Another year, another conference. We’re good at this!
Our conference opened with our head of state, Hans Svensson, recognizing our education’s adolescence. He said, with gentle mirth and pain in his heart, the he realized “that every day I have to work with a teenager.” And thus he set proceedings off with a sentiment that holds for our education, our industry and our conference: Without the rebellious teenager, our futures would stagnate.
But, judging by the work of our students, the future is safe. The future is weird.
Every year our first year students make games with innovative input devices – no buttons and keyboards for them. Every year they do us proud, but this year, the games reached new heights – a game where you are a zombie, pulling yourself across the floor to get to your target; a game where the input device was a wooden rocking horse; a game where the primary action is hugging; and one where the entire input method was a room with a bookshelf.
The second years are given the opportunity to make the game of their dreams, and the freedom to break boundaries. And did they deliver! A game to help insomnia sufferers. A game expressing the experience of a teenage lesbian couple. Charming Platform Puzzle-games with tons of character and a plethora of interesting mechanics. A real time puzzle game where the player is a rogue AI. Even the third years, who are weighed down with the academic weight of a thesis, managed to put games into the show – Naar and Tamarrion returned, looking, and playing, better than their first outing last year. And Omni, a strategic real time board game, took to the floor, in time for the start of its Kickstarter campaign.
All these games were played, and considered, by our amazing speakers: Jerry Bellich, Richard Lemarchand, Patrik Hanson and David Wolinsky. These fine figures gave 5 amazing presentations ranging from circuses, input devices, employment, understanding the personal reasons we make games, and the subject of sex, sexuality and intimacy.
As always, these phenomenal presentations will be released to our YouTube channel so, even if you weren’t there you can enjoy them too. The Speakers were joined by an equally competent jury, some even made it to the stage for a panel discussion lead by the Swedish Games Industry’s Per Strömbäck.
We also said hello to our local college Gutegymnasiet. We have been working with them over the past year, sending our Subject Responsible Adam Mayes to teach in their newly created game program. They responded by sending their students, with games, to participate on the show floor! We look forward to having them back at the conference next year, and their students to our programs when they’re ready.
To see all the photos from the event, including the award ceremony and party, please check out the Gotland Game Conference gallery on facebook!