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Acagamics Game Award

Our Game Award goes into the next round!

With the Game Award we want to honor hobby game projects. Games can be created at one of our game jams, in a university course or privately.

It is very easy to participate. The deadline for registration is 15.09.2022. Simply submit a short description of your game. Until 01.10.2022 the games have to be uploaded to our server. A small jury will look at all the games and award the jury prize.

In October the official award event will take place. There you can exhibit your games, so that the visitors can test them. The visitors can then vote for their favorite game and award a community prize.

Until the submission, you can share your progress on our Discord server: https://discord.gg/eBugpak (channel: game-award)
There you can also ask for help at any time if you get stuck while developing!

And what is there to win? A lot of fame and honor! We will also award certificates and a trophy for the winning teams of the jury prize and the community prize.

See also https://award.acagamics.de/ to get the latest infos!

Developing games with pupils in Magdeburg

We’ve been to the Werner-von-Siemens school to teach pupils of the 6th grade about computer games and how to develop them.

On March 18 Sarah and Lars held a lecture about the general structure of games and then encouraged the kids to work on a new game themselves. So 12 kids sat down and worked alone or in groups (some even aided by a few parents who also joined the course) to develop their idea. An hour later, after a lot of sketching, debating and wild thoughts, the first session was done. Amongst the many ideas was a project that explored the universe, another cleaned up the sea by diving through the ocean to gather waste, and yet another project consisted of running endlessly through a forest to gather mushrooms.

On March 30 we met again, this time in the computer room of the school. Robert showed the 9 pupils and one parent in attendance what can be done with Godot and the kids eagerly matched every move. After two hours of hard work, there was a player on every screen, movable with the keyboard and able to gather stuff surrounding it. This session concluded our small but awesome project. A big thank-you to Ms. Motejat for all the arrangements and for making everything possible. Motivated teachers are great.

Sarah and Lars in action

Acagamics Barbecue 2022

The nice weather also lures us game developers into the open air. That’s why we had our annual summer party on May 24 (or, since it’s not quite summer yet, our barbecue). Together we grilled and laughed on Tuesday afternoon. This time mainly vegetarian food ended up on the grill, and that also brought us some wildlife visitors. After we attracted a hedgehog last year, this year a rabbit dared to come into our midst.

Unity in Science – Retrospect

On 01.04. our event “Unity in Science” took place in the online format. Together we looked at the development history of Unity, highlighted the advantage of GameEngine, glanced at current medical and process engineering applications, and witnessed artificial intelligence in action.

A total of up to 30 participants attended the event and exchanged ideas about their projects. Unity and Unreal Engine were compared and experiences with student projects were discussed as well as tips and hints for further work with Unity.

There is no recording of the event, but anyone interested can view presentation slides from some of the talks on the event website at www.acagamics.de/unity-in-science/. (German only)

Developed a game with pupils

Between November 2021 and January 2022, Julian and Kim met up with a handfull of pupils from third and fourth grade (8 to 10 years old) of the primary school Am Stadtsee Stendal to devise a game and also to produce material to use in it. The project was lead by Theater der Altmark to teach the kids about the theater and about acting, but there was a part about designing a computer game as well. In three weekly meetings, we worked with the children. They conceptualised ideas with us, drew a lot of pictures, and also made audio recordings to be used in the game. Everything was themed around the play Futur Eins: Leben auf dem Mars. We built a journey to Mars, with three problems one has to solve to successfully play through the game. It can be found online at no charge under: futureins.acagamics.de

The big challenge and biggest motivator for our Acagamics representatives was working with the children: “The project was amazing. The kids have an unbelievable amount of energy and an endless stream of ideas. But putting that to work is not so simple and of course there should be something to show for at the end of the project. It needed quite some thought and thorough planning. Thankfully, we had Sylvia Martin, the dramatic adviser from the theater as well as Veronika Riedel, who is trained in theater pedagogy, with us. All in all we are are more than pleased with the result. It worked as planned and the kids love the game.”

About 15 pupils took part. The project »Futur Eins: Leben auf dem Mars – analog und digital« was funded by »Wege ins Theater«, the support programm of ASSISTEJ as part of »Kultur macht stark. Bündnis für Bildung«.

Resource List

Our advent calendar with all sorts of game development resources is now archived on our website. We hope to expand the list of resources to provide an overview for both beginners and advanced developers.

Find our new page here: https://acagamics.de/ressourcen/ (linking on the main page will hopefully come soon too!) The side is in German but the linked resources are mainly in English.

TIC-80 — Workshop

On Tuesday, the 07.12. at 5pm we held a workshop to TIC-80. TIC-80 is a small fantasy computer in which you can develop small games with the languages Java Script, Lua and Moonshine.

At the beginning of the workshop TIC-80 was introduced with its components. There are built-in tools for developing code, sprites, maps, sound editors and a command line. At the end you get your game as a cartridge file.

Afterwards, the participants had one hour to implement their first own game mechanics together. There are several restrictions: the screen has a size of 240×136 pixels, there is only one color palette with 16 colors, 256 8×8 sprites and 4-channel sounds can be created.

If engines like Unity are too big for you, you should definitely have a look at TIC-80. In the future, we will certainly implement more projects with it and would like to play them together on our Acamat afterwards.

Try yourself at https://tic80.com

Beginner GameJam 2021

This weekend (19. – 21.11.) it was once again time for a GameJam. And that even in person! With a short-term change to a 2G concept (carried out as 2G+ with the courtesy of the test center of the OVGU) Acagamics veterans and GameJam newcomers met to jam together.

On Friday there was a crash course in Unity at 5 pm and at 6 pm we started with the introduction of the topic, brainstorming and group finding. The theme was, fitting to the pandemic, “Need more space.” You can admire the interpretations of the different teams in the screenshots below. As always, there was also catering provided, this time even with breakfast and hot dogs on Saturday and Sunday.

To get the real GameJam feeling online, the GameJam was streamed live on Twitch. You can see some impressions on our Twitch channel (https://www.twitch.tv/acagamics/videos). Special thanks to our streaming experts who supported us wonderfully! And of course thanks to the GameJam-Orga, who took care of posters, rooms, Corona self-tests and catering 🙂

General Assembly 2021

On 25.10. the 18th Acagamics general assembly took place. All positions were filled and we look forward to another year with a new board! Elected were:

Chair – Sarah Mittenentzwei
Industry – Till Isenhuth
Teaching – Tobias Ehlert
Community – Janek Winkler
Culture – Lars Wagner
Treasurer – Julian Benda

Congratulations!

MatLab – GameJam 2021

GameJam! MatLab? MatLab-GameJam?!

On the weekend of 22 – 24.10. there was a digital GameJam of a different kind. A GameJam with a programming language that is mainly designed for linear algebra with matrices (hence the name Matrix Laboratory) and almost not at all for interactivity, which is actually the cornerstone of video games. Nevertheless, we ventured out and tried to think in terms of matrices.

Friday evening started with the usual introduction: welcome and brainstorming for ideas. The brainstorming was a bit reserved this time, because all present could not really estimate the capacities of MatLab yet. That’s why at 8pm there was a short introduction by Sarah about games in MatLab, where the basics like game loop, keyboard input and graphical representation were introduced. At the end the game jammers had a small template to build their game on. The following two days the participants were then busy discovering MatLab’s weaknesses and strengths that work for games. Sunday afternoon, the results were then presented.

Here you can download the games. Screenshots of the games are below: