Suffragette Landmarks

Hello all, with my Grrrl Games hat on I am running the Suffragette Landmark Games project for Bristol Women’s Voice this summer. It’s a series of jam-style workshops bringing young women aged 13-18 together to have a go at making games inspired by suffragette stories in Bristol (UK)

I am looking for women in games who are up for coming to Bristol to talk games/careers with participants.

First workshop is 10th July, others will run Mon/Tues/Weds from 16th July til 8th August.

Let me know if you would like to support the project in any way – you can always email me on info@prettydigital.co.uk

cheers!

Constance

nb There will be some public talks and exhibitions in October/November that will be open to all to come along and marvel at the games. Am also on the look out for freebies and stuff, from stickers to tshirts to offers of feeback and mentoring from games developers when the games are nearer to being finished. All offers and suggestions welcome.

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We Sing In Fire and Blood

Our First Tuesday in June was a vr-focused session for Grrrl Games, so we invited artist and writer Hazel Grian to come and talk to us about We Sing In Fire and Blood, her VR choral piece. It’s a moving piece of work about how we come together as communities after traumatic events, and is inspired by Hazel’s story of surviving a life-changing event. It was interesting to hear her process of developing the project, building on past experience of creating work and realising that past projects had been too ephemeral – she wanted to create something that would last longer, after all the creative effort that goes into experiments using new technology.

Hazel went through a long process of writing and rewriting funding applications, sticking to her sense of purpose about wanting to tell her story in her own way. After several months We Sing In Fire and Blood was funded by Arts Council England and Watershed, and she was able to assemble a team of talented composers/musicians (Duncan Speakman & Sarah Anderson) and VR people (All Seeing Eye) to bring her ideas to life. She showed photos of the design process – using TIlt Brush to sketch out the piece in vr, and the filming of actors in green screen, and her design for how the audience views the piece, as if they are sat around a communal fire.

HazelTalkGGamesJune18

The current version of We Sing In Fire and Blood is a 12 minute VR experience. It is moving and inspiring, and definitely worth the experience if you come across it at a film/vr festival – hopefully it will be heading out into the wider world this year. Hazel is currently seeking more funding to develop the work into a longer operatic piece – she played a snippet of one of the bits of music and that on its own was pretty stunning.  Bristol based people may be able to try We Sing In Fire and Blood if they get in touch with the PMStudio. She is heading to Sheffield Doc Fest next week and we wish her well.

Hazel is a resident at the Pervasive Media Studio – read more here – and we want to say thanks to them for hosting our meetup this month!

Spring Jam 2018

We are very pleased to announce our first jam of 2018 – hosted by PlayWest and supported by FET/ UWE Frenchay. The GrrrlGames Spring Jam is on 23rd/24th Feb at the Foundry, Coldharbour Lane, and is open to all women (trans-inclusive) with all levels of experience. Absolute beginners and games-curious people are very welcome to come along and have a go at designing and making a game in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

We will run a FREE creche for 2-10 year olds on the saturday 24th to make it easier for parents to attend, whether they are coming as participants or tech support. DEADLINE FOR BOOKING CRECHE SPACES IS 18th FEB.

• What we’ll do
Kick off: Friday 23rd 6-9pm by announcing the theme, forming small groups and brainstorming ideas.
Saturday 24th 10-6pm we will carry on working in groups and then present ideas from 4pm.

Sign up here on the grrrlgames meetup, or email constance@wthub.org if you are need more info or want to offer tech support on the day.

• What to bring
Pens, paper, laptops, ideas…

• Important to know
Absolute beginners welcome, we don’t expect finished games in 24 hours.

We ask only for a fiver towards refreshments.

Ideally you can come for friday AND saturday but if you can only make the Saturday then do sign up anyway.

nb This will not be a women-only event as we have mixed tech support.

HERE’s the link again

Grrrl Games Jam: What happened

Back at the start of July we held a 1-day Grrrl Games mini jam at the Bristol Games Hub. Focusing on the theme ‘What game would you like to have played when you were 9?’, three teams of women* who had never worked together before, made three games.

Screen Shot 2017-07-15 at 13.53.55

We used a great resource list that’s been put together by Ciro Continisio (GGJ Rome), which includes a ton of generally free tools for games jammers.

So, the games… Considering our teams had just ONE DAY, they created some amazing things – some of which they’re hoping to continue developing!

Clare, Nat & Lauren decided to focus their game on environmental change, using the domes at the Eden Project as inspiration. Wanting lots of exploration and interaction, the player would walk around inside a big sphere with mini-puzzles contained inside. 

Eden_Project_geodesic_domes_panorama.jpg

Nat learnt how to use Audacity during the jam and created some awesome music to be used in the game by mashing together fine different tracks. Lauren took charge of the 3D models and Clare built the scenes in Unity.

Anne and Claire got impressively far with their game Tebahpla! – a platformer word maker crossover. Anne coded it using a phaser.js framework, which she’d just started to learn earlier in the week and Claire made some nice pixel art in Piskel.

You can even try out their playable demo on Anne’s website.

Screen Shot 2017-07-15 at 15.13.30

Last, but by no means least, AJ and Gicela made Teeth Rex, which definitely won the award for most impressive title screen.

Centered around a dinosaur who can’t brush his teeth (cause t rex’s arms are too short – GENIUS), Gicela used Game Salad for the first time to start making the game and AJ took charge of 2D pixel art (see more examples of her work here).

 


It was a great day, with some really good outcomes. We hope to run another one in the autumn and are always looking for people or orgs to help support these kind of activities!

At the moment Bristol Games Hub generously let us use their space, but we’d love more options for bigger jams. Other things we need are people and money… Anyone who is able to be on hand to provide to tech support or if you know of any funds to make our events better, please get in touch!

 

*When organising and running Grrrl Games activities, we define ‘women’ as female, transgender and non-binary people who identify as female.

Workshop with Ben Pitt on TextMesh, Ink & Unity – Sign up now!

This Saturday we’re running a free workshop at the Games Hub in Stokes Croft. From 1-4pm, Ben Pitt has kindly offered to take us through some fun things you can do in Unity with text.

You can sign up for free on our Meetup page, but space is limited so please make sure you turn up!

1-2pm TextMesh in Unity
Come with a laptop that has Unity installed. We’ll be looking at how to make text look nice in Unity.

2-4pm Incorporating Ink into Unity. 

For the second part of the session  we will be having a go at taking narrative text adventures built with Ink/Inky (nb that’s your prep pre-workshop) and integrating into Unity.

Inky is the editing tool to write Ink with: http://www.inklestudios.com/ink/

Download Inky first so you can have a play with it before Saturday and prepare something to work with – there are probably samples online but get that sorted before saturday so we don’t all try and download things on the day.

nb I can make myself available on Friday afternoon if anyone wants to have a pre-workshop meetup to do the Ink side of things – I am not at all expert but will be stumbling through it too!

Head over to our Grrrl Games meetup page to sign up for free – space is limited!

Any questions, email Constance via constance@grrrlgames.org

Come to our 1 day Grrrl Games Jam!

What game would you like to have played when you were 9?

Come and make it in ONE DAY at our Grrrl Games Jam in Bristol! We are inviting women, transgender and non-binary people who identify as female to come and make a game for your 9-year-old self.

No background in tech or previous programming experience is needed – we need artists, sound designers, organisers, writers – and of course enthusiasm!  People will be on hand to help out where you need it.

We advise you to bring a brownbag lunch to the jam on Saturday. A small suggested donation of £3 will cover snacks and refreshments, with any money leftover going towards future events!

The event will kick off on Saturday at 10am, although we encourage people to arrive from 9.30am to get settled in the space and meet your fellow jammers. It will finish at 6pm.

Find out more and sign up >>

XX+ games jam games

  1. Nommityville ~ Chloe, Eriol, Helen, Isobel, Vivienne  14884461_1693808884269096_6124785785213460440_o
  2. Before I Forget ~ Chella, Claire, Sharon
    photo A woman wanders through an empty house piecing together memories from her life. She doesn’t remember who she is or why she’s in this strange house. Investigate objects to unlock fragments of the woman’s story. Before I Forget is a narrative exploration game, which looks at the transience of memory.thoughts
  3. Comfort Zone ~ Eloise, Fiona, Jade, Katherine, Mariya
  4. Colour Over Life ~ Ellie, Emma, Laura
  5. Escape To Mexico ~ Chew-Yean, Clare, Klaudia, Sue

This is happening ~ Weds12thOct2016!

Copied and pasted, I know it’s lazy but…

Level unlocked: facilitating women’s access to careers in the games industry
Wednesday 12th October, 2pm-5pm
River Room King’s Building Strand Campus
Register here: https://levelunlocked.eventbrite.co.uk

The video game industry is notoriously perceived as exclusionary and intolerant, particularly of women and others. ‘Re-Figuring Innovation in Games’ (ReFig) is a collaborative research project that addresses the urgent need for equity and diversity in order to stimulate innovation and greater inclusion in this significant domain of the creative industries.
This workshop will feature case study materials from initiatives aimed at supporting women’s access to the games industry in Canada, Ireland and the UK. It will feature presentations by key ReFig games industry and games education researchers and will be supported by young women currently working in games design. We welcome those interested in accessing the games industry at all levels as well as those wishing to support this access, for example educators at secondary, tertiary and beyond; advocacy groups; employers seeking guidance on inclusive recruitment strategies and structures; and academics.

Shift happens: a panel debate about exclusion & inclusivity in the games industry
Wednesday 12th October, 7pm-8:30pm
Anatomy Lecture Theatre (K.6.29) Strand Campus
Register here: https://shifthappensplay.eventbrite.co.uk

The games industry has the capacity to deliver rich, meaningful, creative and stimulating cultural experiences that can also contribute new tools for education and new avenues for economic prosperity. A diverse, inclusive and representative workforce will ensure that it achieves this with opportunities for all. However, the current landscape is very far from this ideal. To give this ambition any chance of success we will need the industry, academics, advocacy groups and educators to work together on a diverse range of tactics and strategies and to collaborate on initiatives that contribute to this transformation. Although the focus here is on the games industry these are challenges faced by many other science and technology based domains and successful approaches developed here would and should be applicable elsewhere. This panel will provide the platform for a meaningful debate between representatives from the games industry seeking to employ and address a more diverse community and representatives of advocacy groups or initiatives which seek to support the access of girls and young women.

Panel members include:
Holly Gramazio (Matheson Marcault), Marie-Claire Isaaman (CEO of Women in Games (WIGJ), Gina Jackson (Managing Director at the NextGen Skills Academy) and Dr. Chris Lowthorpe (co-author of ‘Punk Playthings: A Disruptive Approach to Making Games in the 21st Century’. Chair – Helen W. Kennedy.

refig-static-all

These events are inspired by the issues and aims that fuel ReFig. For more information about this five year international research collaboration, and its approaches to diversity and equity in the global games industry and games culture, please visit the website at http://www.refig.ca. There events are part of this year’s Arts & Humanities Research Festival at King’s College London – please see here for details: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/ahfest/2016/2016-Festival-Theme.aspx

Announcing the XX+ Games Jam

UPDATE: Thanks for all the interest and applications – we will be curating our list of participants for each venue and get back to you asap.

**************

Calling all women who like games – have you ever wanted to make one?  ReFIGuk are delighted to announce the xx+ games jam, 24 hours of fun and games design for women, transgender and non-binary people funded by ReFIG.  UK sites will be running in Brighton, Bristol, Leamington Spa & London.

XX+ Games Jam is an international jam, happening over 24 hours at 5 sites in the UK and 2 sites in Canada.  The Jams will be a relaxed affair, and people of all talents, professions and skill levels are welcome.  Any kind of game can be created, including digital, physical and paper – and teams will be formed to work around a theme – announced at the start of the jam on  Friday (but shh – keep it a secret until Canada starts too!)

No background in tech or previous programming experience is needed – we need artists, sound designers, organisers, writers – and enthusiasm to come up with cool game ideas!  People will be on hand to help out where you need.

Drinks, snacks and tech support will all be available – the venues will be open from 6-10pm on Friday and then til 6pm on Saturday. Some venues will allow for optional late night jamming.

~ there are 24 spaces in each location so apply now!

~ xx+ runs from 6pm Friday 14th October to 6pm Saturday 15th October 2016

~ application deadline is 4th October 2016 – we will let you know by asap after that date if you have been successful

nb this event is for over 18s only

There will be concurrent xx+ jams in Montreal & Toronto so you’ll be working alongside women in UK and Canada, expanding your networks and meeting other women who are changing the games industry one step at a time.

If you would be interested in supporting the xx+ jam in other ways – by being a volunteer mentor or tech support on the day then please get in touch: xxplusgamesjam2016@gmail.com

 

Locations: Bristol ~ pmstudio/watershed
Leamington Spa ~ Arch Creatives
London ~ Kings College
Brighton ~ The Skiff
Norwich – cancelled, sorry!

REFIG is full of women who believe that the games industry has the capacity to deliver rich, meaningful, creative and stimulating cultural experiences that can also contribute new tools for education and new avenues for economic prosperity.  A diverse, inclusive and representative workforce will ensure that it achieves this with opportunities for all.

 

Tonight – Bristol Girl Geek Dinner

This evening (Thursday 21st January 2016) Claire and Constance are off to talk all things Grrrl Games at the local chapter of Girl Geek Dinners. You can find out more about Bristol GGD here

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The Bristol Girl Geeks meet monthly and describe themselves as “a social and networking group for women who are interested in science, technology, engineering and other geeky things. We held our first event in 2010 and meet up about once a month for a talk with an inspiring female speaker and some good food and drink, usually provided by a sponsor.”

Looking forward to making more connections and seeing who might be up for some Grrrl Games activities.