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EIGD 2014 – Post Eventum

That’s it, the EIGD (European Indie Game Days) 2014 are already over. Was it a good event? Indeed it was! I’m gonna tell you all about it, but first, why not put some music on, maybe some Sista M tunes :

A very dense event

EIGD’s third edition has been occuring in Montreuil (near Paris, France), on novembre 27th and 28th, and I was there, with about 200 other participants, most of them independant game developers, artists, game designers etc. Other trades were also present, from finance to marketing, and everything in between, like middleware and technical solutions…

It was quite a dense event: during the span of two days, something like fifteen talks and panels followed one another. The pace was thus pretty frantic. Sometimes, one has to make choices – not because two talks occur at the same time (it nevers happens), but because one has to decide between listening to a talk or show one’s game to a potential partner, another dev, etc.

Contrary to what I did for last year’s event, I came this year to the EIGD with a well advanced project and a playable demo, so I tried to make playtest sessions and opportunities for feedback and advices a priority, and I don’t really regret it.

Many meetings

I had the pleasure of presenting our game to various superstars from the industry, including Frédérick Raynal (Alone in the Dark, 2Dark…), Rami Ismail of Vlambeer (Super Crate Box, Ridiculous Fishing, Nuclear Throne…), Alex Houdent (Globz), Sos Sosowski (Mc Pixel…), Zuraïda Buter (Global Game Jam, and many other things), or Thierry Platon (EIGD’s organizer).

It’s clearly a big opportunity, being able to gather the opinions and advices from so many talented persons, even more so when their feedback has been positive and encouraging, and their critics relevant and useful. The concentration of Game Designers in the event was also significant. Same with game journalists. I thus made not only a nice loot of advices, but also harvested lots of contacts.

It all translated to many playtest notes that I still have to sort and implement, now that my sobriety is slowly coming back to me (the EIGD is also a very festive and convivial event, once the talks are over…)

Pitching QLRZ

The last part of the event was a Pitch My Game session, during wich I had to be brave and go onstage to present QLRZ with microphone, giant screen projection and all that jazz. I can’t say it was a pleasant moment for me, because of the panic I tend to experiment when being in front of an audience of more than one or two persons.

But I did survive, and hope I’ll do better next time, by talking louder, and pacing myself more. With that being said, the feedback on that part was also quite positive:

Panels

About the talks and panels, I particularly liked the “10 minutes for an engine” panel, that presented a few game development frameworks and solutions. Each participant had made a different choice, and it translated into a very instructive and lively discussion about the strength and weaknesses of each.

The “Design a game for Oculus Rift” was also very interesting, although the discussion seemed to materialize only towards the end ; there obviously was still a lot to be said about these new devices and the VR technology, even though it’s already an old pursuit of our industry, more than 20 years in the making, it’s still in the early stages of its development. I also liked the opportunity that was given between talks to test the devices, an experience I recommend.

Another recommendation, if you happen to make games, is that you come to next year’s EIGD!

Our news for November 2014

Hey QLRZ, what’s kickin’?

– we’ll demo our game on november 18th at the Robin des Jeux games store

– QLRZ is part of the European Indie Game Days Awards 2014’s selection. You can vote for us (and other games) on their website : http://www.eigd.org/fr/content/qlrz. Votes are opened until november 24th.

– QLRZ will be available for demo / test during this year’s EIGD (27 and 28 november 2014 in Montreuil, France. All the info is at http://www.eigd.org/, don’t fret and come say hello!

– we’ve also been selected to present the game at the november 28th’s Pitch My Game. It’s a free event where you can discover the next videogames hits. Again, all the information you need is at Pitch My Game

Video games, a pen story

Video games has a lot in common with pens.

And by “pens”, I mean “penis”. Pens are all about sex, and quite often video games are too.

As long as men (and women, and trans, and…) were painting with their pigment covered fingers, with a stick covered in ashes, with a carved feather dipped in ink, writing was a relatively asexual exercice. But as soon as the fountain pen was invented (by Petrache Poenaru, in 1827), it’s another story entirely. The dip pen was not enough anymore, they had to add a “reservoir” (which made a nice comeback later on, in rubber form), and an ink cartridge, that had to be pierced upon insertion, do I need to say more?

When one sees teenagers blithely killing each other in the latest FPS, holding massive penis surrogates between their virtual hands, “unloading” bursts of molten lead or energy lasers (thankfully, also virtual ones), while claiming they spent last night having sexual encounters with your mom… seems hard not to see the implied symbolic significance. Heck, just the word “FPS” is damn close to the noise my mouth makes when I come. I guess for some people it sounds more like “MMORPG”… but I digress.

So, I can hear you already: “what’s all that got to do with anything, dude?”.

Ok, I used a bic pen to draw the very first concepts for QLRZ. But more importantly, if I take a step back to try and analyze the symbolic content of the game I’ve been working on for more than a year, I can hear the manic laughter of the little Freud I have inside. (Don’t you have one?)

Totem and taboo
Totem and taboo
In QLRZ, the otherness is represented by meteors that try to crush you, which is in itself an interesting way of looking at life, and the player’s defence consists of totems (Freud : “and taboos? ROFLMAO…”) that shoot pretty colorful energy streams.

Come on, if this is not a metaphor, I don’t know what is.

Sure, I could throw together a wall of text about combining colors before releasing those energy shots, and how this mechanic is actualy an introduction to tantric practices or sublimation, but let’s be serious just for one second… and let’s try to see the bright side of things. First, Sigmund is dead, and secondly, today is pizza day at the cafeteria (yay!).

#GamerGate initiator just got pwnd at Call of...
#GamerGate initiator just got pwnd at Call of…

So… as a male, white, westerner, what did you expect me to do? Revolt? Subvert? Yeah, well, maybe in the next game, or the one after that. Until then, just try to beat my highscore, you wanker!

Oh, and don’t chew on that pen… you don’t know where it’s been.

Climbing Mount Everest in thongs and panties

Oh haï, visitor from the interwebz.

On this blog, I’m going to tell you about the adventures of a programmer who one day thought to himself: “hey, with all those modern technologies, it’s beginning to be really possible to create a video game”.

The adventures of a crazy person, and that of all the other crazy persons who agreed to follow him on this crazy bet. The adventures of myself, and the hyper talented people I managed to convince to help me with this enterprise.

Because, ok, tools are here, you can learn them, and find the answers to most of your questions on foras, but one has to admit that making a video game without prior knowledge is pretty hard.

To create a video game is an attempt to climb Mount Everest from the north face in thongs and panties.

Ideas, contents, code to link all that, and make it FUN, because in video game there’s “game”, otherwise it would be called “video boring” or something, and honestly, who wants to lose its time with a “video boring” stuff ? (Ok, as you know, lots of people enjoy playing boring games…) Anyway, I wanted to make a video GAME, and many more after that.

But before I make lots of them, I will have to finish at least one, and that one will be… QLRZ.