Sarah is a co-founder of Voxells, a new group fostering gender diversity in the video games industry. They’re creating positive change through a variety of events, workshops, and advocacy programs.
Sarah is also the face behind the blog, She Builds Games. The purpose of She Builds Games is to showcase real female game developers, pass on valuable technical knowledge, and attempt to make the games industry a warmer and more welcoming place for all.
Sarah is also a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft, and based out of Chicago. She has a background in game development, which includes mixed reality experiences, and most notably, the HoloLens.
Composer Penka Kouneva is known as an exceptional talent and an artist of uncommon passion. Her composing credits include the games Prince of Persia and Transformers . She has scored on her own The Mummy: Prodigium Strike VR game, and a dozen mobile games including Cookie Jam 2, Mayhem, Chime Sharp 2, Rollers of the Realm, Hades VR experience and others.
Recently Penka composed for the American Astronauts on a $30M NASA exhibit Heroes and Legends, permanently housed at the Kennedy Space Center. Her score for 3D films and AR installations was recorded with large orchestra. She is also a Universal Music-released composer (The Woman Astronaut orchestral album).
Penka worked as an arranger, orchestrator and score producer for Hans Zimmer and also for Neal Acree (on all Blizzard games - Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Starcraft II, Diablo III, Heroes of the Storm), and for many other top games: Sony's Bloodborne, Gears of War 2, 3, Sims 3, Dragon Age 2, Transformers, Lair, Enter the Matrix and films: Matrix, Ender's Game, Elysium, Need for Speed, Pirates 3, Transformers, Ninja Turtles 2. Penka is on the GDC Advisory Board and also on the Advisory Board of Game Audio Network Guild.
Get in touch with Penka
If any game makers have questions about audio, or want to speak with Penka about helping them, they are most welcome to reach out, and she would love to hear from you. One of the key points of our conversation was around the importance of community, helping others, and giving back, and Penka wants to do exactly that.
All of her contact information can be found here: penkakouneva.com/contact
Since 2007, Arc onyx provided animation and visual effects service to the TV and film industries. Recently, Arc onyx made the transition to indie game development to pursue projects with philanthropic goals. When we started planning the game to create this year, we came across many wonderful organizations (like GameChangerCharity.org) that use games to help kids cope with the trauma and hardship that stems from having life-threatening illnesses. We are entirely focused on bringing uplifting gaming experiences to those who need it the most.
We discuss the animation industry, visually pleasing films from the 90s, and the success and failures of game studios over the last several years. We also dive into VR and talk about the potential future of that industry, and the feasibility of unique experiences.
Shawn Woods is a gaming veteran of 18 years. His background spans everything from interactive CD-ROMS and TV commercials in the late 90’s to creating Orcs and UI for Dawn of War, Company of Heroes, and Homeworld 2, art direction at Microsoft, and finally co-founding Alpha Dog Games focusing on mobile games.
Alpha Dog Games was founded in 2012 in Halifax, Canada. Their original game, Wraithborne, was created by 3 full time people and 3 contractors in 6 months. It was featured by Touch Arcade as most anticipated game, and featured by Apple on Launch. It was originally a premium product but has since changed to a lite F2P game due to the market change. Without any ad spend, it has over 1.5 million installs.
Their second game, MonstroCity: Rampage was in development for over 2 years as the team was slowly built up over time. The backend technology was built from scratch and engine/framework was integrated into Unreal Engine 3. The studio is focused on building mobile-first original IP with mass appeal.
Gil Almogi has loved video games since he was young. To that end, he is a freelance video game critic. The majority of his work up until recently appeared on Game Revolution, but he has also written for the Sumthing Else blog, Armless Octopus, and Game Music Fans. His particular interests when it comes to games criticism involve representation, identity, and humanity.
Andrew Peterson is a software engineer who has spent much of his timing building the N3S, a NES emulator which works on Microsoft's Hololens. Best of all, the current games on display are not only holographic images presented in world space, but , but are also 3D objects in the form of voxels. Although the project hasn't had an official release, you can still compile the source and get a feel for it yourself, if you have a hololens. A voxel editor is currently in the works as well.
• The source code can be found on GitHub
• Follow the project on Twitter or Facebook
• Videos can be found on the N3S Youtube channel
• Explanation of how the project works
• Super Mario Bros.
• HoloLens Showcase
2D degree in graphic design
• The C Programming book
• Andrew explains how he got started in programming
• Biting off more than you can chew & scaling back
• Not having to write much Assembly code for the project
• RetroArch - Libretro emulator for the browser
• Object Attribute Memroy
• Dolphin Emulator for GameCube and Wii
• 3D NES - Ars Technica
• Kyle Orland -- awesome journalist
• It was extremely easy to get the NES ported to Hololens
• Hololens documentation
• Technical analysis of Batman: Return of the Joker on the NES
The SNES was introduced to America 25 years ago, today. With that console came a plethora of 16-bit JRPGs, which would inspire developers for generations to come. The distinct art style, sound effects, and turn-based gameplay is what attracted so many, not to mention the engaging storylines which could last for 40+ hours.
Six years ago a group of developers banded together to create a whimsical 16-bit JRPG in the vein of what came in the 90s, and built it on some of your favorite pop-culture references and icons of the era. This title came to be known as Barkley Shut up and Jam! Gaiden.
Tales of Games is back at it again, this time with Barkley: 2, and went to Kickstarter to get the word out. In total, they had 4,636 backers pledge $120k to get the game out the door.
Today, I have with me Liam Raum and Jesse Ceranowicz from the team.
On the first episode of the Indie Dev Podcast, I interview Samantha Kalaman of Timbre Interactive. Follow along as she illustrates how she got her start by working with Unity in Denmark, before returning to her hometown of Seattle to take a job at Amazon. All the while she kept her dream project alive, and has finally brought Sentris to Kickstarter.
This week is a bit different. I've got my co-worker in DC, Shahed Chowdhuri on the show, along with Pek Pongpaet (pong-pat) and Daniel Pesina. Shahed and Pek grew up together, and Pek met Daniel while studying at his Wushu. Daniel played Johnny Cage and ninjas Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Reptile, Smoke, and Noob Saibot in several Mortal Kombat games, and Pek has worked on 6 MK games spanning 10 years.
Master Pesina is perhaps most famous for his work as Johnny Cage and the ninjas in the first two Mortal Kombat games. He has also worked on films such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Secret of the Ooze, Book of Swords, Press Start, and Mortal Kombat Fates Beginning, winner of the 2015 Urban Action Showcase Best MK Film award.
Pesina appeared as one of Shredder's foot soldiers in the 1991 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.
Pongpaet’s expertise ranges from product design and development, and martial arts. Prior to Pinstagram, Pongpaet was VP of Product at Spoton, a loyalty and social media company. He's worked at Accenture Technology Labs in the research department coming up with next generation user interfaces.
He was introduced to Chinese martial arts (Wushu) late in life when he met Master Daniel Pesina in 1998. He opened Pek to a new world of skill, discipline, artistry and mastery that would come to consume and permeate all of his life. His martial arts experience has led to motion capture roles in 6 Mortal Kombat games over the next 10 years.
[T3:00] Where did the idea of Mortal Kombat come from?
[T5:30] Studying martial arts
[T7:45] Trying out for mo-cap in MK5
[T9:20] Van Dam was planned to be the original Johnny Cage
[T13:30] Can independent developers utilize motion capture today?
[T15:45] How car has mo-cap come? The early days of Mortal Kombat
[T20:45] Lost Mortal Kombat footage and digitized sprites
[T25:00] What keeps these two busy today?
[T28:45] What are the benefits of martial arts?
[T32:00] Studying Wushu
[T34:45] Question of the week
Developed by Neon Deity Games, Shutshimi: Seriously Swole is a randomized shoot'em up about a muscle-bound fish with memory problems defending the seven seas. But there's a catch (there's always a catch): you've been cursed with an incredibly short attention span. Combat waves and upgrade cycles only last 10 seconds a piece.
Listen to the podcast
Download the .mp3
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[T1:30] Armless Octopus
[T4:10] Getting started in games with a game jam
[T7:02] Gameplay footage
[T9:10] Composing the soundtrack with Famitracker
[T11;13] Game development engine used
[T23:30] Their next game (footage!)
[T31:50] Question of the week
[T34:40] The new Mighty No 9 trailer looks terrible
Where to find them
All music is courtesy of Benjamin Briggs