Events

My thoughts and reflections on past events.

See also: a list of past events which I’ve attended, or a list of my upcoming events.

My Oddball DreamHackathon

  • Events

Last weekend I took part in my first competitive game jam – the inaugural DreamHackathon, at Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe. This 24-hour game jam had a 100,000kr pize pool and counted eye gaze hardware manufacturer Tobii amongst its sponsors. It brought together some 90-odd jammers comprising 27 teams, and it sat right alongside one of Europe’s biggest esports tournaments. In the middle of all that, I teamed up with 4 other people to make a game in which you play as improbably fat cats, lusting after surströmming.

Team Oddballs, 5 hours into jamming

Team Oddballs, 5 hours into jamming

Given that I’ve attended game jams before at settings including a museum, the headquarters of Mind Candy and a boat moored in København, it didn’t feel quite so strange to bring my laptop and game controllers along to the world’s largest hemispherical structure; home to ice hockey matches, major concerts and of course, this major esports gathering. The venue was still impressive, though – replete with banners, posters and merchandise from the likes of World of Warcraft and Counter-strike: Global Offensive. I made my way past all of that, wearing a green “competitor” wrist-band, in order to reach the colourfully-lit bar which would be home for the next day.

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August Round-up

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As I embark upon a fortnight’s absence from the internet, I thought I’d leave a handful of links relating to my time at Nine Worlds Geekfest, GDC Europe,… Read More »August Round-up

Nine Worlds Geekfest 2014

Despite it having happened a fortnight ago now, Nine Worlds Geekfest was the first in a string of four events which I attended recently, so I’m only now getting around to my write-ups. Check back later for my reviews of GDC and Gamescom in Köln, and Loncon 3 in London!

Nine Worlds Geekfest feels remarkably different when one travels to and from there almost directly by aeroplane. As my co-hosts from The Geek Night In have already remarked, Nine Worlds is a uniquely welcoming and inclusive event; thus, passing through security at Heathrow airport felt like crossing the border to a much friendlier place even than Sweden.

I took part in a handful of panels again this year – which I’ll return to in a while. Unlike last year’s event though, I wanted to take advantage of the fact everything was under one roof and experience more than just what was on offer in the video games culture track. I’m pleased to say that, while my partner was captivated by an impressively strong series of ‘future tech’ programme items, I was cheerily dipping my toes into Game of Thrones fandom, geek feminism and podcasting.

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Lyst Summit Write-up (part 2)

Part 1 of my recap-cum-travelogue was published a short while ago; you can read it here!

There’s an unwritten rule of almost every game jam I’ve taken part in, which states that the first 5 or so hours will be devoted to anything but the final project. I’m pleased to say that with practice, this period has shifted from becoming something terrifying, to actually rather productive for me. When the jam starts, we (as a group) will tend to fixate upon an idea which seems feasible, expressive and daring within the bounds of the jam. We’ll sketch it out, start prototyping.. and then realise the idea has no traction or depth.

I panicked, the first time this happened in a jam – thinking I was a lousy designer, unqualified to play my part in a game jam team. I’ve soon learned, however, that quite often sleep will bring with it an epiphany. This is precisely what happened at the Lyst Summit game jam.

As the conference deck filled up, our team retired below to set about paper prototyping.

As the conference deck filled up, our team retired below to set about paper prototyping.

Read More »Lyst Summit Write-up (part 2)