably) way, way, way more lengthy than anyone else’s. When asked about my favourite moment of the year, I got especially carried away and had to try really hard to reduce my enthusiasm down to a few paragraphs worth. Here’s what I had to say on the subject:
Your Best Moment of 2014:

While this fact is largely secret to much of South Africa, our country is home to this pretty phenomenal community of independent game developers. I discovered this in the most fantastic way possible on the 21st of February. Heading through to The Pit for an event called “Super Friendship Arcade – The Prototype”, I was unknowingly setting off to have my universe turned inside out. In the aftermath, this night would land up shifting the trajectory of my 2014.

The arcade was focused on local multiplayer games, presented with an aggressively all-inclusive attitude. That night the SFA transformed The Pit from a cold, indoor skatepark into some kind of flashing, bleeping, high-fiving utopia. In my 30 years on this planet, I’d not seen anything like it. I danced around a skatebowl, jousting with strangers. I stood alongside four other people as we worked together on piloting a rocket around with our feet. I got my first taste of the SA indie-sensation known as Broforce. I had the time of my life.

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That night I got home and dropped by the event page and must have said something along the lines of “this was the best night ever” and one of the organisers was like “thanks man, this is our gang and we make awesome stuff and you should hang out with us and make awesome stuff.” And that was that. The last nudge I needed into diving headfirst into game development, an adventure that, in a matter of months, has been one of the greatest of my life. And one that’s only starting.

For me, it’s not every year that a night like that first Super Friendship Arcade comes along. I’d mark my first exposure to The Secret Party in early 2005 as the last time I had that feeling of “I can’t believe this is happening and I’m here in this moment and nothing is going to be the same after this”. The knock-on effect of that night was that I’d start DJing, creating visuals, designing posters and throwing parties before the year was up.

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Since that first SFA, I’ve worked with friends, completing five weird little games. Along with my new friends I combined this game world with the band scene I’ve been in for so many years. I’ve stood and watched as strangers have high-fived in reaction to something that’s come into this world from out of my head. It’s been righteous. It’s just the beginning and I owe it all to one Friday night in February 2014.

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– You can read my entire 2014 article over at Another Day.