Open for New Work!

Unfortunately, last month, I was laid off from my job at Skydance Interactive, where I was working on their upcoming Walking Dead VR game. As a result, I am now open for freelance and commissioned work again! I have updated my prices and available services. Check them out. If you are interested, please drop me a line at thatkevinwong@icloud.com

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#RemakeJam

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RemakeJam starts June 18!

#RemakeJam is a game jam where you remake your very first game!

#RemakeJam invites participants to contextualize themselves and their current state as game-makers by recognizing their past work and how they’ve grown. Jammers shall use the duration of the game jam to remake the very first game they created, adapting them to use any new skills, aesthetics, or techniques they developed since they started. In doing so, we hope that jammers can be inspired by how they’ve grown and evolved as creatives.

Rules of #RemakeJam

Right now, there are few rules and guidelines for #RemakeJam

  1. If you have the capacity to radically change the design of an old game in exciting new ways that reflect your current interests, you are encouraged to do so.
  2. Many of us might have lost access to our original games, either technology might have evolved to the point where they are no longer playable or original project files cannot be found. If that’s the case, that’s totally okay, but I encourage participants to include builds of their original games for comparison’s sake.
  3. Entries containing any form of hate-speech are not permitted, and will be removed.
  4. Working on an entry prior to the start of the jam is permitted if the game being remade is of large scope.
  5. Share your progress to the #RemakeJam hashtag!

We Have Nothing to Contribute (#GGJ17 Address)

I originally delivered this address to the North Hollywood Global Game Jam site on January 20th, 2017, coincidentally, the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States. I forgot to publish it, but here were my thoughts at the time. 

Hello, and welcome to the North Hollywood Global Game Jam.

You are amongst a cohort of hundreds of thousands across the world, who, over the course if this weekend, will bring a record number of digital, analog, and physical games to life. You should be proud of that. Games are ancient, and play’s influence spreads across history through our primal roots. In making games today, you’re practicing a potent, ancient magic with the power to touch and change hearts, and I think it’s pretty exciting to get the chance be part of something so vast.

This is my sixth Global Game Jam, and to me, the Global Game Jam has always stood out as a celebration of creativity, community, and collaboration, the very best aspects of the game-making community. I look forward to celebrating those values with you this weekend.

It goes without saying that there are things out there that should not be celebrated, injustices like xenophobia, discrimination, intolerance, territorialism. Unfortunately, that’s our world today, and we can’t deny what’s clear and present in front of us. We all have our brief time to affect the world around us, and it is baffling that there are folks who are using those precious moments to celebrate the toxic values Donald Trump and his base embodies.

But we, here, won’t be part of that. We have nothing to contribute to a stark mountain of cruelty and pain. We can practice that potent, ancient magic of playcrafting for good, and take responsibility as creators. Even if we are privileged by the security to not be marching the streets tonight, we can still take action with our practice. We can make games that uplift, empower, and inspire. We can shine a light and give those around us something genuine to celebrate.

What will you give to the world this weekend?

 

Heading up to GDC

Hi folks,

I’m flying north to San Francisco for GDC tomorrow. This year, we’re nominated for the Best Student Game Award at the Independent Games Festival and will be showing Chambara at both the IGF Pavilion and one other location that will be disclosed early next week that still has to be kept under wraps.

We’re bringing a bunch of stuff up with us. Lots of swag and collectibles. Stickers, pins, cards, and the like. Meet us at our booth, and you can snag some. They’re really cool, huge props to team ok’s marketing unit. We’re going to be in the North Hall, right by the entrance. You can’t miss us. If you’re a journalist, or are just interested in the game, feel free to buzz me and we can set up an appointment for a special showing.

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We’re going to be showing off an almost-complete version of the game. All of the core mechanics will be there and well polished, though we will be locking out some of the more advanced stages and content that would not make very much sense for beginners. We’ve exhibited a lot in the past, but showing at GDC is a big deal in the larger picture. I remember walking through the IGF Pavilion freshman year and being thrilled to see the developers and their games. Here I am years later on the other side of all that. Wow. That is really something.

As for how I feel? Not quite sure. One year ago, we left to go to London and the BAFTAs, and I was ensnared with anticipation as to how things could have changed if we won or lost. Retrospectively, things really did change, and having lived through the experience of being nominated for an award, this time feels different. I don’t know if we will win, and I respect the other nominees immensely, but I want us to do the best we can out there and, if the events of next week catalyze any change to the world around me, that it will serve the interests of everyone.

I’m excited for this next week. Let’s go.

E3 2015

We submitted Chambara to Indiecade this year, and we were accepted into the summer E3 showcase over at the convention center. We got to exhibit as part of their eSports showcase. It was a lot of fun! We got to show the game to some incredible people, get useful feedback on… feedback, and interact with the press.

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People previously on Vanishing Point!
People previously on Vanishing Point!
The Ninja Gaiden folks played our game, and gave feedback on how we should juice up KO animations by making them more like chambara movies. Then mimed the death sequence from Sanjuro
The Ninja Gaiden folks played our game, and gave feedback on how we should juice up KO animations by making them more like chambara movies. Then mimed the death sequence from Sanjuro
Warren Spector played our game. We couldn't ask for feedback because we got pulled into a weird interview with Comedy Central.
Warren Spector played our game. We couldn’t ask for feedback because we got pulled into a weird interview with Comedy Central.

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The Metal Gear Solid 5 Booth was a delight
The Metal Gear Solid 5 Booth was a delight
Post-E3 Tacos
Post-E3 Tacos

In other parts of my life, I’ve found myself in this accelerator called “Bridge”. It is a weird place to be in since the attitude that we carried into making Chambara during Dare to be Digital was playful, like a sport. We wanted to win the competition that we were participating in, and we wanted to have a good time doing it.

I think the culture that the world around me is asking me to be part of does not exactly align, and that’s super-baffling. I conflate work with play, because the work that I do feel like a playful, free, and empowering choice of volition to me. I feel liberated by my choice to make games in game jams, for class, and as an independent entity. When that play suddenly becomes work? I wasn’t prepared for that to happen.