• 0 Game Devs of Color Expo 2019 A Success

    • Expos
    • by Hugh Smith
    • 07/29/2019

    "Summer night in Harlem, man it's really hot..." to quote singer Bill Withers who was right on time describing the Saturday, July 27 heat wave in the neighborhood where Game Devs of Color Expo 2019 took place even though it was sunshine in the daytime. Indie game developers along with some well known players gathered at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture to mingle, network, and show off some of their creations. This expo is billed as a safe place for diverse people with diverse project themes to express themselves "without fear of judgment or harassment." Catt Small @cattsmall (below) is a Senior Product Designer at Esty. She welcomed the approximately 600 in attendance. Later in the day in the Schomburg auditorium Catt did an excellent presentation on how she developed her web game SweetXheart using the Phaser.io software development kit. SweetXheart is a "slice-of-life visual novel about microagressions, race, and gender." In the game you act as Kara, a 19-year-old girl from the Bronx who attends an art college and interns at a tech company. We were very impressed watching several people play the game in a separate area of the expo. Catt is one of the founding organizers of the Game Devs of Color Expo. Here I am below hanging out with two members of the Nintendo team. Congratulations if you received one of our AAeMojis app tee shirts that I'm wearing! We gave away quite a few at the expo. This view is from the second level looking down on one of the three areas where attendees could play lots of developer games. Geneva Heyward @gensuta (below) is a game developer pursuing a BFA at NYU (one of my many alma maters). Because of the visuals I was attracted to her Windows - Mac - Linux game Skate & Date that is "a roller derby rhythm ga(y)me where you play as Maggie, the lead jammer of the Rockin' Rollergirls" who has a crush on one of her opponents. Remember roller derby? I loved watching it as a kid. The graphics in this game are simple and straight forward. The story moves along with an element of roll playing using some on-screen visual dialogue to complement the action packed skating scenes. We also liked the Windows - Mac - Linux hyper casual game HyperDot created by Minnesota based developer Charles McGregor @DarkaysTG (Tribe Games). See HyperDot in action by watching the preview: Game Devs of Color isn't just about discovering or playing the games. There were engaging panels and micro talks. The one below, "Hip-Hop and Video Games" moderated by Shawn Allen @anuchallenger presented a timeline about how both art forms have combined to influence game development. A lot is jammed into only 7 hours for this one day expo. There was no question and answer time after any of  the auditorium micro talks or panels. You had to track down the participants if you wanted some follow-up. This is fine for the manageable size of the current Saturday afternoon crowd at the Schomburg, however as #GDoCExpo grows this element should be worked into the schedule.  

  • 0 Game Devs of Color Expo 2019

    • Expos
    • by Hugh Smith
    • 07/23/2019

    The Game Devs of Color Expo is coming to The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York City on Saturday, July 27, 2019. This gathering is an inclusive games expo and conference putting creative developers of color at the forefront, showing off their games, building conversations, and pushing games forward as an art. Here's a Schomburg FAQ: the institution is a research unit of The New York Public Library. Opening in 1925, the repository began with the vast collections of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, a Puerto Rican born black scholar and book lover. His holdings included more than 10,000 items. Today, The Schomburg holds more than ten million items. The Center has collected, preserved, and provided access to materials documenting black life in America and worldwide for over 90 years. Watch the video below about the 2018 Game Devs of Color Expo, and join me (Hugh Smith above) on Saturday, July 27 at the 2019 expo if you are in the New York City area. Find me and I'll give you an exclusive Quikthinking AAeMojis tee shirt while they last! (I'm modelling one)

  • 0 Alien Con Baltimore 2018

    • Expos
    • by Hugh Smith
    • 11/12/2018

    When several thousand fans of History Channel's ten year plus episodic TV program Ancient Aliens get together, you are plunged into Alien Con, a huge event that rivals other big global comic cons. With two of our space themed mobile games in the marketplace, Alien vs Astronaut, and Alien UFO Match 3, the Journey to the Baltimore, Maryland Convention Center for this three day extraterrestrial festival was a great match for an exciting weekend getaway November 9 - 11. Ancient Alien theory offered in the TV series presents experts, researchers, and authors who believe we have been visited in the past by extraterrestrials. With Baltimore's Inner Harbor close by, science fiction and science fact was explained, explored, and debated during the three day happening.  Alien Con gives fans of the TV program a chance to listen to the experts who present their research to board room gatherings and large hall panel presentations. Along with serious activities, attendees mingle, network, party, and scoop up convention merch. Watch our 1 minute 35 second video giving you a time capsule glimpse into Alien Con Baltimore 2018.      

  • 0 100 Playable Video Games by the Game Masters

    • Expos
    • by Hugh Smith
    • 08/24/2018

    During the spring and summer of 2018, The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia hosted the interactive exhibit: Game Masters. The hands-on presentation is a walk through the history of video gaming from arcade favorites all the way to today's web and console games. Those old arcade games from the late 1970's through the '80s greet you as you enter the exhibition. We couldn't resist a quick session with the cherished favorite Asteroids. I'd say one of the big hits of this show was a wall - high wall - wide projection of a spectacular dancing game. You know the kind. Watch the three dancers and follow the steps. Easy. Lots of fun. Young and old relived the thrill of engaging with these great games. From Pac-Man to Minecraft. They were all there. Hugh Smith from Quikthinking Software at Game Masters. A deeper dive into Game Masters reveals some hidden gems. We liked the recorded game developer interviews along with rare artwork from some of the games. I was also fascinated leafing through a hand written developer storyboard which reminded me of some of my own game planning sketches with notes. 30 legendary game designers are profiled in Game Masters. For the historian, app programmer, or casual fan there's a lot to listen to, watch, and read. For the gamer, the goal is to play as many of the 100 games in the exhibition as possible and beat all the boss levels. We got to play as many games as possible but didn't come close to the magic 100. Game Masters at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia ends its run on Monday, September 3, 2018.    

  • 0 Garden State Comic Fest NJ

    • Expos
    • by Hugh Smith
    • 04/09/2018

    Here I am hanging out at the Garden State Comic Fest with Bitten Apple TV holding a box full of Black Panther on Saturday, April 7 at the Showboat in Atlantic City, NJ. The two day event was superhero wonderful!

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