End of semester is coming

I decided to write a weekly conclusion instead of daily updates. Slowly but surely, the daily routine of the master is kicking in so there’s not that much to report about :)


In the morning I attended the 2. Semester Stroytelling analysis, great stuff! Then we got an input about politics which was quite strange -> Got the advice to buy a ferret for ma master thesis xD
And he had another input at ETH. The last one actually!

At the Stammtisch we played and analysed “Quartett”


In the name of the SGDA I went to the ETH and awarded the best Matura Game of this year ^^


Niche working meetup! Lots of decisions have been made. Look at these milestones!


Fantasy Basel

During the last few months the SGDA (mostly Matthias and me) prepared the indie game exhibition at Fantasy Basel.
I want to thank the Fantasy Basel at this point for providing us with 20 great booth spaces!
On Wednesday evening the setup began. Most of the exhibiting studios were from Zurich, but I’m happy some peps from the Romandie joined us as well. You can find a full list of the exhibiting studios + links to their websites here.
We also welcomed two special guest from Germany who are part of our fellow organisation Indie Arena.
(If you are a game developer from Switzerland and you are not part of the Indie Arena community yet: Go join NOW)


During all three days of the festival our booth was full of people, trying out all the games :D


Niche, Tower Offense and Koboldgames were part of the exhibition.
There was a teenage boy who literally never stopped playing Tower Offense. We almost had to drag him away to allow other people to try the game :D


On Thursday evening Markus Rossé and me had the honor to join the panel discussion with Simon Otto (Lead Animator of How to train your dragon 2).

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And on Friday evening: Game Talks! About 200 people came to listen to the various talks from Swiss game developers :)

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Thanks to my team members who took over my place at the exhibition for a while, I got to wander around at the festival. Here are some impressions :D

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The three days were over in a blink of the eye. We all had a great time and are super happy with the event! We really hope to be back next year.
Also: Thanks to everyone who helped dismanteling! You guys rock :)

Press coverage about the festival, mentioning our booth:

Let me know if you find more :D

PS: Personal lesson learned for organizing festivals: Don’t forget to gather information about parking slots early xD

Board Games!

Today the 2. semester Bachelor students showed of their board games! I even skipped the weekly ETH course to attend this fun playround. It seems that each year the quality of the produced materials (board, tokes, …) goes up.

Spending the whole afternoon in the classroom, I tried almost all the games :D
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These two are my favorites:
A turnbased 2 player strategy game, where you try to destroy your opponents space ships/base.

And a weird narration game were each players tries to reach his/her specific ending.
Great job everyone, the overall quality of the games was superb :)
In the evening Beat and me fixed a Source Tree issue we had with Niche.

Quo Vadis

Last week I attended the Quo Vadis in Berlin.
We missed the opening ceremony unfortunately, since we arrived on Tuesday evening. After making my way through the city and getting lost a bit I finally arrived at the “Kino International” where the conference took place.

While listening to lots of talks, I worked on my pitch for the “Best of Quo Vadis” show in the evening.
We got nominated with Niche.
There were also various cool indie exhibitions spread all over the festival.

And so it started. There were over 300 people in that room!
I know one thing: Niche was never shown on such a HUGE screen before :D
The highlight of the day: We won 2. place! I never would have thought that.


gameZ meeting & LUGA presentations

After finishing some organizational stuff in the morning I headed over to the ZHdK for a gameZ association meeting. We talked about the future of our festival (the gameZfestival), possible partnerships and scheduling.

No time for lunch today since we had visitors. Niche and other ZHdK games will be exhibited at the LUGA next week. After an intro presentation by our director Ulrich Götz, each of the students exhibiting a game introduced their projects briefly.


Pro Helvetia Pitch

The finale of the Call for projects Swiss Games by Pro Helvetia had come. A big day for both Niche and Tower Offense.
I was quite nervous before our pitch and therefore forgot to take any pictures xD
The finale (consisting of a 5min pitch & 10min question and answer round) took place at the Colab in Zurich. Both our presentations went quite well I think and I can’t wait so receive the results! Our pitches were filmed and I will share them with you soon.
Cool: I got to meet Jana Reinhardt from Rat King :D

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After the pitches, the Niche team went over to Severins (our 3D artist) place. We worked on the game all day and had lots of cool ideas.


Pitch training

In the morning we analysed the mechanics of Tennis for Two, the first videogame of history. I was a bit too quick to say that I understand how the mechanics work and our teacher René punished me by making me the others playball ;)
(Pictures says it all)


After that we analysed the ETH game projects. Taking on another groups project, we had to come up with level designs and alternative concepts and present them.

After the pitch training for the “Call for projects” last week, we decided that we want to run a second round. The ZHdK Incubator was so kind to offer us their office space, listen to our presentations and provide us with feedback. The event was entierly open to the public and we had quite a few guests. Now I feel well prepared!

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Kairos Playtesting & Niche movement rework

The day started of with a theory input lesson by our teacher Ulrich. For me it was mostely repetition but I think the new students learned a lot.
In th afternoon we playtested Diego’s boardgame “Kairos”. We gave him LOTS of feedback, let’s see wath he’ll make out of it ;)


After the testing session I headed over to the Inkubator for our first monthly meetup. There were only few people present, so we discussed our progressions and gave each other feedback for improvements. I mostely talked with Ettore, who is building up his business ROBBIANI, about web design and brand identity.

Late at night the urge to work on Niche overcame me. I decided to try out a different approach for the movement inputs.