Blog – Impressions Test & Chill November 2018

Once again we had a playtesting afternoon. Students of all study years were present and many concepts and prototypes were demonstrated. It was cool to see many types of projects: group work, individual work, some well developed, others still rough work in progress, digital and card games.

We will have 2 playtesting events again next block. Aaaaand students: to work out those design and prototyping skills join the Day Jam 15 November!

Blog – The Guild Expands

logo 2016 spellenmaakgilde finalAs a lecturer,  game designer and organiser of playtesting events it is a balancing act what to focus on. The paid job has priority of course, as other live events and responsibilities. Game design has gotten some attention, and coming year hopefully more so 🙂 (enough ideas in the works for that).

The Game Design Guild (in Dutch ‘Spellenmaakgilde’) also got some attention, by me and others.  I started doing this to support fellow designers and see what synergy could be created. Slowly but surely this is happeningIt remains work in progress, but the next small improvements are nice to mention, as they offer more structure and opportunity in our local game design habitat:

Slack

slackSlack is some form of chat site, similar to Discord if you know that one, and we started one for the Guild a while ago. While the group is still small, the created slack channel is a nice way to chat about ideas for the guilds and proofread game rules. Plus some local artists also pitched their art portfolio recently. So there is some engagement and I hope it will grow bigger.

Newsletter

Thanks to help of my friend Douwe the Guild (‘Spellenmaakgilde’) now has a slick mailchimp newsletter since this summer. And I have to say, after tinkering with the tool, it is quite nice to create (basic) lay-outs. And finally, after some more tinkering we now have a signup form, yay! You can subscribe here.

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Spellenspektakel Convention

spsp-logo-2018Last year 2 Dutch game designers, Ellis Hendriksen and Dennis Merkx worked together with the ‘Spellenspektakel‘, the biggest Dutch tabletop game convention, to offer discounted demonstration tables for local game designers. This year we took up the challenge and are facilitating demo tables. 10 tables are booked fully for the event on 10 and 11 November 2018. Visit the ‘Auteursplein’ and meet designers, buy their games and play their games in progress.

Other locations!

blokhuispoortWhile we usually are present at the Ducosim conventions (a national tabletop game organisation), we have yet to have other locations were we structurally offer playtesting events. There are other of course that take initiative and Utrecht and Amsterdam have playtesting events often.

Two digital game industry professionals and board game enthousiasts, Friso Roolvink & Mitchel Bonnema, will host the first event in Leeuwarden on Friday 16th of November. We will see what the turn up will be, but the city has quite a (digital) design scene and the initial interest is there!

Future plans

What is next? We will see. One other idea I like to pursue is to interview local designers and post the conversations in Dutch and English. If you have an interest in that, certain questions you would like to have answered or perhaps you like to participate as a published designer: contact us! 

Test & Chill October 2018

We have kicked the playtesting year off! Once again, with the support of the study association Glitch we had a great playtesting event at our study Communication & Multimedia Design. Students from all years (1st years to graduating students) brought their project work and their independent work. And some teachers walked in to give their 2 cts. 🙂 Besides the digital games there were some card games playtested, and some work in progress (also nice to bring!).

I even got the opportunity to bring my RPG party game to the table and put the new rules to the test! Huzza!

In a few more weeks time for another playtesting event. And for tabletop game fans / designers: join us at the Spellenmaakgilde playtesting nights in Groningen! Speaking about tabletop games, the biggest analogue game convention in the Netherlands ‘Spellenspektakel’ is coming up and the Guild has some tables available at a reduced price to demonstrate your game! Further details are available in Dutch here, if you are non-Dutch and interested, you can contact me.

Local news with Capo della Mafia

The Hanze Applied University has an independent magazine for their students. Last year I donated 2 different games to them as a contest price. I had a zany interview about game design and the release of my game Capo della Mafia with them. That was already cool. Besides the print it is also available on their site (in Dutch). Now at the start of the new study year they reprinted it, nice!

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What was even more awesome is to see the game being played! During introduction camp with the new first years’ students the study association Glitch brought a copy and played it. It is so cool to see a designed game being played. My prediction, that will never get boring. 🙂

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Impressive Jamming

In May we initiated another Day Jam, make a game in 24 hours. Students from year 1, 2 and 4 (and non-students) participated during their holiday break. Respect.

My colleague Sean kicked it off with the theme on Thursday 3 May ‘endings and beginnings. The next day the teams presented their games. There were 4 digital games and 1 tabletop game. And damn, it was impressive. All the games had something going for them and some felt quite smooth already. It was very enjoyable to play the games.

Big thumbs up to the organisers and participants!