Local Gaming Developers Showcase at Demo Night
Zombies, gaming glasses, PAC-MAN and surviving worlds of horror were just some of the themes found at the Game CoLab Indie Game Demo Night where local gaming developers showcased their latest innovation.
Co-Founders Joseph Darnell and Ben Reichert opened the Game CoLab co-working space to game developers and designers in May 2013 in the downtown warehouse district at the Levine Machine to encourage collaboration among independent gaming developers.
It was a packed house at the Demo Night proving the large amount of sleeper developers that are within Arizona and the potential for collaboration within this specialty.
“I think it’s a demonstration on what is going on and how much interest there is in the gaming industry,” Darnell said.
“It’s about businesses,” Reichert said.
Developer Kyle Pulver of KPULV stated, “I’ve never seen so many people (developers) combined in one space…this is awesome to show my game to so many new people.” Pulver also developed the promotional site for Indiana Stone with Phoenix developer Tim Winsky.
Local developer Attila Juhasz launched Zombie Squash in 2012 with expanded versions to be released this year. This game has an underlying controversial message about GMOs and is a “world where plants and vegetables like turban squash and pumpkins turn into zombie squash spawned from the evil experiments of Dr. B. E. Vil (Romero), owner of a controversial bio-chemical, genetics company Monsterno Corporation. Zombie Squash is a tower defense style game where you play as Jack Stompingtail, a fearless rabbit who fires carrots, zucchini and other garden ammo at the zombie squash onslaught. The player has to try to stop the Zombie Squash from taking over the world.”
Juhasz has been developing for over 15 years and for his latest game recruited talent such as George Romero, the film director and screenwriter also known as the Godfather of Zombies, for the voice over and Roy Z, guitarist, songwriter and producer known for his work with Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, for the music.
This game was a big hit with the participants, including the kids, and it’s available for free download on Android and iOS.
PAC-MAN and Galaga also made a debut via old school arcade consoles and an IKEA table thanks to Jose Rivera, Founder of Jose’s Arcade, where hardware meets software. Rivera has built his business restoring video arcade consoles and designing portable ones with both classic games and the modern ones. “I don’t make the same thing twice,” he said.
His passion is to help local programmers build a console around their games to sell to game enthusiasts.
Rivera showcased his latest products including an IKEA cabinet that doubles as a video game. His restored Neo Geo console was the biggest hit among the kids.
Rivera plans to offer mentoring classes on how to build a console and eventually sell complete console kits to developers. “I get to teach them how to do it,” he said.
Learn more about:
Game CoLab and events coming in July.