Results for tag "johannesburg"

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Ultimate Johannesburg Boardgaming Guide

I’m a Joburger boardgamer, and I’m always on the lookout for:

  • More games to play (good ones, though I’ll try everything once)
  • More people to play with (boardgames are all about the meta – playing the same game with different people makes it a completely different experience!)
  • More flexibility (the more groups you know the more you can find the right time to fit around your schedule)

If any of the above ideas tickle your fancy, I issue you my official Seal Of Awesome. So many people stick to their regular playgroup and never venture out of it, so I thought it would be great if we all came together in glorious boardgy more often than the annual events!

 

The focus is on playing

I have collected here from my experience and some grapevines some of the best ways I know to get playing with groups outside of your immediate friends. I wrote this with the focus on inclusivity and playing, not on buying stuff, though those aspects sometimes do happily coincide.

 

1. Boardgames Joburg group on meetup.com – Monthly

Joburg Boardgamers meetup group

Meetup.com is a great place to find common interest groups who are well-organised and regular… Yes… Regular. the Boardgames Joburg Group is a great group that has a general meetup at least once a month where people bring and play a pile of different games, and often has themed meetups in between for the popular choices (For example Catan and Dominion).

Notable games being played: Every kind of game, really.
Frequency:
Once a month minimum, often 3-4 times a month.
Base: The most common venue is around William Nicol close to the N1, but it varies.
Contact: http://www.meetup.com/Board-Games-Joburg/

 

2. Amuse Cafe Boardgame – Tuesday Nights

Amuse Cafe

Amuse Cafe is a cool little pub/bar joint in Linden that is super boardgame friendly. They have boardgames that patrons can pick up and play any time, but they’ve set aside Tuesday nights for boardgames. Once a month it’s a quiz night, but boardgamers still welcome. They have decent pub grub, liquor license, and amazing Glühwein when winter has come. Lots of character, it’s like a Central Perk for boardgames :) I’d go more often if my Tuesdays weren’t already taken by Capoeira.

Notable games being played: Pub-style games, so more casual, but anything goes too. Also a monthly quiz.
Frequency:
 Once a week, after 18h30.
Base: Linden: Shop 12 Manlam court 34 5th Street, corner 4th Avenue
Contact: https://www.facebook.com/AmuseGamesNight

 

3. Animeworx Boardgame Fortnights

Unfortunately this one seems to have stopped happening. Sorry :(

AnimeWorx Boardgame nights

AnimeworX is our local mainstream geekery retailer, and known for hosting a couple of different clubs. Their games evenings used to be weekly but had been changed to every two weeks (that’s what fortnightly means, I’m sure you know what it means, but that was for *their* benefit). Could you say just say “Fortnights”? Cos it happens to be night too? Or do you have to say “Fortnightly Nights”? Anyway the AWX evenings are good ones, they’ve even been thoughtful enough to disallow Warhammer games, which in the beginning kind of overtook most of the tables (because they get REALLY sprawling and isn’t very social :P). This has made the event a lot friendlier and social.

Notable games being played: X-Wing miniature game, Netrunner, but also whatever else happens to be there. Great variety. No Warhammer!
Frequency:
 Once every two weeks, after 18h30

Base: AnimeworX, Brightwater Commons
Contact: https://www.facebook.com/AWX.AnimeWorX/events

 

4. Outer Limits – Public Holidays & other whens

Outer Limits Melville

On most public holidays, Outer Limits (the quintessential Joburg hobby shop!) hosts boardgame days. It starts right from the crack of the morning light (ok 9am) and runs till about 5-6ish. Super kudos for converting their holidays to work days, but a fun work day! Plenty of people turn up, plenty of different games get played. Outer Limits also has regular game nights for Magic the Gathering and Heroclix, two super popular collectible games, so definitely look them up if you enjoy those monstrously addictive games. They also do an annual Lory Park Zoo games day where we all go hang out at the Lory Park Zoo, play with big cat cubs, gorgeous parrots, enjoy nature and boardgames, in support of the great conservation work they’re doing just here in Midrand. It’s sublime!

Notable games being played: Everything ever.
Frequency:
 Once every two weeks.
Base: 8 Main Road, Melville 2092
Contact: https://www.facebook.com/outerlimits.melville/events

 

5. DeeTwenty Geeking Venue

DeeTwenty Geeking venue

 

(photo credit: mbLife – http://www.mblife.co.za/Passion/DeeTwenty-Geek-Street-Pippa-Tshabalala/)

DeeTwenty is a new concept in the boardgaming socials – a few intrepid geeks once had the same thought I did (riiiight up there in the opening paragraphs), so they started up a venue dedicated to geeking. It’s a really different concept – it’s not a restaurant, you don’t have food there. It’s not a shop, you’re not be tempted to buy something shiny, it’s not a pub, so you’re not gonna get sloshed, it’s just a simply pure geeking venue. So how it works is you pay for use of the venue. There are daily, weekly, monthly membership options, and they regularly have events going on. Check their calendar to see what’s on!

Notable games being played: Probably everything ever.
Frequency:
 Often, check the calendar!
Base: 18 Consuenol Dr, Randburg 2194
Contact: http://dee-twenty.com/calendar/

 

6. Netrunners SA Events – when we can

Android: NetrunnerSA 2014 Regional Championships

ANR:SA is our local Netrunner players community. We have events at least once a month, with cool swag and excellent people to play with, so if you enjoy deep, strategic card games, come join us! Netrunner is the BEST board/tabletop game ever. Richard Garfield took Magic: The Gathering, fixed all the gameplay problems with it (mana-screw syndrome, impossibly large card pool full of useless crap, decks that run themselves), then Fantasy Flight Games took the design and fixed distribution problems (Living Card Game format means no random boosters and stupid expensive singles, three-per-deck card limit means no stupid 30-of-a-single-card broken decks) and now it’s just sublime.

Notable games being played: Android: Netrunner.
Frequency:
 Once a month, at least. Also regularly at other meetups, including Amuse and AWX ones, as above.
Base: Usually at Outer Limits, as above
Contact: https://www.facebook.com/groups/netrunnerSAevents/

 

7. Outer Limits Pretoria – Wednesday Nights

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Pretoria also counts! I haven’t been to the Pretoria Outer Limits, but they look like an amazing bunch over yonder. Every Wednesday night they have a boardgame night, and it looks like a great blast, especially if you’re closer to that side of town. However they’re also close to the Hatfield Gautrain station, so travel isn’t entirely impossible.

Notable games being played: Everything ever, but they also have a few dedicated groups to Android: Netrunner, and even Vampire: The Eternal Struggle, and other classics.
Frequency: Weekly
Base: Outer Limits Hatfield, by Varsity Bakery. 293 Lynnwood Road, Pretoria
Contact: http://www.meetup.com/Board-and-table-top-gaming-in-Pretoria/

 

8. Timeless Boardgame Days – Monthly

IMG_2555

IMG_2572

Super accessible, the whole point of Timeless’ boardgame days is come and play games for a day, especially if you don’t own any games. Tons of open games to play. I wrote a whole thing about them here – so read that.

Spoiler: Highly recommended!

Notable games being played: Everything ever. The point is that noone needs to bring their own, of course you may if you want to.
Frequency:
 Once a month.
Base: Bedford Chapel, 4 Bradford Road Bedfordview JHB
Contact: https://www.facebook.com/timelessboardgames

 

9. Battle Wizards Centurion – Wednesday Nights

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Battle Wizards is a new FLGS (Friendly Local Game Store) is open in Centurion, and they were also at rAge expo. They do a weekly boardgame evening on Wednesdays, as well as a bunch of other focused, regular events for Magic, X-Wing, Warhammer, Netrunner, and other big games. I haven’t been to them personally but they look pretty awesome, and doubly so if you’re in their neighbourhood.

Notable games being played: Everything, and presumably whatever people bring or get there.
Frequency:
 Once a week, Wednesday evenings.
Base: Shop 79, Doringkloof Mall, Lupin avenue, Centurion, Gauteng
Contact: https://www.facebook.com/battlewizards/

 

That rounds off this list for now!

If I missed anything you know, please let me know via the comments under here, or you can Tweet me, or mail me, or whatever, and I’ll definitely add it here and issue updates :)

Play you around! 😀

Making the art for A MAZE Johannesburg 2014

One day, Thorsten Wiedermann, the mastermind behind A MAZE Festival saw that we were discussing the upcoming 2014 A MAZE Johannesburg on MakegamesSA. I suggested that the Joburg mascot could be:

amaze_joburg2

 

Thorsten saw that and approached me to make the art for the Joburg festival, and I agreed with much excitement 😀 The A MAZE Joburg unicorn wasn’t gonna fly, so I eventually made this baby:

amaze_design_v3_notext

I’m super excited for this year’s A MAZE Festival! 😀 Last year’s was simply amazing as we got to meet, hang out with and pick the brains of amazing people like Rami Ismail of the incredible Vlambeer team, Sos Sowski the Swedish Mad Scientist of Video Games, and many more.

Follow this page for more details of the upcoming A MAZE Johannesburg 2014!

rAge 2013: 15 made in SA games showing!

rage_mgsa_2013

Every year, I think to myself I don’t need to go to rAge to gawk at the same AAA titles that you can see on Youtube and everywhere else. Every year I end up going because of one thing or another – if it wasn’t me judging the amazing Cosplay for Legion Ink for two years in a row, it was being a booth babe for Otaku Magazine, or organising booth babes for Asus, or whatever. rAge has become an ubiquitous landmark in the geek calendar, and for good reason.

This year’s rAge is gonna be a real special one! Well, every year’s rAge turns out to be special for, but this one will end up taking the proverbial cake. I just know it. I feel it in my bones. Why?

For starters, my game that I’ve been working on Bear Chuck will be playable and on display! And even better, I share the honor with 14 other made-in-SA games! 15 games!! FIFTEEN in total! Even as part of makeGamesSA for the last year, I never realised how quickly we’ve grown.

In no particular order (except of course the first one), here are the 15 made-in-SA games that you can come to check out and play at rAge 2013:

 

Bear Chuck

My page with playable build

Broforce

Offcial page with playable build

Desktop Dungeons

Official page with playable build

Viscera Cleanup Detail

Official page with playable build

zX: Hyperblast

Official page with playable build

Silhouette

Official page with playable build

Pixel Boy

Official site

A Day in the Woods

Official site

Death Laser

System Crash

Official site

Toxic Bunny

Official site

Wang Commander

MakegamesSA thread

Cadence

Official site with playable build

Blazin’ Aces

Official site

Death Smashers

Developers official site

rAge 2013 is going to be amazing! Come say hi and join us for a few games! 😀

A MAZE 2013

A MAZE is an indie games festival and convention from Germany, and last year’s A MAZE was in South Africa for the first time. It was also around the first time I got into this whole game dev thing. Fast forward to 2013, and A MAZE was back for round two. And now that I’ve been a part of makegamesSA for a year, I could well and truly appreciate the amazingness of A MAZE 2013.

As there was simply too much to ramble endlessly about, and my time is limited due to the urge to make more games, this is gonna have to be a condensed supernova of the awesomeness that was A MAZE 2013.

1. Speakers from all over the globe and of course SA

amaze_speakers

Guys from Nigeria, France, UK, the States, Poland, etc. I was particularly sad that I couldn’t attend the Friday sessions, what with work and all, but I’m absolutely looking forward to videos of those sessions. The full programme of speakers can be found here.

2. Meeting and hanging out with international greats

AMAZE2013

In particular, Vlambeer‘s Rami and McPixel‘s Sos was there, and we got to hang out a lot. Besides being really cool guys, they are also really inspirational individuals who’ve achieved tons. Rami’s keynote about how Vlambeer came about and the very existential musings around how we are all inter-connected (it’s like emergent gameplay! 😀 ) really made me re-think a lot of my own life. Sos’s energetic attitude to game making (his business card: Mad Scientist of Video Games. His credential? McPixel, Achtung Arcade with 600 games.) was super infectious. The opportunity to pick their brains alone were simply amazing.

3. Pecha Kucha!

At the closing party, we had a Pecha Kucha session. Pecha Kucha is a format of speaking where each speaker has 20 slides with 20 seconds to talk. Thatsitgo! Good thing Thorsten (The handsome fellow who’s the A MAZE event organiser from Germany) convinced me to participate – it was an incredible experience, thinking and putting together the material as well as running through it really leveled myself up. Simon Bachelier from France Vined them all, and of course I await full video releases of them from A MAZE :)

 

4. Inspiration!

Seriously, the best thing about A MAZE is the gathering of minds, and the palpable atmosphere of people doing what they love, how they love, and succeeding at it. The sheer force of will is incredible, and makes a great bit rocket behind your back propelling you to do what you should be doing – which should be what you want to be doing. And if that’s making games, then GO DO IT! NOW!

5. OK you can look at some photos first before going to make games

Unfortunately the gallery was obliterated in the Great Blog Crash of 2013. If I have time and energy I’ll resurrect it, but I’m sure you’d rather see new content rather than old stuff :3

A MAZE game dev convention in Jozi Aug 24 – Sep 2

[vimeo width=”600″ height=”365″ video_id=”46302975″]

Game dev in SA??

If you are like me two months ago, you probably think that South Africa has zero game development culture. Two months later of discovery, while I can’t tell you we’re the game development capital of the world, I can tell you that we do have a vibrant and active game dev scene, and the proof of that is that we have a 7 day gaming convention running right around the corner right in the heart of Jozi!

Info and links

It’s officially titled A MAZE / Interact, here is the official page, which quite frankly looks cool but functions as well for me as a calculator that has dice instead of numbers, but it’s all there.

The festival runs across 6 venues throughout the heart of Joburg and will run for 7 days – here is the link to the programme  showing where everything is – trust me, you’ll thank me for linking you this since it was next to impossible to find on the site.

Some highlights for me:

  • The Annual General Meeting with the makegamesSA.com guys talking about the plans for Make Games South Africa, our very own local game dev association.
  • The Game Jam, which is a bunch of game devs coming together to make a game at the convention within the short few days, spitballing ideas and duct taping code like ninja jugglers.
  • An amazing exhibition of 25+ in-development indie and not-so-indie games. This is the closest SA’s come to PAX South Africa :)
  • Meeting people all over SA and the world (Germany, Czech, Finland, etc) who’re samurais in game dev.
  • A Jump ‘n Run Party – with international and local acts like BLKJKS, By Haruo, Chris Palmer, Meneo, Ootz and Wiij Timski who will DJ without any hardwire equipment, with the movement of his body. WHAT!?
  • Workshops on Limited Game Design, Puredata & Sensors, Wii & Kinect Hacks for performance and installation art.
  • Having my mind blown.

 

So if you’re remotely interested in new digital trends, games, meeting cool people, dreaming big and reaching for it, I’ll see you at the party :)

 

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