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About the Archives

This page contains all entries posted to GAMBIT in December 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2008 is the previous archive.

January 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Ringing in 2009 with Carneyvale: Showtime!

What a way to ring in the new year: our new game CarneyVale: Showtime was just named Gamasutra's #1 top XNA Community Game of 2008!

From their website:

The well deserved winner of the DreamBuildPlay 2008 competition, if there's any justice in the world, CarneyVale: Showtime will be the game that puts the Community Games on the map.

It's a blazingly simple concept. You guide a ragdoll up the screen via a series of rotating grappling ropes, and complete the level by flinging him through a flaming hoop. What makes the game so special is its wonderful show of coherence coupled with joyous arcade-esque thrills.

Hurling your little acrobat through the air, popping balloons as you go is just so much fun. It'd be a hard-faced man indeed who wouldn't raise a smile after a particularly successful run of tricks, the crowd cheering them on as they hurtle through the fiery ring and onto the next challenge.

At the frankly silly price of 400 points, and with 18 inbuilt levels and a level editor thrown in for good measure, CarneyVale: Showtime deserves your time. Play it and wonder to yourself why XBLA occasionally drifts into the realms of utter tat, and yet sitting there unattended on the Community Games service lies this gem that eclipses a vast proportion of XBLA games. Then smile and spread the word.

We were just coming down off that news when we found out that Destructoid really, really likes us too. From the start of Jim Sterling's review:

When I first started challenging Community Games developers to submit their work for review on Destructoid, I had hoped that some real gems would come out of the woodwork and prove their worth. I had not, however, expected CarneyVale: Showtime.

At the risk of spoiling the whole review before you even read it, let me say that if you're at all interested in the potential of XNA games, then you really, really, really need to check this one out. A breath of fresh air? This is more like a gale of the stuff.

Then, when we were coming down from that, we found out that Showtime has been getting some rave reviews on the Xbox Forums and was just announced as the #6 top-selling game on XNA Community Games to boot!

Pass the champagne – our new year has just been made very happy indeed. Thanks, everyone! And happy new year!

CarneyVale: Showtime available on Xbox Live Community Games!

As of today, CarneyVale: Showtime is available for download through Xbox Live Community Games! CarneyVale: Showtime won the Microsoft XNA Dream-Build-Play challenge earlier this year and is the first console release for the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab.

In Showtime, you play as Slinky, a circus acrobat trying to rise up the ranks by performing acrobatic tricks and death-defying stunts through increasingly complex arenas. Check out our Featured Games section for screenshots and videos of the game.

Congratulations to the Showtime team in Singapore for their hard work in producing a brilliant game!

Global Game Jam

The Global Game Jam has started at MIT! Check out our live webstream and chat on Ustream.

The Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab will be the host site in Boston for the 1st Annual Global Game Jam, from January 30 through February 1, 2009. Other sites around the world will run game jams with similar rules and limitations, with one unique constraint at each site.

How it works
A game jam is a cooperative gathering of game developers to encourage experimentation and innovation. It starts at 5pm on Friday with friendly introductions, followed by a run-through of the rules, the theme, and the constraints. Participants then quickly come up with ideas and pitch them to everyone else. Once everyone has formed or joined a team, the groups split up for further brainstorming around the idea, and reconvene in a shared workspace with the other teams to start development.
Finished games are handed in at 3pm on Sunday, after which everyone plays all the other games and votes for their favorite. The winners get kudos, and bragging rights. All finished games will be uploaded to the Global Game Jam website.

Some constraints
Participants should go home for a shower and a good night sleep in the evenings. The workspace will be closed from midnight to 9am in time for the last subway train. Breakfast will be provided on both mornings. Participants may choose to pool their funds for lunch or dinner delivery or may opt to eat at nearby establishments.
The rules of the game jam prohibit the use pre-made content (this includes program code, audio, graphics, models, etc.) unless it was publicly available at least a month prior to the game jam. Contact philip AT mit DOT edu if there are any questions.

Registrants must be over at least 18 years old to participate. The jam is largely targeted at game development professionals and college students with game development experience. Participants should not plan to register as teams. The jam is limited to 30 participants, with last-minute priority for professionals. There is no fee for registration.

If space is available, participants should receive an email confirmation within a week.

Click here to register

Location and Timing
The game jam will be held at the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab on the third floor of 5 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA. Participants should plan to arrive well before 5pm on Friday, January 30, 2009 and to participate for the full duration of the event, which should conclude by 6pm Sunday, February 1, 2009.

Click here for a map

Podcasting Facade's Michael Mateas

On November 20th Michael Mateas, associate professor of computer science and head of the Expressive Intelligence Studio at UC Santa Cruz, visited MIT as a part of CMS' Colloquium lecture series. As Mateas is perhaps best known as the co-creator of the groundbreaking interactive drama Façade, readers of this blog might be interested in knowing that the podcast of his lecture, "The Authoring Challenge for Interactive Storytelling", is now available from the CMS website.

From the event description:

Michael Mateas is an associate professor of computer science at the University of California, Santa Cruz where his research focuses on artificial intelligence (AI)-based art and entertainment. As head of the Expressive Intelligence Studio at Santa Cruz, he is involved in such projects as automated support for game generation, automatic generation of autonomous character conversations, story management, and authoring tools for interactive storytelling. Mateas is a collaborator on the interactive drama Façade (see

Although the autumn 2008 lecture series is coming to a close this week (scholar Christina Klein will be discussing globalization and anime in her talk "Transnational, U.S.-Asian Cinema: The Case of Tekkon Kinkreet"), be sure to bookmark the Colloquia and Forums page on the CMS website and check back in January for the announcement of the spring 2009 lineup. All lectures are free, open to the public, and serve as an excellent introduction to the MIT Comparative Media Studies program. Podcasts of previous lectures in the series can be found at

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