Dare with Bamboo Competition

Wacom, the Worlds leading tablet manufacturer has launched a competition called Dare with Bamboo.

Gaslight Games have entered the competition with our concept, “Skin Ink”.  More news and updates about the development of the game will be posted over the coming weeks.

Get in the Game: Pitch!

Here it is.
Pitch day.

We know our concept got us this far and we have every confidence in it taking us to the funding stage of the competition… but could we carry it off!?

The pitches were all being held at Sony’s European headquarters in Liverpool, England.  The large, glass walled building was relatively easy to find – well, after getting lost, but I blame that on nerves!
I’m pretty pushy when it comes to being at events or meetings on time, in fact, I prefer being a little early – just in case!  We arrived with plenty of time to spare only to be told that many of the pitches before ours had overrun and there would be a short delay… when you’re already on edge, have chewed your fingernails to the bone and keep reciting your pitch over-and-over, any extra delay only heightens these already stretched emotions!

After what felt like a millenia, we’re in.
The panel for this pitch include Jamie Sefton (from Game Republic), David Hayward (from Pixel-Lab), some folks from Northwest Vision and Media, Phil Gaskell (from Sony [Update: Now with RebelPlay]) and several others…

The concept we were pitching is known as “Pathological” or Path’ for short.
Path’ is a unique concept in that it is a first-person, adventure puzzle game – if you wanted to assign it a genre.  The main difference between this and any other game out there (the only other first-person puzzle games that spring to mind are the fantastic Penumbra games by Frictional Games) is that we would make use of the Playstation Motion Controller [Update: we now know it’s called “Move”, but at the time this name wasn’t announced) and PSEye cameras.  As you physically moved around your play area, this would move the camera on screen 1:1… as you moved in the real-world, your character would move in the virtual-world.
Pretty cool, huh?
You could then use the physical controllers to interact with objects and thus, solve puzzles.

The presentation flew.
Now it was open for questions… as we were coming into the room, the team before us were leaving and told us they got grilled when it came to the Q&A after the pitches.
So we’re ready to be hammered by question-after-question, but they didn’t come.  We got one or two and that was it.
Was that a good thing?  Did we get our concept across so eloquently that there were no need for questions?  Or..?

Only time will tell!

[Update:  The dreaded phone call came, the one where you find out the truth… and unfortunately we weren’t selected for the funding stage with this concept.  Still, we’ve taken Path’ back to the drawing board, re-visited every facet of the design from the location and levels right through to puzzle design and characters.  We’re actively having conversations with publishers and financing types who are interesting in the new direction we’ve taken Path’.  More details on the Games page to come!]

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Get in the Game: 3-day Event

What a crazy couple of days!
Crazy in that fantastic way, of course.

The 3-day Get in the Game event, held in Liverpool, started off with an introduction to the program, the tutors and representatives from the organisations that are running the project.

After the brief introductions, the collective of finalists was split into two groups – one to take the introduction Agile Development and the other (ourselves included) to have some help with public speaking and pitching.
Well, this was… unusual!
We all had to create a short “speech” about a subject we’re passionate about – that wasn’t video games!  My other passion (outside of video games, of course!) is MMA.  Creating an “introduction to MMA” seemed simple enough and filling 2 minutes with details was easy.
Keeping within 2 minutes, that was the challenge!
All of these mini-presentations were recorded on camera and, after everyone had their turn, we watched and critiqued as a group.  Learning to take criticism is something you’ll hear a lot of creative types talk about.  Discussions about this sort of thing are all over the Internet, so I won’t bore you with my interpretation of the concept – but just say that it was an incredible eye-opener to see just how I react and present myself.
I guess the biggest thing here wasn’t so much about what to do, but what not to do.  And not in a negative sense or idea, bust just little things.  You’ve most likely already heard about not having your hands in your pockets nor fold your arms, but some things I unconsciously do could be misconstrued.   For instance, I tend to lean forward.  This might not seem like much, but I’m not exactly a small person and some people could mistake this for threatening behaviour – when I’m actually just excited to be talking about a subject I love!  Like I say, really enlightening stuff!

The second day saw the two groups swap over, for us this meant heading to the Agile development training.
Gaslight had not long closed out a 3rd party contract (*taps nose* one of those hush-hush sort of affairs ;-) and, after completing this short introduction to Agile development, we know that development project would have benefited from these development methodologies.
Hindsight is 20/20 and all that!

On the final day we had a presentation from Leo Cubbin, one of the Producers from Media Molecule (the folks behind Little Big Planet!).  He talked about the development and thought processes behind the game, how it was pitched (internally) to marketing and more.  This was a great insight to how a game, with such success, went through the stages and became what we all know.
Up next was an interview and Q&A session with JAW (Just Add Water) team member Stewart Gilray
[Update: We’ve been fortunate to meet Stewart on numerous occasions and not only is he (and all of JAW!) a very talented individual, but a great guy to talk to.  Very candid and open about the trials and tribulations of going from small studio to where they are now!  Great stuff :-)]

All 3 days were preparation for the teams to deliver a pitch presentation to Sony!  This is coming up in November and will be at SCEE headquarters in Liverpool!

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