Play Journal 2013-02-22: La Grande Finale!
by Thom Kiraly
Today: Organized a gaming event at Inkonst, Malmö. This time it was a sort of night club/game night mash-up and it served as the big finale of our launch week (RPG weekend friday-saturday, board game sunday, game events for kids on monday, tuesday and thursday). The whole thing well exceeded our expectations and some kick-ass music and games were played. More on the ones I played at Inkonst below. It’s a given that context and setting has an effect on the how, why, where, when etc. of play and the frame within which we played yesterday was definitely one of the more party-heavy ones I’ve been part of since the Hide & Seek party in the Old Vic tunnels in september 2012. For me, as an organizer, that meant I probably wouldn’t get to experience deep and meaningful play, but that’s one I’m willing to take for the team. That is not to say that the play I was part of at the club was worthless, only that it was a bit shorter and more shallow than a really awesome play experience. Anyway… Once I get better pictures of the event I’ll update this post.
Joust – Can’t get enough of Joust, and that seemed to be the case for a lot of other people as well. The game ran almost without a break for close to three hours before we switched games in that specific area and played Magnetize Me instead. Gosh, do we need more of these things at gaming events everywhere (that’s a statement, not a question).
For me, one nice thing was not having to oversee the actual playing of the game. People simply let new players in and quickly explained the rules before letting them try it out. Also, I got to play with a bunch of experienced players (we’re talking people who were there at the origin: Nordic Game Jam 2011) which really changed things up a bit. My cheap tricks didn’t necessarily work the way I hoped.
LAZA KNITEZ – A last minute booking, LAZA KNITEZ nonetheless represented and kept the game going until we closed up the place. Last time I played this was at the Nordic Game Conference 2012, where it was a contestant for the Nordic Indie Sensation award, which it won. This is another game I’m always up for playing. I just need to get more Xbox 360 controllers with cables since I’ve only got two of those at the moment.
Spaceship With A Mace – Two great things: I got to play the new version (new music, shiny interface, new super strange weapons) AND I got to try it with four players, which turned out to be really chaotic and enjoyable. The whole thing was nicely presented through the Copenhagen Game Collective BabyCade (a stroller set up to work as a portable arcade machine complete with its own sound system, truly a strange thing to behold).
Spaceclutter – Charming little arcade, but the drawback was that it was single player. As an organizer, I didn’t feel OK standing around playing a game for myself at an event I was supposed to keep track of. Also take into account that the high score would take a couple of hours to beat and it becomes clear that I couldn’t spend too much time with it. I am, however glad that it was at the event, because it looked really pretty and other people enjoyed it.
Magnetize Me – HIGH SCORE! Oh, yes, through the clever use of my unbeatable humping technique and my dancing/playing partner Alexanders attractive force, we shot straight to the top of the high score. This game need to be played all out, I feel, and that’s why, when presented with the opportunity, I didn’t strap the move controller to sit at my hip. Instead, I strapped it to sit right over my crotch. It seemed more fun that way. This game absolutely needs more work, but I still prefer it to games where you’re really just pushing buttons with your feet or where the music, not the playing of the game, is what is the real focus.