Looking to sink your teeth into some delightfully strange games made in a week? Why not head down to the Sabbatical Gallery for the Game-a-Week showcase next week?
The Sabbatical Gallery in Collingwood, Victoria is hosting yet another killer games showcase in the form of the Game-a-Week showcase. The event is being hosted by Billy Dent and Andy Karalis, with Dent being one of the developers behind Bell’s Beach, one of my personal favourites from last year’s RMIT Game Design Showcase.
As described by the event organisers themselves, this showcase comes from a six-week “Game-a-Week” program that Dent and Karalis held during January and February. The program was modelled around RMIT’s Game-a-Week program pioneered by RMIT lecturer and game developer Doug Wilson.
The Game-a-Week system consists of participants producing a game a week, based on a theme given at the start of the week. Weekly meetups would consist of participants sharing their work from the previous week, followed by a theme reveal video. The participants range from current RMIT students to former RMIT students, to assorted local artists and creators as well. From an outsider’s perspective, it seems like a great way to make friends in the industry, build one’s portfolio, and get more comfortable with practical work. I love it.
The Game-a-Week showcase, being held on March 24th from 6:00 p.m. at Sabbatical Gallery in Collingwood, is a celebration of the program, with each game being showcased being selected by the participants themselves as ‘demonstrations of their best work’. Dent and Karalis have been kind enough to give us a sneak peek at the games that will be available to try at the showcase, and if you’re not in the Melbourne area, some of them are even available online! Let’s have a geeze.
Gooplings (Ben Koder and Jin Feng Tan)
Use a hand-tracking sensor to stack silly creatures in this cute and chaotic riff on Tetris!
I absolutely love the creature designs in Gooplings. You can see more of them up close on Jin’s Instagram, but they are just divine. Obsessed with this.
Fire Noodle Eating Champ (Sara Teh)
Out-slurp your friends and eat as many bowls of spicy noodles as you can!
Sara Teh a.k.a wombok’s visual style is just delightful. I can also say from experience that Fire Noodle Eating Champs is incredibly fuckin’ fun and silly to play with a friend. It rocks hard, and you can give it a go here!
The Disorganised, Improvised Concert (Cailean Congedo)
Team up with friends to control music, lights and effects and put on an unforgettable concert!
This is a really neat little game about putting on a concert! While I don’t know too much else about it, Congedo’s entire portfolio of games is so incredibly fascinating, I highly suggest checking them out.
Super Jaywalker (Max Kearney and Jin Feng Tan)
10 minutes waiting and you still haven’t crossed the road. Time to take matters into your own hands.
There’s something that feels ultimately more chaotic and nefarious about the Crossy Road/Frogger setup when the protagonist is a human, which is why I’m all about this. Love to see the tram representation, now THAT’S how you know this is a Melbourne game.
Brandon Teaches a Secret (Brandon Hare)
Brandon has a secret to tell you. Will you earn his trust? Are you ready? Can you handle the truth?
I am a Brandon stan. I’m going off for Brandon.
B-Arcade (Brandon Hare)
Throw it back with familiar arcade classics like “Totris” and generate some cutting-edge, ethically dubious art!
Downhand: the Four Squares (Zen Dexter and Sara Teh)
Become the king of your corner in this frenetic downball-inspired game for 2-4 players.
I haven’t thought about handball since high school. The thought of playing handball while also being a little puppy immediately piques my interest. I’m invested.
Surfin’ the web (Duncan Corrigan)
Using a real keyboard as your surfboard, keep your balance atop the waves of [C O N T E N T].
If you can’t tell from the above screenshot, having a look through Corrigan’s portfolio makes it easy to see just how much his work pops. Visually lovely. His recent game Grasping also received an honourable mention at this year’s A MAZE Festival!
Kusomobile (Zachariah Chandler)
Drive a clunky old car along a winding mountain pass, with the most elaborate control scheme on this side of iRacing.
This game looks like the tensest and most upsetting game one could ever play, and I say that as a compliment and also as somebody who can’t drive. Makes sense for Chandler, who makes plenty of cool tense horror games.
Nobody Nose (Zac Lucarelli)
Knock your opponent’s chopstick off their nose while carefully balancing your own. The only rule is to win!
Nobody Nose gives me a similar vibe to the old mini-games of the PlayStation Eye-Toy era. I was obsessed with Eye-Toy back in the day, and am very appreciative of any webcam games. You should also check out Lucarelli’s website Poly Pizza, which is basically the rejuvenation of Google’s old Poly website. Perfect for all your polygon needs.
u & I (Andy Karalis)
Share the keyboard with a friend and grow a beautiful garden out of pure vibes.
I really love just how many multiplayer games are going to be at this showcase, and U & I is definitely one that seems very soft and kind. I really love this.
Tiny Beach (Andy Karalis)
Ride a hovercraft around a sunny beach, across the water, and into innocent bystanders in this cute summer experience.
And I really love THIS as well. It gives the vibe of a non-violent Justice Sucks, which was easily one of my favourite games of last year I love being a robot, but I love being an annoying robot even more.
The last time we wrote about Sabbatical Gallery, it was for their Sydney games showcase with Serenade which included the likes of Fuzzy Ghost and Callum Denmead. If that beauty of a showcase is anything to go by, this is gonna be a whale of a time.
The Games-a-Week showcase is free to attend on March 24th from 6:oo p.m. at Sabbatical Gallery, 141 Victoria Parade in Collingwood.