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 :)




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

A week in my life

This week was a rather calm one. So I’ll just recap everything in one post.

Boring theory lesson. I almost fell asleep, seriously.
Isa and me headed over to the ETH to prepare our game for the upcoming presentations.
The working session was “interrupted” by a SGDA planning event. I really really love sitting at this table with these great and hardworking people!


The input about News Games by Margarete Jahrmann was interesting.
Afternoon ETH presentations. Our game didn’t receive as much reaction from the audience as I hoped. We have to improve the “fun to watch” part :)

News Games workshop with Marcus Bösch.
Nobody wanted to make a mobbing cardgame with me *sob* so I had to join another team.

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Film Noir story input by Beat Suter, cool stuff!
A normal afternoon at Capsule Games. I did community/organisation stuff and Robin had a life or dead Tower Offense battle with his arch enemy Gian. Also, we decided to use Slack as a communication tool and setup a timetracking sheet. Very business, much professional.
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I visited Kobold Games at their new office, like it a lot!
We talked about the story, setting and art style of their upcoming game, but that’s a story for another day ;)


Let’s start with a confession: In the morning I wasn’t very keen to leave my bed and travel all the way from Zurich to Lausanne to attend the PolyLAN. I have never been there before and in the train I constantly asked myself: Is it really worth the 2 x 3h trainride? Markus accompanied me and helped carrying all the equipment, thank you again ^^!

So, the plan was to get there and exhibit Tower Offense, two games made by Kobold Games and Niche who are all part of my “Game Promotion” master thesis. There was a mail floating around that invited indie game developers to the event. I signed up for it, because Tower Offense has a strong E-Sports aspect and Switzerlands biggest LAN is definetly the place to be!
We arrived at the infodesk and were immediately welcomed warmhearted with: “Ah yes, the developers, so nice that you’re here”. First impression: This event is bigger than we expected and the people are really nice!

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Stéphane (who is organizing the PolyLAN together with Niels) showed us our exhibition space. It was pretty much in the heart of the event and there was a HUGE TV standing there, waiting for us. Overwhelmed we started setting up the games. People started gathering around our booth and asked us lots of questions about the games and what being an indie game developer is like. A lot of people joined our Tower Offense Alpha Tester base.

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Stéphane hurried to and fro to assist us in every possible way and also offered us to join the PolyLAN tournament system. We wanted to run a little Tower Offense tournament anyways so this was perfect! The tournament was quickly added to the schedule and players could compete to earn points. All the points from all tournaments are added up in the end and the winner gets a big price.
And so it started!

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The battles where fierce and fun! And here we have our winners! Congrats!!
From left to right:
2. ZabZab
3. Blueur
1. Torrix
4. 69th

The PolyLAN even sponsored prices for them. Sooo nice :D

Well, let’s come to a conclusion:
The PolyLAN is totally, absolutely, incredibly AWESOME! If I had known what a great day was waiting for me, I would have jumped out of bed in the morning.  Thank you so much for having us and all your time and effort to help us!
We will definitely be back and hope that we can build up a whole “Swiss Games corner” next year.

Good news: The PolyLAN is still running!
You can head over and exhibit your games until MO, 06.04.2015.
Let me know if you’d like to get the contact email :)


Theory lesson again in the morning…
I’d REALLY prefer to just work on my project. I mean input is good and all, but it’s too much. The good side: I got the idea to shape my master thesis into an interactive pdf instead of a printed booklet today. The longer I think about it, the more I get to the conclusion that my product needs to be completely digital.

After lunch we headed over the Maag Halle to setup our booths for the Grafik15. Niche, Tower Offense, Koboldgames and many many other Swiss games are exhibiting their games there (13. – 15.3). LOTS of visitors attended the Vernissage :)


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Kobold visit & Happy hunting

I’m not a mornings person. Seriously, I’m not.
When I was a kid, getting up early for school was horrible. Some things never change.
On my way to visit Koboldgames in Olten this morning, I feel asleep in the train and woke up just in time to get out. Luckily, after arriving at the office my mood cleared very fast. Well, how could it not if you talk about funny story twists and discuss beautiful mockups for a brandnew game project? We also set up all my accounts and logins for the collaboration.


Back in Zurich we had visitors from Samsung Switzerland. They gave us an insight of their current working fields and we discussed possible cooperations. Let’s hope some of them come true :)
A bit later another visitor joined us at the ZHdK, Filip Kostovic. He’s currently working on an app for ice hockey coaches. So if YOU are an ice hockey coach, contact him right away!
René treated us to dinner (as he always does, he’s way too generous).


And after that… oh man, I haven’t been to the Real Life for ages. Last year, we often ran playtesting for several games at this location. So if YOU are a game designer who wants to have a playtesting session for his/her game, let me know. At the Real Life, there are plenty of people interested in games, so playtesters are just flying by one after another :D
We played some rounds of Monster Hunter together and after that it was time to go home.

If YOU are an ice hockey coach AND a game designer, you won.

Sunny Sunny Kobold Friday

Haaa, today was such a nice, sunny day. I spend most of it working on our balcony. And later headed out with my laptop, typing eagerly on a park bench.
Friday is now the official Kobold Games day. Every Friday I’m helping the team (which are very very lovely people btw) to prepare for their first self-published release. They already released a big game, called Journey of a Roach. Daedalic published the game and took care of the marketing/PR. Now they want to try it themselves :)
It will be very interesting for me to see if we can reactivate the community altough the new game will have a new genre.

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Also: During my lunch break an article about the “Call for projects: Swiss Games” finalists was posted on 20 Minuten Online. I’m very happy to announce that both Niche and Tower Offense made it into the finale! On Monday Andi, Robin and me will join the business training for the finalists :D

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