Little Warlock wins award at Game Connection Europe in Paris

Filed under: Blog in January 8, 2014, by Ulf Benjaminsson. Tagged: winners 2013
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A student team from Uppsala University Campus Gotland brings home Game Connection Europe Selected Projects award “Best Social, Casual & Online”
Jerry Jonsson, Storm Potion
The team consists of Lina Tonegran and Jerry Jonsson who started up their company Storm Potion during their second year of studies at Uppsala University Campus Gotland. Their game, Little Warlock, was awarded several categories at Gotland Game Conference 2012 and 2013, then moved on to take home “Best Execution” at the Swedish Game Awards 2013.

During their third year they entered in Selected Projects, a competition where unsigned companies can send their projects for judging by an international jury. The 15 best projects, separated in 3 different categories, are then selected to take part at Game Connection Europe. On the morning of 3rd December at the Selected Projects Awards Ceremony, each of the nominees had five minutes to pitch their project in front of the publishers, distributors and investors at Game Connection Europe.

After the presentations Storm Potion was awarded the price in their category “Best Social, casual & Online”.

Storm Potion is also featured in “European Startups 2013 Edition, Volume 2” which lists the 100 most promising startups within the European game industry. The list is compiled by develop-online with association with UKIE.

Game Over / Play Again

Filed under: Blog in November 22, 2013, by Ulf Benjaminsson. Print This

We participated in Game Over / Play Again, a one day conference hosted by The National Library of Sweden, attempting to start the discussion on how to best gather, protect and make available this culture of ours. Despite having some international speakers on the list, they opted to run the entire event in Swedish – always a missed opportunity, we feel.

The panel discussion

Vad händer med våra datorspel och vilken bild av spelvärlden kommer framtiden att ha? Kommer dagens datorspel kunna spelas upp om några decennier? Vad vill vi att vår framtid ska ha för bild av datorspelens utveckling? Vilka åtgärder krävs för att bevara och tillgängliggöra dessa spel?
 
Vi på Kungliga biblioteket vill anordna det här heldagsseminariet i egenskap av Sveriges nationalbibliotek och nationalarkiv för ljud och rörlig bild. Vi har i vårt uppdrag att samla in, bevara och tillgängliggöra datorspel med svensk anknytning för framtida forskning. Det känns angeläget för oss att få igång diskussionen kring datorspel som en del av vårt kulturarv.

 
Det är hög tid att skapa ett nätverk där bransch, arkiv, museer, intresseorganisationer, utbildningssäten, forskare, upphovrättsorganisationer m.fl. kan mötas och föra diskussionen vidare.

Program för dagen

09.00 Kaffe och registrering

10.00 Presentation av moderatorn Orvar Säfström

10.15 Andreas Lange, Computerspielemuseum, Berlin

10.45 Jakob Moesgaard, Det Kongelige bibliotek, Köpenhamn

11.15 Kaffe och mingel

11.45 Ann-Sofie Sydow, Game Assembly

12.15 Åsa Anesäter, Dataspelsgruppen i KLYS

12.45 Lunch

14.00 Jon Manker, Södertörns högskola

14.30 Martin Lindell, DICE

15.00 Bensträckare

15.15 Panel – Vilken bild av spelvärlden kommer framtiden att ha?

          Per Strömbäck, Dataspelsbranschen

          Henrik Erngren Othén, Repository Lane

          Johan Andersson, Paradox Interactive

          Angelica Norgren, P3 Spel

          Thomas Sol Sunhede, privatsamlare

          Peter Du Rietz, Tekniska museet

          Åsa Roos, Avalanche

16.30 Summering

Gamex 2013

Filed under: Blog in November 4, 2013, by Ulf Benjaminsson. Tagged: outreach
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We have never done a better show than this! I designed a booth similar to this, but 6×10 meter. Håkan managed the booth’s internal layout and the student teams, while I focused on print materials, travel- & living arrangements, truck rental and planning our message. Felicia, Jerry, Adam, Marcus, Håkan and I came with from the staff. For the first time ever, we had a proper reception desk and constant staff representatives in the booth, which helped a lot!

4 of the 7 projects were first year groups. 2 of those are commercial projects (CoBots being released on Desura the day before Gamex opened). The interest from schools have never been lower. It was us, Skövde, BTH and one course presentation from KTH.

A genius move of ours was to bring our Oculus Rift.

Many, many people came to Gamex just to get a chance and try that. The “official” Oculus Rift booth (I believe it was actually PC Gamer) had *hours* of que. Since we never advertised ours, we only had 30 minutes or so at most. But it was enough to ensure our booth was constantly filled, and gave us a great, approachable audience. 🙂

King of The Thrill, one of the first year projects, is a clever browser based concept. You snap a photo of a QR code next to the monitor, and your phones browser instantly turns into a controller and connects you to the game. This team had so much fun with the people in line – often having 15-20 people simultaneously battling it out while waiting for their turn with the Oculus.

This happened a lot to our students. :)
And on that note, our teams were SO. FUCKING. GOOD. this year. Super professional. Helpful. No complainypants or slacking off at all. I was so proud of them that we arranged a spontaneous cake-party on the ferry, celebrating the good work on the way back to the island.

Coverage:
P4 Morgon
Svensk Indie på Gamex 2013: CoBots
Svensk Indie på Gamex 2013, King of Thrill
PowerGamer.se: Cobots & Tribal Marathon
GamingGrannar: King of the Thrill, Secrets of Grindia, Fly or Die
Sätrapôjk: CoBots, Secrets of Grindia
Linnéa Söderlund: Secrets of Grindia
Nördigt.nu podcast: GAME och King of the Thrill (0:39:20), CoBots (1:19:20)
Capishe.se: King of the Thrill
Capishe.se: Secrets of Grindea
Bossdungeon.com: CoBots
Bossdungeon.com: Fly or Die
Varvat.se: Little Warlock

Game On 2.0

Filed under: Blog in October 27, 2013, by Ulf Benjaminsson. Tagged: outreach
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There was a ton of people at the premiere evening of Game On 2.0 in Sweden. Our booth was jam-packed with people the entire evening – great fun!

The exhibition has an entire room dedicated to the pre-console era. Hand helds and toys with LCD displays, crude (CRUDE) animations and ingeniously fake 3D-effects. These were amazing to get to try. They also let you play the Virtual Boy – a decently rare beast of the relatively modern games industry.

In the arcade section you could play Star Wars from 1983 (video). As a designer it’s humbling to see how they managed to distill the essence of Star Wars into something so technologically limited! And how efficient the experience is constructed! A full play through is less than 3 minutes, and sees you through a large scale space battle, intense X-Wing racing and finally the terrifying approach of the ventilation duct on the Death Star.

Saving the galaxy in less than 3 minutes!

If you ever need a definition of “aged well” – nothing will serve you better. And what a perfect argument for opening our archives and museums for games! An emulator would never convey the experience of the real deal; the fully articulated flight yoke is such a sense pleasure!

If you’re in Stockholm, set a few hours aside and go see this exhibition!

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Game Night at Tekniska Museet

Filed under: Blog in October 16, 2013, by Ulf Benjaminsson. Tagged: outreach
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Game Night / GAME ON at The National Museum of Science and Technology
Tekniska Museet – The National Museum of Science and Technology – is tasked with saving, making visible and promoting access to our technological and industrial cultural expressions – a mission which reverberates strongly with us! And even more so now that they’ve just aquired the worlds largest computer games exhibition; Game ON 2.0.

The exhibition open on the 25th, and they’re going to kickstart it with a big event in Stockholm; 2 000 people in attendance, with stage entertainment, bar, game related live music etc. They call the party Game Night and sent out a call for a few companies to participate as representatives of the Swedish game development scene. As the oldest specialized game design education in Scandinavia, we were chosen to be among them.

So join us at the party on the 25th, meet our students, try their games and find out why game development is destined to become Swedens primary cultural industry!

At the party you’ll be able to test these games and talk to their creators:
Fly or Die

3… 2… 1… BOOOOOM!!!
Fly or Die is back in Stockholm! After being awarded with the Gamer’s Choice at this years Swedish Game Awards, Fly or Die went half around the globe to Tokyo Game Show, and back again. It’s time once more for you to put on the jetpack and challenge your friends in the most quirky version of “Hot Potato” you have ever played… or heard.
 
Fly or Die was awarded Gamer’s Choice at the Swedish Game Awards, and developed by students in their first year.

Lunar Love

Lunar Love is a puzzle game based on the timeless love between a moon and her planet. The moon is lost in space – and it’s up to the player to help her get back home. She does this by activating gravity fields around the planet’s hearts in order to guide the moon to her goal. However, there are one or two obstacles in her way that needs to be dodged gracefully.
 
Lunar Love was awarded the Almedalen Award at the Gotland Game Conference 2013, and developed by students in their third year.
 

CoBots

CoBots is a game about two robots linked together by a forcefield aboard a huge spaceship, tasked with restoring power to inactive sections. Played collaboratively, you advance through the game by solving puzzles with your partner,, all while avoiding “accidentally” hurting each other.
 
CoBots was awarded the Best First Year Project and Pwnage Award at Gotland Game Conference 2013, and developed by students in their first year.
 

Tribal Marathon

Tribal Marathon is a 2-4 player racing game in the vein of Temple Run. Gather valuable artifacts while trying to push the other players into obstacles or out of the track. All’s fair in love and temple raiding.
Compete in unique levels generated by our dynamic environment system and see who manages amass the most points and making it out alive!
 
Tribal Marathon was awarded Student’s Choice at the Gotland Game Conference 2013, and developed by students in their first year.
 

The Alumni Days 2013

Filed under: Blog in October 12, 2013, by Ulf Benjaminsson. Tagged: alumni days
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We moved the Alumni Days to much earlier in the semester, from its traditional spot close to christmas. There was two reasons for this:

First, we got a great opportunity to inform and inspire our third year students about their thesis work and internships that’s coming up in the spring semester. By inviting GAME-alumni to share their experiences and tips we hope to provide lots of insight while there’s still time for our students to act on it.

Second, it allows us to show off in front of the new first year students. Introducing them to people who’s been where they are, and made something of themselves in this industry. Hopefully that was inspirational.


Also – we get a new Jam out of it. 🙂 “Everybody is a Noob Jam” saw seasoned industry veterans, six week old freshmen, experienced students and our own staff all sit down to hack games together. Everyone was forced to use a new tool to even the playing field, and the jam last a single working day – ensuring maximum participation.

Despite having only six hours and being interrupted for lectures, all registered groups delivered playable games – some even including insane levels of polish and details:

All games were available to play and vote on during the alumni party, which also acted as the awards ceremony:

You can browse screencaps from the games here. Thanks to Kajfa, Teddy, Daniel and Jerker for taking the time and helping us out with the event!