GameMaker Tutorials

In anticipation of our upcoming GameJam, I’ve collected a few GameMaker tutorials for anyone wanting to learn (or just brush up) before the weekend! All of the following tutorials are suitable for beginners.

We ran a GameMaker tutorial in Fresher’s week last year to allow beginners to practice with Game Development before our GameJam. The files for both the tutorial and the example project can be found here.

In Innovative Learning Week, Ross Kennedy ran a great intro to GameMaker and game design and has kindly allowed us to link it here. The files for the tutorials can be found on his website here.

Of course, there are also the official YoYo games tutorials. Be warned, these were made in an older version of GameMaker, so there may be a couple of inconsistencies with the version you may use.  The tutorials can be found here.

GameJam 2014!

Next weekend we’ll be hosting our traditional second semester GameJam – the perfect opportunity to try out those new Unity3D skills! We’ll be starting at 10:00 on Saturday 22nd February, in Room 5.08, Appleton Tower, and finishing at 21:00 on Sunday. Since it’s out of hours, you’ll have to come to the back entrance of Appleton Tower, and we will be on hand to let you in if needed.

So, for those of you who still don’t know, what is a GameJam? Basically, you spend a weekend rapidly producing a short game, based on a given theme. All the games are then judged by the participants, with a fabulous £50 cash prize for the winning game!

The format will be as usual: teams of up to 4 or turn up on your own and we’ll sort a team on the day. We will pick a theme from the hat, and then it’s down to business. Regarding rules, you can use any language, framework or program you like, provided you are not simply completing an existing game. We encourage people to judge the final game, not the tools used to make it.
The event is open to everyone regardless of skill level, and all disciplines are welcome – artists, designers, digital artists, programmers, sound designers, writers etc. It doesn’t even have to be a computer game – if you fancy trying your hand at a board or card game that’s fine too.
If you are new to making games, and didn’t make it to the Unity3D tutorial, we recommend that you try GameMaker. There is a free version available for Windows. If you run through the first tutorial before attending then you can get straight into making your game. As usual we will be around to help novices using GameMaker, Java+Slick and Unity. The source code from some of the previous entries can be found on the Projects page above if you’re still nervous.

Unity3D Tutorial

You can find both the project we’ll be using for this tutorial, and the PDF guide here:

Unity3D is quickly becoming one of the most popular game engines used in the video game industry today. This tutorial will take you through some of the basics of making a simple game in Unity, giving you a little practice for our GameJam the following weekend in the process.

The event will run from 13:00 to 17:00 on Monday 17th February. Bring yourself and either a laptop running Windows or a Mac to Appleton Tower, Room 1.05. No experience at all is required. If you’ve never done any programming in your life, don’t worry you’ll manage. And if you’re at all familiar with Java or C#, then that’s just a bonus.

For bonus points, head on over to and install Unity before you even get there! It’ll save a little time on the day and we all love that.

Entrepeneur First Workshop

Entrepreneur First is a not for profit graduate start-up accelerator based down in London. What this means effectively is that they help the best computer scientists and entrepreneurs in the country build high growth tech startups, specifically taking final year students and recent graduates. You can find the full details of this on their website here:

They are coming up to Edinburgh next Thursday 21st November, and will be holding an event from 13:00 to 14:00 in Room 4.12, Level 4, Appleton Tower for people interested in doing something like this, or people just interested to see what other career paths are open to them. There will be a chance to talk to EF and find out a bit more about what they do, what they’ve done in the past, what they look for in an applicant and what it would mean if you were accepted.

They are primarily interested in programmers (self-taught or graduate), but this isn’t exclusive, so don’t feel you can’t come if you aren’t! Additionally, this event is open to everyone, not just people in their final year, and it’s worth coming along if you think this is something you might like to do in the future as well, since it might help you better plan internships and the like. If you are in your final year, they are currently open for 2014 applications, and again you find the details of how to apply on their website.

They’ve been impressed with some of the projects you, our members, have produced over the years, so it would be great to see a lot of you there!

Also coming up, a brief reminder about our next social which will be on Wednesday 20th November from 20:00 in the Pleasance Bar, as usual. If you haven’t been before it’d be great to see you, just look for the 360 controller (or poorly drawn picture) on the table.

Upcoming Social

We’ll be holding another social on Wednesday 23rd October at the Pleasance Bar from 20:00 – same set up as last time. Come have a chat about any projects you’re working on, GameDev in Scotland or life in general. We’re also going to turn these into a regular fortnightly event from now on since that’s what people seem to want.
For those of you who didn’t make it to the IGDA Scottish Chapter meeting last week, you missed out on a great talk by Brian McDonald about developing for the Oculus Rift (and the chance to have a play with one if you haven’t already). There were also quite a few announcements which might be of interest. Most notably is the GamesWest – Get into GameDev conference coming up on December 4th in Paisley, aimed directly at students who want to get into the industry. Once again, there is an excellent run-down of the speakers on the IGDA blog.

GameJam & Social

As I’m sure those who attended will attest, our first GameJam this weekend was a great success. The theme this time was “Circuits and/or Networks”. There was actually an interesting variety of interpretations despite perhaps the most obvious connection (no pun intended) to computer networks – not that this was a bad interpretation! You can check out most of the entries on the Projects pages, and quite a few of them have the source code available as well for those interested in how it was put together. The final winner was King of the Network created by Harry Garrood, Teun Kokke and Gabriel West.

If for whatever reason you didn’t manage to make it to this GameJam, fear not, there will be more coming later! However, first on the horizon to begin making amends is our upcoming social. This will be hosted at the Pleasance Bar on Wednesday 4th October, starting around 20:00. Come along to discuss any projects you’re working on, game development in general or just for a chat. We’ll have a 360 controller on our table to help you find us, so there’s no excuse!