Nordic Game Jam 17

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With Julia Klement, we went on holiday in Copenhagen during the freezing week of Spring. Maybe not the best timing, but we went there also for the Nordic Game Jam 15, the biggest local game jam in the world with around 700 participants every year.

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Before the departure, I realise that my chocolate Easter rabbit had a peculiar name (like one of my jealous colleague):

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So the game we made is called “Luca the Magnificent”, it is again an Android/Desktop game where you play Luca the rabbit trying to escape from his evil magician master. You can play it here: https://teamkwakwa.itch.io/luca-the-magnificient

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Indie Train Jam 2017 and GDC17

 

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March was an intense month for me. After we signed the contract with our new publisher Digital Smash for the upcoming release of our game, it was time for Kevin and I to pack our things and to go to the USA for the Game Developers Conference. At the same time, the Nintendo Switch was about to release March the 3rd and it was a really good occasion to get it for 50CHF cheaper than in Switzerland. Nintendo announced a conference at the GDC (I could not attend it, I had to many things to do) but here is a link:

 

However I went to see the post-mortem of Civilization by Sid Meier and Bruce Shelley. It was amazing to see the two game designers talking about the birth of this game series. I took 5 pages of notes just from this presentation. You can find it on the vault: http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1024294/Classic-Game-Postmortem-Sid-Meier

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But before the GDC, I went for the second time to the Indie Train Jam from Chicago to San Francisco! Last year, I could not sleep well in the train, so I was worried on how I could sleep well. Fortunately this time, I slept well enough. I also did music for a team, making it a relaxing jam. Here is a photo of the team:

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If you are looking carefully, you should recognise Jeremy Spillmann from Switzerland. Yes, this year I was not the only Swiss in the train. With this team, we made the game Take Your Shot, a duel game with a twist for pacific players. Here are some more photos from the train:

 

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Then it was time to setup the GDC booth and go to Game Connection America. The #SwissGames booth was all covered in red carpet, we were in the complete end of the booth in the corner, probably not the best place, because not that many people were going through this part. On the other hand, Game Connection America was mostly a B2B  event, pretty boring compared to GDC, so I figured out I could train my soft corporate skills. At least, the venue was in a Baseball stadium:
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So when Game Connection America was over, I was ready for GDC at the #SwissGames booth. I met some very interesting people, networked hard. We went to meet Nintendo to get Splash Blast Panic to go on the Switch. And of course, I did the queue to get a Switch on Friday the 3rd:

 

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But I got one! As soon as the GDC was over, Soufian and I went on a road trip to California Highway One, before I took the plane back home to Geneva. Here are some photos:

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Then I was on my way home, saving the Hyrule Kingdom.

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Tokyo Game Show 2016

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Tokyo, the Mecca of okatus, gamers and game developers alike. We were surprised to be selected for the Tokyo Game Show 2016 with Splash Blast Panic and for me, it was an opportunity  to get back to this city that I love so much. I went there in 2014, when 4 friends of mine did this incredible journey of the Transiberian and at the same time, visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Fukuoka, Busan and Seoul in one week.

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I remembered some things from my previous travel, especially Akihabara (or Akiba). Damn, I discovered so much more of Akihabara again. All those stores, all this animation, this mood is just incredible. But the rest of the city is as incredible. I did a whole round of the city for the week I had at my disposal before the TGS began. I went to Shinjuku, Harajuku, Shibuya (where I bought awesome ZeroAudio headphones that are unavailable in Europe and super cheap compare to the quality), Nakano, Ueno, Asakuza, I spent some time at the Imperial Palace’s Gardens (just next to our location):

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I went back to the Meiji Shrine and enjoyed the silence of the forest in the middle of the city. I went to an onsen, separated male and female, where you have hottube bath, and you are naked 😀 (No photos sorry).

I ate so many good things. My first supper was a nice classical ramen:

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And I enjoyed with Christophe Galati, some takoyaki:

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Every time that I think about food in Japan, I just want to go back there, just for one dinner. But I did not go to Japan just for food and for fun. I went there for the Tokyo Game Show.

4 days of exhibition, 2 days business days with 10’000 people per day, and 2 days of public days with 100’000 people per day. For me, I am biased by the comparaison with the Gamescom that was an awesome experience. So of course, compared to gamescom, I was disappointed. Though there was still a lot of people:

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Japanese players won’t come to your booth if you do not speak Japanese to them. You had to grab them and put them in front of the game. I enjoyed meeting developers from other countries, and meet Cristian or Dave that I met at the GDC previously in March. Damn, I feel proud to be part of such an open and friendly community that is game development.

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Japanese players are overall better than European players. The irony was when they were playing well and then were just saying: “I am not good at this game.”

To finish, I wanted to also share a little anecdote. Kevin and I were playing several times some rounds of Splash during the whole week. He always beat me and I did not know why. On Sunday, I played seriously, without exhalting when I was winning like I used to do. I beat him twice and the third match I manage to put a perfect match. Several Japaneses behind us applauded me while Kevin was stopping them. It was a good feeling, like the overall TGS.

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