Massively Multiplayer Partying

SXSW ScreenBurn and the 'Chronicle' host Game On Austin

Massively Multiplayer Partying

Raise your hand if you know that big holiday releases Epic Mickey and Donkey Kong Country Returns are being developed locally. Now raise your hand if you know that's also true of MMOs Star Wars: The Old Republic and DC Universe Online. We'll know if you're lying. It's common knowledge that the local game development scene is something to be proud of, but the reasons behind the pride are more obscured. That's why, for the second year running, The Austin Chronicle and South by Southwest ScreenBurn present Game On Austin, bringing local developers out from behind their computer screens and into a rock venue and then throwing the doors wide open to the public. Attendees can play the latest and future releases from studios you didn't realize were your neighbors.

Those of you with your hands up (you can put them down now) would do well to bring your iPhone or iPad to get in on the QRANK quiz. The addictive-sounding title of the locally developed quiz game has swept Austin and is spreading rapidly. The quiz for Game On will undoubtedly be video game and/or Austin related. Since you answered the above questions correctly, you already have a head start. Prove that your noggin is as smart as your phone, and go home with pride and prizes.

Two of Austin's bigger indie developers, Red Fly Studio and Twisted Pixel Games, return to Mohawk to show off their latest releases: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II and Comic Jumper, respectively. Both booths were crowd favorites last year, and, considering the quality of these games, there's no reason to expect any different this year. Rumor has it there will be a Force Unleashed tournament, so watch for flying Wiimotes.

Operations such as Paper Child Studios, with its Purify Puzzle game and The Great Land Grab for the iPhone, prove they can be small and scrappy. Other studios pluck some fruit from the random tree like Dannobot Games' Super Pillow Fighter and D7 Studios' arsenal of supercute iPad games. (Hamster Pachinko? I'm in.)

Want to design a game without all the programming know-how? Stop by the GameSalad booth and see not only how to click and drag your way to developer status but also how to get your creation into the ever-growing App Store.

Wraughk Audio Design represents for the oft-overlooked audible side of the industry. Meanwhile the art/performance/games of Party Time! Hexcellent! entertain on the outdoor stage with modified Nintendo cartridges that don't play like your momma's Nintendo. And let's not forget the retro gaming green room courtesy of Game Over Videogames and sustenance provided by the fine folks at All City Subs.

Put all this together, don't charge anything at the door, throw in a beer special or two, and we're pretty sure you have the makings of a party.

Game On Austin takes place Tuesday, Nov. 16, 6-9pm at Mohawk (912 Red River). The event is free and open to all ages.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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Game on Austin, SXSW ScreenBurn, Epic Mickey, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Star Wars: The Old Republic, DC Universe Online, QRANK, Red Fly Studio, Twisted Pixel Games, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, Comic Jumper, Paper Child Studios, Purify Puzzle, The Great Land Grab, Dannobot Games, Super Pillow Fighter, D7 Studios, Hamster Pachinko, GameSalad, Wraughk Audio Design

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