I’ve restored balance to my sleep cycle, defeated the plane air disease cocktail, and gathered my thoughts. It’s time to write about A MAZE 2013.
A MAZE is an annual digital games, media and art festival that takes place in a number of different countries. This is the second year the festival has been set up in South Africa, and it was held at various locations around the heart of Johannesburg’s trendy art and student district.
The festival was full of all manner of talks, workshops and exhibitions, but the real joy came in spending time so many incredible game developers and other creative types. Apart from a much-needed meeting of the Jo’burg and Cape Town groups of developers, we were lucky enough to hang out a group of wildly entertaining international devs such as Rami of Vlambeer and the mad Sos Sosowski. There were also some wonderful devs from the rest of Africa, and while I’m sorry I didn’t get to chat to them much, the talks and games they presented were simply fantastic.
Silhouette was demoed at A MAZE too, which drew some decent crowds and garnered a positive reaction. It was quite surreal seeing people actually playing and having fun, and be able to get some good feedback on the game.
There’s something really special about being able to take the best social elements of a day or night out, and combine them with fun games. Over the weekeend, I had a great introduction to Joust and a bunch of other fantastic physical games that really make you feel like a kid again.
I originally went up to A MAZE with the intention to demo Silhouette, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect beyond that. What I discovered was an endless amount of fun and revelry that felt more justified, because I got to learn from and engage with a number of amazing people.
Many thanks to all the organizers of the festival. It’s so exciting that South Africa gets to have a festival like A MAZE. It can only do excellent things for our indie game dev scene, and I’d encourage anyone even remotely interested to go next year.
Phew! Well, despite not being able to attend, Rezzed looked like a whirlwind of fun and Worms-based madness from over here! I spent a lot of it on Twitter watching from my otherwise dormant account, and cheesy as it is to say, I was very much wrapped up in the buzz from afar. The games on show looked like a huge amount of fun to play, and the developer sessions provided some incredible insight into the thought processes behind some very clever game developers.
Silhouette was well received too which made me very happy. The game even got a positive little writeup in The Guardian! It seems there was some amazing stuff on display. In fact, the sentiment from this article and a number of other commenters is that the PC indie scene is going in a very good direction, which is really exciting.
I’ve released the version of Silhouette that was playable at Rezzed, which you can play and download here. I’ve also added a map editor for the game, which you can use to make your own creepy, impossible-to-navigate mansions. As always, feedback is welcome.
So a big thanks to the organizers of Rezzed! It was a real privilege to have the game played by loads of people at such an awesome event. I’m proud to be part of a collective that produces video games in which you can perform “surgery” on someone with the blunt edge of a clipboard, in virtual reality.
Rezzed has officially begun! Silhouette is in the Leftfield Collection, so go out there and murder your friends!
We had a bit of a shaky start with the setup of the game but everything is running smoothly now, which is fantastic. One of the frequent bits of advice indie game developers receive is to try to be present at any expos where their game is being exhibited. I would’ve loved to of course, but being an indie dev, I have an intimiate relationship with the bottom of the barrel.
Obviously the main reason to be present is to be able to see people playing your game, giving feedback, and (hopefully) having a good time. However, with the hiccups we had when setting up, I can find another reason: It’s bloody terrifying not being there in person to nurse your build to a working state!
Anyway… relief. The Leftfield Collection has an exclusive build of Silhouette, which I will modify slightly and upload to the game’s portal. I’ll also add the map editor a little later. If you happen to be at Rezzed, send me any feedback, comments and photos of the event!
Rezzed also includes awesome AAA games on show, as well as developer sessions, and a number of other great gaming treats. Sadly, I won’t be able to make it due to being thousands of miles away, but I look forward to getting some feedback about the game.