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Play Up Perth: After Dark #1 was an awesome way to spend a Friday night. A sold out event that took place cozied up in the WA state library gave three Perth tabletop developers the chance to test out their latest games. This month, Atmosphere Industries and FTI’s play up focused on tabletop games in various stages of development. With only three hours to enjoy the after dark session, and all four games to appreciate, it was going to be a push for time.

Note: If you didn’t catch the full roster of developers attending, you can check the event page for more information.
 
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Breakwater

The first game I decided to jump into was Breakwater, a very early prototype with a New Orleans/1940s/steampunk theme. Set in a Bayou with the rather unique goal of creating the most fun possible for a character (“Jazz Gods”) over a three-day period, Breakwater was not what I was expecting. The voodoo themes, original names and details, along with a clever bartering system made Breakwater easy to grasp and commit to. At roughly 40 minutes play time, we experienced even at this early stage, a game that suits a fast-paced, social play through. We look forward to the next version and seeing what the game’s creator, Anthony Sweet, takes away from his feedback sessions. You can also check out Anthony’s other games, as well as keep an eye on Breakwaters progress, over at handwrittengames.com.
 
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COGZ

The most refined game of the night, in my opinion, was Wesley Lamont’s COGZ. The game was created over a weekend, and has undergone several changes up until the current version (v6) we had access to on the night. COGZ is a game of logic with a deceptively simple design: I could see myself playing the current version with my 8 year old as a matching game, but while versing adults, it became a balancing act of logic, maths and quick thinking. Wes has been developing board games for a long time, and this game really hit its mark. Hopefully it will begin its Kickstarter venture in August this year. If you would like to support the game, stay up to date with COGZ via RAEZ on Facebook.
 
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Colossus Awakes

The other two remaining projects to be featured that evening were both created by Glen Spoors, a lecturer at ECU. The larger of the two was Colossus Awakes, which in his own words was ‘every possible thing he would ever want in a game.’ Not surprising then that it was discovered to be somewhat difficult to follow with so many ideas at play, yet many of us were taken by the story driving this gamer’s game that featured a momentous beast rising from the earth. Each player had goals to influence, yet never fully control, the Colossus, but beyond the basics Glen accepted feedback regarding several changes and improvements. From what I explored of the game, I was drawn to the mythological roots and engaging concept, and hope that Glen can find time in his busy schedule to work on version 5.
 
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Pocket Troll

Also by Glen Spoors, Pocket Troll had a very clear vision: to create an intelligent game that fits in your pocket. The linear story involves three boys trying to prove a troll’s existence, and a troll trying to end theirs. I was eager to play this one as the compact nature and deviously simple play style appealed. The most important question: did it fit in my pocket? Yes, quite neatly too! While the physical design was straightforward enough, the game design was confusing. Glen was kind enough to take us through it and explain the finer points. There was some very useful feedback taken away from this session, so we’ll be checking for updates from Glen here until we can have a troll in our pockets.
 
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If you attended Play Up Perth’s After Dark #1 session, a big THANK YOU for coming out to support local game developers. We will let you know the details of next months’ session, but remember; put your name down for tickets ASAP, the word is out and no one wants to miss it. If you’d like to be a featured developer please contact Kate Raynes-Goldie of Atmosphere Industries and FTI at kate@staff.fti.asn.au, or click on the link in our Partners section.

Bernadette Russell
Bernadette is living her childhood dream as a freelance writer in Geraldton, WA. With a life-long console habit and a self-imposed MMO ban, she fantasizes about the day when all she'll have to do is game and write. Oh, and also about meeting Link. HYAH!
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