Arcade

From Arts on Sunday

Home Grown Video Games

Like the film industry, New Zealand's involvement in gaming has blossomed, and The Dowse Art Museum are hosting an exhibition, Arcade, to celebrate the creativity of talented local games creators and developers.

All images courtesy of The Dowse Art Museum.

Ancient Frog by Ancient Workshop artist James Brown. Ancient Frog is a contemplative puzzle game set in a range of serene and atmospheric natural environments. With over 100 unique levels and 6 different types of species, the idea is to manoeuvre your frog, leg by leg to catch the fly on the other side of the screen. The creator, British born James Brown worked in the mainstream games industry for 10 years (including stints at EA & Lionhead). He now works independently from his home in Napier, enjoying having more creative control over his own projects.

Background-survival – Orbital Guard, BulletProof Arcade artist Rod Smith. BulletProof Arcade was established in 2009 by Rod Smith and Andy Wiltshire with Aaron Neugebauer and is located on Waiheke Island, in Auckland. Also from Bulletproof Arcade are the games Orbital Guard and Star Pirate: Inception.

SmallWorlds is a virtual 3D world that runs inside a web browser without the need to download or install any other software. SmallWorlds was created by Outsmart a company based in Auckland run by Mitch Olsen and Darren Green. The game was launched in 2008 and today there are over 6.5 million user worldwide. In October 2009, SmallWorlds was voted top prize in the Social Computing category of the Adobe MAX Awards 2009

Space Hawk is an arcade action game created by Star Kiwi Studios. Players escort the Space Hawk by defending it from asteroids and enemy spaceships with mini-ships via on-screen controls. The whole game is made out of 3D objects, making the game feel more realistic to play with a simulated a joystick on the touch screen. The game was developed when StarKiwi CEO Ryan Thatcher became hooked by the iPhone game Air Traffic Controller and was astounded that such a simple game could become so addictive ... and sell four million units in a year.

Cletus Clay is a side-scrolling online action game with fast-paced, humorous and hand–to-hand fighting. It tells the story of Cletus, a mountain man who gets all riled up when a fleet of alien saucers invade his property. Anthony Flack and Sarah Quick from Tuna Snax are the lead designer/artist and artist behind Cletus Clay.

Dungeon King: Deadstorm Keep is a hack-and-slash action-role playing game created by BulletProof Arcade Ltd. BulletProof Arcade was established in 2009 by Rod Smith and Andy Wiltshire with Aaron Neugebauer and is located on Waiheke Island, in Auckland. Also from Bulletproof Arcade are the games Orbital Guard and Star Pirate: Inception.

Flutter teaches players about the Amazon rainforest through the magic of virtual butterflies. The team behind the game are Dunedin based company Runaway Play led by director Tim Nixon. Founded in 2009, Runaway is a division of one of the world's largest documentary film making companies, NHNZ, and is focussed on creating and self-publishing meaningful games for social networks, inspired by the natural world.

Flutter teaches players about the Amazon rainforest through the magic of virtual butterflies. The team behind the game are Dunedin based company Runaway Play led by director Tim Nixon. Founded in 2009, Runaway is a division of one of the world's largest documentary film making companies, NHNZ, and is focussed on creating and self-publishing meaningful games for social networks, inspired by the natural world.

Sparx (in development), a New Zealand first, is a computer-administered self-help programme for adolescents suffering from depression. Maru Nihoniho started Auckland based Metia Interactive four years ago. The Sparx game is their first serious game project designed and developed for the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences of the University of Auckland and funded by the Ministry of Health New Zealand.

The images in this gallery are used with permission and are subject to copyright conditions.