Ateliers du Jeu Vidéo @ ENJMIN – ThatGameCompany

This week, a little bit of our precious crunch time is being devoted to attending a series of conferences held at our school. These conferences, dubbed “Les Ateliers du Jeu Vidéo” – The Videogame Workshop were organized by all-around cool guy Jean-Michel Blottière. I’ll attempt to report on some of them.

Today, the conference was held by Jenova Chen and Kellee Santiago via video conference. They talked about how to elicit emotion in games centered around the development of their current experimental game, “flower”.

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Adopt-a-Word!

Seeing as the conditions at the IGF pavilion weren’t optimal for poesysteme-ing, I decided to go towards the “performance” approach and have every visitor collaborate to create and maintain a poesysteme every day. The game only got rebooted when the game crashed and at the end of the day.

People could add one or several words and see how they would trounce or get trounced by the other words that were there already there, adding their contribution to the gene pool. Before they left, I asked them if they wanted to adopt a word, based on a “Love at first sight” algorithm. Upon seeing a word they liked, they were asked to write a quick sentence depicting what the word meant.

Their collaborative efforts result in this dictionary of the absurd.

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GDC 08 – Awards Show

I attended the Awards Show, and I have to say that it’s the most awesome thing I ever attended in my whole friggin’ life!

Poesysteme was nominated, next to great games like Crayon Physics Deluxe (Seumas McNally Grand Prize winner, go Petri!) and Synaesthete (Student Showcase winner). Having met Petri and the Digipen guys, as well as Nils (the author of Rückblende) and the P.B. Winterbottom crew, I can assure you that they are all great guys and that you should play their games and give them many bags full of money, sweet money. The room was packed with the coolest people of all, and I know Sid Meier, Gabe Newell and Ralph Baer now know my game exists. ROCK ON!

I was planning to do a daily writeup of the GDC but I guess I’ll have to accept the fact that a regular day at the Expo is too taxing. Usually when I get back to my hotel I just want to crash and burn. Cool-headed impressions from the confort of my home it will be, then!

Also, the expo? Sheer. Madness.