Mini Metro wins IGF Award

Robert and Peter Curry of Wellington's Dinosaur Polo Club, the creators of the ingenious Mini Metro, came away with the Excellence in Audio Award and were nominated for four categories - including the Grand Prize - at the Independent Games Festival (IGF) this year, held during the Game Developers Conference 2016 in San Francisco.

The IGF awards are arguably the most prestigious and competitive games awards internationally, so it was an amazing achievement for Dinosaur Polo Club to not only win, but to be nominated in a whopping three other categories (Excellence Design, Visual Art, and the Grand Prize)!

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New Zealand game studios recruiting at GDC

Fifteen New Zealand game studios will be in San Francisco during the Game Developers Conference 2016. They have a number exciting job vacancies to fill and are on the look-out for talented people across all disciplines. Take this opportunity to explore the high quality work and lifestyle only New Zealand can offer.jump to full article

New digital game on the future curriculum

Players of NZCER's new app game must put forward their best argument to shape the future of education. Curriculum for the Future: The Digital Game is one in a series of three resources designed to generate thought-provoking conversations about learning and curriculum today and in the future.

Curriculum for the future is the first resource of its kind to be produced by NZCER in collaboration with Gamelab Ltd. NZCER is seeking player feedback on its flagship game app, to explore how resources like this can support broad engagement in contemplating "the big questions" for school learning and the future.

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The magic of Weta Workshop helps to shape the future of art and technology

It’s looking to be a watershed year for Magic Leap’s Mixed Reality Lightfield™ technology, and Wellington’s Weta Workshop is playing a pivotal creative role.

Today, Magic Leap CEO, Rony Abovitz announced a Series C funding round, led by the Alibaba Group. At the same time, Weta Workshop CEO and one of Magic Leap’s founding directors, Richard Taylor lifts the lid on his and his company’s preeminent Magic Leap partnership. A seven-year affiliation with Rony that is now a growing interactive division within the Workshop, right here in Wellington.

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Path of Exile: Ascendancy launches

Grinding Gear Games, developer of the award-winning free-to-play action RPG Path of Exile, today announced that their latest expansion, Path of Exile: Ascendancy will be available on March 4th, 2016.

Path of Exile: Ascendancy features the Lord’s Labyrinth, a daily changing maze of deadly traps and challenges designed to test the mettle of even the most experienced PoE player. The Emperor Izaro constructed deadly trials through Wraeclast to find worthy candidates. Players will have a powerful set of new skills and items to conquer the Labyrinth, including the introduction of 19 new Ascendancy character classes, each with its own passive skill tree to master.

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RenderVision Released

Auckland developers Andy Wiltshire (BulletProof) and Michael Reitzenstein (RockSolid) have created a new Unity Performance Plugin called RenderVision which provides overlay information on Culling opportunities in your game project - and have setup a partner website, - featuring helpful performance guides for Unity game developers.

Feel free to check out the links below and share with your fellow game devs;

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The Arcade Auckland Coworking Space

The NZGDA has launched a shared work space for indie game developers called The Arcade Auckland – which is currently free for any casual NZGDA member to use and low cost for any regular member. It’s based within The Idea Collective Building at MOTAT (The Museum of Transportation and Technology) in Western Springs, Auckland.  

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Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials™ now available on the App Store and Google Play

Players outrun WCKD in the Scorch in the officially licensed sequel to the mobile hit The Maze Runner™

Leading games publisher PikPok® today announced the launch of Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials ™ game for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android. The officially licensed game, developed by veteran developer Sticky Studios and published by PikPok, is based on the 20th Century Fox action-adventure film and James Dashner’s New York Times bestselling novel of the same name.

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Glow Worm Adventure now available on the App Store and Google Play

Leading games publisher PikPok today announced the launch of Glow Worm Adventure for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android phones and tablets. The game is developed by Pixelthis, based in New Zealand.

Glow Worm Adventure sees the player solve intricate puzzles by sliding tiles around a board to create a path. The innovative Rubiks-style mechanic is presented in a vibrant night-time setting filled with playful glowworms. Stars are awarded for solving puzzles in fewer moves, and different tiles keep the game exciting and challenging.

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GDC 2015 Report: Farah Khalaf

Guest post by Farah Khalaf, Auckland University of Technology student and NZGDA Board Member.  

This year I had the privilege of attending GDC 2015 as an IGDAF Intel scholar. I remember standing in the middle of a train station, almost bursting into tears when I read the email. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the program, Intel recently created an initiative to increase diversity in the tech and games industry, pledging 300 million dollars to the cause.

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GDC 2016 Scholarships for New Zealanders

We have 25 GDC 2016 All Access Passes PLUS three $5,000 travel grants for New Zealanders to get to the world's premier games industry event: The Game Developers Conference, 14-18 March 2016 in San Francisco.

Junior and intermediate game developers from all disciplines including indies and students are encouraged to apply. The judges will give particular emphasis to applications from women in the games industry and budding entrepreneurs.

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Milton’s Tale Beautifully Mixes Puzzles and Paper Craft

Jeremy(TM) and Friends are excited to announce the release and immediate availability of Milton's Tale 1.0, a finely polished puzzle game aiming to give people of all ages and gaming experience that "clever" feeling throughout. Available for free on iOS and Android, the game is presented entirely in a world of colored paper, and implements a unique new organic referral marketing strategy.

Milton's Tale is at its core a physics puzzler. It implements the well known 3-star reward system to make the game immediately accessible to a wide market and place itself as a downtime game. What makes Milton's Tale unique from a game-design perspective is the high quality of puzzles, challenging the player to think visually to beat each level, along of course with the rich paper craft style.

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Dynabrick wins Kiwi Game Starter 2015

Innovative video game Dynabrick is set to be New Zealand’s next digital hit export after winning the KiwiGameStarter, New Zealand’s only startup programme for interactive games businesses.

The Dynabrick prototype was developed by Wellington-based developer Rox Flame. The second place went to Swordy by Frogshark.

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Digital NZ Report 2016: Games are popular mainstream media

According to the Digital New Zealand Report 2016 launched on 9 September 2015 by IGEA the proportion of the older Kiwi population that plays video games has increased in the past two years. Two fifths (43 per cent) of New Zealanders aged 65 and over now play video games, compared to only 32 per cent in 2013. The average age of the New Zealand gamer is 34 years old, up from 33 in the previous report.

Dr Jeff Brand, Professor at Bond University and lead author of the report, said that video and computer games are being recognised for their effects on positive ageing, which explains why more mature Kiwis are jumping on the bandwagon. “The use of games-based technology is increasingly finding its way into physical and mental health applications. I continue to marvel at the growing adoption of video games beyond just entertainment,” says Professor Brand.

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Jobs in NZ Games Industry Grow in FY2015

New Zealand’s video game studios created 134 new high-tech creative jobs in the last financial year, according to an independent survey by the New Zealand Game Developers Association. The sector now employs 568 fulltime employees and earned $78.7m in FY2015, up 3% on the previous year. 82% of revenue came from digital exports.

The survey shows that established game studios continue to do well but the overall sector’s growth has slowed due to a lack of new businesses being established by either local startups or international investors.

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Kiwi Game Starter 2015

18 entries were received for the 2015 KiwiGameStarter, with four finalists due to pitch to a judging panel at NZ GDC on 10 September 2015.

Entries for New Zealand’s only startup programme for interactive games businesses – the KiwiGameStarter – are now open, with business plans and playable prototypes due on 28 August.

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