Here in the UK, as you might of seen online, we have been working hard on a 7 part education, making and exhibition experience for 16 lucky women in collaboration with the V&A, Machines Room and Goldsmiths. The hope is to take a team of people from never having made a game before to exhibiting in a game at a V&A Lates in 7 short weeks. It’s ambitious, it’s courageous and it’s exciting. We have been overwhelmed by applicants and this week we have the impossible task of turning 70 hopefuls into 16 participants.
We recently found out we’re going to be exhibiting at the close of V&A’s very first games design conference on November the 25 called Parallel Worlds which features many of our friends and inspirations including the fantastic Auriea Harvey and Holly Gramazio. Fan girl moment!
Last week, London members Becca Rose and Alex Robert designed our V&A Lates exhibition space for the games the women will make while stuck in London traffic while Phoenix Perry drove. It was no easy task. The idea was to make a modular system flexible enough it could display any kind of game and also be customizable for each creator. In addition, It needed to require no setup or tear down time and be light and highly portable.
In the car, we started chatting about this toy call Octons English kids grew up with. It’s a slotting octagonal form that allows children to build structures easily.
After careening through London traffic for about an hour, we arrived at Machines Room to build our idea in cardboard form for the very first time.
Spontaneously, Becca, who apparently is a women of many secret talents, revealed to us she’d once been a US high school shop teacher. Becca is English so this was double surprise. She taught everyone to use a free standing circular saw we’d never used before and together we cut a octagonal stand inspired by slot furniture from the National Videogame Arcade where Alex works.
While Becca jigged out the top slots, Alex and Phoenix designed and laser cut some templates for the Octons at various scales. An installation was born. Over the coming weeks, we will CNC the final stands at various sizes. The concept is members can paint and decorate their bases and build their own Octon structures. The general public will have access to a box of Octons to add to the playfulness experience. At the final install, there will be pillows, fake grass and leds. It should be a lovely little world.
In New York, we are pleased to announce we have a new class coming up soon. It’s a Maya 3D modeling Workshop so you can create simple low-poly 3D meshes and assets using polygons. You’ll get to know the fundamental tools of Maya and we will also look into basic texturing and shading. Sign up here
Out and about
In Holland this last month, Code Liberation contributed to Incubate Arcade Women In Games and The New Intimacy exhibition
This show was nothing short of one of the single best collections of alternative controller games ever debuted. It also included a comprehensive lineup, a speaker series and workshops. It was awesome to see so many of games that had come from the ranks of Code Liberation participants and members including Nina Freeman, Jane Friedhoff, Hexecutable and Phoenix Perry. There were also strong showings by Girls Make Games and Pixelles. We had a few good nights chatting games with Kaho Abe and Celia Pearce on Dutch summer terraces and look forward to the next exhibit the fantastic Zuraida Buter curates.
Babycastles is partnering with Code Liberation Foundation to offer 3-month full-ride scholarships for one full residency (normally $200/mo) and one partial residency(normally $50/mo) to female-identified (cis and trans) applicants interested in game design/development, interactive media and/or digital art. Applicants through this form are still eligible for residency even if not selected for one of the scholarships. More info on the Babycastles Residency program is on their website.
If you are interesting in applying for this scholarship, please fill out this form.
Deadline April 1st 12PM EST
We will notify participants that week. Your residency will begin immediately and run through the end of June.
This past Saturday, we collaborated with Black Girls Code to organize a workshop and short game jam. 57 girls showed up to create video games. We also had a workshop for parents who wanted to learn about careers in game development. This was the final event of 2014 for Black Girls Code – what a way to end the year!
Our 3-hour GameMaker workshop was led by Maria Naggaga of Microsoft. With the help of many volunteers, we managed to teach 57 girls how to use the program and create pixel art for their games.
Due to the young age of our participants, we decided to have a shorter game jam. The theme, inspired by recent events in America, was togetherness.
Participants were split into two sections based on age, then were directed to form teams. We informed them that game development includes many different roles – programming, design, UI, art, sound, and so on. Everyone had something to do.
At 4:30PM, the girls presented their games. Here are photos of some games we saw!