The gaming marathon weekend will take place from February 20 – 22 and the idea is that you play games for an extended length of time, whether it be 48 hours or 24 hours is entirely up to you, and get your friends, family and whoever else to sponsor you to do so.
This gaming marathon is entirely down to your self to decide what you can do. Do as much or as little as you want to and try and raise as much money as you possibly can to help SpecialEffect to raise money that will go towards supporting disabled gamers back in to the game.
Last February gamers raised an incredible £70,000 in GameBlast14, and every penny and cent went towards levelling the playing field for gamers with disabilities. This time SpecialEffect are aiming for £100,000, so they’re going to need all the help you can give!
If you want to find out some helpful tips and sign up for this event you can go to http://www.specialeffect.org.uk/gameblast-about
GameLoading: Rise of the Indies is a feature documentary exploring the world of indie game developers – their craft, their games, their dreams, and how they have forever changed the landscape of games culture. The project is currently crowdfunding through Kickstarter to help complete post-production.
Filmmakers Lester Francois and Anna Brady have clocked over 100 hours of interviews with both high-profile and up-and-coming indie developers and industry figures from all over the world. The stories that feature in the documentary are only the tip of the iceberg, with the team currently offering an additional 23 videos on youtube, with more scheduled to be released regularly over the next few months. Popular videos include BitSummit in Kyoto, Dutch Game Garden and Mike Bithell – ‘Story and Gameplay’
The exclusive Member’s Section on their website features longer more in-depth interviews available to Backers. The member’s section is a great resource for indie devs and fans. Those wanting to be a member can do so by backing the kickstarter The Final Push.
GameLoading’s Kickstarter, which launched last week is on track to raise the $50,000 needed to fund post production. Featured on the kickstarter page is the new GameLoading trailer, which has been touching the hearts of audiences across the community. It offers a heartwarming and positive message about developer culture, despite the recent negativity in the industry.
GameLoading features interviews with Davey Wreden (The Stanley Parable), John Romero (Doom), Rami Ismail (Vlambeer), Alexander Bruce (Antichamber), Lucas Pope (Papers, Please), Richard Hofmeier (Cart Life), Phil Tibitoski (Octodad), Zoe Quinn (Depression Quest), Steve Gaynor (Gone Home), Christine Love (Analogue), Mike Bithell (Thomas Was Alone) and dozens more.
The film will demystify what goes into making a game, examine the processes of different studios and individuals, capture the excitement of industry events like PAX and GDC, ponder why we play and what success means, and explore where this art form has come from and where it may be going.
Available today as a FREE download on the iOS and Google Play digital app stores, this brilliantly designed debut title features John Maddie and her BFF on a Safari Adventure, requesting the aid of players to help Jesse The Giraffe keep his neck out of trouble by avoiding the clouds and flapping birds. You goal is to meet up with his Safari Friends, and if you need help, you can try on a pair of goggles, but use them sparingly, as only 10 are available (additional goggles obtainable through in-app upgrades).
Featuring 20 addictive levels, you can even congratulate yourself by posing for a selfie with your friend as levels are successfully completed. Maddie herself is stuck on level 14! Are you adventurous and talented enough to beat her in her own game?
My Selfie Safari began as a bonding opportunity with her dad, Dan Beal. He had just built a Minecraft server for her brother, Ben, and with this task complete, Maddie felt it was the perfect chance to spend some quality time with her dad. Inspired by her fascination and love for giraffes and self-portraits, My Selfie Safari blends gameplay mechanics from popular predecessors such as Flappy Bird and Defender, and adds its own personal touch to create a truly one-of-a-kind experience.
Featuring an exciting Safari Adventure, crisp colorful graphics, intuitive controls, and 20 challenging levels of fun, My Selfie Safari is a great debut title from Maddie Beal, whom at the age of only 11 undoubtedly has a promising career ahead of her.
Last year they made an amazing donation of £52,000 to SpecialEffect to help them meet their growing demand to help amazing young people like Ben who is now rocking Minecraft, FIFA and many other games!
SpecialEffect are in the fortunate position to once again be amongst the charities nominated for GamesAid support but your help is needed to secure a grant. All you need to do is vote at the link below.
SpecialEffect is by no means the biggest cause in the list of nominees so every vote counts.
If you work in the industry then please do visit the link below and consider a vote for SpecialEffect. Current members have to email their choice of charity and user name to GamesAid and new members can register for FREE and cast their vote.
You can view the story of Ben in the heart warming video below. SpecialEffect have helped Ben and many others like him to experience the pleasure of gaming as much as we all do.
Independent Train2Game student studio Derp Studios has been working with Breeze Radio to create Apps that will safeguard the radio station’s future distribution for years to come.
Successful digital radio station Breeze Radio drafted in the young team of Developers to handle creating its Apps. Breeze Radio has been taking steps to make sure it’s global network of listeners can be reached, as technology continues to develop in the ever changing radio broadcast sector.
Derp Studios were tasked with taking Breeze Radio to the next level of distribution before it arrives, creating Apps that will work alongside its digital distribution channels that will work for mobile and reach every corner of the globe. The apps have now been created and the station is ready for the next steps in its successful development, thanks to the team at Derp Studios.
Andy, setup Breeze Radio when he returned from active service previously of the Royal Engineers. He was working with other stations but found that regulations to make the stations more commercially successful were preventing him from delivering the radio he wanted to. He found that radio was no longer beneficial to the listeners and it wasn’t what they wanted to hear, there was too many adverts and not enough music. He wanted to play music people wanted to hear, not what the major labels were forcing people to listen to so they can make millions selling music.
With Andy’s background in the military and living abroad, he knew what the services and x pat communities wanted to hear. Using digital radio he could reach these communities. He planned to give them good radio without the countless adverts and lack of music variety. He wanted to play a selection of music people wanted to hear, not based on marketing demographics but on quality music that everyone would like. He started Breeze radio and found they actually paid more to keep going because they actually played more music than others so had to pay more royalties.
Breeze is now listened to in 128 countries worldwide with 6million listeners tuning in every week. The radio station has ditched the snobby and old fashioned AM/FM broadcasting model and now uses multiple online channels to handle Breeze’s distribution. This is not only cost affective but reaches a global audience, replacing the traditional radio model and overtaking traditional broadcast channels. Digital is also a better platform for receiving accurate data of listeners, rather than the outdated existing audience monitoring techniques.
But there is still one place web based radio is not the dominant broadcast channel; in the car. But that’s where Derp Studios fits in, it has created Android and Windows 8 Apps which mean Breeze can reach every area of the globe. In the near future you’ll be able to use these Apps to tune into Breeze in your car wherever you are in the world, through the 4G network. This will not only help Breeze reach its existing listeners wherever they are, it will also open up the entire world to the delights of Breeze Radio.
As well as building a successful station for all to enjoy Andy has not stopped at that. Breeze Radio now sell digital radios on the site with all profits going to charities across the globe that help with Autism awareness and childhood cancer.
Chris Ledger, Managing Director, Derp Studios: “It’s great to work with Breeze as we agree with their ethos of reaching people with a product that they want. With Breeze’s huge success we’re really pleased they chose us to safeguard them for the future.”
Andy: “It didn’t cost an arm and a leg but the end product is great. The Derp Studios team made a simple solution for a complicated problem. We’re now safely ready to continue to grow our listenership into the future. It’s not about the money for us, we do it for the love of the music and Derp Studios understood that.”
You can find out more about Train2Game, Breeze Radio and Derp Studios at these links
They are some of the findings from research recently carried out by youth research and digital entertainment agency, Dubit, and virtual reality consultancy KZero into children’s experiences of, and expectations for Oculus Rift – the virtual reality headset created by Oculus VR, which was acquired by Facebook for $2bn in March this year.
Dubit’s work was carried out with 12 children aged between seven and 12 years-of-age. All 12 played a variety of games using the headset (first development kit version) before working together in pairs to explain their feelings and reactions towards the technology.
Dubit’s head of research, Peter Robinson led the groups. Commenting on the children’s experiences he said: “The overarching message from our sessions is that children love using Oculus Rift and felt immersed in the games in ways they’ve never felt before! Comments along the lines of it being the best way to play games were common. Oculus VR may not see children as their core market but there’s no doubting the device’s potential popularity with kids.”
Robinson continued: “We were glad to see that none of the children in our groups felt dizzy or ill after using the headset; the only usability issues occurred when the children had to move their heads to look down and found the headset heavy. A couple of the younger children also reported fitting issues with the head-straps. With lighter headsets on the way we don’t see Oculus Rift causing many usability issues for young wearers.”
Since Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR there has been much discussion around the technology’s application outside of gaming. This was also covered in the research with Robinson saying: “Without prompting all children said they thought virtual reality would be great in their schools. They thought it would make lessons more interesting and allow them to take ‘virtual field tips’. But they wanted to do more than just visit new places; they wanted to go back in time and interact with people, like the Captain of the Titanic or people living in Tudor England and get their views on history. They were more interested about exploring history than changing it through gaming.
“We also found that children placed great emphasis on exploration – a trait they wanted to see in all games, not just educational experiences.”
Bearing in mind the age of the children Robinson didn’t find it surprising to hear them suggest that Minecraft would be great on Oculus Rift: ”It’s striking how much of an impact Minecraft has had on children’s gaming expectations. While most of the children wanted to see Oculus Rift used in first-person-shooter games like Call of Duty – yes, even the young ones – it was games that allowed them to explore, like Skyrim, or create their own content, Minecraft, that came up time and time again as being great fits for virtual reality. We didn’t have the heart to tell them that Notch had refused to bring his game to the system due to the Facebook acquisition – maybe now he’ll reconsider.”
During Dubit’s tests the children controlled the games using either head movements, an Xbox control pad or keyboard and mouse. Robinson said: “Xbox pads were the most familiar to the children and the preferred control method, unless the games were meant to be passive, like the rollercoaster simulator, in these cases they were happy to have no control. In most cases the children wanted even greater immersion and suggested peripherals such as steering wheels would make the experience feel even more realistic. Kinect was suggested so the game could track the player’s movements. The consensus was that an innovative device like the Oculus Rift needed an innovative method of control.
“While we understand that it won’t be children buying this technology with their pocket money it’s still interesting to see how much they think it will cost. It can also help us understand whether they see it as better or worse than current technology.
“While there was quite a swing between estimates the average price suggested by the children was £430, quite a lot higher than we expected. To gauge their ability to estimate such costs we asked them to guess the price of existing technology like games consoles, mobile devices and TVs. In all cases, except for the TV, their average estimates were within £50 of the correct price, showing they have a good idea of tech costs.”
These focus groups are the first in a number of internal research projects being carried out by Dubit on the new technology. The company also comprises of a games development studio, creating virtual worlds for the likes of BBC Worldwide, Cartoon Network and PBS KIDS. Their work in virtual reality began with their first virtual world for Oculus Rift, Fairy Forest. Over the next six months the agency is will publish further work, this time with the University of Sheffield, that looks to provide understanding of how children engage with entertainment across devices and platforms.
This sale is brought to you by Devolver Digital, purveyors of fine digital entertainment wares such as Broforce and Hotline Miami! Each title has been hand selected by the Devolver team as games outside of their roster, save for Dungeon Hearts and Foul Play, that they enjoy playing and want other folks to check out! Pay what you want to enjoy the fast-paced, strategic action-puzzler, Dungeon Hearts, the quirky Western action adventure game, The Real Texas, and a retro-inspired album of games, Cryptic Sea EP.
If you’re feeling generous, pay $6 or more to also receive side-scrolling brawler, Foul Play, get in on the randomly-generated, action RPG beat-‘em-up, Legend of Dungeon, and the claustrophobic quick-reflex game, KRUNCH Digital Collector’s Edition. Paying $10 or more will get you all of the titles above plus fast-paced, “rogue-lite,” bullet-hell Tower of Guns.
These games seperately would cost you just under $100 but with the humble bundle paying $10 will get you the lot.
You can purchase the bundle by visiting https://www.humblebundle.com/weekly
The money raised will go to SpecialEffect to helping them with cases like Rob who you can view in the heart warming video below.
GamesAid Patron and emcee for the Monday night event, Imran Yusuf, pulled together a stellar line up of comic talent, all of whom donated their time and talent for free. Although the evening is all about laughs, Stand Up for GamesAid has now become a serious event on the GamesAid calendar – selling out for two years running, and raising over £9000 this year.
“On behalf of GamesAid and all the charities we support I’d like to offer our heartfelt thanks the amazing performers who made the night so successful” said Imran. “To Susan Calman, Kev Orkian, Ola, Paul Thorne, Holly Walsh, Jarred Christmas, Paul Tonkinson I take my hat off to you all for a top evening’s entertainment!” He went on to add: “Kudos should go to Ellie Gibson, Eurogamer’s Associate Features Editor, who made her debut at the Comedy Store to a fantastic reception from the packed crowd.”
Fundraising efforts were greatly supported by the event’s sponsors – PlayStation UK who signed up to take the role of Premium Event and Exclusive Bar Partner and Bossa Studios who were Event Partner.
Imran Yusuf, thanked both sponsors and added “it’s important to remember that GamesAid is manned wholly by volunteers with all monies raised ploughed back into the charities for the benefit of the kids and young people that they support. As a result, sponsorship is a serious matter on a night of comedy, as it hugely helps GamesAid’s ability to raise more funds.”
GamesAid is a UK-based video games charity which acts as an umbrella to support a number of smaller charities who help disadvantaged and disabled children and young people. It is wholly run by volunteers.
Imran Yusuf and the GamesAid volunteers are now planning a similar event in Manchester’s Comedy Store this autumn, taking the Stand Up tour to a brand new audience. Further details and line-up will be confirmed closer to the time.