And we are back from our N Design duties as the event comes to an end and everyone from around Brazil returns home after a rainy and chilly week in Curitiba. As mentioned on an earlier post, we went to N Design as supporters of the event, with two adugans working on the organization itself (on management), by organizing an art-games (or expressive games) exhibition and with a series of 5 workshops about indie game development that was named MegaMergulho.
The exhibition was about expressive games, games that through game-only means (mostly their rules and mechanics) can express an idea or make some kind of commentary, in the vein of what Ian Bogost calls procedural rhetoric. Short on budget, we had to chose only 7 games to expose, and 6 of them couldn’t be demanding since they would run on relatively weak hardware. We tried to chose diverse kinds of games, but all of them were indie in the end. The exhibited games were: Michael “Father” Kasprzak and co. Towlr (and other puzzles), Jason Rohrer’s Gravitation, David Shute’s Small Worlds, La Molleindustria’s Everyday the Same Dream, Jason Nelson’s Game game game and again game, Terry Cavanagh’s Don’t Look Back and Jonathan Blow’s (and David Hellman’s) Braid.
The purpose of the exhibition was to promote games as a creative and expressive medium and also purge the common misconception, one that is rampant in Brazil, that the game industry and games as a medium can be summarized only by the mainstream AAA games. You can see some photos of the exhibition below (click to enlarge).
An overview of the exhibition space.
Visitors enjoying the games.
Guilherme Xavier from Donsoft chatting with the guys from Ratel Studio.
The minimalist Small Worlds.
The thought-provoking Everyday the Same Dream.
The frustrating experience of Towlr.
The eccentric Game, game, game and again game.
The metaphorical Gravitation.
The difficult, but rewarding, Don’t look back.
And last, but not the least, the time bending action of Braid.
About the MegaMergulho, it was a series of 5 workshops about some (but not all) game development topics: Conceptualization, Game Design, Visual Development, Sound Design and Project Management. The first one, conceptualization, was basically a workshop about going indie, about coming up with a vision and conceptualizing a game that follows that vision. We asked our participants to create a game vision about the theme “Desert”. The second one, about game design, we showed our own conceptual framework about games and made a comprehensive overview about the game designer and his job. The third one was about visual development, showing our own case on Tsar. The fourth workshop was about sound design with some theory over sound design and then practice by composing sound effects. The last workshop was about project management, we showed our management processes and also we made our own take on Chris Hecker’s finish your game rant from the last GDC, by encouraging everyone to organize, develop and finish their games. All in all, the workshops were a resounding success and we’d like to thank everyone that participated and contributed to it.
So now that we are relieved of our side questing, we will return to the development of Tsar Project. Expect a Tsar Update soon!