Bitsy time

Tonight at First Tuesday Claire Morley gave a great introduction to the joys of Bitsy Game Maker software and how to get started making games with it. We followed along on our laptops as she patiently answered all our questions. I can see why Claire likes Bitsy – it’s a lovely way to play with making games and the simplicity of the software means it gets you thinking really creatively about how to build the game you want.

Bitsy is free to play with – go to the Bitsy site and have a go at building something, then go on and search for Bitsy games – there’s some stunning ones out there. Claire showed us Mark Wonnacott’s The Last Days of Our Castle which is really impressive. It is a brilliant example of how you can make something rather beautiful even within the limitations of 8×8 & 16×16 grids that Bitsy offers to build avatars and “rooms” (playing canvas).

Claire’s Bitsy tutorial HERE is a great starting point if you want to have a go. She suggested following @AdamLeDoux’s twitter feed to find inspiring games and get involved in his monthly Bitsy jams. Claire also talked us through variables and found this really useful TUTORIAL on how to use them to make more complex games.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s Bitsy ideas at the next Grrrlgames First Tuesday on 7th August. Get making, get playing!

nb Thanks again to Bristol Games Hub for the meeting space – check out the opportunities and meetups there by signing up to their newsletter.

First Tuesday

Kicking off on Tuesday April 7th and kindly hosted by Bristol Games Hub, First Tuesday is Grrrl Games regular meet-up evening in Bristol, an informal get-together for women interested in games to talk about what we are making, what we want to make and maybe even make something. We’ll meet at 6 for 6.30 ’til 8pm and then quite probably move along elsewhere for food/drinks.

We don’t have sponsorship for drinks/snacks so feel free to bring something along if you want more than instant coffee.

Sign up through our Meetup page!


Last night I went to the Bristol Games Hub for a talk on Unity organised by Alex Birke, the Danish guy who cheerfully compares himself to a mop, and Sam Chester, who is now and will forever be the DusterHead. (It makes more sense if you see the pictures that started the presentation.) Anyway, they were there to welcome everyone to the first in a series of sessions they’re organising to introduce people to Unity and how to get started making games with it. The session was pitched at ‘beginners’, but those would be beginners who have prior experience of coding. It didn’t take Alex long to build a tank that could fire at targets and cause explosions next to mountains, albeit mountains that all looked like sugar-loaves.  It was entertaining and my mind was spiralling off in two main directions – one, how to adapt what he was doing for the game idea we have planned that involves no tanks or bullets, and two, whether I can remember any c#, which looks like it would be useful. I’m definitely having a go with the free version of Unity and will no doubt keep you posted on how I get on. Luckily I’ve been using Appfurnace recently which has a similar feel to it, so I am sure I will get somewhere…

Alex gave us a link for more tutorial advice here

The next Unity session is on shading – keep an eye on the Bristol Games Hub newsletter for more info, whether you are a complete novice or an expert who can offer ideas to the discussion.

Board Game Jam @BristolGamesHub

Speaking as someone whose Brother used to cheat unmercifully when he was meant to be the Banker, not the Embezzler, and with a Mother who threw the Monopoly in the bin after the five of us children fought once too often over the rules, I quite like the idea of making up the rules of my very own game.

Bristol Games Hub are running a 24 hr Board Games Jam for people who want to do just that – make up a game, and presumably some rules. Though the game development will be done in small teams so there may be some bargaining involved rather than me getting my own way about everything. As long as we include a rule about suitable punishment for hiding large denomination bank notes under the board, I may even let my Brother play the resulting game.

Seriously though, this looks like a great way to test out ideas on paper (or board) with a bunch of games developers. You have to be working in the games industry based in the South West or a student studying games.

Sign up here