Ciro Durán A Live Archive

An important announcement

I have something important to say today. I believe it is important to share it with all the followers of my work.

I accepted an offer to study a Master in computer games programming at the United Kingdom, with a year of duration. As you’re reading this text, we will have travelled and I will have started the course. I’m studying this course at Goldsmiths College, a university that has a long tradition in arts, something that attracts me a great deal. Although, the master itself is strongly oriented to programming. One of the teachers of the course has worked for over 30 years in the field, and in its most recent curriculum works with the compilers in Sony.

These last months have been for me a terrible pressure. Emigrating is not only a test that consists in completing all requisites and you’re done. It is a psychological test that strains your spirit and those of who surround you. Thank you, thank you, really, to all the family and friends that have supported us in this tough process.

The moment the thinking of leaving to somewhere unknown settles in your mind, that solid floor you sed to have disappears, and you enter in a freefall: what you knew stops making sense, and you must complete a series of sequencial steps so your life can continue. And in the meantime these steps are completed you must wait, and that threatens your mental health.

I do still think that Venezuela has an impressive talent in matters of videogame development. Moreover, I think it develops despite the things that happen around that affect or minimize their importance. As you know, the Caracas Game Jam 2014 will be done and will be bigger than 2013. El Chigüire Literario will continue publishing articles and tutorials in Spanish. My site, www.ciroduran.com, will have articles in both languages. It is necesary that you developers stand out with your work, and keep talking between you.

At some moment several of you made to yourselves the same question: “am I the only videogame developer in Venezuela?”. I think that’s a stage you have already overcomed, and the next question should be: “what can we do together?”. I have seen the results from the game jam, and other initiatives I’ve seen around. From this side of the screen, I offer all the support you need to spread your work.

Thank you for reading me, following me, and supporting me. I hope you still do it.

Some news on Caracas Game Jam

When the Global Game Jam did its first call in 2008, I really had no idea if it was possible to host a game jam in Caracas. I knew the concept of a game jam through TIGSource, but I didn’t know what did it take to do it, or if I even had the tools to do it. It was thanks to Yole, my wife, and the collaboration of many people, including participants, during 5 years, that the Caracas Game Jam has become the success it is now, creating a community of game developers that surprises many people, even us.

At the same time, I have also been involving myself more into the Global Game Jam. It excites me that the GGJ is an event organized by lots of volunteers from all parts of the world, and that’s why I collaborated last year with the organizers to coordinate Spanish-speaking locations in Latin America. It was a very enriching experience, where I talked to lots of people that, like me, also want to host a game jam in their city, and have their own motivations and ideas to propose.

Having said that, this year the event organizers have extended the invitation for me to be part of the Global Game Jam 2014 Executive Committee. The Executive Commitee is in charge of running the event, from coordinating locations to decide the theme, including the website maintenance and the search for sponsors for the global event. This is a voluntary position that I gladly accepted and I hope to collaborate with the participating locations from this corner of the world. We have done several meetings since some weeks ago, and I can tell you there are marvelous things coming to the event.

The work has already started, and by September we will make the call for new locations sign-up. Due to the position I’m taking, the organization of the Caracas Game Jam won’t be completely on me and Yole, but by collaborators that have worked long-time in the event, and in which I have complete trust in their good work. I will bring you news about the Caracas Game Jam very soon.

Interview (in Spanish) at Todo en Domingo July 2013 issue

Click to download the article (PDF, 3MB) Click to download the article (PDF, 3MB)

This is a story that got published in the Todo en Domingo magazine, a country-wide circulation inside the El Nacional newspaper, about game development in Venezuela. This story includes interviews with José Rafael Marcano, the La Cosa Entertainment team (winners of the 2012 Square-Enix gamedev contest), 4Geeks, and myself. Click on the image above to download the PDF. Thanks to Daniela Dávila for the conversation.

New game: Voting Day

Click on the image to play Voting Day Click on the image to go play Voting Day

May I present you a new game this week. It’s called Voting Day and it’s my contribution to encourage all Venezuelans to go vote on next April 14th. The game is based in the old Game&Watch series of games, so the way to play is simple. Share it with your friends. For web browsers in desktops, cell phones and tablets.

Credits

Design and programming: Ciro Durán. Graphics: Alexander Hass (@Gagz9k) and Ciro Durán. Thanks to: Yole Quintero, Julián Rojas Millán and Saúl González.

New game: Tele

Tele screenshot Click on the image to play

Tele is the only product made by Televisión del Milenio, a Venezuelan regional TV channel that started by buying old equipment to a national TV channel, but never could get on air because of all the red tape. Instead of going live, the only production team at the TV channel did a videogame that reflects on the team’s sentiment regarding how a party, or a group of parties, can compete agains the State’s powers to be able to broadcast their message.

I invite you to play this game, product of the One Game a Month challenge, and a way to give something to the politics discussion in the country.