Game On Austin
The Austin Chronicle and SXSW Gaming show off Austin's gaming bounty
By James Renovitch, Fri., Oct. 24, 2014
Thursday, Oct. 23, 6-10pm
Empire Control Room, 606 E. Seventh
$3 (kids free)
Do you know where your favorite video game was made? The U.S. of A.? The great state of Texas? Maybe even right here in Austin, under your very nose. The Austin Chronicle and South by Southwest Gaming are here to ensure you know which of your neighbors are making games. We collected some of our favorite local developers and invited them to showcase their latest or upcoming creations to the public. We call it Game On Austin.
The majority of the participating games are appropriate for the younger set, but Beat the Thief from UT's Center for Identity is designed specifically to teach 8- to 10-year-olds about Internet safety. Another learning experience in the guise of fun comes in the form of CodeSpells, wherein kids glean the basics of coding by formulating spells to see how they fare against baddies in a fantasy world.
There are also an inordinate number of games about eating and puking. You can thank Fantastic Arcade's recent ingesting/expunging-themed game jam for that. Several developers participated, and the results include Newmark Software's Hyperemesis Pizza and Deep Plaid Games' Lovesick. Karakasa Games didn't make Frankenfoods for the jam, but it seems appropriate to mention it in the company of other mastication-heavy works.
Want to test your digestive fortitude even more? Try your hand at the smattering of virtual reality games on hand. Take a float down Unello Design's Eden River, or put the pedal to the metal in Ghost Machine's Motorsport Revolution. Braver souls can try the free falling of Aaaaaculus! We'll have a bucket nearby, just in case.
If the competitive spirit grabs you, several multiplayer games let you test your mettle. Rusty Moyher brings the four-player space shooter Astro Duel. Klobit's Capsule Force drops two players in a retro-futuristic world to shoot, dodge, deflect, and race to victory. Saam Pahlavan and Damon Chandler collaborated on the four-player desert showdown Dag Blasted, so practice your dusty Clint Eastwood sneer.
And that's just the start. There are also puzzle games like Color Thief from Trouble Impact and Ignis Studios' ClockWork. Animal Phase's 3-D world of Lost in the Woods awaits explorers to unveil its secrets. Owlchemy Labs offers up a psychological survival story with Dyscourse. If launching a van off wildly unsafe ramps or trying what might be the first second-person shooter, Binary Solo's Stunt Mitch and It's Not Me, It's You await. And Tiger Style Games will show off their long-awaited sequel Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon.
Still not enough? On the Empire Control Room stage, video game illustrator Sara Gross will draw a choose-your-own-adventure story live using suggestions from the audience to determine the direction of the tale.
Finally, TX Chip helped find bands to close out the night in appropriate fashion. Starting at 9pm, chiptune troublemakers the Mysterious H and MonsterVision take the stage accompanied by visuals provided by the aptly named Vision System. When the bleeps and bloops have died down it will be time to go back to your ordinary lives.