Why Bother Telling Stories in Games?

Ian Bogost’s article in The Atlantic puts forth the suggestion that games as a means of interactive storytelling is somehow a waste of time and also selling the medium short. A few quotes from the article to summarize his point: On the whole, there is nothing to fault in What Remains of Edith Finch. It’s a lovely little title with ambitions scaled to match their execution. Few will leave it unsatisfied. And yet, the game is pregnant with an unanswered question: Why does this story need to be told as a video game? Then Later: The true accomplishment of What Remains of Edith Finch is that it invites players to abandon the dream of interactive storytelling at last. Yes, sure, you can tell a story in a game. But what a lot of work that is, when it’s so much easier to watch television, or to read. » read more

Summer Sale Deals on WNY-Made Games!

Summer is known for a lot of things. Stuff like warm weather, barbecue, and crazy deals on video games. There's no weather on the BGS blog, and we're still working out our barbecue arrangements, so that leaves summer sales. A number of excellent games made by members and friends of BGS are available for purchase online through various storefronts hosting summer sales, so what better time for you to check out the ones you haven't! Shutshimi - Seriously Swole Get it on Steam! Our favorite beefy armed shotgun-wielding goldfish just got a permanent price drop! Pick up this 2D bullet hell and save the sea from villainous cats in submarines, scuba bears, and surfing butts. Fist's Elimination Tower Get it on Steam! | Get it on itch.io! The most fun you'll ever have getting punched in the face! Leap to the top of a 150-story obstacle course filled with enemies » read more

Buffalo Game Expo 2018 Recap

This past Saturday, we at Buffalo Game Space hosted our third annual showcase of locally made video games and board games, Buffalo Game Expo 2018. We think the event was a great success, with nearly two dozen games featured, their creators there to chat with the attendees as they played their creations. We'd like to follow up the Expo with a post highlighting all the games hosted at the event, as well as their creators. If you were at the event and played something you'd like to follow and purchase, or if you couldn't make it and want to get an idea of what you missed, read on! A Small Robot Story A robot's coming-of-age story! Homepage A Small Robot Story is an adventure-platformer where you play as Rae, a small robot who activates and has no idea why. So you need to set out and find out what's up! » read more

Old Gamers Never Die – They Just Respawn Slower

Stephen spent 174 days in the survival adventure game from The Molasses Flood called The Flame in the Flood, logging over 136 miles on the river in the game. Eventually he ran out of procedurally generated river and resources to scavenge. He drifted along the widening river until it became a virtual lake, ultimately starving to death. It was, of course, not his first playthrough. He had poked and prodded the systems in the game over playthroughs that lasted entire days, and that didn’t even take into account the many hours outside the game he spent thinking about solutions and discussing his options with his wife. The stunning graphics invited him in, and the aesthetic made him stay. Lewis Gordon’s in depth Waypoint article delves into what led 63 year old Stephen to spend so much time in the game before moving on to Firewatch and other games. » read more

Constraint as Creative Catalyst

Anyone who has participated in a Game Jam can tell you how the ticking clock affects the choices you make. Knowing that time and resources are limited, a game developer has to make hard choices if they want to finish something before the jam ends. The same principle is brought to bear by the theme. Many developers view the theme as a tool for preventing jammers from getting an early start and therefore an unfair advantage, but its real value is that it provides a focal point for inspiration. Ian Dallas is the creative director at Santa Monica based independent game studio Giant Sparrow. They recently released their second game, What Remains of Edith Finch, which led to him taking part in a series of promotions for the new game. Of note was his “Ask me Anything” session on Reddit in which he talked about how the constraints of time » read more

BGSJam 11 Recap

This past weekend a crowd of creative folks got together and made 9 games in 48 hours at Buffalo Game space. BGS Jam 11, the eleventh local only Buffalo based game jam was attended by veteran and aspiring game developers with the challenge of making a game fit the secret theme chosen by the community by Sunday night. Always an amazing learning experience whether you've never made a game before or if it's your 100th project, BGSJam 11 created some new and interesting ideas while minting some new game developers in the process. The theme selected by community vote was "KAIJU". A surprise as always. If you didn't know what a Kaiju is, think Godzilla, Mothra, Ultraman etc. For a little more to go on than just that, Buffalo Game Space also accepted community submitted suggestions for diversifiers which were then selected down to 11. They are: UPC-A O.K. » read more

How to BGSjam Like a Pro

If you've never participated in a game jam before, it can be a bit daunting. We at BGS wanted to try to make it a little easier for beginners (and pros!), so we put together this handy introductory doc to jamming at a BGSjam. Read along here, or grab the latest version via Google Docs. Advice for BGSJammers 1) Don’t Be a Hero - Use a Game Engine! It is called a game jam for a reason. If you want to build your own game engine – go ahead, just make sure you have finished it before the BGSJam starts, so you can spend those precious 48 hours making a playable game. Don’t waste your programming kung fu on writing a game engine during the jam, use it to make a game! (Unless you are making a networked multiplayer game in Visual Basic on a dare. Even then reconsider. » read more

Make something awesome at BGSjam 11!

The ELEVENTH official game jam of Buffalo Game Space | May 18th - 20th Register now at itch.io! RSVP: Facebook | Meetup Buffalo Game Space is proud to be hosting their ELEVENTH official local game jam from May 18th to the 20th! Join newcomers and industry pros alike as we all work to create games over the course of the weekend, all based on one unifying theme (to be announced at the start of the event on Friday). So if you're a programmer, an artist, a musician, a designer, or just someone who wants to get a crash course in making games, come to BGSjam 11 and create something amazing with us! BGSjam 11 is free to attend, but we strongly recommend attendees bring $20 each in order to pay for the meals we'll provide during the jam (Dinner Friday, Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Saturday, Brunch/Dinner Sunday) Never jammed before? Check » read more