by Zack Smith
The first Game On Raleigh will be held tonight at the Busy Bee Café’s Hive in downtown Raleigh from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., a self-described “Battle of the Bands” for video games that offers Triangle gamers samples of what local developers have to offer.
Ten developers, ranging from such veterans as Spark Plug Games to newer groups such as Pangolin Games, will show off games specially developed for the event, with titles ranging from Ninja Hamster Rescue to Bust-a-Marble to Sushi Boy Thunder. Gamers in attendance to the free event will pick their favorite from these, and hopefully gain some new insight into the variety of small-scale game developers in the area.
“In this day and age, it’s getting easier and easier to put a quality game together,” says Ben Moore, a spokesman for Mighty Rabbit Studios, who put together the event and features the game Saturday Morning RPG in competition.
“The younger population out here is into arts and music, but the Triangle has such a cache when it comes to technology that it’s easy to put out something that combines art and technology, and maybe creates something with a deeper story than usual.”
Moore says that part of the goal of Game On is to help introduce some of the smaller game developers to Triangle gamers, and build interest in their projects.
“With the down economy, while the game companies are financially sound, they’re not hiring,” Moore says. “A lot of companies have an interest in making more than just an entertaining iPhone app, and have some great ideas, and so they’re interested in getting their name out there.”
And in the long run, Game On hopes to bring attention to the fact that the homegrown game development market in the Triangle is worth noticing.
“There’s two or three big companies that get all the attention, but there’s 40-plus game studios in the area, and if you tell people that, they say, ‘Wow, really?’” Moore says.
“Part of our goal with this is to build more of a community amongst ourselves and help support each other. This is one for the little guys—our way of saying that we’re here too.”
Here's the trailer for Sushi Boy Thunder: