Ukrainian artist brings Lara Croft to life through art

Inna Vjuzhanina doesn’t necessarily paint exclusively video game characters.

But her love for the medium came from her desire to pay tribute to her favorite video game heroine, Lara Croft.

Now, the Ukrainian artist has been building a side hustle that revolves around the “Tomb Raider” leading lady.

“While searching for a way to pay tribute to my beloved heroine, I started painting,” the Ukraine-based artist said recently. “That turned out to be the biggest passion of my life. Lara Croft is one of my biggest muses to this day.”

Continue reading Ukrainian artist brings Lara Croft to life through art

New game studio to show off spiritual exploration title at Otronicon

An Orlando video game company will finally get its closeup this weekend at Otronicon as it pushes its first title closer to the finish line.

Captilight Studios will be one of several companies featured at the video game showcase during Orlando Science Center’s signature event.

After a tough year during which the city’s indie video game industry lost some momentum because of the pandemic, Captilight Founder Deana Galbraith said it will be a good thing to reconnect.

“It’s really helpful to meet up with everyone in the community and see what they are working on,” Galbraith said. “It helps build a support network for you and for the game.”

“Path of Kami” is a puzzle game that follows the spirit of the wolf Kazeyo’s efforts to ascend after his passing.

Continue reading New game studio to show off spiritual exploration title at Otronicon

In pandemic, Ongaku Overdrive thrives with virtual video game music showcase

The yearlong pandemic has become one of the toughest external forces that the music industry has had to undergo.

But one local concert organizer has successfully pulled specialized bands together from across the country to keep his video game music concerts going.

Kent Ward recently hosted Virtua Ongaku VII on his Twitch stream, showcasing five performers – and paying them.

“It has been awesome,” said Ward, whose event raised nearly $1,000 for the performers. “We have no idea when live concerts or conventions that would book these acts will return so seeing fans step up to support the musicians has been a wonderful feeling.”

Continue reading In pandemic, Ongaku Overdrive thrives with virtual video game music showcase

ESPN: EA’s Maitland-based VP confirms return of college football video game

It appears that passionate college football fans might be able to claim a huge win in the video game world.

Electronic Arts Maitland-based executive Daryl Holt told ESPN in a story posted on Tuesday that the popular video game company would be bringing back its NCAA Football franchise.

While it’s unlikely to come this year, next year could be a possibility.

The announcement could mean hiring for Electronic Arts when it moves into downtown Orlando this summer.

Continue reading ESPN: EA’s Maitland-based VP confirms return of college football video game

UCF/FIEA-built video game racking up downloads, strong reviews

The video game “Wick,” built by students at UCF’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, has a dark look, a simple premise – and it’s adorable.

An anthropomorphic candle navigates a cathedral, its wick and flame serving as its life force, as it tries to finish a task its fallen master could not complete.

Then the monster shows up.

“Wick” is a roughly 20-minute adventure that puts players in the role of the cleverly named candle Jean Wick.

The fiery protagonist plays a cat-and-mouse game with a gnarly, gruesome-sounding and -looking demon with a severe case of the hatreds for this little guy.

Continue reading UCF/FIEA-built video game racking up downloads, strong reviews

Madden NFL 21, built in Maitland, set to debut Friday. Fo’ shizzle.

The highest-profile video game built in Central Florida returns for its 28th year on Friday.

The latest entry in Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL series, built in Maitland, will include a bonus for hardcore gamers.

Those who buy the game for Sony PS4 4 or Xbox One can automatically upgrade if they buy a next-generation console.

Both the Sony PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X will debut by the end of the year, according to the latest estimates.

Continue reading Madden NFL 21, built in Maitland, set to debut Friday. Fo’ shizzle.

Ongaku Overdrive goes virtual for next video game-music concert

A group that organizes concerts of bands that perform video game music will go virtual this weekend.

Ongaku Overdrive, which has hosted video-game themed concerts in Orlando since 2013, will feature four acts on its Twitch channel.

Ongaku founder Kent Ward started hosting the events virtually in response to the growing coronavirus pandemic. This will be the third virtual event.

“We have enjoyed hosting online concerts during this time,” Ward said in a news release. “It has given fans something great to enjoy from the safety of their home, while also supporting amazing performers in our community.”

Continue reading Ongaku Overdrive goes virtual for next video game-music concert

Return delayed

You’ve probably noticed.

But my grand return to this site has been delayed.

A family situation required travel to the Midwest for some time and I need to focus on that for the time being.

But I will be back putting the spotlight on Central Florida’s video game community in the near future.

In the meantime, dig through the site and let me know what you think about the stories I’ve shared in the last year.

Be back soon.

Together in gaming.

Marco Santana.

OVG Editor/writer/photographer/webmaster/King Bowser

The OVG to return July 1

In our small little video game world of Central Florida, The OVG has been trying to spotlight the community.

It has been just more than one year since I launched this website with a goal of showing off what we have here in the region.

It all started with a YouTube channel that highlighted an arcade game aficionado in town who planned to auction off part of his collection.

Months after we launched, I set up this website and have dug every minute of it.

But it has been a mostly part-time gig that has had its stops and starts. Well, it’s time to start again and that will happen July 1.

In one year, this page has allowed me to connect with the Orlando Magic’s esports team and Full Sail University’s deep roster of alumni. It has enhanced my connections with Indienomicon and kept an eye out for high-profile events that made their way through Orlando.

Because of that, I have interviewed the creator of Pitfall!, watched the voice of Scorpion in “Mortal Kombat” tell stories about his career and attended a concert that featured the rapper Mega Ran, who I loved even before he came into town.

On July 1, OrlVideoGames.com will return with more interviews, features, event coverage and esports coverage than before.

How can I possibly know that? Well, I no longer have my full-time gig and am free to devote as much time as I’d like to this effort.

In the coming weeks (before July 1), I’ll be reaching out to the community, being more aggressive in communicating who and what I want to feature.

Spoiler alert: YOU and YOUR PROJECTS!

I want to take this more hyper-local.

On our Facebook page, I have recorded five interviews with local video game personalities. That will continue.

But I also want to finally execute on what I have wanted this to become long ago: a spot to show off what kinds of professionals we have here.

Do you perform music for video games? Hit me up.

Are you creating your own game? Let’s highlight it and create some buzz.

Are you an alum of a local program who is now making games and getting paid for it? Per. Fect.

Let’s do this, Orlando.

Marco Santana

Founder OrlVideoGames.com.

Mutineers bow out of own tournament in quick fashion

It was a rough weekend for the Florida Mutineers.

Exactly how rough and how bad of an effect it has on the team’s chances this season, however, won’t be known until the weekend is over.

The Mutineers were ousted from their own tournament on Saturday, failing to win a game in their two matchups.

The loss means a missed opportunity to move up in the standings, as two teams above them had the week off.

Continue reading Mutineers bow out of own tournament in quick fashion