Amaze

Amaze. Was. AWESOME.

*Ahem*, allow me to elaborate.

Last Thursday and Friday was the A Maze Indieconnect in Berlin, the first prominent Indie-meetup in Germany (and most of Europe). It consisted of two days of interesting talks, discussions and workshops.

The talks were interesting and mostly great. Martin Nerurkar elaborated on f2p-gamedesign, which can be a useful basis, even if the game isn’t actually free-to-play.

Douglas Wilson talked about basic gameplay and “decorative things”. While Indies often care about the basis, they sometimes tend to neglect the stuffing, which could increase the meaning and fun of a game exponentially.

 Most of my pictures suck, so here’s one courtesy of Jana Reinhardt.

Vlambeer hit it out of the park with their elaboration on the “sensible nonsense” and fiction in games. As it turns out even minimal games without story or narrative should have some sort of fiction (even it is unmentioned in the game), to base the game on.

Two workshops were held in parallel, one about implementing interesting sounds using LibDB, the other on creating geo-location-games. I took part in the latter, and my concept “Super Insane Fun Challenge” rocked the floor. It’s basically about trying to accomplish challenges, which might kill you. It’s fun.

A large part of the second day was spent playing an impromptu set-up session of Johann Sebastian Joust. Us newbies mostly failed against veterans who have been playing the game at conferences for years. I think I even managed to take someone else out, but mostly I fragged myself. It was glorious.

Here’s me trying to play First-Person-Joust. It doesn’t work AT ALL, mostly because I need my left hand to defend and attack, and am quite exposed with the controller in front of my face.

The Amaze-Award, this lovely gelatinous cube, was awarded shortly thereafter. I entered Unstoppaball in the competition, but didn’t make it to the final round.

 It wobbles. Does [generic award] wobble? I think not.

It was awarded to the artsy Proteus by Ed Key and David Kanaga, who won against a fierce competition of frankly brilliant and beautiful games.

I hope next year they’ll have multiple cubes in different colors. I want a green one (and I will get one, mark my words :P ).

So what was the best thing? The talks? The award? The surprisingly good coffee served?

No, it was meeting other Indies. It mas truly magical, suddenly being face-to-face with people I already knew online, exchanging stories, and realizing that we’re not so different, them and I. I even got recognized multiple times, and the “I played your game!” “I played your games too!”-exchanges were magical.

So I’ll go again next year. I’ll go again if they actually make the monthly (or tri-monthly) Amaze Light. I’ll enter my games again, and I would surely participate in a jam, should there be one (and kick ass).

Let’s do it again, guys. It was fun :)

-Matthew

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