Orbital Game Jam

Between Sat. March 17th to Sun. March 18th, Alexis and I went to the Orbital Game Jam, a small student game jam at the EPFL. Unlike most game jams, it only lasted 24 hours, so we needed to be quick and simple with our game. The themes were:

  • Et si ?
  • Plus loin que la nuit et le jour

We took the second one and turned it as travelling and finally train. We went for a second German empire setting with those lovely German soliders with spikes on top of them. We decide for a twist in term of mechanic by not having the player shoot but bounce.

So we did Orbital Express where you play as  Agent Herrington and you have to stop Docteur Heinrich Grüter’s train to save London. You have dog steam machinery trying to kill you. Your only weapon is your typical English gentleman stick that you use to bounce the projectile back. You can play it here: https://teamkwakwa.itch.io/orbital-express

Read More

My beloved Meetup

Every month, game developers from all around the Swiss French part come together for a casual meetup to learn about a new subject and drink some beers. It is the central place of the Swiss French scene. Even though not everyone is a professional, people share their knowledge and motivate each other to move forward. It is hard to define if the meetup is moving the whole scene forward (like it is hard to know if the Nordic Game Jam helped the game industry in the Scandinavian countries).

I started to go to the meetup in 2014, before going to the ZHdK. The first one I attended, funny enough, is the one that Kevin Péclet, my current colleague, actually presented Otherworld (now Starfallen): https://www.meetup.com/Game-Developers-Suisse-Romande/events/176334712/

Several months later, I presented my work about game jams and afterwards, I went to Zurich, but even then, I was still going every month to the Swiss French meetup. I went to a game jam with Kevin and following the production of Splash Blast Panic, we found a company.

The meetup made the game developer I am today. Being able to see what game development was concretely and being able to share insights, tricks and talks taught me a lot of things. So to give back to the community, I started to help David Javet in the organization. We managed to push the quality of the presentation to another level, invite international guests over skype or live on stage. The meetup did not completely change, but the community became more professional, but still keeping this passionate root.

Students from EPFL, ECAL, HEAD, SAE Institute, EPAC come regularly to meet the game developers from the indie scene, ask them questions and for some of them, integrate our community. This is why I joined the organization of the meetup, to help people connect and to share. Some companies do not come, often telling that they already work all day on their game, they don’t think that they need this helping community. But when they die or bankrupt, nobody pity them and they become a joke for the game community, instead of a dream of old.

Game developers from all around the Swiss French part, Geneva, Neuchâtel, Fribourg, Lausanne come together and share. This is our meetup. This is our game development community. This is my beloved meetup.

Read More

ADDON 2017 – A replacement of the Stunfest pause

This week, I was at ADDON in Brittany, France, to meet my fellow French game developers. This year, the Stunfest hit pause, whch was pretty sad. The Stunfest is one of the only festivals were people were actually beating me at my own game. It is the meeting point of the best players in France and compared to Paris Games Week or Gamescom, it is not a money grabbing event, but a passionate one.

I had two presentations to make, one about my upcoming game Splash Blast Panic and the other one about the gameboy homebrew entry of the GBJam 5 we did back last year. So with a small Swiss french delegation, we went there to network. Here is Twitter story:

 

Kevin had a panel talking about his project Helvetii.

Finally, after some nice crepes and a final boss at the Libanese restaurant, we went back home.


And I am really looking forward to go to Stunfest next year, even if I don’t know with which games already.

You can find the link to my two presentations here:

http://eliasfarhan.ch/addon_spash

http://eliasfarhan.ch/addon_gb

I also discussed game jams and indie game development during the Indie Dev Lounge here:

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/148692478

Read More