Community Building

A lot has happened lately in terms of Niche & Tower Offense Community building.
We visited the Real Life Café several times to show the games around and for feedback.
Whenever we go to a festival/event now, we collect mail addresses from players. This enables us to reach them again for sure when we have a big announcement or for the release of the games.

We started using Mail Chimp for our newsletters, which made them a lot more professional :)
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The Niche playtester group is growing rapidly lately, now featuring almost 200 members.
Our nature games collective Playful Oasis is also coming along well. We are 15 members currently. This week we switched over from Skype to Slack to improve our communication. Not yet sure if it’s working xD


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Last week, we had a streaming session with Tower Offense in collaboration with We played the game and responded to questions from and the twitch chat. You can watch the recording on Youtube, but the comments are Swiss German ;)

More insights coming soon :)

play gameZ Stuttgart

We organized a “mini gameZfestival” from the 26 – 28.11 in Stuttgart, called the play gameZ.

It was an exiting week. Being part of the organization team as well as being an exhibitor can make events rather busy. After setting up everything on the first day, we were ready for the grand opening in the evening.



As it is tradition for this event, we were located in the basement of our cooperation partner, the Stuttgart Stadtbibliothek. The Stadtbibliothek has an average of 5000 visitors per day, which filled up our exhibition plentifully. It also has awesome architecture and a very friendly staff :D


The audience was quite wide-ranging, consisting of people of different cultures from children to couples to seniors. Some of them were hard-core gamers, others had never held a controller before. This gave of some very valuable feedback for our project Niche.





Additionally to the constantly open exhibition, we had a hall for talks and panel discussions. The program varied daily, featuring game mechanic and narration insights from successful studios like Studio Fizbin and Bits&Beasts, introductions of game schools and short pitches of student projects. IMG_5661



From the perspective of an exhibitor, the festival worked out pretty well. The only downside I could mention is that the exhibition room was quite empty during the talk sessions. The atmosphere was cozy and even none-gamers felt save enough to try out something new. The guided tours through the exhibition helped them to relate to the new medium and made everyone curious.

The play gameZ was definitely worth participating in, I’d do it again any time.
Also, my birthday was on the 28.11 so we all celebrated together :)


Another GameZfestival has come to an end. After weeks of preparation, the 3 days of the actual event just flew by.
But let’s start at the beginning :)
We rented the Walcheturm a day early so we could build up the exhibition. The 5th semester game design students helped us a lot.
I can tell you it was a pain int the *** to get all this plastic film for the walls printed, so it was nice to finally see it in action!

Ok, all set! The calm before the storm.

The Niche booth is also ready!

Friday morning: Time to open the doors. We were lucky with the weather.

This years festival was a bit special since it was not just a festival, but also a conference. Initially the two events were planed to take place on different dates but then we decided to put them together. So on Friday and Saturday morning, we hosted the gameZ & ruleZ conference about game mechanics.
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Booth the conference and the festival (including the exhibition) were completely free of charge and open to everyone.

On Friday evening we opened our exhibition “RuleZ for the magic circle”. All the exhibited games are unique due to their special mechanics.
The floor was full of strange, red circles. These respresented the magic circle in games (like a football field) where special rules are in place. So to get into the exhibition everyone had to talk through the “Move in slow motion” circle. It took a while until they were all inside xD

The exhibition makers :)

If you played the ZHdK student games (on the white tables) and want to get in touch:
- Panda Lost in space
Niche – a genetics survival game
Violet – Pale Noise

Yay, people playing the new version of Niche :D

Luke Whittaker (Lumino City) playing Journey of a Roach by Kobold Games with his son.

My hands down favorite game of this exhibiton: Some strange Tetris thing that insults you when you fail.

After all talks had ended we played Bigscreen Games on Airconsole

And we got some cool DJing by Dragica on Saturday evening :D

Saturday and Sunday continued with talks & panels from local and international speakers.

The two highlights of the show: Jesper Juul about The Art of Failure in Games and Phillip Weber about the Quest Design of The Witcher.


At the open mic (short 5 minute talks) Patrick from presented our collaboration project Indiecouch

I moderated the talk of Luke Whittaker about Lumio City :)

As well as the screening of the Swiss Games 2014/2015 Trailer, which you can watch here

Livio, our sponsor Lukas and me announced the winner of the new GameZfestival Creative Award for “Most innovative Game Mechanics”. The finalists were:
– The Swapper
– Life is strange
– This war of mine
– Cadence
– Perspective
– The Floor is Jelly
– Blek
– Line Wobbler
– There is no Game

And the winner is: Line Wobbler!
This game managed to come up with great level design and different game elements despite the very limited space.
Robin Baumgartner, the creator of Line Wobbler will be invited to the next GameZfestival!
Nerdilicious GmbH (who organize the JapAniManga Night and the Beaumode) will sponsor his travelling and accommodation cost._9996699

On Sunday we hosted another award. The “Junior Swiss Game Award” by the SGDA.
Both finalists received 500.- price money. Well desevered, the projects are awesome!
Continent Conquest
The Glove

More SGDA work :)
Getting people to sign the “Volksinitiative Film-, Game- und Medienförderung

And then suddenly, it was over.

After dismantling everything the team discussed the past days.

We’re super happy with how everything went :D
Thanks to everyone who helped making the GameZfestival possible and to everyone who paid us a visit!
Cu next year :)





Well my “vacation” started with an actual vacation :D
Right after Gamescom I traveled to Belgium to visit my family. Had a great time and went to the beach for the first time in 10 years!


Ahhh sweet sweet home. Finally back in my “office” after two weeks.

The start of the new semester approached quickly. In the meantime I visited a few events:
Swiss Game Academy” in Fribourg. A week to learn how to make videogames.
I gave a short SGDA introduction and took a look at the projects in the making.

Fantoche in Baden.
Another SGDA job: Moderating the game talks.
I also checked out the adventure games exhibition and went to the industry talk.

The SGDA Pop Quiz

Isa invited me to the Swiss Emex marketing fair
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And lots of other things…

All in all the lecture free summer months were spread like this:
45% Niche
20% Master Thesis
10% SGDA
10% Tower Offense
5% Playful Oasis


Aaaand we’re back to school.


Summertime means Gamescom in approaching. But before that another event took place in Cologne: The Respawn
I went there by train accompanied by Robin, a teammate from Capsule Games.

The first glance at the Respawn festival + awesome weather!

Strolling around. You can try out bow shooting here, awesome!
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The talk system of this event is very interesting. There are multiple stages in a relatively small room. Each visitor gets an audio-transmittor with headphones. All the talkes form the different stages are streamed and the visitors can switch between them. So you can basically sit in one talk but listen to another.

We’re here for business! Tower Offense and Niche both pitched their projects in the “Treasure Cave”.
We also had a few pitch and match meeting with publishers and other indie devs.

And then the scary moment approached. I had signed up to give a talk about our nature game collective Playful Oasis. Talking has become a bit of a routine for me in the last few months BUT this talks was 45 minutes long, hadn’t done that before. So I worried whether I’d be able to fill the time. Did it work out? I’ll let you judge that yourself: ;)


Gamescom staaaarts!

The Swiss delegations are setting up their booths in the business area. We’re right next to the Koreans ;)

The Niche booth. Tower Offense is right behind us.

The place is filling up fast. We’re busy showing the games to all kinds of people.

Featuring in a few magazines! Mostly thanks to Pro Helvetia.

We brought sheets for people to stay in touch with us. They’re filling up qickly :)

In my spare time I walked around a bit. The Gamescom is so huuuuge.
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The coolest spot? The Indie Arena booth!
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Hi Johannes ^^

I even got to play judge for the “Best of Indie Arena” price sponsored by InnoGames. So I spent a lot of time there, trying out all the games. The quality was super high and it was almost improssible to choose.

Aaaand there was also an Indie Arena meetup with nice people and great food <3

Let’s stick with the food for a sek. The Swiss delegation went to a classical German Brauhaus for dinner. I had spareribs. So. Many. Spareribs.
Another day we sneaked into the Nordic Game party xD

The week was over in no time. And the question I like to ask in the end is: Satisfied?

A huge thanks to the Pro Helvetia for making this possible for us!

The next adventure is already waiting for me, cu around!

Imaging the future symposium & Expert match making

Thanks to our nomination as a finalist of the Call for Project Swiss Games we were invited to attend the “Imaging the future symposium” in Neuchâtel this week.

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Making our way through this beautiful city, we approached the Théâtre du Passage.


We were just in time to watch the last two presentations of the morning.

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After that it was our (the Pro Helvetia finalists) turn to show what we got :D
Andi presented Tower Offense and I talked about Niche. Alongside us we got Domdom with Schlicht, Janina & Sebi with Shiny, Laura with Matter and Mario with MIKMA.

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We then headed to the festival tent to have dinner.


Andi and me booked an airbnb room near the station. It was quite cheap (30.- for each of us) and the hosts were very nice!


Day 2 of our trip to Neuchâtel: The match making day
We got to meet different experts and talked about our projects with them. The inputs varied greatly and gave us a lot to think about.


We spent our breaks outside at the super windy lake coast.
Thoughtful Andi is thoughtful ;)

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Lunch time!

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In the evening we went to the VIP tent for some drinks and then took the train back home. Had a great time & got lots of inputs :)

Game Conference: Zurich – Milan

The Ludicious – Zurich Game Festival invited me to be part of the delegation for the Game Conference Zurich – Milan.
That sounded like a great adventure! I gladly accepted the offer.

Time jump!
When stepping out of the cool, climated train from Zurich to Milan a wave of heat washed over us. What a hot day!
First impression when entering the Expo: O my god this is HUGE! I never would have thought it would be this big.


We made it to the Swiss Pavillion without melting (but it was close) just in time for the opening presentation.

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After the introduction the GameJam teams presented their works. Last but not least different studios and developers from Switzerland and Italy gave an overview of their projects. I talked about the ZHdK, Niche, Elarooh, Tower Offense and my work for the SGDA.


After lunch we had a panel discussion about the Swiss & Italien games industry.

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The conference was over at around 15:00 and we had time to explore the Expo afterwards.


Dominiks top priority: Ice cream!


Silly David!


Adventures on the shaky bridge at the Brasilian pavillion *shake*


And LOTS of other cool attractions / pavillions

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After a very enteraining trainride back to Zurich with Martin and Jan, I got home around 1 am.


It was a super fun day and I got to meet lots of nice people. Thank you very much for having me!

Digital VS Analog

All 6 game design master students had to present the current state of their projects. The teachers weren’t very satiesfied with mine. Mostly the fact that my research is too broad and doesn’t deliver any analysable results hit me right in the weak point. Guess I have to finally decide what I’ll actually be doing during the next year ;)
After lunch, I met up with my childhood friend Jessica to produce buttons for her business Little Bitty Creatures.


I already told you about the ETH final presentations. Head over here if you missed it.


In the morning Andi, Mela, Stefan and me had to help build up the master exhibition for our senpais. We had to even-up the uneven ground with little plastic sticks so that the screens were standing straight. Luckily we made a great team and were done quickly which left me some time to go work at the Capsule Games office.


Working meetup for Niche! I really enjoy working on the game again, together with Beat and Severin :)

In the evening I went to the Gross.Stadt.Jagd event to pick up Markus. There were sooo many people there, staring at a small screen to stay up to date with the games progress.