YoYo Games, the company behind the popular Game Maker programme, which allows users to create and publish their own games, has been busy lately. Very busy.
Technology updates, new games, new partnerships, new team members AND courses teaching Game Maker are all now in progress – putting YoYo very firmly at the front of the new, indie gaming movement.
First of all Game Maker itself has been updated. The new version makes it simpler for organisations using multiple copies of Game Maker (schools for example) to install and manage the programme.
The YoYo Games team has also expanded, with three new team members joining the company at its Dundee HQ. Paul Cosgrove, Chris Harrison and Darrell Flood are all veterans of the games and interactive sector – and thrilled to be part of the YoYo Games wild ride…
There’s a whole raft of new games and updates to YoYo’s existing games hitting the various App Stores, App Markets and online repositories around the world.
Simply Solitaire HD has been updated, with all new OpenFeint integration – bringing achievements, leaderboards and competitive play against friends and loved ones.
Karoshi, the sinister and controversial game in which you help a stressed businessman end it all in a number of gruesome and gory ways, has also been updated to work with OpenFeint. Now you can pit your suicidal tendencies against your contacts from the device of your choice. The update is already out on Android and should be updated on iOS in the very near future.
Finally on the game front, YoYo has been bigging up a seriously ambitious Game Maker project called Wanderlust: Rebirth, a four-player co-operative RPG, which has so far taken around four and a half years to put together in Game Maker 7. If you check out the YouTube promo video, you’ll agree it looks like time well spent.
Finally, as part of the 2011 Dare to be Digital competition, which has evolved beyond the original competition into a huge range of projects, events and activities, the new Dare Academy courses have been announced.
These are educational courses, ranging from two/three days, right up to a full seven weeks, offering a range of skills from game testing, through to comprehensive introductions to technologies such as Maya and – of course – Game Maker.
Over the course of eight weekends, students over the age of 17 will be introduced to the concepts of game design, learn how to use game maker and create their own concept – finishing with a game ready to launch on the Android market.
It’s a pound shy of four hundred quid, but for any aspiring game developers out there, it promises to be a great introduction to game design and the Game Maker package.
YoYo even released figures which show that over 56% of visitors to their website are brand new – and with 1.5 million of the in the month from April – May, their numbers are climbing.
Congratulations to the whole YoYo Games team. We *promise* we’ll sort out that interview with them at some point very soon.