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About the Archives

This page contains all entries posted to GAMBIT in March 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

February 2012 is the previous archive.

April 2012 is the next archive.

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

GOTW: Squeezicks More Concept Art

Hello everyone and welcome to our last day of Game of the Week for Squeezicks. We've got even more concept art from the development of the game for you to check out!









Thanks so much for stopping by to check out the Game of the Week. You stay classy, planet earth.

GOTW: Squeezicks Concept Art

Welcome back to the Game of the Week! Today we have some concept art fromt he early stages of development of Squeezicks. The project was one of two 3D games we produced last summer, along with Snowfield, and making a 3D game with a short development cycle introduces unique challenges to the team. I think you can see some of the early ideas for the game being worked out in these pieces.

pow _casl03.jpg

We'll be back on Friday with some more looks at Squeezicks!

Friday Games: The Pirate Kart! 2012-in-One Glorious Developers Konference Kollection

GDC Pirate KartAt 4pm this Friday, we'll be playing games from the 2012 GDC Pirate Kart! This compilation of more than 1000 games was put together in less than two weeks and attendees at the Game Developers Conference were invited to play them on the show floor. New games were being added even after the start of the conference. It was a real-time demonstration of the incredible accessibility of modern video game development tools and distribution.

The GDC Pirate Kart was also a follow-up to the IGF Pirate Kart, which was submitted to the latest Independent Games Festival, combining the efforts of over 100 developers in a 300-game package. Pirate Karts are about inclusivity, pride, democracy, blowing the doors open -- in fact, there are as many reasons for the existence of the Pirate Karts as there are games. You can download copies of both Pirate Karts from the website.

We're on the third floor of 5 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142. If you can't join us physically, please watch our live stream and join us on the chat and recommend games that you want to see on the stream!

Video: Making Games at MIT, A Panel Discussion From February 24th, 2012

Watch and learn about some of the research projects going on at MIT, where games are being created and opportunities for undergraduates to get involved as a game designer or tester! The Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab's U.S. Executive Director Philip Tan and it's Studio Manager Rik Eberhardt sat down with the Education Arcade's Creative Director, Scot Osterweil and Jason Haas, a researcher with the lab and talked about some of the games that have been made here at MIT and the process of game creation. Video Produced by Generoso Fierro, Edited by James Barrile.

International Hokra Association Northeast Regional Championships


Live Stream!

Live video from your Android device on Ustream

Registration is open for the first annual International Hokra Association Northeast Regional Championships!

Competition is on April 6th, starting at 4PM at the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Teams of two players can register to compete in the regional competition. The first 32 teams to register will be entered into the tournament. First, second, and third round games are best of three, with the semi-finals and the finals best of five. Seeding for the bracket will be handled randomly. Teams that are eliminated in the first round will be moved into a secondary consolation bracket.

Sign up your team today!

Hokra Trailer from Ramiro Corbetta on Vimeo.

GOTW: Squeezicks

Welcome back to another Game of the Week. This week we take a look at the 3D Physics based game Squeezicks!

GOTW: Eksa Design Documents

Welcome back to the GOTW, featuring Eksa. Today we are sharing various design documents used in the creation of the game. First we have shots of an art asset list to give you a sense for how much art creation is involved in making a game like Eksa:


Next we want to show you some more concept art work from the game development:


We hope you enjoyed this behind the scenes look at Eksa. Come back on Monday for another Game of the Week

Friday Games @ GAMBIT - A History of Matt

Friday is my last day as GAMBIT's Design Director. I've accepted a job at Harmonix, and will be starting there the first week of April. For the past five years, with a lot of help from various folks, I've organized our Friday gaming/discussion sessions. This will be the last one I'll do as staff, though I will probably return as a guest in the future.


At the prompting of some folks in the lab, we'll be going through all the games I've been involved in over my time at GAMBIT, from the June 2007 when I first arrived to now.

Join us at 4pm in the lounge. The games we will look at and discuss will be:

- Wiip
- gunPLAY
- Sc-rum'pet
- Neurotrance
- Gumbeat
- Gumbeat Gold
- The Great Molasses Flood
- QP Curio's Novelty Engine
- Abandon
- Abandon Complete
- Afterland
- The Snowfield

Do It Yourself Game Design: Pre-registration

Hi! If you've clicked here, it's likely because you were intrigued by the following Cambridge Science Festival event:

Do It Yourself Game Design
Saturday, April 28, 6-9pm
MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Does your family game night need a boost? Join engineers from the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab for hands-on workshops about game design. Visitors of all ages can choose from four different sessions that will change the way you look at board games, video games, and more. Featuring Board Game Remix (middle school and older), Junkyard Track Meet (youth and family), Serious Games for Social Change (teen and adult), and Unity Basics (teen and adult, programming experience required).

Cost: $5. Pre-registration required.

Sound familiar? No matter, come anyway! We'll be running four activities at the same time, all to do with game design. Descriptions are below.

Once again, all of the following events will run at the same time, so unless you are a master of time travel, cloning, or otherwise can be at two places at once, you'll want to sign up for only one event. $5 a piece.

The Junkyard Track Meet: Tabletop Game Design for the Whole Family
Ages: Youth and family

In this workshop, participants will create and practice their own competitive sports and then compete in the sports created by others. But there isn't a need to train, as all the sports will be played on tabletops! This is a great workshop for families to attend together, as they can work together in both creation and play.

In the first part of the workshop, participants will visit The Junkyard to select items to use in the creation of their sporting event. They will practice the event and prepare a short presentation.

In the second part, each group will present and demonstrate their event to the others. Then, members from other groups will be able to compete in the event.

Finally, we will talk about the game design process. Participants will come away having learned about game design and play and may take home some new tabletop activities!

This workshop is facilitated by Dr. Scott Nicholson, visiting professor for the Comparative Media Studies program and visiting scholar at the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT game lab at MIT. Dr. Nicholson is an associate professor at the School of Information Studies at Syracuse University and runs the blog, Because Play Matters, at

Make with the clicks to pre-register for Junkyard Track Meet!

The Boardgame Remix Workshop
Ages: Middle school and older

Tired of playing the same old boardgames? Think you can do better? We're going to take the boardgames you know and hate and make them fun again. Let's play Monopoly on a Clue board! Trivial Pursuit using Scrabble tiles!

It is recommended you bring with you a boardgame you hate and don't mind if all the pieces are lost and gone forever. Better yet, you might already have incomplete boardgames in your home. Bring them!

This workshop is based on the book "Boardgame Remix Kit" In it, the authors have taken various known and popular boardgames and created modified versions and mash-ups to create new types of games. In this workshop, participants will make their own new boardgames, remixed from other games, and in doing so, learn a few key skills needed when designing games.

All the cool kids click here to pre-register for the Boardgame Remix Workshop.

Serious Games for Social Change
Ages: Teen and Adult. Please bring a laptop.

Once upon a time games were played for enjoyment and to engage players in social, physical and cultural activities. But in the last years a new trend of serious games with "serious purposes" arose. These games claim to raise awareness about social and political issues such as inequity, injustice, poverty, racism, sexism, exploitation, oppression, teach about global problems, and reach specific purposes beyond pure entertainment (make donations, raise funds, sign petitions, form opinion and so on). Some of these games even aim at changing the world. In this workshop, best practice examples of serious games for social change will be played, discussed and analyzed. Furthermore ideas and sketches for proto-types will be developed and ways of realizing them will be discussed! The workshop gives the participants hands-on experiences and insights into the potential and limits of video games designed for social change. No pre-experiences are needed!

If you're serious about Serious Games for Social Change, you can pre-register by clicking here. Seriously.

Unity Basics
Ages: Teen and Adult. Programming experience required. Please bring a laptop.

Unity is a cross-platform engine for making 3D games. If you've never made a 3D
game before and want to learn how to get started, here's your chance! I'll be
explaining how to use the basic features, and maybe a few of the more
specialized ones if we have time.

This is intended to be a hands-on class, so please bring a laptop! You may wish
to install Unity ahead of time; a free version is available at No experience with Unity or game development is
necessary, but you should have some programming knowledge coming in. I'll be
demoing code written in C#, but experience with any object-oriented language
will do.

static void Main()
Console.WriteLine("Click here to pre-register for Unity Basics.");

Cambridge Science Festival 2012

Greetings! As is our wont, we at GAMBIT have partnered up with the Cambridge Science Festival to offer you a selection of gaming events for your edification and amusement. All events will be held at the MIT Museum. Because that is how we roll.

Caution: This Game Is Under Construction
Friday, April 20, 10am-12pm
MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Making a video game takes a lot of work and we need your help!

A dollop of art, a dab of audio, a generous helping of programming and voila: the perfect video game! We wish it were that simple. Before we release our games to the public, we need playtesters to make sure they're worthy of being GAMBIT games. Is the game fun? Are the goals clear? Can players figure out what to do? Even though these games aren't finished, we can still discover the answers to these questions and others. How? By asking you! At the MIT Museum on Friday morning, the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab will be testing several works in progress. Come be the first to play our newest games and tell us what you think.

All experience levels welcome and encouraged. Making games may be hard, but playtesting them is easy. Trust us, you're exactly who we want to talk to.

Cost: Zilch. Presented as part of the MIT Museum's free day. Just show up, it'll be awesome.

Level Up: GAMBIT Game Night
Friday, April 20, 6-9pm
MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

When is a lighthouse not just a lighthouse? When it's GAMBIT Game Night!

Come celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. Like all proper gamers, we've been exploring the world, gaining experience, and collecting cool loot. Now we'd like to share it with you. Games from throughout GAMBIT history will be available for your amusement: from puzzles to action to games so experimental they're beyond definition. But don't just play...level up with us by asking about the research. Every GAMBIT game explores a research question, and GAMBIT developers will be at the ready to tell you all about it. There is more to that gum-chewing schoolgirl and floppy space squid than meets the eye!

Cost: Yet another event presented as part of the MIT Museum's free day. Come play with us!

Do It Yourself Game Design
Saturday, April 28, 6-9pm
MIT Museum, 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

Does your family game night need a boost? Join engineers from the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab for hands-on workshops about game design. Visitors of all ages can choose from four different sessions that will change the way you look at board games, video games, and more. Featuring Board Game Remix (middle school and older), Junkyard Track Meet (youth and family), Serious Games for Social Change (teen and adult), and Unity Basics (teen and adult, programming experience required).

Cost: $5. Pre-registration required. Click here for activity descriptions and to sign up!

Video: CMS.616J Social and Cultural Facets of Digital Games with Sean Plott (Day[9]), Alex Garfield and Cara LaForge

Konstantin Mitgutsch and Abe Stein had the great fortune of having three spectacular guests in their sports videogame class a few weeks ago. Their topic was about the rise of e-sports, with a specific focus on Major League Gaming and Starcraft 2 as examples. Our guests were three important foundational figures in the development of Starcraft 2 sports culture, and thus their insights were provocative and really interesting.

The first guest is probably the best known of the three, Sean Plott aka Day[9]. Sean is a former Starcraft champion, and a current internet sensation as a commentator and personality covering Starcraft competitions with his daily video podcast at Day[9].tv. It is no surprise that Sean enjoys the success he has earned, he is an exceptionally bright, and wickedly funny guy, and his loud personality, to invoke the egregiously overused metaphor, leaps off the screen.

The second guest was Alex Garfield. From a "traditional" sports perspective Alex is the entrepreneurial equivalent of an entire front office. He assumes the responsibilities of a President, CEO, General Manager, Coach, and more for one of the most successful e-sports teams, the Evil Geniuses. Beyond simply doing a lot of work, Alex should be credited with playing a foundational role in shaping how an e-sport team could be structured, not only competitively, but financially. Alex is a fan of so-called "traditional" sports, and I think in our conversations with him it was obvious how he was applying knowledge and experience in that domain to development of an e-sport team.

Their final guest was Cara LaForge, and I think it would be safe to describe her as a kind of mastermind behind the scenes at Day[9] TV. A former entertainment lawyer, they could tell right off the bat (ugh, puns) that Cara was looking at the emergent e-sport phenomenon with the eye of a media savvy businessperson recognizing that e-sports are operation on so many levels of entertainment innovation, and that riding the crest of the wave is a kind of risky, but exciting area to work. We spoke at length about the growing pains in professional sports as they transitioned between media forms, from newsprint, to radio, to television, and now into so-called "new media."

(Video description written by Abe Stein and Konstantin Mitgutsch).

Video produced by Generoso Fierro, Edited by James Barrile

GOTW: Eksa Concept Art

Hi everyone, and happy Wednesday! Today we will be sharing some concept art from the development of Eksa. The team had a unique challenge with Eksa to design a Facebook game that could appeal to a broad audience, and I think you can see in the concept art how they tested out many different ideas before arriving at their final style.








UIScreenshot06 (Talking02).png

Check back in with us on Friday for some more coverage of Eksa!

GOTW: Eksa

Hello everyone and welcome back to the GAMBIT blog. The Game of the Week this week is our Facebook puzzler, Eksa! First, enjoy a video interview with Sara Verilli, the game director.

Friday Games @ GAMBIT - A Journey Through thatgamecompany

Journey was released on Playstation Network this week, to expected critical acclaim. It's the third official game by thatgamecompany, the Santa Monica-based game studio founded by graduates of USC's Interactive Media Division. Conceived as the video game variant of USC's world famous film program, thatgamecompany is seen by many as one of the first success stories of how university-based game education can produce financially successful visionary artists. They are one of the few game companies whose work has been marketed as art, with experimental mechanics, highly stylized graphics, and idea-driven experience design seen as the main selling point.

This Friday we will go through several of their games, beginning with their USC student project, Cloud, a game which bares almost all the marks of their commercial work.

- Cloud
- fl0w (original flash version)
- fl0w (commercial PS3 version)
- Flower
- Journey

Join us in the GAMBIT lounge Friday at 4pm, or online at Ustream. As always, there will be cookies.

Equal Pay Game Jam, March 24-25 - Sign up now!

medium.gifThe Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab is hosting a digital Game Jam at MIT on the weekend of March 24 & 25! We're trying out a new style of jam, targeted towards external competitions and challenges, in particular those hosted at

We will be making games to submit to the Equal Pay Challenge, sponsored by the Department of Labor and the National Equal Pay Task Force. You're welcome to bring your own team or form a team on site or even work individually.

Sign up for our Game Jam here:

Video: Spacewar! Turns 50: MIT Celebrates Its First Computer Game at the MIT Museum

In 1961, Digital Equipment Corporation gave MIT a PDP-1 computer and the games began. From discussions about "interesting displays" to new lessons in interactive programming, MIT's Kludge Room became the birthplace of Spacewar! MIT's first computer game. On February 10th, 2012 at The MIT Museum there was a panel discussion on Spacewar! and the PDP-1 computer produced by the GAMBIT Game Lab featuring a member of Spacewar!'s original creative team, Martin "Shag" Graetz and members of the PDP-1 Restoration Project; Eric Smith and Mike Cheponis. The panel was moderated by GAMBIT's U.S. Executive Director, Philip Tan.

GOTW: Stranded Design Documents

Welcome back to the Game of the Week series here at GAMBIT. Today with our last post for Stranded in Singapore we're going to show you some design documentation that will hopefully give you some insight into the character of the team behind the game.

First is a set of notes from a narrative brainstorming session:
Stranded in Singapore - Story and Character Brainstorm.pdf

Next we have a series of images from the "Secret Diary" of producer Nick Garza:


We hope you've liked this look behind the curtain at Stranded in Singapore. We'll be back with a new Game of the Week on Monday, so see you then!

GOTW: Stranded in Singapore Concept Art

Hello everyone, and welcome back! Today we have some concept art from various stages of development for Stranded in Singapore. These are posted in order by milestones (internal deadlines) so you can really see how the game progressed over the summer!

UI Mockup 2.jpg
Protagonist Sketch 7.jpeg

We'll be back on Friday with more from Stranded in Singapore. See you then.

GOTW: Stranded in Singapore

Hi friends of GAMBIT! We're back with another game of the week this Monday, and today we begin our coverage of Stranded in Singapore.

Stranded in Singapore is a classic point and click adventure game built on research developed by Clara Fernández-Vara on procedurally generated puzzles. It is a great, and hilarious game, and if you haven't played it yet head on over to our games page and try it out. In the mean time, here is a video with Clara and Rik talking about the project!


Download for iPhone/iPad.

GOTW: Snowfield Music Video

Hey Everyone! Finishing up this week of coverage of The Snowfield we're going to share with you a special music video made by the members of the team, and featuring some special guests. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!


Download for iPad/iPhone

GAMBIT's Crappy Game Complaining Marathon Raises Over $4500.00 For The Boys and Girls Club Cambridge Clubhouse

On February 18th, 2012, The Singapore-GAMBIT Game Lab ran their first ever "Crappy Game Complaining Marathon" to raise money for The Boys and Girls Club Cambridge Clubhouse. In total we raised over $4,500 for The Clubhouse. On March 7th, 2012, the Executive Director of the Middlesex County Boys and Girls Club, Mechilia Eng-Salazar and the Director of Operations and Program Development, Dana Benjamin, along with Boys and Girls Club members Shane Thorpe and Jhanelle Bynoe, stopped by The GAMBIT Game Lab to accept a check of $4535.00 from me and GAMBIT Marketing Intern Lily Tran on behalf of GAMBIT.


This "BEST OF" video features some of the funniest moments from the marathon and was produced as a thanks to all who volunteers and all who donated that day. You can still donate at the Crappy Game Complaining Marathon website. Video produced by Generoso Fierro, edited by James Barrile.

GOTW: Snowfield Part 2 - Concept Art

Welcome back to the Game of the Week Coverage of The Snowfield. Today we have some really interesting pieces of concept artwork from the development of the project. We hope you enjoy them.










We'll be back with even more The Snowfield coverage on Friday, so do come back!

GOTW: The Snowfield

Well hello everybody, we're back with another Game of the Week, and this week we are taking an in depth look at our IGF nominated The Snowfield. We're staring things off with another great video, this time featuring an interview with Matthew Weise, and Jason Beene.


We'll be back on Wednesday with more behind the scenes looks at The Snowfield!

Looking Glass Studios Interview Series - Audio Podcast 10 - Paul Neurath

The 10th and final part of the interview series with members of Looking Glass Studios (1990-2000), the company that wrote the book on 3D first-person narrative game design throughout the 90s, in such games as Ultima Underworld, System Shock, and Thief.

The guest of our final installment is Paul Neurath, co-founder and creative director of Looking Glass from the day it opened to the day it closed a decade later. In this nearly two hour interview I speak with Paul about the breadth of the company's history, including how it came into existence, what made it focus on innovation the way it did, and why they eventually (and suddenly) closed.

Download the podcast here.

CLOSING COMMENT: We may do some encore podcasts in the future should the right people (the mythical Doug Church for example) become available, but for now this is it. Ten interviews, over 10 hours. An admittedly incomplete but hopefully illuminating oral history of one of the most important game developers ever. Hope you found it useful.

Friday Games at GAMBIT 3/2/12: Blendo Games

This week's Friday Games at GAMBIT will feature a selection of games from Blendo Games. We will be featuring Flotilla, Atom Zombie Smasher, and Gravity Bone. Come on over for a look at some of the finest games indie games that have been released in recent years. The event starts at 4pm.

Also, cookies!

GOTW: Robotany Thoughts

To close out our week of Robotany coverage, we're going to share some thoughts written by one of the programmers of the game, Daniel Ho. I think it is important to let the words of the developers of the game, our interns, be read to paint a clearer portrait of our processes here at the lab in the summer, and to get a more focused understanding of the dynamics of a specific team.

Working on a 2D game in Unity has lots of decision to make, especially so in the area of coding and software development. The whole procedure is kind of like a hack around of the whole Unity engine. We used an unorthodox technique recommended by our Technical Director in the end! We basically play with a 3D world with billboards of characters on a usual 3d world flat terrain. It worked pretty well for most parts of it except that we have some weird Z sorting problem that Bruce(SG Game Lab Programmer) couldn't understand what is going on. However, for the most part, it was quite a good technique as we don't really have to care about depth sorting if we had to use other softwares.

I get to use Sprite Manager 2 and EZ GUI for the graphics. We ran into quite a few problems due to it being a community written library. The initializations of sprites are problematic. It work at times, and doesn't work at times due to the functions running concurrently or not the order we thought it would be.

UI implementation was a breeze with EZ GUI. Although we did some parts of hard coding to speed things up, most of the implementations for EZ GUI seems working as expected. However, as thing happens when some functions can flip in the order they are called. Eg. Update vs OnMouseDown.

Working with Biju is really fun! We get to analyze algorithms and design patterns that actually help me get a deeper understanding of what are the better practices to follow for game programming. Having 2 programmers out of a development team of 9 is really taxing on us. However, I think we communicated really well and manage to work at an extremely efficient rate. 10 over classes in 3 weeks!!!

I really enjoyed working in the team, as well as in GAMBIT. The environment is not stressful, and there is a lot of learning opportunities. We can have fun during work and there was always some laughter going on. This kind of environment really pushed me to do my best without the unneeded stress I get from rushing assignments in school! Awesome!


Thanks for checking in this week, and come back on Monday for another Game of the Week!

MIT ranked in the Princeton Review for Game Design

PC-Gamer-ranking.jpgThe Princeton Review has released their latest annual rankings of top schools to study game design and MIT is #2 for undergraduate education and #3 for grad school! It's an honor to be in such good company.

PC Gamer has printed more details from the annual ranking, specifically calling out the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab in its look at the top-ranked colleges. There's more information there about each individual program, for folks who are interested.

Thank you to all of the GAMBIT staff, faculty, researchers, students, alums and friends for making this an awesome place.

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