Sverox: Spelutveckling på schemat

This post is backdated, and was published 2018-02-17.
Sverox #40 (2005-02) (pdf)

Sverox was a bimonthly magazine produced by the the Swedish gaming federation, Sverok. In the 2005-02 issue they interviewed Mikkel Müller, the program coordinator for the then-newly created Bachelor degrees in Game Design. Prior to 2005 the game design- and development courses had been minors in the broader educations offered at what was then called “Institutionen för teknik, konst och nya medier” (English: the Department of technology, art and new media).

This interview is important for a few reasons. It is one of the earliest documented mentions of the philosophy behind our educations. It also documents our use of public exhibitions of student games to validate our work. In the interview Mikkel explain that most game educations (at the time) taught only digital games, whereas Gotland took a more holistic approach. “Games are dynamic systems that can manifest in different mediums. So we study everything from board games, pen-and-paper role playing games, card games, 3D computer games – any product that can contain systems.”.

The article also features photos from Revive – the article refers to it as “Theme Park 2002” – a public exhibition of student games in May 2002. Mikkel emphasized the importance of applied theory, of having students make games in order to validate their knowledge.

Swerox #40 (2005-02) p30

Swerox #40 (2005-02) p31

Sverox #40 (2005-02) (pdf)

Introduction to game development (2004)

Introduction to Game Development is a crash course attended by all first year students in the autumn. It’s true shock-treatment and touches briefly on all issues of game development: simple engine building, 2D physics, implementing game logic, drawing sprites, animating characters, getting content from the artists in the game, synchronizing visual style through the use of mood boards, creating task lists, artefact lists, usability, common project related problems, common cooperation problems and how to get several people to all contribute to a single solution, a final goal.

The games themselves range from basic Breakout and Pong-clones, to simple toys like Bomb & Rabbit to truly original designs like Petal Pusher or Holysm. But most importantly: what is picked up from this one important course is generally applicable to all projects throughout your time at GAME.

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Promqueen is a satirical life simulator letting you be a girl in her late teens. To succeed, you must experience an everyday life where managing relations, keeping boyfriends at bay, sneaking in through the window and climbing the social ladders are important matters. The goal of the game is to become Promqueen, but it is a long hard road getting there…

The game was nominated for “Best E-content” at the World Summit Awards 2005, and won “Best Game Concept” at the Swedish Game Awards that same year (team profile).

The Promqueen-team at the Swedish Game Awards 2005
The Promqueen-team at the Swedish Game Awards 2005

It got picked up by commercial interests and saw a limited release. Old old old as it may be is still online, and there’s even a dead and buried development diary from the teams’ second year with the project. 🙂

The students creating this game later went on to form Digital Agitation.

Promqueen Research Poster

Jakob Berglund Rogert, project management
Johan Eriksson, graphics & producer
Cecilia Broberg, art
Joakim Tärnudd, art
Fredrik Mattsson, art
Erik Sundström, n/a