Participants on The Pixel Mill’s RESTART programme recently completed a two-week game jam producing eight games, all of which are available to play now for free. Some of these participants only started learning game development in January!
A few of the games from the jam include Calambity; you play as a collie herding its sheep, Aftermath; navigate your way out of an eerie hospital and AppaRatus; a rat collects cheese and solves the maze in an attempt to escape from a lab! The games were individually created in 2D and 3D for PC.
RESTART is a training programme for people aged 19-30 years old in Northern Ireland who want to start a career in the video games industry. Participants do not need to have any prior experience or training to take part in the programme.
Whitepot Studio’s new mobile game, Stargazing will be released on iOS and Android for free from Wednesday 3rd March. Stargazing is a game for puzzlers who enjoy endless challenges, chill seekers who enjoy zen experiences, and astro fanatics who have an interest in horoscopes. The game was made in Northern Ireland and has been developed with funding from Northern Ireland Screen.
With a cozy dot-to-dot style, zen beats, and plenty of constellations to discover, chill and stargaze as you make your way through the StarBook. Players can:
Complete dot-to-dot constellations with the help of some hand-drawn hints
Connect stars in the right order to unlock full constellations
Better your times as you become more familiar with each constellation and progress up the leaderboard
Unlock cute collectables and achievements along the way
Listen to some lo-fi beats as you do
Whitepot Studios is a Belfast-based game development studio founded in 2016. The studio offers work-for-hire development services, as well as creating its own IP across PC, mobile, and console.
Blackstaff Games and Merge Games have announced that their game, Buildings Have Feelings Too!, will be available for purchase on all digital stores (Steam, Nintendo eShop, Xbox Store and PlayStation Store) in March. Not only will the game be getting released digitally, players will also be able to pick up a physical version on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch in May. Buildings Have Feelings Too! received funding support through Northern Ireland Screen’s Assembler Programme.
Imagine a city where buildings can walk and talk to one another. Each one has its own aspirations, hopes, and fears. Most of the time they are just trying to get along with each other and make it through the day. Buildings Have Feelings Too! is a city management game with character. Players must grow their city whilst making sure the individual buildings thrive or risk them being demolished forever.
As time progresses, new industries can be researched, and new architectural marvels built. In turn, world events might cause buildings to fail and businesses to go bankrupt! Players must discover new ways to attend to their city’s needs. This could involve refurbishing a building or simply grabbing it by the hand and moving it to a nicer part of the neighbourhood.
As players progress, they can grow their city, allowing for multiple neighbourhoods. Specialist areas, such as busy finance hubs or bustling theatre districts, become available. Additional layered attributes such as electricity supply, noise pollution and transport add more complexity and challenges for players.
Collectors will be keen to learn that the game will also be available as a Signature Edition version, jam-packed with extra content and handsomely packaged in an oversized box. Pre-orders are now open HERE.
Galway Film Centre has announced the line-up for the inaugural Fís Games Summit which will take place online as a series of talks on Thursday 25th February. Warren Spector is the first speaker who will be in conversation with Brenda Romero about his career in the games industry and will be taking questions from the attendees.
Galway Film Centre Manager Alan Duggan said: “The Irish game industry has long been approaching a tipping point of critical mass allowing skilled developers and creatives to stay in Ireland to work in this industry, and even found their own companies. Over the last decade we have seen significant encouraging growth, and at Galway Film Centre we want to foster that momentum and support that growth. For that reason we have created a programme for the Fís Games Summit with internationally renowned developers, as well as Irish success stories, that is sure to inspire and embolden all Irish developers.”
The theme of this year’s Fís Games Summit programme is Journeys. Whether it is the journey to publishing your first game, the journey to seeking funding, or the lifelong and storied journey of a career decades in the making, this summit will share with Irish developers some of the journeys one must take throughout their time in the industry.
Tickets are FREE and are open to all Irish game developers. Click HERE to register.
After a long nomination process with over 150 nominations, the shortlisted nominees in the six main categories of the NI Game Awards have been announced!
Voting is now open, and you can vote for your favourites right now over here!
The NI Game Awards is presented by the NI Game Dev Network with support from Northern Ireland Screen. Now in their fourth year, this will be the first time the awards have taken place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The show will be broadcasting live on Saturday 6th March from Belfast and Derry/Londonderry, with tickets available now at https://nigame.dev/awards/.
The shortlists are as follows:
Best Art Direction
Before The Blood – Rewind Play Games
Best Art Direction
Jennifer Wilde: Unlikely Revolutionaries – Outsider Games