Festivals, Conferences and Kiwis!

Hello friends!

This month in Clever Endeavour news, we talk about the Boston Festival of Indie Games, the upcoming GameLoop event, a visit from some Kiwis, and new Ultimate Chicken Horse content. Well, we don’t actually talk about the content, we just tease you and tell you that we’re working on more content.

Boston Festival of Indie Games (BFIG)

Rich went down to Boston FIG with Phil from It’s Anecdotal and Mo from Artifact 5, who were showing their new games. Rich was just along for the ride (provided the car for the ride, actually), and had a place to stay with a friend in Boston so it made the trip a no-brainer. Check out the video below for a recap of the fun that was had!

For the record, it kinda bugs him that they call it FIG Fest because that would mean Festival of Indie Games Festival and that’s mildly unnerving.

GameLoop

For the 5th year, GameLoop is back in Montreal! GameLoop is an “unconference” where the conference attendees make the conference by pitching sessions on the spot, and splitting into rooms to discuss them right then and there. The process is very cool—people pitch sessions and volunteers write them down on cue cards, then the cue cards are placed on a board where people vote for them by putting little stickers on the ones they like best. After this short decision process, the top picks are chosen and a schedule is made on the spot, with 3-4 rooms for several sessions to happen at once.

2019-09-19 GameLoop.png

Tickets are up now so act fast if you want to grab one! They usually sell out very very quickly. Clever Endeavour is proud to be sponsoring the event again this year!

Friends from Dinosaur Polo Club!

This week we were lucky enough to be visited by two lovely friends from Dinosaur Polo Club, who are developers from New Zealand. They make the game Mini Metro (and Mini Motorways coming soon!), and they were in Montreal meeting developers to gather information about, well, lots of things. Prototyping, company culture, company structure, the creative process, management, everything. The great thing is that we—and I’m sure all of the other devs they met—shared with us as much as we shared with them, so it was a great exchange. 

Plus, they’re just cool people and good friends so it was fun. Rich and Gen, along with Phil (mentioned in the BFIG section), went for dinner with the Dino Polo gals. Here’s a somewhat embarrassing photo that the people at the ramen place made us take, and it’s the only photo we have with both Chantelle and Niamh in it. 

2019-09-19 Ramen.jpg

Ultimate Chicken Horse Work

We haven’t forgotten about you, dear UCH players! We’re working on new content for an update that will come out at some point, but we’ve been slowed down by some paternity leave and vacations, so we can’t show you anything just yet. We promise it’s awesome though… we think so at least.

Ultimate Mario Maker Chicken Horse

Hello Ultimate Animals!

Want to know what we’ve been up to at Clever Endeavour Games in the past month? Well here it is!

Making the Marios

A few weeks ago, RDS Jeux Vidéo, the video games coverage team at a large media network for covering sports around here, reached out to us about a contest they were running. A handful of local indie devs would make a Super Mario Maker 2 level for their audience to play and then vote on their favorite, for a chance to win some prizes. We figured we had to take part in that!

While Ultimate Chicken Horse has been described more times than we can count as "4-person versus Mario Maker", none of us had ever actually played that game! When finally given the chance, Kyler wanted to try to recreate some of Ultimate Chicken Horse inside of Super Mario Maker 2 to understand how it is similar or different. The level he made (742-F3Y-RFF) is a simulation of playing many rounds on Rooftops, where after each round, new elements are added to the level that make it more and more difficult.

Check it out for yourself and let us know what you think! Did he nail it?

Indie Picnic

In late July, our besties at Kitfox Games invited us to an indie game dev picnic on a beautiful Friday afternoon. We were happy to join a lovely group of some of the best people in the industry to make the most out of Montréal's all-too-short Summer. Even Kyler joined in the midst of his paternity leave, and we all got to hang out with the very first ClevEndeav beb! Pizza was eaten, lemonade was drunk, group photos were taken, and dabs were... dabbed. 10/10 would picnic again.

(photos by Kitfox Games)

Work, Work, Work!

So then, what have we been up to at work?
You guessed it: more new game prototyping that we can't talk about yet. THAT'S IT BYE!!

...

Actually, we're happy to say that we have started working on some new things for Ultimate Chicken Horse, too! So, if you were ever thinking that we had abandoned the game: heck naw we haven't. We're not capable of doing that. We keep wanting to add stuff to it.

And to avoid having to repeat that we can't actually show you anything yet, we'll leave you on this little gem: What a typical prototype environment looks like in Ultimate Chicken Horse.

Ooh, baby.

Ooh, baby.

Yep. There it is.
Feel excited yet?

<3
The Clever Devs

Ultimate Chicken Horse Tournament, Disco:MTL, and Glasswork

Hello Ultimate Animals!

Here are some highlights from the last month at Clever Endeavour Games: a live tournament event for Ultimate Chicken Horse, a day-long indie summit on game discoverability, and some creative team-building fun. Let’s dive in!

 

Tournoi I-Sport 2019

On July 7th, Gen attended the first Tournoi I-Sport by La Zone de Jeux Indie Loto-Québec at the Montréal Casino. There, players took part in four tournaments of indie games made in the province of Québec: Ultimate Chicken Horse, King of the Hat by our office buddies at Business Corp. Incorporated, Save Your Nuts by Triple Scale Games, and Sacrifice your Friends by Astrolabe Interactive.

Photo by Matías Garabedian: twitter.com/matiasmontreal

Photo by Matías Garabedian: twitter.com/matiasmontreal

The energy at the event was super fun. Everyone involved in organizing and animating it did a great job, and the players for each of the games put on a fantastic show. You can see the Ultimate Chicken Horse match for the first place at this link (timestamp: 5h14m27s), but we also encourage you to peruse the recording to see the other games in action! Special thanks to Toornament for their help with tournament structure.

 

Disco:MTL 2019

A week after that, on July 13th, Gen went to Disco:MTL, The Game Discoverability Summit held by the GamePlay Space (where our office is). It’s always fantastic when industry events happen right where we are, and this one holds a special place in Gen’s heart because discoverability is a very high-priority topic in community development and marketing for indies.

Photo by GamePlay Space: twitter.com/GamePlaySpace

Photo by GamePlay Space: twitter.com/GamePlaySpace

The talks were about specific areas of interest – like visibility on Steam, influencer relations, Discord community-building, or game trailer campaign design – which made them extremely interesting… if you’re into that kind of stuff. Here we won’t bore you with diagrams of marketing funnels, but just know that they were there and they were good!

 

Team building: Glasswork!

Because we’re in a new phase at Clever Endeavour, where we’re experimenting with new ideas and just generally letting our creativity take the lead to discover what our next project will be, it’s especially important that we honor our tradition of doing team-building activities that take us all out of the ordinary day-to-day. That’s what we did last month when we went out to take part in a glasswork class!

Specifically, we learned the basics of flameworking, where the glass artist sits at a torch to melt sticks of glass onto a small metal rod, spinning it to form beads. As you can see, it looks equal parts badass and dorky.

It’s surprisingly easy to get started with this technique, so all of us were able to make our own unique beads that we took home after they spent a day in the kiln. Some of us also got creative with the format: Fabio made a couple of face-like sculptures, Rich made a snake, and Kyler made a jellyfish and… what we think might be attempts at Sheep? Gen bought a small sheep figurine from an artist of the glasswork atelier, and it makes for a pretty funny comparison.

2019-07-17 Glass Class Grid 3.png

That’s it for now!

Note that while we’re still busy with the Ultimate Chicken Horse community, professional development, and team-building (not to mention child-rearing in the case of Kyler), we’re also working every day on entirely new game projects. It’s just too early for us to make any of them public, so you’ll have to forgive us for being a little elusive!

 

<3

The Clever Devs