Articles Tagged with: game scope 2017
Plai, a new kind of Steam

Plai is an innovative new PC game platform, aimed at those who value their time and money when it comes to buying PC games.

The system is based on the “rent-to-own” idea and will offer you the possibility to avoid paying for games you rarely play or outright never see again after buying them. With the Plai platform you pay by the hour while playing, until you reach the retail price. At that point the game has been paid off.

The project is ambitious and enters a market with few but strong competitors, such as Steam, GoG and Origin, but the team is positive that industry is ready for a change for the better. Still in development, Plai participated at Game Scope 2016 as exhibitors all four days and got good feedback from our visitors, other exhibitors and the investors. We are now looking forward to welcoming Plai to Game Scope 2017 and prepared an interview with them for Expo visitors and developers.

We had  Plai office visit together with PR crew volunteers to have a nice cup of coffee and talk a bit. 

Plai illustration

Tell us about yourself!

Frank: My name is Frank, and I am the CEO at Plai. I mainly play the business role, as I have lots of experience in entrepreneurship. I have been gaming for several years.

Tobias: My name is Tobias, and I have the CTO role in the company, which means I am the tech lead and also the person responsible for product development.

Peter: I am Peter, and my daily routine here is being a software developer. I am maintaining the product with Tobias, crunching code and being awesome.

Why did you decide to start Plai. You said you were frustrated with current situation with games?

Frank: Since I am older than these guys, I used to play totally different games than they do now. I didn’t play games for some years because I spent my time working and raising up my kids. They are a bit older now though, which means I have some spare time to get back to gaming.

For someone like me, there are clear issues with the gaming industry today, and that’s what we’re attempting to fix with Plai. I either had to spend my limited time reading reviews about a game, or take a gamble and buy a game without knowing if it was anything for me.

Tobias: There are so many games now. It can be difficult to navigate the marketplace and discover games that you’ll enjoy, if you don’t put in the time. Being able to spread out your gaming budget and try games for yourself without putting down lots money gives you more flexibility while still supporting all the game developers that provide you entertainment.

Peter: My angle on this is – I am a hardcore gamer. I have lot of games, but I hardly ever play like 90% of them. I don’t play these games, but I paid the full price for them. And it is frustrating, when you go and realize how much money you have thrown out.

What is the difference between Plai and Steam?

Tobias: Steam is a huge entity, and many see it as synonymous with PC gaming, us included. All of us at Plai have Steam accounts, and have had for a long time. Plai is our way of offering an alternative to what Steam does, for people who prefer to consume their games in another way than what the mainstream platforms offer.

Frank: The spirit of Plai is flexibility and simplicity. You can go directly into the shop, find the game you want, start playing it, and only pay for the time you have played. When you have played enough to reach the retail price of the game, you have paid it off. You can then play it freely, as you’re used to with other platforms.

Is it both benefitial to customers and the developers, that people just don’t refund them on instant?

Tobias: Refunds are obviously an essential part of taking care of your customers. We feel, however, that Pay-as-you-Play is a much more sustainable way of doing “try-before-you-buy” than doing full refunds. The game developers will get paid, and you didn’t spend all your money on a game that wasn’t your cup of tea.

When we attended E3 in Los Angeles this year, we had the opportunity to talk to lots of publishers and game developers who were on board with Pay-as-you-Play. They’ll be able to expose their games to a whole new group of gamers who would love to play them, but aren’t willing to buy them at retail price.

We were following your journey to E3. What was your general impression of E3?

Peter: It was huge for us to go to E3. We talked to lots of people, and were amazed at the size and spectacle of the show. Although the “old timers” told us that compared to previous years, this show wasn’t that big. But for us it was.

I can magine the lines to try out the games and products…

Frank: Yes, we would have loved to try some of the games, but we had meetings, so we weren’t prepared to spend 3 hours in the queue to play for 20 minutes. Also, this was the first year when the show was totally open to the public, so the lines were even longer than previous years.

Have you got any interesting deals or insights on E3?

Frank: We went there with no expectations. We had some meetings with publishers, and they were actually pretty excited about Plai. We got some pretty neat deals with some medium to large sized publishers. Nothing is signed yet, but they were all happy to do business with us. We were really surprised at how little effort it took to get the publishers on board.

Have you met some people who are there purely for business, that don’t make games, but just sell them?

Peter: All the people we met at E3 are very passionate about gaming, and that’s what makes this industry so awesome! We didn’t meet anybody that didn’t seem interested in gaming and only interested in doing business.

You were at Game Scope last year, was it to try out the waters?

Peter: We went there with a proof-of-concept version of the platform, so we could ask people for feedback, and gauge the interest level. We got a lot of valuable honest feedback. We learned a lot about who would benefit from using Plai, and how we can make improve their gaming experience.

Are you excited to visit GameScope once again?

Frank: Of course we are excited to go to Game Scope again! It was the first event we ever attended with Plai, and from what I can see, you have expanded the show a lot! We are looking forward to meeting people from the Danish gaming industry.

One of PR Crew volunteers, Pavel, had very good questions to Plai so we decided to include them in this post.

I am one of the guys whose budget is usually somewhere around 0. So imagine I am playing a game, and I defeated a difficult boss, and my credit on Plai reached 0, and my last save was half an hour ago. What happens?

Tobias: You keep going. Right now we are experimenting with different approaches, but at the moment, your credit balance will just go negative, and then you will have to top it up.

Peter: If your credit goes negative, you’ll have to top it up to start the game again once you close it, but we never take control away from the player.

What stops me from having the PC just being on all the time?

Peter: Your balance will keep going negative. As it is now, when you sign up, you pair your account with your credit card, same as if you would pay your phone bill.

How is it pricing model is going to be? Some games take long time to finish, but they aren’t more enjoyable than other – shorter games?

Peter: For now, it is up to the publishers and developers to decide what the hourly rate for each game should be, but the more information we get about how people use the system, the better guidelines we can set, and help developers decide an optimal price point.

So for now you are letting the free market to decide?

Tobias: For now – yes. We want game prices that are good for both consumers and the publishers alike.

Thank you for your answers! Be sure to check out Plai booth at Game Scope 2017!

Photos made by Ervins Trans

Intro text and questions prepared for interview by Gergana Dimitrova

Interviewer Valerija Trane

Illustration by Slavomir Baca

eSports – a growing entertainment channel

Young people at the age of 12-35, men and women, boys and girls, are becoming more and more interested in eSports and gaming.

With more than 600,000 Danes watching eSports, the platform has grown to become one of the main channels for entertainment today.

In the digital world that we live in, and with the new ways of being social, it is only natural that a platform such as eSports has taken a hold amongst young men and women.

Since it offers the opportunity for people to combine their interests in games with the social interaction among a large group of people with shared interests, eSports has created an enormous and global community.

The trend started back in the 90’s where the offline events and LAN parties was where they met to form a social bond. But with today’s technology, the world has become smaller as people are defying the geographical boundaries and are increasingly finding their social group online.

This evolution of gaming has led to a serious growth in the number of gamers, viewers and investments from companies especially.

Just like one former generation idolized Rock & Roll and Elvis and the next one loved football and Messi, this generation has grown up in a digital world where they can even interact with the role models that they have in eSports.

Sponsoring eSports is therefore a way for companies to not merely have people see their logo, but to become supporters of an idol or an experience that their target group is extremely passionate about.

With opportunities both offline and online, eSport marketing provides a non-invasive yet direct channel to a target group that is extremely loyal to the companies who succeed in branding themselves in eSports.

This young target group has a filter that detects and eliminates the noise from any traditional marketing such as TV-ads, pop-ups etc.

Through the interactive marketing in eSports the younger generations barrier to advertising is broken through and companies can create relations with their target group.

At Saturday 19th of August in Skråen foyer Go Esport is holding a talk about how to earn money in eSport 

Written by Mikkel Golding Faaborg from Go-eSport

Photo with controller by Olichel Adamovich

Photo with crowd by Jakob Wells

Bedtime Digital games: amazing office with amazing minds

Bedtime Digital Games are one of the most known and respected game developers in Denmark. Their student project grew into well-known game Back to Bed 3 years ago, was translated into 9 languages, was top downloaded game amongst different platforms and has unique art style reminiscent of paintings of Dali.

Now the studio is at the stage of finalizing production on their game Figment – a beautiful surrealistic experience with music and game sounds that are an essential part of the gameplay. Visitors of Game Scope Expo 2017 will be able to experience it themselves before the game goes out on Steam and other platforms.

To accommodate all staff Bedtime Digital Games switched locations a few times in the last few years, though all offices were located in Aalborg.

Bedtime Digital Games gave a fair share of interviews and got asked all sorts of questions so instead of asking more questions we decided on an office tour and just to have a chit chat with lovely Emelie Mavel and later on Jonas Byrresen.

Right now they are located in one of the old houses at Ved Stranden where they are renting a quite charming loft space. To get there you will have to take stairs up and that is a quite a workout already. At the entrance to the office, before opening the door, there are a lot of shoes and coat stand for visitors and members of the studio which already gave an impression like we were entering flat rather than the office. Inside we were greeted by producer of Bedtime Digital Games Emilie and she showed us around.

The office is right under the roof and has two levels of open working space. Later on, we were told that currently there are two teams working on two projects, one of which is Figment and another one will be announced quite soon. Each team occupies their own level and then if a person is transferred to another team, they move to the level their team is on. Entrance is located on the second level and right next to it is small and cozy meeting room where Bedtime Digital Games has meetings with visitors. Behind the open working space, there is a small project meeting room with the impressive white board covered in colorful sticky notes that seem to be easiest and most useful way of buzzing ideas and plans.

Stairs to the first level have some Back to Bed artwork on the walls, as a reminder of the first successful project. Figment level has more people than the other projects and people are working hard on polishing the game. At this point, the game is at bug tracking and fixing stage, so everyone is focused and very busy. Some desks on both floors are empty, but not as much as you would expect during Danish vacation season. No one is held there against their will, studio members are very against people overworking themselves because that not only negatively influences studio culture, but in the end, there is very little gain from it.

Here is where we met lead Game Designer & Co-Founder Jonas Byrrensen who joined us on our little office tour and was a very engaging in conversation. While having a nice chit chat we were shown a big blue sofa with consoles where on Fridays studio members play games not only for entertainment but also for research purposes. It does look like once a game developer – always a game developer.

Another notable part of this level is the dining area which is a big long table for all members to sit together at and enjoy a meal. A little fireplace close to has trophies and awards for Figment and Back to Bed on it. There is no wall of fame or place dedicated to trophies. Some awards are on the fireplace mentioned before, some on the window behind Jonas desk.

I couldn’t help but still ask Jonas few questions by the end of the visit before letting him and Emilie get back to work on their projects.

Do you have design manual or document for your games with unique style?

Jonas: We have a game design manual. But it is not as extended as it could be, I have all games details and development details in my head, so it is easy for me from the get go to give the reasoning behind some decisions or tell why a thing was done in that particular way. New interns and people who join project later seem to pick up the overall game direction by themselves. We are going to make extended design manual, it just seems there no need for it now.

A studio like yours are invited to different conventions, why did you decide to go to the yet not so well known Game Scope last year?

Jonas: I really like the idea of the convention that is about gaming culture in general. We already have big conventions like E3 that are about games only. Actually, me and Thomas ( editor’s note: Thomas Lykke Larsen – Game Scope project manager ) were the ones who came up with Game Scope festival idea. When he decided to go with this idea to Business Aalborg he invited me to the meeting as a game developer who would be pretty much interested in a festival like Game Scope.

You’ve been at different conventions around the world and I bet you answered this question many times, but let me ask again. What advice do you give to young game devs?

Jonas: Don’t work too much on your project. I mean Back to Bed was our student project. I would go back to change a lot of things and rework it. Situations like these are tricky, you can end up working on your game so long that instead of improving it, you are going to make something that is completely different from what you intended in the beginning.

I better let you back to work work. Thank you for your time, Emilie and Jonas!

We spent some time taking photos and talking a bit more before leaving, which was quite hard since the place and people were very hyggelige and seeing their work was quite mesmerizing.

Figment is going to be available at Game Scope 2017 expo grounds, the development team will be busy improving the game before release on Steam and Nintendo Switch, but they will find a time to attend our festival, which we do appreciate a lot!

Photos made by Ervins Trans

Text and interview by Valerija Trane

2nd studio: behind the scenes of KnightOut

2nd Studio is the Danish game development studio consisting of two core members: Nikki Starostka and  Dennis Jensen. They have worked on feature films as well as mass market games, crafted innovative visual experiences for games and films for clients like Disney, Logic Artists, Kiloo etc. At the moment they are crowdfunding their latest project KnightOut.

Will get you on the edge of the couch as you battle your best friend. How will you bring your soon to be ex friend to his knees? Use your strategic overview as you build your castle which defines half of the battlefield, a good defense is all you need, or master the sword and take him out in close combat.

We went to visit 2nd studio in the house to many Danish game startups Arsenalet, where we were welcomed by Nikki who was very kind and found a time to answer our questions.

Can you introduce yourself, and tell us about your role in the company?

I am the Creative Director and co-owner, so I have to wear a lot of hats and manage the company together with Dennis, but I try to focus most of my work on the creative vision of our projects.

So you are the guy who decides on the art direction of the game?

Yes, I come up with some ideas or suggestions about how something should look, not only art style, but also story wise. Actually, the roles  are really vague because we can overlap in many places. Dennis, for example, got the same education as me, so he knows how to make graphics and does it sometimes.

Where did you meet each other?

We met some time ago in Odense, Fyn. We only took the first part of our education, and after haven’t seen each other again for a couple of years, and then we met up here at The Animation Workshop and ended up in the same class!

Why you called your company “2nd Studio”?

There are lots of answers on that one. First of all – it sort of looks cool. Second – when we were discussing and defining all what company should stand for we visited a lot of workshops and courses. At one of them there was a talk with an artist, who was talking about the first Zelda game, and how upon completion of the game, you can do certain things to get to this whole other world, called “the 2nd quest”. It spoke to me and Dennis and we implemented that into our name. Also the N and D in “2nd ”  stand for Nikki and Dennis.

How do you feel about all the support you’ve got? Did you expect people to help you reach the goal and even go beyond?

We’ve put the goal pretty low at that point because we were a long way in already and would be able to finish the game. We’ve made it with the intention that we should have a certain chance to reach it. It was expected to reach it, but we were surprised it happened that early.

Did you have any sort of art inspiration during the development of the KnighOut?

It was very spontaneous, the whole process, actually. But I’ve had a lot of video games, a lot of fantasy games, so of course, it got inspired by them, unconsciously. In terms of an official main inspiration – there was none.

Can you say your love for LEGO inspired the way game looks?

Yes, not so much in the visuals, but more in the gameplay.

How you came up with the idea to develop for Nintendo Switch?

We had the concept, that it should be very simple, it should not be too crowded on the screen, as well, when you are playing together, you don’t have to have the split screen or anything. It made sense to put it on the SWITCH, and we could keep the specific ideas or ideals of the game.

Why did you decide to go for crowdfunding in general?

Actually we weren’t considering crowdfunding. After our last campaign with Jazon and the Dead concluded, we thought ” the next thing we are making, we are not going to depend on funding “. The whole idea was that it should be something that we can make ourselves, without being dependant on anything from the outside. But then, we’ve made a prototype,polished it, and made an update on our previous campaign, so people could sign up for the newsletter and so on… And the guys from FIG, the crowdfunding platform contacted us and said asked if we would like to put KnightOut on the platform.

So you were actually contacted by the crowdfunding platform?

Yes, they were the ones, they came out with this idea of having us on their platform again! And that made us think this might just speed up the whole process, otherwise we would have to make a lot of small jobs to get the money, and this way – we could just complete it faster!

I can see you have a lot of Star Wars things here, but who is your favorite, the most liked character?

Aaaahh. I Think… I think… Maybe… yes, it probably carried along from when I was the little child, but since back then I was always thinking that Yoda was really cool.

Do you have a lightsaber?

No, but I was actually looking into buying one, but I haven’t had the money to do it because I want a really nice one, the one you can actually practice with. There is a site, ultra sabers, where they make really cool ones, with the sound effects as well, but you also can clash on them without breaking them.

Can you give an advice, for new developers, or for people who want to start developing games?

Keep it simple! It is better to do something simple, and you can always build on top of that.

Thanks for all the answers!
KnighOut crowdfunding campaign is up until 28th of July 2017. Please consider to support them!
Support

Text and interview by Valerija Trane

Photos made by Ervins Trans

Pictures and illustrations taken from KnightOut Fig campaign

Venue crew: The wizards of the space

As most festivals in Denmark, Game Scope is run by a team of dedicated volunteers. Gamers by heart and calling, our crew of more than 100 members works hard to bring you the best game festival! Our volunteers help with planning and marketing, wiring and setting up, greeting guests or helping speakers, and occasionally, with drinking all the beer. Divided into several crews, based on their skills and preferences, the members get to put their knowledge into practice and network with like-minded gamers. And because Game Scope is festival by fans and for fans, we decided to show you who is behind. Get to know the people of Game Scope in our Meet the Crew series!

So meet the Wizards of Space, Lords of the Nordkraft Realm, Masters of Blueprints and Planning – the Venue crew.

A small team of about 7 people, the Venue crew is one of the Game Scope core teams. They are responsible for making floor plans to align with safety rules and to make the place friendly for people with special needs. Before even making the plan, the team takes detailed measurements of the venue, to ensure a perfect setup.

They plan how the Exposé area of Game Scope is going to look like too. Their domain of work is Kedelhallen at Nordkraft, where different game companies and developers are coming to show what they are working on.

The Venue teams is also responsible for the placement of banners, beach flags and any additional festival equipment, which can guide visitors throughout the event. They also set up light and sound, tables, chairs and such.

It is the Venue team’s role to make sure everything looks nice and dandy at the festival.

Who are the people behind the Game Scope venue planning and setting up? We asked (kindly…sort of) them some questions!

  • Name: Kasper Olesen
  • Education: Just finished Datamatiker at UCN
  • Status: Kasper is looking for a new job!
  • Role and skills: Planning Sage

“I have experience with making games and helped with Game Scope 2016.”

  • Name: Lærke Rønn
  • Education: Right now I am taking my masters in cultural communication at Aalborg University, over the last three years I have worked with different events, such as AaMaze, Aalborg Pride, Sind festivals and Game Scope of course.
  • Role: Master Planner

“It is my second time on the venue team, my main job is to make plans over, how the Exposé area is going to look like with my fellow teammates. That involves a lot of measuring and making sure that special needs from the different companies is met. I am also the one who writes a lot in the venue fb group about meetings. I know people love me for that!”

  • Name:Vaidas Jokubauskis
  • Education: Graduated Export Sales and Technology Management at UCN
  • Role: Lord of Safe Planning

“I am the guy who nags about safety during meetings, as it is my role this year is to ensure everyone is safe.”

Why are you volunteering at Game Scope?

Kasper: It’s very nice for Denmark, not to mention Aalborg, to have a computer game festival, so I want both to be part of it, and help make it possible.

Lærke: I have a big passion for games and gaming culture. Plus Game Scope is awesome, with the different companie that are presenting their work to the festival. Plus it is so great to see a festival as Game Scope in Aalborg, it is a festival you must not miss. We always have a lot of fun!

Vaidas: Its very nice for Denmark, not to mention Aalborg, to have a computer game festival, so I want both to be part of it, and help make it possible.

What does it mean for you to volunteer?

Kasper: To help making Game Scope happen in the ways I can.

Lærke: It means getting to work with new things, that you have never tried before gaining experience from that and evolving as a person. To get out of your comfort zone and try new things plus your are meeting a lot of great people while working as a volunteer!

Vaidas: It means that I can be part of something interesting that allows my problem-solving skills to tingle.

Have you been to Game Scope 2016? How was the experience for you?

Kasper: Game Scope 2016 was great 🙂 🙂

Læerke: I worked with the venue group there too. It was an amazing experience for sure.

Vaidas: I was not part of the volunteers, but I did attend with one of the game developers, all I can say that the event was sizzling.

What did you learn from last year?

Kasper: Expect that all the plans will likely have to be redone more than once.

Lærke: I learned that it took a team to keep everything going smooth, that even if you have to work as a volunteer you can have fun too, plus all the free pizza was great.

Vaidas: Expect the unexpected.

Why have you chosen to participate in the venue team?

Kasper: What I am most excited about at Game Scope is all the game developers exhibiting their games, both indie and non-indie, and being a game developer myself, although just as a hobby for now, it’s a good learning experience to be here and help with this.

Lærke: Because I can gain a lot of experience from working with venue staff that can help me in a future job or project. It is my dream to keep working with stuff like this, since I have a lot of fun with it and the satisfaction of seeing a job, well done when the festival start, it is amazing.

Vaidas: It was the most relatable as I volunteered before in the Asia Food Festival as safety and maintenance. Plus the tasks, in general, seemed to have a challenging aspect and would allow trouble solving opportunities that I enjoy.

What is it like to work in the venue team?

Kasper: It’s fun and you learn new things.

Lærke: Amazing, you get to know different people and create friendships. Plus you get to work with how everything is going to look like to Game Scope Festival. That is pretty sweet!

Vaidas: A lot of scheduling. People are always doing something! Having a meeting sometimes requires a lot of logistics and time management.

What are you preparing for us?

Kasper: Not much right now. Well… a computer game, but that is not as part of the venue team. I am mainly giving my input and suggestions, when we talk about ideas and trying to find solutions to what we are doing.

Lærke: A lot of fun stuff! This years festival is going to be amazing and should not miss it. I can’t say too much right now but be ready for august and make sure to have your inner nerd ready for the 17th to 19th of august!

Vaidas: As the venue crew, we are preparing a safe and enjoyable environment for our guests and best experience for our participant developers.

We hope you enjoyed our interview! If you want to become a part of the volunteer team be sure to check out our volunteer sign up page!

Become a volunteer

Photos of the Nordkraft made by Ervins Trans

Written by Gergana Dimitrova 

Illustrations made by Nguyen Anh Nguyet

Spearhead Nordic: invisible part of the expo

Spearhead Nordic is an active participant on the Danish game development scene and aims to help creators to showcase their products. They will be present at Game Scope 2017 Expo, but instead of having a booth, they will scouting the expo floor. We let them take over our blog this week, let’s see what they have in store for us! 

Hi, and thank you for dropping by! We are Spearhead Nordic, the home of the very best Scandinavia has to offer when it comes to animation, games and entertainment.

We are digital platform designed to grant Nordic developers a bigger international reach and audience. We do this by functioning as a news portal, social media network, a professional network and much more. We are not even 1 year old yet, but our digital influence seems to be already reaching far and wide, especially in the Nordic countries. And, we are not slowing down any time soon.

So, some quick practical notes. Do you have a cool project you would like us to pay attention to? Well, send it our way and let us add it to our Nordic Highlights!

Do you want to meet and greet with other Nordic developers online? Then join our Discord Network!

And lastly, we also offer extensive marketing and promotion services, allowing developers to focus on what they do best. If that sounds interesting to you, then should just keep scrolling. No matter what, you should keep scrolling, as we have left a parting gift by the end of all our ramblings.

What should you know about our Spearhead Nordic services?

Well, we pride ourselves on the use of authentic marketing.If you are only going online to spam your content without regard for other people, you sadly won’t garner nearly the amount of success you could obtain under more professional standard.

We here at Spearhead Nordic believe in the use of authentic marketing and that is what we will be practicing. Engagement is built on emotion. Building a brand is, in other words, the skill of building real long-lasting relationships between you and your audience.

A sin many other professional advertising companies commits is that they forget to act human. In their quest to prove they are best at everything, they fail to understand the basic human need to be understood and related to. How can you relate to anyone if you are walking around with your head in the clouds? Your audience is pressing “Come down here and connect with us on a personal level!” That is what we do at Spearhead Nordic, and the results so far have been great.

So, if you are looking for:
– A creative partner in crime.
– Someone you can collaborate with, eye-to-eye.
– A person to take care of your marketing/promotion.
– Someone to help you build a community/fanbase.
– Improved international reach and influence marketing.
– Someone to carry your project to new heights.

Then do not hesitate, contact us today! Alternatively, visit our website for all the tasty details.

And before we part ways, here is a little gift. The gift of knowledge!

Spearhead Nordic has at this point produced a series of articles called “Create a strong promotion platform.” So, if you want to improve the marketing potential of your current creative production, maybe before heading to Game Scope, you should give them a read. The content of these articles will make you a marketing master in no time!

Here, let me give you the links!

We can´t wait to meet you all at Game Scope, especially seeing how we had such a blast last year! All the love from

Rasmus F. Jensen
Founder of Spearhead Nordic.
Mind Bulb: using Game Scope as testing playground

It’s been almost 10 years now since ‘Flights of Fancington’, the all-time best soap opera show, went off the air and yet to this day the war still rages on amongst the fanbase over the most important question of the century: Which character was the fanciest?  

Mind Bulb continue to work on their game SOPARA. In this game, you get to play as the elite of Fancy Town and fight your friends in the style of the grandest of soap operas. We sat down for a cup of coffee and a small interview with creators of the game Anders L. Christensen and Mads Reedtz.

Before we start on asking about SOAPRA, I want to ask you, how you met each other?

Mads: We met each other quite a few years ago in high school.
Anders: We had similar friends and as they started to move away to different places for studies and schools. Mads and I were only one left in Aalborg.

Quite expected question for people like you, but what was the first tabletop you fell in love with?

Mads: For me, that game would always be Munchkin.
Anders: * very conflicted what to choose* Munchkin is sorta to go answer, but I will simply choose other game, just because. That game for me would be Pandemic. It’s wonderfully designed and I can create a big list of great things in this game.

Why did you decide to create a tabletop game in the first place?

Anders: Because we are too incompetent to make a video game *chuckles*.
Mads: Well it was an old dream of mine since I was a kid to design computer games, but as I grew older I realized that is not going to be my niche. But I had a very mechanically geared mind to create games rules and concepts, so tabletop came out as a natural choice.

So Ander’s story comes from being incompetent and Mads from wanting to make games as a kid?

Anders: No! For me it comes a bit from an academic place, I learned to make games and got accepted for the semester in DADIU ( The National Academy of Digital Interactive Entertainment ). What really fascinated me about tabletop games that mechanics tell the story.

You came up with this really interesting concept of the tabletop SOAPRA. Was it a result of trying to make different board games or it was a solid idea from day one?

Mads: SOAPRA was born on my internship at Dragon’s Lair. It is a great place to get inspired, board games everywhere and a lot of nerd gear. I thought I want to make a game where you play another player as much as you play the game. I couldn’t tell why it had to be set up in soap opera, but Looking back it seems like an obvious choice. What frame of reference will people in the 20th century have where you always to be mean to each other and lie to each other.

How you introduced an idea to Anders?


Anders: I am not sure if it was same day or a day after
Mads: As a Mind Bulb Games, before we even had this name, we developed quite a few games and had roleplaying game in the works. Since all projects looked big and ambitious, we decided to go with something of smaller scale and chose to work on SOAPRA. It has a target audience and development process seemed to be faster than it actually came out to be later.

What came first: SOAPRA or Mind Bulb (studio name)?

Anders, Mads : Mind Bulb!

Why you chose British family instead of going with stereotypical Spanish/ Italian family from soap operas?

Mads: I honestly think it’s my fault. When I think of excessive wealth, I don’t think about someone smart like Bill Gates, I think of some old pompous British family. And in my head it just seemed to fit the idea more.

What can you say about Game Scope experience last year?

Anders: We didn’t expect people to receive our game so well and all Game Scope staff was really nice and accommodating, the crew just did it’s best. It was overwhelming since we had first play test of updated edition 2 days prior Game Scope. The experience was phenomenal. Even though we presented a prototype, no one looked down at us. And we got a lot of feedback which will go on the edition you available to test out at the Game Scope Expo 2017.

Are you going to prepare in advance this year?

Mads, Anders: Definitely! We want to have play test a month before the event. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for that.

Thank you for your answers!

Be sure to follow Mind Bulb’s game SOAPRA  Facebook page to receive updates about the game’s development.

Photos made by Ervins Trans

Text and interview by Valerija Trane

Dice ‘n Drinks: Not your regular café

When we say we love games, we mean all of them. And what better way to celebrate them, than having our own Tabletop Cafe Zone at Game Scope, where you can enjoy board games at your leisure, while sipping on a cup of coffee! And guess who is joining us for a second year in a row? That’s right, the Dice ‘n Drinks board game café will be participating at Game Scope 2017!

Dice ‘n Drinks is Aalborg’s hottest geeky café! With more than 500 free-to-play games and dedicated volunteers to help you choose a game and explain the rules, you can spend a whole day in their hygge two-story setting in the very center of the city. They can offer you not only a wide variety of tabletop games – from chess and trivia games, to very advanced games, such as Twilight Imperium, but you can also check their wide variety of delicious coffee, tea, cacao and of course, munchies like nachos and popcorn. Don’t forget to try their local beer from the Thisted Bryghus brewery or the æblemost from Frugthaven in Skørping. The cafe also has a small collaboration sustainability project with 1000fryd ( local social event center and concert venue) – Take a plant – where visitors of cafe are encouraged to take with them free plant in pot.

Last year at Game Scope, Dice ‘n Drinks offered our visitors a retreat on the 2nd floor, with tons of games, drinks and hygge.

 

We met with the founder of café, Thor Rasmussen, and asked him few questions about Dice ‘n Dinks,  tabletop games in general and Game Scope

How did you come up with the tabletop café idea?

It has been in my mind for a long time. I have children and I didn’t want to go back looking for a teaching job after paternity leave, so we started this café.

Is there any story behind the name of the café? Usually tabletop café have the word “tabletop” or “brætspil” in them?

No, we were just wondering what types of names would work and suit the place. I liked the rhythm, plus the abbreviation of D’n’D ( Dungeons & Dragons ). I actually didn’t realize the abbreviation till a couple of weeks after I came up with the name.

Do you have any favorite tabletop game?

There are a lot, depending on my mood, but I always return to Pandemic and other co-op games. Worker placement games like Lords of Waterdeep rank very high as well.

Is there any game, maybe your first one, that sparked the love towards tabletop games?

Yeah, that would be Dominion, a deck building game.

Is there a big difference in hosting a tabletop session in the cafe and at events like Game Scope?

We divided it last year, I was managing café mostly, but my clear impression was you have to be much more spot on, because people didn’t come for us, they came for computer games. And if they came to us, they wanted to know what type of things we had and what it was, so we had only one minute to pitch and get the idea to get them focused.

Did you like the exhibitors at Game Scope?

Yeah, just like all of the stands at Game Scope last year, you have to be very precise. I remember seeing five or six very exciting stands and then I went past very fast. So it would be same about us.

You were a part of Game Scope last year and are participating this year too. Is there any game you wouldn’t take with you?

I would turn difficult and heavy games way down. The important thing for Game Scope is to be able to play a fast paced game, just take a break from computer games and see there is also this type of games. For that, you need a fast paced game, such as Love Letter, Spyfall, Codenames, Ticket to Ride, Pandemic or Catan. I would only bring the heavier stuff if we are planning an event, but we do plan to bring one of the newest popular games –  Deception.

What type of people stopped by at the tabletop cafe last year?

Those were primarily students. We also had some families stopping by.

Last question. Your cafe name is Dice’n’Drinks. Do you have a drink of choice for tabletop sessions?

I prefer beer, but if it should be anything else that good glass of whiskey or rum.

Thank you for your time and answers!

You are welcome.

 

We can’t wait to see what Dice ‘n Drinks are bringing with them this year. We do know that there would be more than 200 games for you to check out at Game Scope!

If you are new to tabletop games, check out some of Dice ‘n Drinks’ summer events, such as their beer tasting event with Real Drinks at 19.30 on 27th June 2017. You can sign up for it here. The café organizes Warewolf sessions every second week and the team is starting preparations for their summer 2017 board game party! Follow their facebook page for more details on the upcoming events!

Photos made by Ervins Trans

Interview by Valerija Trane

Pixel Art workshop is back!

We love games and we certainly do love pixel art games! There is something very charming and nostalgic about this type of art and the stable number of popular pixel art games on the market is speaking for itself. Cheap, easy to learn and popular as an art style, pixel art has always been one of our top choices for a workshop at Game Scope!

Pixel Hunt 2016

Led by Ivan Nikolov – a PhD in vision and graphics from Aalborg University – the workshop last year was a huge success among everyone, who wanted to learn something new and put their hands on actually making sprites for their future games. With more than 30 participants, the Pixel Art workshop was one of the most popular Game Scope 2016 activities and attracted both new and experienced visitors, because you can learn where to start from on the spot, without the need to spend time at home, trying to figure out some complicated software or drawing technique.

Those who attended the three-hour workshop last year had the chance to learn a bit about the history of pixel art, its development and basic work techniques, such as resizing and formatting. After the basics, the participants had to make characters and weapons of their own design, some of which you would be able to see on the pixel art workshop facebook group.

At Game Scope we believe that teaching practical skills is very important for the development of new talents. This is why, due to your popular requests, the Pixel Art workshop will be returning in 2017 too!

Pixel Art 2017

BIGGER, BETTER and more EXCITING, the Pixel Art workshop of 2017 will focus a lot more on gaining hands-on experience and practicing your design skills. As an expert in graphics and with vast knowledge on game design, Ivan has always been passionate about pixel art, as a suitable means to create a professional game. This year he would love to teach you more about how to work hard towards creating your game with low budget and little to no drawing skills. At Game Scope 2017’s Pixel Art workshop, you can learn how to make your game’s characters, monsters and weapons from scratch! This time we give you the freedom to choose your favorite pixel art program to work with. If you are wondering which program to use or want to learn something new, check out our suggestions of popular pixel art programs!

The workshop is suitable for both new and participants already familiar with it, as it will cover both the basics and new theories.

Come join the Pixel (art) Side! We don’t really have cookies, but we can teach you how to draw them!

Sign up for a free cookie-drawing lesson here! And remember, the number of participants is limited, so join as soon as possible!

 

Written by Gergana Dimitrova 

Pixel art illustrations by Ivan Nikolov