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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!

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Looking back – Test & Chill January 2018

In January we held another playtesting event at CMD Hanze Applied University. Around 60 students playtested 20 games and concepts, ranging from tabletop card games and party games to digital games. Some using hardware like a Hololens and augmented reality glasses. So all in all another great turnup, with students from year 1 ranging to year 4. Check out the pictures below. 

Next block we will have another one! Bring your prototype, or just come over to see what others made (and play it!). For those interested in non-digital / hybrid games: there is the monthly Spellenmaakgilde (game design guild) tabletop testing night on Friday 2 February. It is their 3 year anniversary!

Looking back: Test & Chill December 2017

Thursday 14 December we had another Test & Chill event at our multimedia design study. More than 45 students of our major Game Design and the minor Game On showed up to have their games playtested, nice!

In total 15+ games -applied & entertainment- were tested, including: rough early digital prototypes, paper prototypes, a Hololens game, an escape room for 3, games for mobile, a dating simulator, platformer games,  analogue / card games.

All in all the attendance was high, with students bringing interesting projects, sharing feedback and creating a good vibe. Looking forward to the next one in January!

Looking back: Day Jam November ’17

At our major Game Design students learn making games. Besides all the theories, assignments and projects one of my colleagues Sean had the idea to organise additional game jams to support the learning and to let students really feel they are studying Game Design. Game Jams are a great way to get more hands on experience, try something out, see how much you can accomplish within limited time. It offers additional practice to everyone interested, without didactical constraints. Aspiring game designers should make more games.

We decided -practically- to offer 24 hours, making it a ‘Day Jam’. The student association Glitch helped out with organising again and Mimosa Lethinen made another stunning poster concept. Thanks for all the support! day jam november 2017

As the first years’ students are still learning programming, we made this a tabletop challenge. As an extra challenge we asked there should not be separate rules, but learning the game should be integrated in the gameplay experience. Not easy, but good to practice a specific challenge.

More than 6 teams participated. The results were impressive. Some teams made really nice looking prototypes, others managed to had quite some playtesting and iteration done and could showcase a prototype that was quite playable already. It is really hard to get to a finished game in 24 hours, but it is the practice that counts.

All in all, this seemed nice and worth repeating! Probably a digital game Day Jam (or both). Check out these pictures to get an impression of the November event:

 

Looking back: Test & Chill November 2017

First week of November we organised another playtesting event. Again the student association Glitch helped out. It was very nice to see how multiple games were tested, being personal projects, as well as study related projects. Despite all the deadlines. There were digital games, naturally, and a good amount of analogue ones. Students from all ranks participated, which I really like.

As a bonus I could playtest 2 card ideas I am working on. 🙂

Looking back: Test & Chill October 2017

What started with a pilot last study year will now become a regular event: having testing sessions at our study CMD (Communication & Multimedia Design). Especially interesting for game design, but any app, art, code can be brought to showcase, for playtesting / user testing. Participating, also by giving feedback, is a great way to hone your design skills. So I hope we can expand the popularity even more.

The first event had a nice turnup and it was awesome to see the diversity in games There were digital and analogue games and they were study related courses and personal projects. An impression:

test n chill october 2017

Poster art by Mimosa Lehtinen

Design resources, hear hear!

As a lecturer game design I regularly tip podcast episodes on certain topics. Some students really like them, others roll their eyes when I start talking about podcasts again :-). And I am fine with that, I’ll keep recommending them as they are a great resources to industry news, personal stories concerning designing and publication, practical advice and game design theories.

I started listening to them about 5+ years ago when I got the ambition to make a game and have it published. After trying some prototyping I realised there is a lot to learn when I want to make a good game. Luckily, the tabletop industry is quite cooperative and transparant. A lot of information is shared and podcasts are a great way to soak it all in, in my opinion. You can listen while driving, commuting, doing chores, etc.

Above you see an overview of all the podcasts that I listen(ed) to. It is a salute to all the work the creators put in it. Thank you! I became a better designer because of all of these. I will shortly describe some of them to give you an impression what they offer. That way you can see which ones might be of interest for you.  I link to their respective websites, but you can look them up on your mobile with a podcast app, of course.

Ludology

This podcast started years ago, and the topics discussed are usually timeless in content and usefulness. For tabletop game design this is my number 1 to listen to, the hosts dive into interesting topics. It tackles theoretical topics concerning game design that are interesting as well if you make digital games. Starting at the beginning is worth it with this one and it offers a lot of food for thought.  Ludology_Banner_4

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The Game Design Round Table

More interested in digital game design? This one has a broader take on game design, TGDRT dives into multiple types of games, tabletop, mobile, digital, RPG. Two of their hosts work in the digital domain, the others in tabletop. You get insights in the overlap and differences between the analogue & digital scene. They discuss their own experiences, talk to interesting guests and offer a view on innovative new things happening. I like how they support the diversity in game design and designers. They showcase that designers are not only males.

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Breaking into Board Games

A relatively new one, the 3 hosts have a great vibe together. The podcast has quite a spark to it. Great practical insights and industry perspectives. Each guest they interview plays a game of ‘two truths and a lie’ with. Usually I don’t really like it when a game is played ‘on air’, but with this one it is quite entertaining.

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The Who, What and Why? Game Design Podcast

Not as popular and working on a smaller budget, this is an under-appreciated podcast. The host interviews designers and they discuss the tabletop games they designed. That offers interesting insights quite often.

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On Board Games

This podcast reinvented itself and currently has a nice mix of hosts. That keeps it even more interesting than before. They review tabletop games, discuss interesting topics and have interviews. It offers a good mix.

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The Dice Tower

This is the biggest tabletop podcast and has expanded to an entire network of podcasts. I listen to this one for the reviews of games and to get a sense for the industry (USA centered). Their website offers a ton of video’s as well. They have top 10 on diverse topics and that helps to learn about good games I did not know yet.

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Het Ludieke Gezelschap

A Dutch podcast that discusses tabletop games and the local industry. All the previous ones are located in the USA, so it is really nice this one offers a perspective on the Netherlands.

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Board Game Insider

This podcast is hosted by 2 tabletop publishers and that tells you the perspective they offer. One publisher is located in Poland, Portal Games, and the other in the USA, Stronghold Games. I like how complementary the gentlemen are to each other and the episodes are snappy.

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Board Game Design Lab

Another podcast that focusses on designing tabletop games. I am impressed with all the guests the host has interviewed so far. The output is spectacular.

 

Honourable mentions (tabletop): The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast. This is an very enjoyable podcast with a lot of good banter by the big group of hosts. Due to overload I dropped this one, because it is less focussed on design. But it is a lot of fun to listen to. Games with Garfield (with Richard Garfield) & Board Game University are discontinued. While these are not updated anymore, I enjoyed them enough to keep in my list of podcasts as a reminder. They are certainly worth listening into.

So there is a lot to explore. Which ones do you like? And is there one I should add to my list? Enjoy the listening!