Our first year students are tasked with creating games using non-standard input devices – ie. not a controller or keyboard and mouse. They often end up having to build custom hardware as well as program the games. What does that mean, in practice? It means that we have a great many weird and wonderfulgames on our showfloor (for you to play!).
Three of the games from last year were selected by the alt.ctrl.GDC organizers, to exhibit at the Game Developers Conference. Those students just returned a few days ago, and judging by the press, they did well over there! So we thought, let’s gather up all the coverage they earned! (and encourage our readers visit Gotland in June to experience the 2018 games before anyone else!)
Kotaku loved Totally Not a Game Studio’s “Grave Call“. It’s a fantastic 2-player game where one of the team has been buried alive, and the other is a police operator trying to find them. The best part? The buried player actually climbs into a coffin.
Scott Manly, felt the same way about this claustrophobic experience, and both tweeted and recorded video from the show floor:
Alt.ctrl.GDC ‘Grave Call’ – one player is buried in a coffin with a cellphone, the other is a police dispatcher trying to find them. pic.twitter.com/BBA3N19tVc
Of course, reading about these games is not the same as playing them! If you want to try our new games out (without having to travel to the US to do so!), come to our conference in June! We even have a Pay What You Want-option for you, to get full access to ~50 entirely new games, plus a series of unique presentations trying to uncover the emotional potential of games. It’s also a great opportunity to meet our students and faculty, if you’re interesting in studying game design and development.
The jury represents the most hard-working participants at the Gotland Game Conference (save for our students, natch). Jurors travel from around the globe to hear our students’ presentations a day before the conference even starts, and to spend the better part of a week playing all of the student productions on the show floor.
Johannes Wadin (Might & Delight), leading the 2nd Year Jury at the 2011 Gotland Game Conference
Names in bold are alumni from this education – welcome back! 😀
Each member brings their own set of experience and expertise, and share that insight directly with the students at the GGC. We have academia and graphics solidly represented now, so the next bunch of seats are reserved primarily for programmers, HR and the nebulous “production“-people. There’s is of course always room, too, for people with investment or recruitment needs!
Since they’ll be exhibiting on a show floor we also put together a teaser trailer showing off some other good things to come from our education – specifically the Gotland Game Conference and the myriad of games we publicly exhibit there every spring.
If you’re in Sweden in June you really ought to come visit the island – the GGC is something special indeed. Get your tickets here!
The Gotland Game Conference is looking over its award categories this year. There will be many changes, but one of higher priority than most is the addition of a… “diversity award”, for lack of a better term.
We work hard in the education and with the conference to engage thoughtfully with issues like representation, gender, intersectionality and the perspectives and lived experiences of the non-[white hetero cis male]. We need an award to highlight and celebrate student projects that exhibit an especially conscientious or nuanced understanding of these issues.
But we need help:
What should we call this award?
What are reasonable evaluation criterias for such an award?
Who (plural) should we look to invite for play testing and evaluation of the games? (the local RFSL and Pride chapters, for sure. But who’s an expert on, say, race in Sweden?)
Specifically: the department faculty, being very much mostly white and edumacated types, do not feel at all like a reasonable authority. I mean that both in terms of appropriation and in terms of perceived validity of the award. While the fight is ours to take, it is not on us to declare any sort of victory. And in terms of validity of the award – it risks being seen as self congratulatory.
So. I am currently looking for any sort of input, really. If you don’t want to discuss publicly, feel free to grab me over e-mail!
If you would like to be part of the Gotland Game Conference jury, read these instructions and submit an application. Leave a comment in the last field if you are particularly interested or suited for the diversity-perspective.
Swedish Game Industry representative Anton Albiin, on the jury for GGC 2017
So your crowdfunding missed its target, your company can’t send you, or you want to scout talent before anyone else gets the chance. Whatever the reason, you may earn yourself a free Conference Pass and front row seats to meet our students by serving on the GGC Jury!
The jury arrive a day early (4/6) to attend student presentations (2-4 hours, with breaks) and then play their games on the show floor and provide thoughtful and constructive feedback throughout the conference. Jury duty requires no work prior to the event, but once here you will have to prioritize and make time to play all games – enough to provide fair criticism and advice.
Prof. Doris Rusch, Dr. Sabine Harrer and addiction councelor Martine Pedersen – three jurors hard at work at the GGC 2017
We (ergo: The Department of Game Design) is currently in the middle of planning the 2018 Gotland Game Conference. We have locked in the time and place, and are working hard on firming up the theme, confirming speakers and setting up the ticket-system. Expect these to be announced in the coming weeks and months.
Don’t know what GAME and the GGC is all about? Here’s a sample from the 2016 conference. (skip to 17 seconds)
That’s Richard Lemarchand – the designer of Uncharted, Jak and Dexter and many other games you know and love. 🙂
Notice how his talk was not about his games, not about big brand, big budget productions. Not about consoles or technology or platforms. Instead he spoke with us about the things we really care about at the GGC: games as a cultural expression, as complex bearers of ideas, as a medium of communication. This is what we do! We strive for the Gotland Game Conference to always take a high-minded, human and loving look at games and games culture. Loving, but not uncritical! We engage our medium with honesty, integrity and a willingness to reflect on and do the work and improve the medium.
Here’s another clip with Richard, from the Awards Ceremony that always caps off the conference. (skip to 39:43)
I hope that convinces you to join us at the end of May, to critique and celebrate the games medium, at the Gotland Game Conference 2017!
PS. if these video clip whet your appetite, here’s our Youtube channel. There you’ll find the talks from not just last year’s conference, but all of them going back to 2011. That should keep you occupied until we have more updates for you. 🙂