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Best of Ludum Dare 26 Supercut

Sebastian Standke from the German Indie-Gamezine “Superlevel” did the almost impossible: He played every single of the 2.346 games of the Ludum Dare 26 game jam. And not enough, he selected about 270 of the best games and made a video about them. Including playlist and further suggestions. Uff!! See this article at Superlevel and enjoy. A goldmine for casual gamers, researchers and game designers!

Jason Roher – A Game for Someone

Jason Rohrer made a game, that finally crosses the border to concept art. He build a game, that should be played by people “2000 years from now on“.

He made a computer-simulation of his board-game and a special AI, that was able to “modify the ruleset to balance the game”. He did no wanted to play the game himself – this game should be left unplayed until the future.

The last step of the process was to bury the game in the desert of Nevada. He presented this work at the GDC 2013 Game Design Challenge. The topic was “Humanity’s Last Game”. His inspiration came from ancient board games like “Mancala” or catheral builders, who started the project, but never their lifetime could see the finished piece. Read the whole story at Polygon.

Videogames at The Simpsons

This video features a “supercut” of all videogames, that were ever played in The Simpsons. Most stuff to laugh at, but also some very interesting ideas in it. A especially like “Uh no, you’re in Texas”, the highly educational game “Word Jammers” and the golf-simulator at the end of the vid… (via)

Super Sloth Jazz Jam – GGJ2013

super-sloth-jazz-jam

One of Cologne’s Global Game Jam 2013 entries freshly hit the iPhone AppStore. It’s a tiny game, called “Super Sloth Jazz Jam“. It has got a nice little idea around the Game Jam 2013 topic “HeartBeat”. You direct a small jazz-band with fast and slow passages, by pressing the heart in time. You have to be more or less accurate, otherwise your performance will fail. A nice game, made in just 48 hours of the game jam, playing with the idea around a musical-performance-directing-game. Graphics and music is sweet as well! Super Sloth Jazz Jam is available for free in the end, so why not give it a try. (via Krystman #onegameamonth)

Oh, before you leave… I also made a game at the game jam! Or let’s say, I finished a prototype of a sound-only game-mechanic. Read more about my “Puzzle BeatBeat” at Nodepond.

Flowlab.io – Rapid Game Development in Browser

flowlab

Flowlab.io looks like a new promising project for game designers and rapid developers and friends of trying out stuff online. With Flowlab you can quickly develop games and game-prototypes right in your browser. It is a complete game studio including a built in sprite editor, an integrated physics engine and visual logic designer – some of you will think of Game Maker maybe…

The Flowlab-people promse, that games built with Flowlab are playable on web and can be exported to the iPhone and iPad as well. So, why not have a look?

Minecraft Engineering and Minigames by Seth Bling

I just came across this neat Minecraft-Videos from Seth Bling. Little games and engineering stuff, sometimes really interesting made. Who knows in what direction this minecraft-engineering will develop. Maybe we will have the ability one one to to completely craft a webservice for example within Minecraft.

Tennis

Minesweeper

Mouse-Trap

Minecart Wave Generator

Golem-Pusher

Robot-Fight

Games we play

A short, but essential video about all this little hidden games, we somehow used to play (and still do). Add your own! #gamesweplay Video by Follow the Foot.

(via Krystman, thx!)

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Playful Design – Creating game experiences in everyday interfaces

Playful Design Book

Most recently John Ferrara published a book called “Playful Design“, that tries to bridge the gap between “everyday user-interfaces” and “game design“. It is aimed at user-experience-designers, who want to try to make their apps more sticky and more meaningful for the users. Here is the link to the Table of Contents.

The “Netmagazine” published an edited version of the chapter “Ten tips for building a better game“, with sentences like this:

“Consider what makes a game intrinsically interesting. You’ll find a lot of creative opportunity in games that make the player think through interesting choices instead of executing twitch responses.”

All in all, this book looks like a very nice lecture for both game- and user-experience-designers.

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Spriter – Animation Tool for Game Developers

Spriter Animation Tool

Lately I came across this already Kickstarter-funded project, called “Spriter”. It is an “easy to use animation tool”, especially suited for game-designers. The tools uses a modular method of animation – instead of each frame being a single complete image, the frame is constructed from many small, re-useable images (for example body parts). Each of these images that are used to construct the full frame can be scaled and rotated to further increase reuse of content.

The developers at Brash Monkey promise, that with Spriter you can create robustly animated game characters and effects with a workflow that’s “highly intuitive, visual, and efficient for not only time, but also for the final game’s file and memory usage”.

Let’s wait and see, if there will be also a version available for OSX at any later time.

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A.Maze Indie Connect 2012 in Berlin

The German indie-games-scene try to get more indie – a part of the puzzle could be the Amaze Indie Connect 2012 in Berlin. The organizers want to become an international Indie Games Festival and meeting-place of the europäischen Indie Games Scene in Germany. There are talks, visions and for the first time a indie-gamedev price.

The project still ongoing crowdfunded at the startnext-platform. The money should go directly into the price-money for the games-devs – so feel free to support!

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Flush the Goldfish (DSiWare)

I just found this game that looks like pure fun. Flush the Goldfish a remixing sort of game, with many diffrent playing mode and a reduced input-mechanic. The A button changes the behaviour of the player in every room, like jumping, crawling, avoiding etc. Each screen is simple, filled with colorful pixelstyle-graphics. The game has casual upfront music and soundeffects. There is a in-depth-review – well written – avaiable at 4 Color Rebellion.

Flush the Goldfish is available for Nintendo DSiWare made by Goodbye Galaxy Games. Go for it!

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Gee Display iPad – Now in English available

GEE Display

GEE Display 2

The German games-magazine “GEE” has shifted towards the iPad several months ago and regularly releases the “GEE Display” in the iPad Newsstand. GEE is known for its well-rounded games journalism, that does not only look on gaming-reviews, but also on the cultural side of gaming with aspects touching art, technology, society and politics.

Gee Display takes this approach onto the iPad and they made a good looking, relaxed and good to read iPad magazine. It features game-reviews, insight-reports, interviews and columns about art, music, gadgets and more. All articles are rounded up with high-resolution pictures, slideshows and/or videos, that play directly from the article.

Since the issue #4 Gee Display (App Store Link) is available in German and English as well. If you like a good gaming reading experience, you should take a look on this. The thing I like about reading “iPad Magazines” it, that it has a silent look and feel that is apart from the noise of the online-reading world. There are no bouncing ad-banners, to annoying click-me-here-or-there widget stuff. It’s just about the content and browsing.

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Codify: Lua-based Scripting on iPad

There are more and more creative code tools for the iPad emerging, that use Lua as language. That is not only, because Lua is highly versatile and easy to learn, but because Apples allows to let Lua-interpretes run on their devices. Via Create Digital Motion I discovered Codify today: A full development IDE, that runs on the iPad. You can build scripts creative code experiments or even games with that tool. A really well designed tool for people who like to tinker with code. Here is the reference of the API. And here is the AppStore-Link.

PS: I lately had another posting about scripting-tools for iPad.

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Petri Purho about “Why being poor is good for making games” at Assembly 2011

Petri Purho, known to the most people as Klooniegames for his quite successful game Crayon Physics Deluxe (this is also part of the Humble IndieGame Bundle 3 by the way), held a talk at the Assembly 2011. He talks about why “being poor or having no budget is good for making games”. It is about making decisions based upon limitation and how this pushes being creative on the subject of innovation.

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Quote-Unquote Interviews with Indie-Devs

The Quote-Unquote blog features interviews with indie-game-developers – almost a must read for everyone. Much of things to learn and explore. For example Adam Atomic says about the polishing of games something, that I think is really well said:

“If prototyping is the process of experiments and accidents and exploration, then polishing is the process of analyzing whether each of those experiments or accidents helped or hindered this particular game. We can visualize a prototype as a 2D sine wave. The crests are areas of the game that stick out in a bad way, that need to be sanded down or chopped off entirely. The troughs are areas of the game that are incomplete or under-explored, and need to be filled in with interesting things. The end result is that instead of a wobbly sine wave, we have a nice smooth surface.”

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Why we shouldn’t gamify

Gamification is on debate. There are arguments towards and against them. Here I pick a great text, that warn about the dangers of gamification. It argues, that gamification is mostly about extrinsic motivation – but the more valuable motivation is the intrinsic, that comes from within.

In a 1973 study on motivation, Lepper, Greene, and Nisbett found that children who expected (and were given) a reward of a gold star and a ribbon for drawing pictures spent less time playing with the drawing materials in subsequent observations than children who were assigned to an unexpected reward condition and to children who received no extrinsic reward. Similar studies with college students have shown that people who are not offered a reward will work longer and harder on a given puzzle than people who are offered a reward.

This thought is not mentioned in the text, but is somehow at hand: while gamification can be a nice tool for things like Groupon, it somehow makes the problems in the global monetary system more than obvious. Because the game-rules can be so much stronger than anything else. Whether you fit into it or not.

I think this is especially interesting in a play(ful), game-designers context. Because it is also a little bit about getting stuff done vs. playful behaviour. I can only encourage you to read this text. In the end I figured out, that gamification is/can be really about EVERYTHING that is. Really a mind-opener in some ways that leaves some perplexing thoughts behind. (via)

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15 Games in 15 Years: Game Design Lessons learned

15-games-15-years

Here is the link to a talk from Maxis Creative Director Stone Librande who made one game for his kids every year in the last 15 years. He shows the games, explains his design goals and foremost, the design lessions learned from making this games and playing them with his kids.

A highly recommended talk for people, who want to peek into the art and craft of making games. There are good lessions also for game design veterans, for example, that items could be as important as goals.

15games-game-design

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Super Friendship Club – GameDev Forum

super-friendship-club

There is a new game-developer forum on the net that looks promising: The Super Friendship Club is a forum, dedicated to the art and craft of making games. There are at least game-dev competitions every two month. “Everyone is welcome! Come and make games!” This is the friendly claim, when entering the forum. Sounds like music to my ears. (via)

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Gamification: Applied right?

scnclr.de-this_is_not_a_game
Pic: (cc) BY scnclr.de

The Gamification-debate is about roll and I do not have a tightened opinion yet. I just read this article at 4 color rebellion (thanks @ludonaut), about how to get it wrong. Just applying achievements and most simple game-mechanics to real-life tasks is not the thing, we should talk about, when we talk about Gamification! From a game-designers point-of-view this is a big failure. Just making game-mechanics and achievements does also not work too well, when making games. If you have a game, that is based upon simple game-mechanics and achievements only, than the result will be a) a poor game or b) a game, that lasts for minutes or hours to play. Boring stuff. There is more to good games.

If we talk about real game-design here, there is much more about stuff explore (and exploit!). When it comes to Gamification, I can imagine really new concepts of getting things done, for example at companies or webbased-platforms. Sites like “Stack Overflow” for example really improved the content-quality, just by applying really simple mechanisms, that most wouldn’t even consider to be a game. If applied right, than we could get much more productive while having more fun at work, even without noticing it. Several years ago, one thought popped in my mind and I wondered, why nobody else had this in mind: If you playing Tetris or any other puzzle-game, that you are doing sorting, sorting, sorting all the time. Humans like to sort! Humans love to collect as well! Now imagine, how many billion people are playing Tetris just in this second? Could we apply this to real-world tasks? I was wondering, why really nobody was coming up with this topic for years. Now with the Gamification debate, things are moving slowly into that direction. I agree with 4-color rebellion, that there is a risk to apply it wrong. If we want Gamification to happen, than we need real game-designers do this work and not some experts doing trends!

Some links, that might be of interest: gamification-research.org, GameToilet – cortoons about game-design. (Add your link here.)

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