Big thanks to Rob Kurta at University Campus Suffolk for organising a local hub for the Global Games Jam. Teams from UCS and Anglia Ruskin University gathered to make games over the weekend of 27,28,29th January. The results are really great for just a couple of days work, and when I visited on the sunday morning, it was obvious many of the teams had been working around the clock. Great experience for those taking part, download and play the games from here. My favourites are Knossos and Dark Side of the Abyss.
Today I had a group of year 11 pupils from Old Buckenham high School in Norfolk visiting the University. I gave a brief lecture about the Unreal Engine, and then the pupils worked through a small tutorial aimed at adding some interactions into Epic Citadel, the same level which you can download from iTunes and is provided free with UDK. The session was a great success and all the pupils were very keen and managed to work through the tutorial. Considering USK is an cutting edge, complicated game engine the pupils were still able to add a portcullis to a doorway and animate it opening by linking a trigger volume to it. Some pupils even managed to take it further and create a switch which controlled the portcullis. Great stuff, and all 1 1/2 hours!
Josh Croft, one of my students at Anglia Ruskin University, has published his first online magazine over at Yesterday’s Gamer. Full of reviews and articles on retro games, giving a new light all our old favourites. Download it in PDF and have a read!
On Wednesday, I gave a talk to the Association for Learning Technology on ‘How to Get Started in Serious Games’ with Scott Hewitt from Real Projects. I talked about some of the design techniques which are useful in desiging serious games,, such as ‘Hive Solutions’ and performance monitoring. Scott then talked about some of the tools available to actually build the games, Thinking Worlds, Unity, Mission Maker, Unreal Development Kit. The full presentation can be viewed here, along with our slides. You can also view our first talk on a similar subject here.
Check out this link http://www.unrealengine.com/insiderblog/unreal_engine_3_comes_to_flash
Unreal Engine is now compatible with FLASH !!! Yes, that means Unreal\UDK games running in facebook! Epic are already able to run a complete Unreal Tournament 3 level inside Flash , apparently to a higher quality than on the XBOX, so this is a seriously exciting announcement. But…. and there has to be a ‘but’……this feature is not released yet…coming soon…..
On 19th October I am Running an online webinar with Scott Hewitt from Real Projects, entitled “Getting Started with Serious Games” for the Association for Learning Technology. This is the second webinar Scott and I have presented on behalf of the ALT. I will be discussing some key game mechanics which can be used by serious games, as well as useful mechanics from Alternate Reality Games. Scott will discuss some existing examples of how gamification is being used to engage learners. Full details and sign up link are here: http://www.alt.ac.uk/events/getting-started-serious-games
The september 2011 Beta of UDK is now avaiable for download. Big upgrade this time, UDK games can now be published on the MAC !!! other improvements include new foliage tools and multi display support for iOS, full details here.