Archive for Updates

Win a GGC ticket (+ ferry!)

We are at Nalen in Stockholm today, for the Game Industry Career Fair! Entrance is free, so swing by out booth and have a chat!

We’re going to hand out a few tickets for the Gotland Game Conference (including ferry tickets). You simply need to come buy and pick up the secret password, and then fill in this form.

See you there, and good luck!

The submission form is now closed and the winners have been announced. Big thanks to everyone who turned up – it was great meeting you all!

Our students’ games in San Francisco

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 wonderful games 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!)

First out was Make: Magazine who interviewed 1st year student Eric Osana for Pump the Frog at 7:56:

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:

His video cover a bunch of the games, including Grave Call at 3:31 and Yo! Bartender at 4:50

Anita Sarkeesian / Feminist Frequency also tried Grave Call (at 2:55):

Other outlets that wrote about our student games includes Polygon, The Verge, Tom’s Guide and Newsweek!

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.

You can get your tickets here!

The jury (so far)

(updated 2018-04-07)
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

Johannes Wadin (Might & Delight), leading the 2nd Year Jury at the 2011 Gotland Game Conference

  1. Anton Albiin, Dataspelsbranschen, Co-founder of Diversi
  2. Doris Rusch, Game designer and Researcher, DePaul University
  3. Elizabeth Sampat, Game Designer, Author and Activist
  4. Heidi McDonald, Senior Creative Director, iThrive Games
  5. Henrik Jonsson, Executive Producer, Goodbye Kansas Game Invest
  6. James Newnorth, CEO, Spelkollektivet Sweden AB
  7. Jonathan Elmergreen, Executive Director, HEVGA
  8. Josefin Westborg, Founder and Game designer, Lekreativ/Lajvbyrån
  9. Joshua Juvrud, Developmental Psychologist, Uppsala University
  10. Malena Klaus, Independent Game Programmer
  11. Martine Pedersen, LudicIndspark
  12. Mike Sellers, Director, Game Design Program, Indiana University
  13. Mirjam Palosaari Eladhari, Senior Lecturer, Södertörn University
  14. Mårten Jonsson, Sole Proprietor – JMJ Interactive
  15. Richard Bartle, Professor, Essex University
  16. Albertina Sparrhult, Arkatay Consulting / Diversi
  17. Adam Wrange, Level designer, The Outsiders
  18. Alex Untoro, Game design teacher, Playgroundsquad
  19. Emelie Rodin, Solo Developer, BetterBuilt Studio
  20. Fred Ström, Animator, Pixel Ferrets
  21. Jens Berglind, Lead Programmer, Might and Delight
  22. Jona Marklund, Senior Technical Artist,
  23. Kalle Henningsson, QA & Submission Manager, Playdead
  24. Kim Aava, 3D Artist, DICE
  25. Martin Greip, CEO, Eat Create Sleep
  26. Nicodemus Mattisson, Art Director, Virtuos
  27. Niklas Eneqvist, Assistant Art Team Manager, Fatshark
  28. Olof Wallentin, Gameplay Programmer, Starbreeze Studios
  29. Rabi Afram, Dev Manager, King
  30. Teddy Sjöström, Programmer, Pixel Ferrets
  31. Vilya Svensson, 2D Artist, Pixel Ferrets

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!

Feel like that’s you? Fill in the application and maybe we’ll see you in Visby in June!

Thanks in advance to everyone for taking the time – and putting up the effort – to help improve our students, our education, and our medium!

GGC teaser @ alt.ctrl.GDC (21-23 March, San Francisco)

Three of the student games from GGC 2017 were nominated to exhibit at this years Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. If you’re in California we highly recommend you take the opportunity to meet our students and play these unique titles!

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!

Help us create a “Woke award”

London-based artist Karen Palmer, on jury duty at the Gotland Game Conference 2015
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:

  1. What should we call this award?
  2. What are reasonable evaluation criterias for such an award?
  3. 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.

Thank you!

//Ulf Benjaminsson

Earn a free conference pass!

Swedish Game Industry representative Anton Albiin, on the jury for GGC 2017

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

Prof. Doris Rusch, Dr. Sabine Harrer and addiction councelor Martine Pedersen – three jurors hard at work at the GGC 2017

So; if you are interested in going to Visby to meet our students, provide them with thoughtful feedback, and participate in a uniquely wide-eyed games conference, simply fill in the application!

Thank you!

A part of  the GGC 2016 jury in the Wild! (Gemma, Anton and Samson)

A part of the GGC 2016 jury in the Wild! (Gemma, Anton and Samson)

Hello? *tap tap* Is this thing on?

It’s January already?!

…um… Happy New Year… I guess. 🙂

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.

Until then you can add the dates to your calendar – 5-6 June 2018, reserve a ferry or plane ticket to Visby, and subscribe to our feed and/or the Facebook page, and we’ll let you know as soon as the tickets are available and the speaker list starts firming up.

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!

More t/k!

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. 🙂