NSFW – SAE (Super Awesome Extreme) Game Jam – Robot, Mon Chéri

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With my new job, comes new responsibilities. I had the task with Game Department to organise a game jam at the SAE Institute Geneva. I had to select the theme and kickoff the event. You can see my interview in French here:

For the theme, I choose Mechanical Love for the combination of two interesting concepts. I really hate blank theme or too specific ones. In the list of very bad theme: NGJ15 with the theme “Obvious” and the Epic Game Jam Round #2 2015 with the theme “90% water, 10% evil and 5% skin”. People were happy about the theme and scattered around the school to work on their project.

With Julia Klement, we decided to take literally and to make a robot-dating game sort of like Tinder with robots. We took some characters from Splash, added other characters. Here is the cast:

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The game is called “Robot, mon chéri” and you can play it on Android and Desktop here: https://teamkwakwa.itch.io/robot-mon-chri

I leave you with the shy robot ending, enjoy!

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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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Level Up Game Jam 2017

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Before I went to GDC, I had the 10th anniversary of my exams from college on February 16th and it is a tradition from my school to invite all the schoolgirl and -boy to check their exams again. It is always to see all those faces back, the good friends, the old crushes. But that was not the final destination of the day. After a nice pizza at the restaurant, I run to get a train to Fribourg for the Level Up Game Jam to join Alexis Simonetta. The brainstorming process in the train while Alexis was in Fribourg was painful, we could not agree on a specific idea, while we were both going in the same way. Finally arrived, we settled on a definitive game idea. And I went to sleep.

The day after was hard work, play-testing and a lot of laugh. I went back home to record some voices using the famous technique of borborygmus like in the Sims. Finally on Saturday, we released the game and left it for the jury. I had to leave early, so I could not get the result directly after. But one of the jury wrote me that his wife played 3 HOURS STRAIGHT. How? Why? Really?

The game we made is called “Welcome at Houdini’s”. You play as a merchant mage who can mix elements to create objets. You can play the jam prototype here: https://teamkwakwa.itch.io/welcome-to-houdinis

Alexis and I are really proud of the prototype and we will maybe continue to work on it to make a MORE-THAN-THREE-HOURS experience. We won the Sound Design prize of the Level Up Game Jam, which is actually a surprise as we are not professional Sound Designer nor Composer. To conclude, with an unusual gameplay, we manage to create a very solid entry and we left a grumpy team photo:

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