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Play Anywhere Game Jam Selects Three Teams for Stadia Makers Program

New York, NY (April 28, 2021) — Three of the ten teams participating in the Google Stadia Play Anywhere Game Jam accepted an opportunity to join the Stadia Makers program and receive additional funding for further development, event organizer Playcrafting announced today.

Waking Oni Games (Bushido Bots), Petricore (Battle Billiards), and Jump Button Studios (Fragments) crafted compelling multiplayer games within Unity and will continue development with Stadia Makers support to bring their creative titles to the Stadia store.

  • Bushido Bots by Waking Oni Games: A retro-cartoon world featuring tabletop toy robots as they battle to their animated deaths. A methodical fighting game where players move in a step-based rhythm, using each beat for single-action movements or attacks.
  • Battle Billiards by Petricore: Play a game of billiards with two players simultaneously on one table, competing to sink your arm-waving, chattering balls that were inspired by the r/reallifedoodles subreddit.
  • Fragments by Jump Button Studios: Players control one of two fragmented creatures as they solve puzzles, traverse obstacles, and battle enemies. Collect crystals shared between both players to unlock abilities like jumping or attacking.

Watch the recap of the Google Stadia Play Anywhere Game Jam with previews of games from all 10 teams on YouTube.

“It was an honor to bring together these developers for the Play Anywhere game jam. They represent some of the best and brightest creators building the future of video games,” said Playcrafting’s founder & CEO, Dan Butchko. “Each of the ten prototypes generated reflected the talent, passion, and unique point of view these teams brought to the table. I especially can’t wait to see Bushido Bots, Battle Billiards, and Fragments take shape on their path to Google Stadia.”

About 40 Unity developers from around the United States formed 10 teams that competed to craft engaging couch co-op and competitive games geared toward local multiplayer on Stadia in March.

The participants in the week-long game jam included developers from Seattle, Boston, Chicago, New York, Austin, and Los Angeles.

The prototypes were then examined by judges and considered based on different criteria including quality and the potential fit for Stadia

The Google Stadia Play Anywhere Game Jam focused on a group of diverse and inclusive developers creating playful local Stadia experiences. All 39 of the developers were compensated for their work on the prototypes.

Three teams were selected to receive additional funding, with the remaining seven teams offered free development access and onboarding to Stadia so they can explore publishing on the platform.

“Stadia is a platform that breaks down the hardware barrier and opens a gaming opportunity to those who may not have the space or financial freedom to afford consoles,” said Calbert Warner, from JumpButton Studios. “Signing with Stadia meant a lot to us as we feel we are creating a project that places focus on collaboration, communication, and synergy between players, which is an experience we wanted to share across veteran and casual gamers.”

JumpButton’s Fragments has players taking control of one of two fragmented creatures as they solve puzzles, traverse obstacles, and battle enemies. To progress, they must collect crystals that are shared between the two players. The crystals are used to grant abilities to the player, like jumping or attacking.

In Petricore’s Battle Billards, two people play a game of billiards simultaneously on one table. The player’s arm-waving, chattering ball can even be pocketed for a brief time by the other player. Like traditional pool, the winner is the one to pocket all of their balls first.

“Our main inspiration for the game was trying to take a game like billiards and give it a Golf with Your Friends vibe,” said Oliver Awat, Lead Designer at Petricore. “We also looked at things like bumper cars and Beyblades to think about our gameplay, and our art style was inspired by the subreddit r/reallifedoodles.”

Added Ryan Canuel, co-founder and CEO of Petricore:

“We’re beyond excited to get the opportunity to continue working on this game and bring it to Stadia. May 5, 2021, will be six years since we founded Petricore and I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate that milestone than with this amazing news.

The third game, Bushido Bots, has players standing in a retro-cartoon world controlling tabletop toy robots as they battle to their animated deaths.

Derrick Fields, of Waking One Games, said Bushido Bots was inspired by the team’s shared admiration for the samurai-themed fighting game Bushido Blade on the PlayStation One. It was a game, he said, that could be won or lost with a well-placed blow.

“We love the limited health and simplistic UI the game presents, which we feel heightens the anticipation of landing a final hit,” Fields said. “Taking that into consideration for Bushido Bots, what we ended up with was a methodical fighting game where players move in a step-based rhythm, using each beat for single-action movements or attacks. We wanted this to feel like a dance with your opponent, as you navigate the arena and look for the opportune time to strike.

“Our team is majority-led by marginalized developers, so signing with Stadia not only empowers our team but supports the idea that fun, nostalgic games should see their way into the hands of more players. Having the financial backing will allow us to carve out more time to pursue our project meaningfully and explore any ideas that did not make it into the prototype. From here, we’re asking ourselves ‘What’s the version of the game we create next?’ and plan to polish out various parts of the prototype to deploy it for others to enjoy.”

About Playcrafting 

Playcrafting is the largest network of game creators in New York and one of the largest in the U.S, with more than 30,000 actively engaged developers. Playcrafting offers more than 50 local and industry-recognized classes and events, such as the Play NYC convention, The Bit Awards, and the largest Global Game Jam site in the U.S. These events give game creators and fans the chance to connect, learn and play. Since 2017, Playcrafting has connected the world’s biggest companies with game developers nationwide. These partnerships have generated 68 games and over $1.5 million in funding for game developers with companies like Bose, Verizon, the NFL, Facebook, IBM, and Schick Hydro. Click here for more on our brand partnerships and to discover ways gaming can move your company and industry forward through play!

About Stadia Makers

Stadia Makers is a program focused on expanding self-publishing opportunities for Stadia and working closely with independent developers. With more than 15 games already part of Stadia Makers, we’re looking forward to expanding the program to pave the way for development teams of all sizes to bring their titles to Stadia. Any developers interested in getting involved with Stadia Makers are encouraged to head to stadia.dev/apply.

Vic
Editor / Writer / Producer For Drop the Spotlight