Catch up with my latest activities in game design, storytelling, interaction, and custom hardware, gain insight into my process, and join me in ruminating on the events I attend.
I’d heard a lot about IndieCade over the last year, so I made a point to submit the Choosatron in hopes to experience it myself. They actually ended up taking the Choosatron sent for judging to E3 for people to enjoy, and it was later accepted into the festival! I arrived a full day early so I could spend time with a close friend, get settled into my AirBnB, buy a few groceries, and watch animal shows on Netflix. Then began my first day, which was actually IndieXchange, a business oriented meetup before IndieCade began.
Time has wrapped around, concluding my first year going to game developer conferences and festivals. My first, and the Choosatron’s, was Fantastic Arcade. I didn’t know anybody, and had a game that was by its very nature an outsider. That didn’t stop everyone from being incredibly welcoming, and it remains my favorite festival experience. I remember meeting Rami Ismail for the first time, and despite not knowing anything about him or his work, he was the most impressive person I’d met in a long time. After I got home I realized that I wasn’t alone in thinking this, and decided it was going to be a good year. Enough reminiscing!
It’s a special day when a project that has taken over my life for the better part of the last couple years has let up enough to allow me to ‘play’ again with my game design. My work on Dialatron is evidence of this, and now allowing myself to make something for the Fantastic Arcade game jam Barfcade! You can play it online now, right here -> Polite Dinner Extreme
I remember meeting Ryan Wiemeyer of The Men Who Wear Many Hats at the Wild Rumpus party at GDC. He had, of course, a hat on, and I, of course, was holding a Choosatron. ABC, Always Be Closing right? He struck me as a reserved individual that didn’t smile a lot. This is not meant as a negative reflection, on the contrary! He had poise, and didn’t waste words, but there was respect. I’m an extrovert so when I meet people who hold themselves with a bit more decorum, I have to calibrate a bit.
You know that feeling when a project is finished? I mean truly complete? No more odds and ends, emails, or updates. It is a beautiful feeling. MysteryPhone has been an interesting journey, due to its timing, scope, and supporting partners. I’m amazed with what we were able to build given the constraints, but I certainly wish it could have gone smoother. The game is live, and will be playable for anyone in the Minneapolis, MN area through August 16th, 2014 (Apple Store Download, Android Store Download).
Well, my panels. I wanted to review what I was involved in. I went a little lighter on panels this year in an effort to balance how busy and involved I am with chances to relax and spend time with people. I think I managed to get close to the sweet spot with seven panels. A few that I hoped would happen didn’t, but there’s always next year!
Another year of CONvergence behind me. I’m not even sure how many years I’ve been going, but it is minimum eight, maybe even nine or ten. I started writing this and realized I would need to split it into multiple posts, so lets start with some of the people that really made this year for me (not an exhaustive list by any stretch). My second post about the panels I was a part of can be found here!
I’ve always been fascinated by Russian Roulette. A strange fascination since I’ll never actually play it myself , but I didn’t always realize why. In 2005 I saw a film called 13 Tzameti, which is about an underground gambling ring where a large number of ‘contestants’ play Russian Roulette in a large circle, over a number of rounds, with one survivor, or ‘winner’. That individual receives a large sum of money, and the entire time a bunch of wealthy, seedy individuals are gambling on the outcomes of each round. This was a big inspiration for this game, but not the source of my fascination.
The last year has been so chock full of conferences and festivals my head is still spinning a bit. I wasn’t sure if I was going to attend Eyeo, but I’ve heard nothing but amazing stuff, and it IS local. Last year I remember the price made me balk…I mean OVER $600? Really? Well…this year I’ve learned some interesting lessons, including the fact that this is a bargain for a great conference, and the fact that I didn’t need to pay for hotel or travel it was a downright steal!
Here is the talk I recently did at the Gotland Game Conference in Visby, Sweden entitled Defining the Box: Creativity and Inspiration in the Unknown (click for more details).