Archive for category Weasel Report
Ah yes, the annual trip to Cologne. And once I kicked off gamescom week by attending the Respawn conference to deliver a talk – this time on characteristics of modern work structure, task design, and why autonomy and self-regulation are a thing. And it went well. Or so I’m hearing.
When I wasn’t busy doing work for Experimental Game, I spent some time at the Indie Arena Booth. Its fourth instalment has grown to an amaaaazing 620m² of showfloor space with 60 (!) indie devs presenting their projects to the public. Prior the show I had supported the organizers by working on press releases and also editing the Indie Arena Booklet again. And surely enough it–and I’m like, totally unbiased here–was the most interesting booth on what otherwise was a bit of an underwhelming gamescom due to lack of big announcements and premieres this year.
I also visited the IGJam 2016 regularly over the course of three days at which 170+ devs had gathered to develop games within 48 hours. Lots of photo output.
A quick summary to have all the linkage in one handy place. Shall we? In case you missed them earlier, here are the galleries with an abundance of photos I made during A Maze Berlin 2016. There are two versions available: the Facebook albums with comments and tags–feel free to contribute!–and the Flickr albums with a notably higher image quality. Facebook’s image compression especially hurts photos made under low-light conditions.
More importantly (to me): Thanks a lot for all the comments, messages, retweets, <3, and whatnot. I may not always respond, but the feedback is very much appreciated. In turn, I’m tipping my hat to everyone who made all this–both the photos and the event itself–such a great experience. You know a good thing has come to an end when you feel exhausted and charged up at the same time. Old acquaintances aside, I had a great time chatting with other chaps, some of which I had photographed in the past years but, well, never really interacted with. That said, there wasn’t enough time to get in touch with everyone I wanted to. Hey, there’s always other events and next year, no? Small print after the break.
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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.
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.
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.
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!
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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!
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.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
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.
This blog’s not dead. It’s just resting its eyes, not breathing, and smelling funny. Anyway, here’s a bunch of links for the people who attended my presentation at the most recent meeting of the IGDA Berlin chapter.
AGOF & Magaziniac
Jonathan Blow vs. CVG
Christian Schmidt über die deutsche Spielekritik (ungekürzte Fassung bei Gunnar Lott)
Schmidt-Repliken von Petra Fröhlich & Mick Schnelle
id Software interview on Rage at Gamasutra
Brandon Sheffield ‘explaining’ said interview
Chris Kohler on Famitsu ratings