A Maze Berlin 2016 Approaching

A Maze Berlin 2015 Snapshot
PEOPLE OF EARF!

Only a few days to go until A Maze Berlin 2016 kicks off. I’ll skip the generic part in which I say that I’m ridiculously looking forward to the whole event and to seeing familiar as well as new faces. You know, the part that looks like the previous sentence. Oh. I get it.

By all accounts, this year’s number of attendees will be bigger than last year’s – and that one was already pretty bloody big. I’ll be around doing what I can do best: bask in the sunlight of the cool and talented maniacs whilst trying to do my ninja thing. Which has become more challenging over the years due to the incognito approach sort of being compromised by knowing people. I did my best by never introducing myself by name, but Facebook these days… :P

That said, if you’re at the event and think it would be handy to have a photo of yourself, your team, something you’re exhibiting that might end up looking just slightly better than a photo taken with a 2000-era cellphone at a moonless night – I can do that! So, feel free to approach me if you spot me. If you can spot me… dundundundunnnn.

P.S.: Last year’s photo output can be seen here. Mind you, there are plenty of portrait shots that never got published.

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The Sound of Berlin at Midnight

The other weekend I was weaseling around to shoot some nightime photos. Some of which may pop up here at some point. Didn’t actually have to point you that way though because you knew that already. Right? … ? Ah well.

It was at around midnight that I stopped by at the Victory Column because I had heard a bit of music from a distance. Turns out a street musican was practicing in the ditch of unlit tunnel. Given that no one else was around to listen, it was a bit of a mystical moment. Obviously, the camera battery had to crap out right then, so I only got this one take.

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The Jules officially comments on seasonal weather conditions

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BERLIN, Jan. 5, 2016 — In a sudden turn of events, it started snowing. The Jules officially acknowledges and approves of the occurrence of a slight layer of small frozen crystals on the ground.

We have anticipated the seasonal change of the aggregate state in which water enters the lower part of the atmosphere and are committed to communicating the news through all our marketing channels, leverage the incredible business opportunities through a full range of 360° franchise exploitation strategies while also delivering a premium experience to our loyal customers”, said The Jules, founder and chairman of The Jules. He added: “We also formed a crack team of industry veterans to determine what the hell the previous sentence is supposed to mean.

About The Jules
The Jules lives in Berlin. He smart.

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We won a thing. Or two.

Well, whaddayaknow! I usually don’t write a lot about work here. Yes, I don’t write a lot here to begin with. Duh. Anyway.

I’ve been part of Experimental Game GmbH for a while now, a Berlin start-up that is developing a full production environment for games and other interactive media formats. At this point, we’re using it internally for our in-house projects, but we’ll make it available to third-parties from next year on. It’s called Gamebook Technology, and it’s actually pretty neat. You don’t have to believe me though – others think it’s neat, too!

A few months ago we already got the 2nd place of the ICT cluster in the IQ Innovation Award Central Germany. We’re were quite happy about that, but in late November it got even better: Gamebook Technology received the Innovation Award BB 2015 Award, an honor only awarded to three companies/innovations – out of 100. And as of this week brought even more acclaim as our technology got picked for the Creative Technology Award. All in all not too shabby, I guess. :)

Here’s a small peek into what it is we’re doing – it’s in German, but you can turn on English subtitles.

And here’s a bunch of photos I took on the evening of the Innovation Award BB 2015 ceremony:
Innovation Award BB 2015

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The Post-Cologne Photo Avalanche

Well, that whole Cologne endeavour was quite a bit of work – let’s not even talk about follow-up communication and all the photo work that had to be done in the week after that. Yeah, that and … the ‘normal’ job, of course. Either way, if you’re curious about where and what kind of snapshots I took, you’ll find all the answers right here.

Not impressed, eh?

Lorenzo and Sjors asked me to cover JOIN again. It’s an event completely dedicated to local multiplayer gaming and premiered last year in the Supermarkt. The Game Science Center rose up to become the host for JOIN 2015.

Since it took place right on the weekend prior my trip to Cologne, I didn’t get around to sorting out and working on photos until after my return. If you want to see what people and events I captured in Cologne – read on after the break!
Read the rest of this entry »

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Indie Arena Booklet & Cologne Prep

Oh hi there! Yep, it only took a mere three or so months to get this sucker updated again. I’m currently busy once again preparing for the usual trip to Cologne. And once again I’ll attend the Respawn conference after a talk proposal of mine got accepted. (Same for fellow colleagues who’ll head off to GDC Europe.)

This time I’ll blab a bit about information pathologies and how office politics may obstruct the growth of knowledge, tapping into one of my favourite fields from way back: organizational psychology.

Obviously enough, I’ll also check out gamescom; looking forward to meeting some old chaps and former colleagues and getting my hands on some promising indie projects. Speaking of which: The Indie Arena knocked it out of the park this year with a 500m² (five hundred square-bloody-meters!) booth. That’s right. The Indie Arena Booth is going to be a magnificient juggernaut at gamescom 2015.

It’ll also be one of the places where the first Indie Arena Booklet will be distributed? What’s that? A comprehensive compendium of many interesting indie teams/devs from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. His Julesness was actually involved and created the Welcome part, the piece about the Indie Arena Booth, the Fin, contributed to the text on the Indie Arena itself and did general editing work. I’ve also provided a bunch of the photos. A big tip to the hat for Jana, Marius, Martin, Andreas and all the other people who helped make this possible!

If you can’t make it to Cologne, don’t fret: Here’s an online version for your viewing pleasure.

IndieArena Booklet Gamescom 2015 by Democritus

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The A Maze Berlin 2015 (!) Aftermath Post

Greetings, mortals! So yeah, about that plan to post more often on this very blog… it didn’t work out quite that well. It began as an ambitious endeavour, but like a withered leaf in an Autumn breeze it became a metaphor for something that doesn’t make sense like the latter part of this sentence. Wait.

A lot has changed in the past year, and yours truly is now part of a company working on a rather exciting approach to technology and content development. Also, photography went from casual to slightly more serious hobby, and some of the images I made last year apparently were convincing enough for the A Maze to ask me to come aboard for this year’s festival to do some close-ups. Phew! Asking people to pose or, well, just do nothing was a bit weird for someone who usually has a stealthy approach to shooting with the cam, and I hope the results were acceptable.

The A Maze Berlin 2015 itself was a blast just like the previous three events. The pull the festival has developed within such a short time is impressive. Four years ago around 50-ish people gathered to celebrate the indie scene; this year it’s been several hundred attendees plus even way more visitors of the exhibition. The general mood and spirit of the festival just keeps on being open and embracing, and the photos clearly do convey the atmosphere of the A Maze. Enjoy!

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A Maze Berlin 2014: Presentation Addendum

While posting all those pretty colourful and shiny photos I almost forgot to talk about that tiny talk I gave. The CliffsNote version: Have the courage to deviate from the perceived norm when necessary and avoid the boring garbage that everyone seems to write because everyone seems to write it. Daring, I know! I uploaded the slides, but they’re probably not going to be super-useful without the delivery. (Not that they were super-useful with the delivery.)

Yes, that’s quite a load of slides I chose to carpet-bomb the audience with during those 5 minutes. Fortunately enough, no one in the audience was prone to epileptic seizures. A slight behind-the-scenes bonus for those who stumble across this blog for whatever reason: That one slide that I had to cut because I simply wouldn’t have been able to stay within the 5-minute limit otherwise.

Mysterious Slide

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

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The A Maze Berlin 2014 Aftermath Post

So yeah, that thing happened again. And it was absolutely grand as I got to listen to many presentations covering a diverse range of topics, ran into many familiar faces and got to know new interesting people.  It’s hard to believe that it’s only the third event given how quickly it has grown, and there’s pretty much no way the A Maze Berlin (technically: “A MAZE. / Berlin” … yeah…) is not going to grow further next year due to the momentum.

For the first time the festival was split across two locations: All presentations and workshops were done in the WYE, whereas the exhibition now received the full space at last year’s location, the Urban Spree. I’d say it would be nicer if the two places were a bit closer to each other, making it more convenient to spontaneously switch if needed. Still, after last year’s conference it was pretty much inevitable and the exhibition did benefit a great deal from becoming a separate entity. According to the A Maze team 3800 people (conference attendees included) stopped by over the course of 2.5 days.

Zee Germans among you can read my write-up at the usual place. I also took tons of photos, trying to capture talks, the general atmosphere and the sense of wonder, joy and surprise people expressed at the exhibition.

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A Mazing News. I guess.

Oh hello there! Yes, this thing is actually in some way–dundundunnnnn–ALIVE. Just wait for the shock to settle before you read on.

I signed up to be a part of the Indie Arena line-up at the upcoming A Maze Berlin next month and will deliver a micro-talk on how (not) to do press releases. Or so I’m thinking. Surely, you don’t want to miss out as it could very well be the most grandiose 5-minute piece you’ll ever see*. To quote the synopsis:

BERLIN – April 10, 2014 – “In an innovative and revolutionary presentation one of the leading journalists in the industry will push the envelope by talking about press releases”, said one of the leading journalists in the industry.

Well, they asked me to provide a link to my personal website for their speaker overview. Turns out this is the only one I have! And since completely strange and weird people might accidentally follow said link, I thought it might be a bit embarrassing to not have any sort of recent content. Yes, I’m talking about you right there.

If you can make it to Berlin in mid-April and are somehow in the business of being creative, I highly recommend attending the A Maze Berlin. It’s been an absolute delight in the past years and you’ll run into an abundance of fascinating, inspiring, open, and curious people. Well, and me. I embedded some photos I took last year for your viewing pleasure.

*Assuming you’ll only ever see one 5-minute presentation in your life.

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