No More Sweden 2012

Mindwreck at No More Sweden 2012

I recently attended No More Sweden 2012, a game jam held in Malmö, Sweden. The game took place over a weekend and apart from the game jam itself, where people had to make games in 48 hours, the event also featured talks by indie developers as well as massive barbeque. Unfortunately, I missed the talks due to work, and also managed to arrive late at the game jam itself, and therefore ended up without a team. I decided to participate alone and create a game on my own. With the help of an online game idea generator, I settled on the concept of a black and white shooter in somebody’s imagination, which quickly changed into a cyberpunk styled arcade shooter as development progressed.

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Molydeux Game Jam 2012

Amidst all the university related work I have to do, I also participated in a worldwide event called the Molydeux Game Jam. This event is similar to a game jam, in the sense that participants must create a game in 48 hours. However, this particular game jam had a special twist, since the game idea had to be based on one of the tweets by @petermolydeux, an account on Twitter parodying the famous game designer Peter Molydeux. The parody account is known for posting outrageous game ideas. A few examples are given on the Tumblr that Molydeux himself set up.

I decided to create a game called Zâmbesti. The word is Romanian, and it means smile. The game was based around this particular tweet from Molydeux:

“Imagine living in a world where all anyone can do is hurt each other. You on the other hand, your only ability is to hug those around you.”

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Colours and Sound

Upon hearing about an exhibition about Generative Design at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, and knowing that I want to take my Master’s thesis in the direction of sound generation, I became interested to see what the exhibition had to offer.

The exhibition was very small and informal, and this allowed us to speak to the people who were behind the project itself. One project that I found interesting was Momo‘s project, which allowed people to use a dropper to put colours on a slide. A camera above the slide picked up the size and position of the colour droplets and the computer interpreted this input as sound. This allowed people to create music by spacing out the coloured drops appropriately. The other interesting project was Andrew‘s project, which allowed the user to record a sound and then interpret the sound wave as different shaped circles.  The circles could then be printed out and one could physically build the sound wave.

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Game Spaces, Maltese Places

Yesterday, I attended an amazing session about social spaces for games by Kunal Gupta from Babycastles, as well as an awesome game session involving Hokra and J. S. Joust by Doug Wilson. But before I go into an interesting discussion about what Kunal Gupta presented and how I think it is highly relevant to Malta, I’d like to mention what I’m up to so far during the second semester.

Semester 2 has started at ITU, and I’m already extremely busy. I guess that’s partly my fault though, since I’ve decided to assign myself twice the workload. Apart from the 3 courses I’m meant to be taking this year, which I will explain later, I’m also continuing work on Sun Valve,  the game that I made last semester in a team for the Game Design course, as well as continuing work on Mussades, the game that I made in another team during the Nordic Gam Jam 2o12. I’m also starting the second module of Danish lessons, which means that I should be kept very busy this coming semester.

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Nordic Game Jam 2012

NGJ12 BraceletI attended the 2012 edition of the Nordic Game Jam at the IT University of Copenhagen from the 27th to the 29th of  January. I was helping out during the organization of the Nordic Game Jam, as well as volunteering and jamming during the actual event. This meant that I attended organization meetings from as early as October in order to discuss how to best organize such a large event. I was also assigned shifts for helping out in the preparation of meals and in the kitchen, as well as actually participating in the Game Jam by creating a game.

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Second Semester at ITU

The first semester at ITU has quickly come and gone, and I’ve settled down fairly easily and gotten used to the Danish way of thinking. The IT University has kept me really busy, and I will explain why in a moment, hence the sudden lack of blog posts from my end.

Among all the parties and celebrations that inevitably occur along the way during the semester, there were some interesting and exciting events that occured, as well as lots of work to do.

Game Design

Sun Valve

As well as all the reading we had to do for Games Design, we also had to form groups and work on a small game. Although I had the initial idea of leading my own team, I quickly scrapped that idea since there was another team that was lacking programmers, and I joined them.

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Back to Work (And Lots Of It)

Almost two weeks have passed since my last post, and for good reason too. Here at the IT University of Copenhagen, we officially started lectures on the 29th of August, and were immediately loaded with loads of work to do.

Looking at the timetable, and coming from a background where I had loads of lectures at the University, you wouldn’t have thought that it could possibly get this busy. Just 20 hours of lectures a week, that doesn’t sound too bad.

Game Design however, thought otherwise. Apart from assignments that are given every lecture (usually for the next corresponding lecture), we also had to prepare reading as a background to the following lecture. And don’t think that the reading consisted of reviews for upcoming games, oh no. Engaging academic papers, sometimes naming loads of philosophers, psychologists and sociologists that all discussed games from an academic perspective, as well as several books. The average is around 3 papers and a book chapter for the following lecture, and the content isn’t an easy read either.

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Introduction Week at ITU

Foam Dice
Foam Dice

This week was the introduction week at the IT University of Copenhagen. I was a little nervous, since not only was it a new experience and a new setting in a completely different country, but also because I knew absolutely no-one.

Tuesday was an introductory day dedicated to all international students. Although I didn’t know anybody, I felt that it was easy to just sit down and talk to people. After an introduction to studying in Denmark and the way the system is organized, we were taken by boat to Nyhavn, and then walked to a restaurant in the Kongens Nytorv area, where we had dinner generously paid for by the university. Here, I spent the rest of the evening talking to 3 Italians, a Spaniard, several Romanians, and an Icelandic girl. I also met a German guy who I had been speaking to, since we had been trying to look for an apartment together, and I met a Belgian guy whose blog I had also been following.

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The Lodging Problem

Here’s my story of how I, as a Masters student, found lodging in Copenhagen. Your mileage may vary, of course.

As soon as I got my acceptance letter from the IT University of Copenhagen, I instantly decided to start looking for lodging, since I had heard how difficult it is to find.

Initially, I browsed Craigslist in the hopes of finding a suitable apartment or a room that could be rented. However, the only replies I got back were scams (usually from a Nigerian missionary who could not show me the apartment, but was willing to send me the keys to a very cheap flat in the city centre, if only I could send him some money as a deposit to prove that I was not wasting his time). I was later informed that the Danes do not usually use Craigslist anyway.

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