Articles Tagged with: video games
Let Frederik Becker tour you through Aalborg

Okay… I’m here to chew bubblegum and provide YOU with a guide of all the wonders of Aalborg (or at least the gaming related, nerdy-type stuff), AND I’m all out of bubblegum! (You know it’s going to be good when it starts with a quote from a movie).

But no more funny-business, let’s get down to the nitty gritty… Because foretold in legends, spoken of in myths, long sought but never found, is the coming of something more. Something great. Something Game Scope.

“Game Scope is an event that gathers developers and gamers all together in what is Denmark’s biggest Games Festival”—see that’s already an excellent start, isn’t it? And to add to it, it’s completely free! So, you are coming? Good! Here are some of the things you can do while visiting! So, with no further ado, let me present, a gamer’s guide to Aalborg!

Let’s begin with the Utzon Center. The Utzon Center is a place known for conveying of present-day architectural trends mixed with the technology of today. So, if you love creativity, why not come visit and be inspired? Another place to visit is Planetstien ( Borgmester Jørgensens Vej 13) , where you’re able to walk among the planets? Planetstien presents a scale model of our solar system.

Dice ‘N Drinks is our next stop where you’re able to enjoy a sip of beer, the, or chocolate along with your bests of friends, while also playing some of your favourite board games! They have everything from Classic Jenga to Dungeons and Dragons. But if Dice ‘N Drinks is booked, why not visit Aalborg Brætspilscafé instead? Same principles, same cosy “hygge” as any Dane would say it! However, if table top games aren’t really your thing, why not visit In-The-Matrix? In-The-Matrix is an internet café where you can play an array of great games by yourself or in the company of others!

By now everyone would be starving, right? And I’ve got something special on the menu! Magikarps and lots of them! Aalborg Street Food – The Lighthouse is a restaurant with tasty food, AND it’s next to a Magikarp spawn. The place was so amazing that people actually made bead art of a Magikarp and glued to a wall. The cleverer would perhaps also have noticed that Aalborg is a pretty big city. And if you’re like me, your mind would already have gone: “POKÉMON” by the second I told you that! And you’re right! In very close proximity to all the locations I’ve mentioned, are loads of Pokéstops and Gyms.

But hold your Pokéballs for a few more paragraphs!
Now you’ve had fun, played some games, gotten drinks… Soon your stay might be at its end. You might wonder, “why!”, “how!”, and that’s normal. But you don’t want to forget it all, you don’t want it to end! Right? You want something to remind you of your great visit. Why not swing by Læsehesten?

Læstehesten is only a short walk from Dice ‘N Drinks and Aalborg Brætspilscafé, and there you’re able to buy—wait for it—PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, NDs, 3Ds, and more of your favourite games. Further, they also have older games for the older consoles, some rare and some which you wouldn’t normally stumble upon… So, go be amazed!
But Læsehesten hasn’t only got games! “Wait it has more?” YES!—wait for it—they also have movies, DVDs and Blu-rays, comics, novels, toys, music, LPs and CDs… You can thank me later.
Well, I want to end with something amazing. Geeks Gone Wild. Even the name sounds cool enough to be awesome—and trust me, it’s only going to become more awesome! GGW  ( Willy Brandts Vej 31)  is a “computer club” in their own words. However, something that only started as a mutual interest in “net parties” and games, a mere club, became the biggsest LAN-party in North Jutland. They’ve now taken over Gigantium, and they have an event the 12th of January.

There. You won’t get a better ending to any guide about games than the biggest gaming event in North Jutland.
Now go catch Pokémons and play games!

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

Looking back at : Game Scope 2016

Game Scope 2017 is coming!

As we are approaching Game Scope 2017 and our teams are busy preparing the events, it is time to have a look back at what we achieved last year!

2016 was very special for us, because it was Game Scope’s first birthday. After months of planning, discussing and having volunteers run around, Game Scope opened it’s doors for the first time in August last year and turned into the biggest game festival in Denmark.

The event was a huge success, gathering more than 4000 gamers, fans and developers from all over Scandinavia! Last year’s guests could enjoy  four days of talks, workshops, exhibitions, a science conference, our very own award show and, most importantly, each other’s company. Many used the opportunity to network, receive feedback on their ideas or just talk about what we all love – games.

gamers, fans and developers

Who was there last year?

In 2016 Game Scope hosted talks from Scott Miller and Josh Olin (3D Realms), Allan Lønskov (Funday Factory), Mette Andersen (Io-Interactive) and others. Our guest speakers talked about  game development, branding, publishing and level design. Popular as the talks were, this year we are prepared to handle the increasing number of people interested to hear our speakers. Follow us online for more news on who will be at Game Scope 2017!

Of course, as a game festival, Game Scope could not be successful without Denmark’s favorite Jakob Stegelmann. Last year, our guests had a chance to participate in an exclusive Game Scope live episode of Troldspejlet! Absolute favorite event, Troldspejlet’s fans had to line up waiting to get in to show.

Workshops and science 

What would a game festival be without workshops on game-making! That’s why, last year we decided to launch two very successful workshops for those who wanted to get some hands-on experience with making a game from scratch in Unity or with Pixel Art, for example. All workshops were beginner friendly and focused on inspiring and teaching practical skills in game design in different environments.

For those interested in the science behind gaming, Game Scope offered its very own science conference. Researchers in the area of contemporary game theory and science presented their published papers on topics within gamification. This year Aalborg University is organizing another conference with the help of  Aalborg University’s brightest researchers.

And while 2016 was a true success for Game Scope, we are all excited about an even more successful event in 2017. With a new venue – Nordkraft – and a set of new surprises, we are looking forward to seeing both old and new faces. We will start revealing the lineup for this year soon, so follow us and don’t miss the big news!

Would you like to join the team as a volunteer and help us make the magic happen? Contact our Project Coordinator Stine Lund at sl@aalborg.dk for more information on our next volunteer meeting.

Enjoy your summer and

See you in Nordkraft on 17th!

Written by Gergana Dimitrova