Frankenstein Play Jam (9-19th June)

Game jams are mostly gameful events with playful outcomes. It means that game jams are regulated events that allow participants to create crazy games. But often, as we participate in game jams, the event by itself is not fun or memorable, except for exceptional and extraordinary moments. In the continuum of Ludus (game with rules, like video-game, chess) and Paidia (game without rules, role-play), what if game jams become Paidia events, what if game jams become play jams.

In this context, let me present the Frankenstein Play Jam. Inspired by the Kid Game Jam, anyone can come and create assets (images, animations, music, sounds), that I have to include in a final game and that is the only constraint. There is no theme, anyone can do any assets (respecting the Swiss Law, which is pretty unrestrictive). The goal is a merge of several art style in a Frankenstein monster manner.

If you are interested, send me a mail at: elias [dot] farhan [at] gmail [dot] com

You can import your assets here: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B7RPgWbE-u7UeXVRMDl3MlpIb3c&usp=sharing

You can also participate locally, from June the 12-19, in room 5K07, Toni-Areal, Zurich.

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Polymanga+PolyLAN+Fishcat jam+Fantasy Basel+Stunfest

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After going to the US, I participated in several events to show Splash Blast Panic. I also spent a lot of time to finish my master thesis, that I will soon release for everyone to read. Meaning I did not have the time to write on this blog. So here is what I did:

I went to Polymanga at the booth of the SIEA, with Oniroforge. I do not really enjoy the mood of the Polymanga, as it is mostly young adolescents screaming for nothing, we do not call that the dumb age for nothing. At the same time, we organized a tournament during the PolyLAN, and that is way more interesting for me, as a game developer, to see people not only playing the game for 10 minutes, but trying to master the game to win. From the tournament, I recorded one of the most crazy match of Splash Blast Panic, the B-Final between Cutips and StrawberryPie:

And here are the winners: 1. Djeeb, 2. Lacryna, and 3. Cutips after his wonderful match.

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After all those events, I took the opportunity to work with Christian Schmidhalter, from Mr. Whale’s Game Service. We created Dash Catch during the week-end and you can play it here: https://teamkwakwa.itch.io/dash-catch.

Before finishing the master thesis, I then went to the Fantasy Basel. We showed Splash Blast Panic like last year, and we could celebrate the one year production anniversary. The only downside was that the target audience was not that interesting.

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Finally, after my master thesis was over, I went with a strong Swiss delegation to the Stunfest festival in Rennes, France. And that was an awesome event. The Stunfest started as a versus fighting festival and opened up to a game festival, with some of the best players from France. I got beaten at my own by very good players who used clever tactics. There as a concert show from PERTUBATOR, one of the composers of Hotline Miami and the week-end finished with a Street Fighter 5 tournament. What a month!

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LvlUp Game Jam/Train Jam/International Conference on Game Jams/Game Developer’s Conference

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It is 4:30pm and I am very tired due to jetlag. I realized I did not write a post since the Swiss Train Jam, so much as happened since then. I helped at the LvlUp Game Jam in Fribourg. I gave a talk about Game Jams and Game Design.

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The presentation was in French, so I was more comfortable than usually. I really like to give talks and I loved to answer the questions from the future jammers. During the week-end, I was not participating to the game jam, but I could not resist to try to work with Wuthrer. We created a little non-game.

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Of course, it was not about finishing a game, but more about trying something different. Being in a place where people are jamming when you are not is a weird sensation, it is like feeling out of place. Participants asked me questions during the week-end, but I was working on my projects.

The weeks before my departure to the US were intensive. I finally took the plane early in the morning on Wednesday the 9th of March and I arrived the evening in Chicago, where my hosts welcomed me at the airport. After a good night of sleep, I went to the train station and arrived at the Junction bar with a queue of Train Jam people. I went to the back of the queue and meet Chris. We received our Train Jam badge, ate something at the bar, formed team for the game jam and then queued to enter the train.

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There were 200 people ready to board the train and create a game. I decided to create music to be able to move between several groups and have less pressure compare to a game jam where I had to code. I did not sleep well in the train, so it did not help my jetlag. The landscapes were beautiful.

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In the end, I did music for three games. I was not completely happy with my results, I should practice some FL Studio to make some better musics. We finally arrived in rainy San Francisco, everyone presented their games and we went our own way.

I wake up early in the morning to go to UC Berckley for the International Conference on Game Jams, Hackathons and Game Creations Events for which I wrote a paper back in January. My talk was about Big Team Game Jams, events focused on emulating the big production feeling and that were practically done in Switzerland.

I was happy to discover the different other works for my master thesis and be able to talk with the authors of the many papers I read for my master thesis. When Sunday was over, I could sleep and visit the city. I had to take this picture:

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And then it was GDC (the Game Developer’s Conference), the biggest conference for game developers around the world (well except a lot of developers from South America and Africa, because it is way too expensive for them to come). It is all about networking and discussing. It is also about parties on the evening, where you can drink and show your game. I did not any booth and did all my marketing guerilla style. You are talking with someone, you ask if they want to test your game and that’s it. I gave a lot of business cards. I had to reprint them. I could go to the Xbox Lounge to talk to Dan Fornace, the creator of Smash Land and Rivals of Aether, something that would be completely impossible otherwise.

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Of course, GDC is not just about showing your game and meeting people. It is also about parties (where you can show your game and meet people, but also drink free beers). I went to the Itch.io party, the github party and the GDC Japan Party.

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I also ate a lot of different local food specialities (burger, burrito, burger,…)

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And on my way back to Zurich, I took the time to visit Chicago, with my awesome couch hosts. I leave you with the million dollar view:

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