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 itch.io 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.
We held First Tuesday on the Second Tuesday this month; not to confuse everyone but because Easter meant there was a bank holiday at the beginning of the month and we try and avoid bank holidays.
So there were a couple of new faces, which is always nice, and we went round for a catch up to see who is up to what then came up with a list of possible workshops we’d like this year ~ I am on the case…
Our skillsets covered photography, filmaking, manga, games writing, software development, 3D & 2D art, so between us we could create a game or two! One thing that came out of the conversation was that a lot of us are trying to teach ourselves Unity and it would be good to have a focused working group to suport each other. It is always a bit of a problem finding a time to suit everyone, but Saturday daytimes seemed like a popular idea for occasional workshops. Watch this space for a Unity workshop on 2D games for beginners, which will include a troubleshooting session for those of us who are a bit stuck on our projects. It’d be great to see all our Fuse Jam & Spring Jam games polished and published.
Our next First Tuesday is May 1st and we have Ben Pitt from Unity coming to talk through using GitHub & Unity Collaborate. Sign up on our meetup here
June 5th ~ we’ll be back at the VR lab. Hazel Grian is presenting her VR Opera project, and we will also get a chance to test out some more VR games.
July 3rd ~ Claire Morley introduces us to making games with Bitsy. She’s written a tutorial HERE if you want to swot up first. Bring a laptop if you can!
So from everyone’s interests came up with list of workshops for an evening (E) or weekend daytime (W)
nb If anyone wants to get together on Tuesday mornings to work alongside me on their games in a cosy cafe somewhere then get in touch.
We also talked about what other game-related events are on locally and further afield, and I am making a note of them here to try and remember to follow up with reports back from people who go to them, myself included, and also to keep an eye on deadlines to sign up as volunteers for events, or submit games to showcases eg Big Indie Pitch at Develop
The Bristol VR lab has regular lunchtime talks – this week it was on AR and had a line-up of three talks
EGX Rezzed London 13-15th April
UKIE event at Games Hub 19th April
Unity Developers Meetup 25th April
gameshub antisocial 26th April
Gameshub pitching event 23rd May
Feral Vector, Hebden Bridge May 41st – June 2nd
Develop/Big Indie Pitch Brighton 10-13th July
EGX Birmingham 20-23rd Sept – need to keep an eye out for when they are taking leftfield submissions
Tonight we will be focusing on playing a couple of games – Jenny’s board game & Claire’s online text-based adventure that started as her teaching herself to code and is now a wonderfully inventive piece of work complete with pixel gif animations.
We had a look at both of these very different games back in December when a small but lively bunch of us met at Watershed for pre-Xmas sociable drinking and getting to know each other. Always great to meet new women with lots of ideas and talents and get them talking. That’s a lot of what we are about here at Grrrl Games. So as well as sharing outrageous stories and admiring new tattoos we did talk about the games. Jenny brought along the Space board game she made as part of her Uni course as she wanted some feedback on it – absolutely beautifully crafted piece of work (hand-carved in stone and then 3D printed spaceships!!) that I hope to learn to play this evening at our January First Tuesday.
Claire is bringing the latest version of her game too for us to play as well. I’ll ask if I can share some screenshots of her latest crop of animated animals.
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.