Over on Facebook, a good friend & game developer Esben came up with a great suggestion for CounterPlay:

What about a few concrete dogmas too, like:

Everyone at the festival are part of a new game developed for that particular festival

The workshops of the festival are focused on concrete development, therefore we publish at least three new games at the end of every festival for everyone to play.

Another friend, Mikkel, rushed to support the idea:

I think that Esben’s suggestions for products are VERY interesting, since it would help differentiate the festival from many other conferences and events. A festival with it’s own, growing portfolio! It even makes it approach a game jam, which is certainly a playful attitude to production.

While I have definitely been wanting to invite people to make games for & as a part of CounterPlay, I think Esben is more succinct than I have managed to be (this also shows how much of CounterPlay is happening – through conversations).

Let’s do it.

Consider this the first invitation to pitch ideas for A) a game to be played during the festival and B) playful ways to help & inspire people to make games together.

A few thoughts on both:

A festival game

smalltalk_backFor the first edition of CounterPlay, a group of students made the very nice “SmallTalk game”, which challenged & inspired people to talk to strangers about playful topics.

It could definitely be more “gamey”, but it highlights a few important principles:

  • It’s accessible – more or less anybody can play, as it doesn’t require any special skills developed through years of playing
  • It inspires people to interact with strangers

Both of those should principles should be found in any game to be played by all festival participants. No-one should be excluded, and it should be all about interaction.

How would you meet that challenge?

Games made at the festival

What Esben suggests is not a game jam per se, but rather that a series of workshops end up developing at least three actual games.

It does however, as Mikkel points out, sound a bit like a game jam – which is definitely a good thing (in fact, I’m also thinking about hosting an actual game jam during the festival – let me know if you want to talk about that).

For those of you don’t know, a game jam is all about bringing a group of people together to make games within a limited time frame, often a weekend (approximately 48 hours, but sometimes much shorter).

There are lots of amazing game jams, big and small, around the world, and they’re all playful gatherings of people wanting to make people play:

Think of it as a hackathon focused on game development. It is the growth of an idea that in today’s heavily connected world, we could come together, be creative, share experiences and express ourselves in a multitude of ways using video games – it is very universal. The weekend stirs a global creative buzz in games, while at the same time exploring the process of development, be it programming, iterative design, narrative exploration or artistic expression. It is all condensed into a 48 hour development cycle. The GGJ encourages people with all kinds of backgrounds to participate and contribute to this global spread of game development and creativity (Global Game Jam)

How do we make workshops, where people who (as a rule of thumb) are not game developers join forces to make games?

The following two tabs change content below.

Mathias Poulsen

I think a playful mindset is essential for us to live better lives together. I organise the CounterPlay Festival to cultivate a #playfulsociety.

Latest posts by Mathias Poulsen (see all)