Hi everyone, JDE team here to give you a little snippet of the exciting Friday we just had!

This past Friday we had the opportunity to attend Bit Bash, Chicago’s Game Festival, and had Autumn Taylor from Owlchemy Labs come in and give is a talk about preconceived designs and her experience in VR.

This past week we attended the Bit Bash Fabricade event held at mHub! Unlike some of the other events we’ve attended recently, the main focus of this event was to showcase some fun games that used unconventional controllers as well as to create a social event for developers in the midwest. Everyone that showcased at the event had amazing games to show off like the beautiful game “Nour” by TerrifyingJellyfish and the intense, button mashing fighting game from the 1000 Button Project. The fun didn’t stop there, we even had a couple of our JDE board members showing off their game at the event, “Sashimi Slammers”. It was great to be able to connect with such creative and fun developers at this event, and we hope to return for the next Bit Bash event!

Autumn Taylor is an alumni of the University of Texas at Austin and is now working at Owlchemy Labs as their studio director, marketing and knOWLedge. She is also the community organizer for VR Austin and Juegos Rancheros, Austin, Texas’ independent games collective.

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She talked about her experience working on games like Job Simulator, Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality and their upcoming project Vacation Simulator. To her virtual reality (VR) is a medium of experience where you are immersed into a virtual world that you can interact with. She talked about some systems that Owlchemy Labs follows while making their games. The company creates non-violent, accessible games for everyone and uses each game they create as an opportunity to perfect a new technique. The implement each of these techniques in their next game and use it as a platform to improve the technique or create a new one.

Autumn also spoke about he opinions on certain design aspects like player expectation, environment, level design, player agency, audio design, and accessibility. She stressed about making games accessible for everyone because everyone should be able to enjoy games, accessibility is something that is there throughout the entire game development and if you save it for the end you are not making an accessible game. While talking about design aspects she made sure to also covered how important it is to make sure the player stayed immersed throughout the whole experience and it related to each area of design. She wants to make sure people are comfortable and enjoy VR so she gave the advice to remind designers that people form memories in VR very similarly to how they do in real life so make sure you design your games in a way that won’t negatively impact people’s perception of VR.

She said some amazing ways to find inspiration or some team bonding is to go to escape rooms, an architecture tour, or immersive rooms. So go out there and get inspired 🙂

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