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The PAX East 2014 Recap!

by Liz on April 17, 2014

Phew! We did it! PAX East 2014 was a whirlwind, but we all came out the other side with a ton of energy to pour into the final stretch of development on Bigfoot Hunter.

PAX Players: Fueling Our Passion

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Pax Team 2

There’s nothing quite like watching thousands of people play your game; PAX East is a unique opportunity for the whole Tap Lab team to see the expression on a player’s face when they first hold up a device and start exploring Bigfoot National Park.

After three days of demos, we’re super excited to get to work on new features, make some major changes, and add more hilarious quirks to the game.

Players loved the unique mechanic of holding your phone like a real camera, and everyone had a blast with the Bigfoot Photobomb feature! A few of our favorites:

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Heather and Yowie, showin' off their guns!

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Bigfoot and Dominic are full of secrets...

Knowledge Dropped, Lessons Learned

Dave spoke on three panels this year. At ‘I’ll Show You Mind If You Show Me Yours, Again!’ we had an amazing line up for a second year of 1stGameEver stories, including Eitan Glinert at Fire Hose Games, Zoe Quinn, creator of Depression Quest, Rami Ismail of Vlambeer, and Matt Boch at Harmonix.

They each had a very different, completely fascinating road to where they are today and shared invaluable advice for new and veteran game designers alike. Zoe summed it up well:

During the Q&A, one aspiring game designer asked for a few resources he could use to resolve the fact that he was an artist, but couldn't code. The panelists quickly began compiling a full list of useful tools -- now gathered online for your convenience!

Check Out the #1stGameEver List of Resources

Bigfoot Spotted at PAX East!

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Ranger Rosie was on the job at PAX East 2014 hunting down the illusive Bigfoot – although he was pretty hard to miss on the expo floor.

Attendees had a blast hanging out with Sasquatch; we got a lot of ‘Dad, is that you?!’ and my personal favorite, ‘anybody got some beef jerky?!’ (no one did, sadly).

More than a few Seattle natives fulfilled a life long dream of capturing Bigfoot on camera last weekend – we assured them that they’d have many more opportunities once Bigfoot Hunter goes live in the App Store!

Many fulfilled a lifelong dream they probably didn’t even know they had, when they got the chance to watch Bigfoot duke it out with Powdered Toast Man in the Entertainment Consumers Association jousting arena.

Once Bigfoot took the podium, PAX attendees from all walks of life couldn’t wait to take him on in the arena! Poor Bigfoot was pretty exhausted – but victorious!

Watch the PAX Recap for all the hilarity!

Bigfoot Hunter is coming soon to iOS. Join the hunt to find out when it’s released, or explore Ranger Rosie's field notes for details!

Be The First to Know When Bigfoot Hunter Launches!

Tools for Your First Game Ever!

by Liz on April 16, 2014

Last weekend First GameEver returned to PAX East 2014 for the second year!

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This year's panel featured a brand new line up of brilliant game designers:  Zoe Quinn, creator of Depression Quest, Eitan Glinert, President of Fire Hose Games , Rami Ismail, Co-Founder of Vlambeer , and Matt Boch, Lead Designer at Harmonix Music Systems.

During the Q&A, one aspiring game designer asked for a few resources he could use to resolve the fact that he was an artist, but couldn't code. The panelists quickly began compiling a full list of useful tools -- now gathered here for your convenience! 

We started the 1stGameEver project last year for a few reasons: one, we selfishly wanted to hear awesome stories of where our favorite game designers got their start, whether it was a text adventure at the age of 6, or a hilarious college flop. 

Second, we know that we're not the only game studio that only hires applicants that have designed and built a game on their own, and we want more and more students & aspiring designers to enter the industry with a completed game in hand.

Third, any good creator knows that success only comes (for most of us) after many failed attempts. So often we hesitate to jump in and get our hands dirty -- but there's no better way to make a good game than to just start making games. Hopefully this list helps you do just that!

Tools for Game Design

Twine: Open-source text adventure tool
Pygame: Open-source Python games
Kodu and Scratch: Visual programming languages

Stencyl: Flash-based visual programming tool
GameMaker: Super simple game engine
RenPy: The visual novel engine

Adventure Game Studio: Point and click adventure engine
Inform7: Text-parsing interactive fiction engine
Unity: 3D game engine

Love2D: Open-source 2D games framework
Corona SDK 

Paper: you write RULES on it! 

Google Image Search (hey, free is free)
Your Friends: tell them what to do! 

Pixel Prospector's List of Royalty-Free Graphics

LetsMakeGames.org: Resources for Game Developers

Tools for Business Time

Presskit(): make it easy for journalists to tell your story! 
Gamasutra: Industry News & Developer Resources
Promoter App: track press, events & reviews of your game
Pixel Prospector's 'Big List of Indie Game Marketing'

All Around Awesome Resources

Pixel Prospector: Indie Games & Resources for Indie Developers
CompoHub: A badass timeline of the game development events around the world!

TIGSource: A community of independent game developers and creators

Ludum Dare
Boston Games Forum, Boston Indies, Post Mortem
Your Own Local Community! Start Here
Global Game Jam

It's that beautiful time of year when boxes of t-shirts and buttons and posters begin to pile up around the game studios of Intrepid Labs. We all start watching our sleep habits, preparing our immune systems for a non-stop weekend of shouting, laughing, walking, running, demoing, dancing, playing and partying, and brace ourselves for the awesome times that lie ahead.

The expo is ONE WEEK away, and The Tap Lab team is ready to take PAX East 2014 by storm! 

We'll be demoing the BIGGEST most hilarious fast-paced camera adventure game you've ever seen. It's Bigfoot Huntin' time!

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We'll be in Booth #56 in the Indie MEGABOOTH, so stop by to become one of the first people to play Bigfoot Hunter, enter to win an awesome T-Shirt, and grab a few freebies! 

This year, we're also keeping Dave busy with three amazing panels you should definitely check out if you're in the industry, or aspire to be. Check out a full list of panels featuring our favorite indie developers on the Indie MEGABOOTH site

I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours, Again!

Friday 11AM Bublebee Theater

Your first attempt at game development will be messy, unpredictable and hilarious. These pro developers know firsthand! Back for its second year, the First Game Ever project features a new panel of brave souls ready to bare all. 

Free to Play Throwdown - Boston Mobile Devs Debate the Business of Mobile Games

Saturday 10:30AM Cuttlefish Theater

The question of whether mobile games are great is moot, but what about whether a game should be free-to-play or pay-to-play? Some of Boston’s finest mobile developers will duke it out over this hotly debated question in an interactive panel discussion where the audience (you!) will vote and name a winning “team.”

What to do with your Game Design Degree: Employment at Social/Mobile/Indie studios

Saturday 12PM Bumblebee Theater

How can you stand out from a crowd? What should you have learned in school and what changed since you graduated from even a year ago? When is a Game Design degree worth something to a Social/Mobile/Indie development studio? Or perhaps you already have a degree how can you make it work for you?

If you're headed to PAX East, we want to see you! And keep an eye out for the big man himself! He's a sneaky fellow... but if you try really hard, you just might spot him at the expo.

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