Tuesday 4 November 2014

Interview with the Guardian - Tap Happy Sabotage and physical play

During GameCity I was interviewed by Jordan Erica Webber from the Guardian about Tap Happy Sabotage and about Dash & Bash Edition, the installation game I developed for the event.

I'm very happy with this interview as I feel I was able to convey a lot of the thought process behind the games, and how shared physical play can open up development beyond app stores and into public spaces.

GameCity was also featured on the BBC's Click programme, which is available from here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04p21jv/click-01112014

The segment begins at 6 minutes in, and begins with a certain installation game that I'm very proud of!

Update: The video from BBC Click is now up on YouTube and embedded below

Monday 3 November 2014

In GIFs - Tap Happy Sabotage: Dash & Bash Edition

In my last post I gave an explanation of Tap Happy Sabotage: Dash & Bash Edition, the installation game I developed for GameCity 9, with photos of the game in action.

I also took some footage of the game, which gives a great feel for the pace and flow which static images don't quite convey. With that in mind I turned the video into animated GIFs so you can see the game in motion. It gives quite a nice feel of what it was like to be in the room!

More GIFs after the jump!

Sunday 2 November 2014

Tap Happy Sabotage: Dash & Bash Edition hits GameCity Nottingham

This week I ventured to sunny Nottingham for the annual GameCity festival, which has been a highlight of my year since I first showed Greedy Bankers there in 2011. This year I created a new version of Tap Happy Sabotage as an installation for the venue.

It’s called Tap Happy Sabotage: Dash & Bash Edition, and it’s built for a room with four monitors and big bashable buttons.

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Tap Happy Sabotage at the EGX Leftfield Collection

It's been some journey, hasn't it? Since January I've taken Tap Happy Sabotage to London, Bristol, Brighton, Birmingham, Bletchley Park, Berlin (the letter B is popular!) and even Gamecom in Cologne. Not more than a couple of weeks ago it was winging it's way back to London for EGX 2014 at Earl's Court.

Tap Happy Sabotage was fortunate enough to be selected as part of the Leftfield Collection, which saw it played by roughly 600 people over the course of 6 days. Of course, there was plenty of the pushing and shoving I built the game to encourage, and the competitive spirit seemed to bubble over with most groups.

Monday 1 September 2014

AppSpy plays Slamjet Stadium

Peter Willington from AppSpy and Alix from Opposable Games put out a livestream last week where they tried out a bunch of great shared-iPad multiplayer games. Well worth a watch, as all the games demoed are awesome and highly recommended. They also had a lot of fun playing Slamjet Stadium, which I thoroughly enjoyed watching!

Slamjet Stadium gameplay begins at 32 minutes.

Wednesday 6 August 2014

Tap Happy Sabotage comes to Berlin and Cologne

I'm just a couple of days away from jetting off to Germany and I'll be taking Tap Happy Sabotage with me. If you're in Berlin on Saturday or Cologne next week then please do come and join in the local multiplayer calamity!

On Saturday 9th August I'll be at JOIN - Local Multiplayer Summit in Berlin. 

As well as demoing Tap Happy Sabotage on the big touchscreen I'll be doing a Q&A session with Adriaan de Jongh from GameOven - developers of local multiplayer titles Friendstrap, Bounden, and one of my all-time favourites: Fingle.

From Monday 11th - Wednesday 13th August I'll be at GDC Europe in Cologne

In fact, just today I received word from Microsoft that Tap Happy Sabotage will be on their stand. Can't wait to see it up and running at the conference!

From Wednesday 13th - Friday 15th August I'll be at Gamescom in Cologne. 

I'm exhibiting Tap Happy Sabotage as part of the Unity booth. If you're at the show please do swing by Hall 04.1 Booth B030 to play the game!

It should be an incredible trip!

Monday 23 June 2014

Tap Happy Sabotage is launched!

Good news everybody! Tap Happy Sabotage is now available from the Windows Store for Windows 8 devices. Please do download from here and join in the fun!

Tap Happy Sabotage is completely free, without ads or in-app purchases, so there's no excuses not to play it!

I took the game to Radius Festival in London on Friday, where it went down really well. You can see it being given a full work-out by Vlambeer's Rami Ismail and One Life Left's Ann Scantlebury at http://www.twitch.tv/radiusfestival/b/540285765?t=123m40s (I'm on at 2:03:40)

And of course, there's a new trailer up here, with some of the footage from this year's GameCamp and Indie Games Collective.

Thursday 19 June 2014

Tap Happy Sabotage on an 88-inch touchscreen

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Microsoft headquarters in Reading, UK, to demo Tap Happy Sabotage to their staff. They had the game pre-installed on their 88-inch Perceptive Pixel Display.

Needless to say, it was an incredible experience. The display is very responsive, and the nature of the game meant we were reaching all over the screen to grab our cards.

I shot some video so you can get a feel for how it plays out!

Many thanks to the team at Microsoft for inviting me over, and for hosting a very successful demo session!

Saturday 7 June 2014

Speaking at Develop Conference 8th July 2014

Hi everyone! I'll be speaking again at this year's Develop Conference in Brighton, as part of the Evolve track. So if you're there, please do come along - my talk is at 12:15 on Tuesday 8th July and is all about building games for big touchscreens. Games, that is, like my very own Tap Happy Sabotage (which is, by the way, coming to Windows 8 on June 19th). Details of the talk are below:

Thinking Bigger: Developing for Large-Scale Touchscreens

Touch has been the defining interface of recent years, and the latest influx of large-scale PC touch screens is the start of a brave new world for games and physical play. Designer Alistair Aitcheson is known for his heavily physical tablet games and the creator of "Tap Happy Sabotage", a game built for up to 52 players on a single 27-inch touch screen.

In this talk he demonstrates why this sea change is not to be overlooked, and how developers can make the most of this exciting technological shift. He explores the play possibilities that set big screens apart from tablets or phones, and draws on personal experience to show the design strategies that make a touch game great at scale.

He also investigates how games for these interfaces fit into our current app marketplaces, what existing tablet games need to do to adapt to this new interface, and the potential for this technology to drive innovative installation-based game projects.

Develop Conference has always been a favourite of mine, and I'm really excited to be back speaking about a subject which I am incredibly passionate about!

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Nominated for two Pocket Gamer awards!

Very exciting news! I'm up for two awards in the Pocket Gamer Awards 2014. I've been nominated for Best Developer, and Slamjet Stadium is up for Best Sports/Driving Game.

Anyone can vote for their favourite on the PocketGamer site, via this link, so if you think I'm worthy of the title then please do give me your vote - I'd really appreciate it!

Saturday 1 February 2014

Tap Happy Sabotage takes first prize at Pocket Gamer's Very Big Indie Pitch

On 20th January I took Tap Happy Sabotage! to the Pocket Gamer Connects conference in London, to demo live on the expo floor. The game proved very popular, with players getting very competitive very quickly, and as many as six players playing at any one time.

I also entered the game into Pocket Gamer's Very Big Indie Pitch competition where the game was selected as a finalist, to be shown live on stage in front of all the delegates at the conference. After a successful live demo the game was awarded joint-first prize alongside fellow finalists Wild Dawn and Photo Dash.

Tap Happy Sabotage! demoed live on stage at the Very Big Indie Pitch finals

The game's also been covered by the Guardian's Keith Stuart, who played the game live at the event:
There is a lot of pushing – and, actually, what you'd usually describe as cheating if it wasn't for the fact that Aitcheson has gleefully built every heinous activity possible into the design plan. Later, he entered the game into the event's Indie Pitch contest, which saw an array of small developers showing their new wares to a selection of journalists and veteran developers. He came joint first. People just like fighting over games. 
Full article: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/gamesblog/2014/jan/24/tap-happy-sabotage-four-screens-one-game

Tap Happy Sabotage! also picked up enthusiastic previews from Pocket Gamer and Pocket Gamer France.

Right now I'm putting the final touches on the game ready for release in the coming months. That includes keyboard support for the Windows 8 release, and a really cool networking feature for smaller screens - as described in the Guardian article - that I hope to be able to show footage of very soon!