This weekend is Ingenuity Fest in downtown Cleveland, held this year at North Coast Harbor. Cleveland Game Developers has a space, and we’re hanging out, demoing games and promoting our projects and talking about our craft. A number of our members brought tech demos and projects to show off.
One of the most fun games I’ve seen in some time, BaraBariBall, is on display here in our space. It is not, unfortunately, one of our creations, but it is a lot of fun. It’s a bit like Super Smash Bros., but simplified and with a graphical style reminiscent of the Atari 2600. I really like the graphical style. The animation is particularly well done. And the controls are superb. I never could get into Smash Bros. due to its overly complex controls. Any time I played it, all I could do is mash buttons and hope for the best. With BaraBariBall, the controls are greatly simplified, and this makes the game much more fun. It’s now more of a contest of reflexes and tactics, and less about memorizing and mastering strange controller contortions that unlock special moves.
I can’t wait for this to come out so I can buy it.
We also have JS Joust set up. Again, this isn’t something one of our group created, but it’s fun. It uses the PS3 ice cream cone controller and a Mac OS X computer.
Cleveland Game Developers Matt Perrin, Brian Gessler, and Jarryd Huntley have all brought in projects that they’re working on.
Matt Perrin whipped up an interesting project just for Ingenuity, which he calls Monster Sumo. You draw your own graphics on a sheet of paper, then take a photo with a camera phone and upload your monster to a server. Then you can do battle with another monster created by your opponent. I suggested that this would be a lot of fun to play with a Kinect interface, but for now it’s just controlled with a more traditional input device — I’m not sure if it’s keyboard, or gamepad, or possibly either.
Brian Gessler brought a prototype game that uses Kinect. He described it as kindof a reverse Breakout, where you’re trying to push the wall up and the computer is trying to break holes in it. It looked interesting but unfortunately the laptop he was running it on was having trouble playing it at full speed. Brian promised to do some performance optimization before bringing it back tomorrow.
Jarryd Huntley had a game rigged up to play on an Oscilloscope, in homage to Willie Higinbotham’s original ur-pong, Tennis for Two. Unfortunately, his oscilloscope died just before the festival, and he is trying to source a spare on short notice so he can demo the game.