2012 Official SelectionTeknopants
0Space is a 2-4 player local multiplayer zero gravity death-match game with an acid sci-fi aesthetic. Players are armed with a powerful but slow-reloading gun (that can also be used as a propulsion device), a sword, and three grenades. Everybody must fight to be the last one standing – or floating!
//A Closed World
2012 NomineeSingapore–MIT GAMBIT Game LabSingapore
Have you ever been so frustrated, so fed up with where you are, that you just want to throw it all away and run off to somewhere new? In A Closed World you play
as a young person who has decided to do exactly that. This console RPG-like game puts you in the shoes of a young resident of a village just outside a forest that
everyone says is a place of no return. Supposedly home to hungering demons and a beast that would destroy the village, the forest is forbidden and nobody knows
what's on the other side. However, our hero's beloved -- tired of the oppressive attitude of the villagers -- decided to go there, as anywhere would be better than home.
Now it's your turn to follow after. Are you willing to risk everything to find out what's on the other side?
2012 Official SelectionTy TaylorUSA
Aatheuo (pronounced like “off-uh-you”) is a multiplayer tabletop game that combines aspects of Uno, Scrabble, and Rummy.
//Against The Wall
2012 Official SelectionMichael Paul ConsoliUSA
Against the Wall is a first-person puzzle-platformer set on the side of an infinite wall. Entire civilizations and ecosystems cling for survival on the side of the wall, everyone and everything existing under the constant threat of tumbling into an endless sky. The wall is made up of square white bricks of varying sizes. Players can pull these bricks out of the wall in order to form platforms, stairs, and paths. Players will encounter cities, forests, volcanoes, castles, and other environments in their journey through this strange world.
//Analogue: A Hate Story
Analogue: A Hate Story is a dark visual novel about about investigating a long-derelict generation ship by reading through its dead crew's logs, with the help of a pair
of spunky AI sidekicks. The player will read through dozens of diary entries that paint a portrait of life aboard the ship, engage in terminal hacking, and maybe even
discover friendship or romance with one of the two AIs over the course of the investigation.
2012 Award Winner: Game Design AwardAdaptation and additional game design by Eric Zimmerman, with graphic design research and reconstruction by John SharpUSA
Armada D6 is an unpublished board game with an unusual origin story. It is based on an obscure game-like ritual practice from the 1930s called “Armada Dei Gratia VI” (sixth armada from the
grace of god). In this way, Armada d6 is part historic reconstruction and part original game design. A strategy boardgame for 2-4 players, Armada d6 is about the conquest of space. Dice are
used as space ships, with each number a different type: for example, sixes are fast and agile scouts, ones are slow and powerful battlestations. Players use their ships’ abilities in clever combinations to create powerful gameplay effects. Gameplay maps are built from modular tiles and players can design their own map arrangements. The abstract and austere aesthetics of the
game are inspired by the original found materials.
2012 Official SelectionStrange FlavorUSA
BaraBariBall is a competitive sports game for two or four players. Score by dunking the ball in the water on the opposing team’s side, lose a point for falling into the water yourself. With an emphasis on aerial acrobatics, split-second decision-making and mind-games, BBB has been described as “that perfect mix of pixel elegance and stellar fluid motion, like watching basketball through mosaic sunglasses”. (Marc Weidenbaum, Disquiet)
//Beat Sneak Bandit
RHYTHM. STEALTH. PUZZLE. When all the clocks in the world are stolen by Duke Clockface and the world is in chaos, it'll be up to the Beat Sneak Bandit to steal them back!
Rhythmadelic controls: Everything in this game moves rhythmically, just like the simple controls: Tap to the beat to sneak!
Stealthalicious gameplay: Sneak past patrolling guards, security lights, trapdoors and all the other freaky stuff and contraptions the creepy
Duke's got in store for you!
Puzzletastic levels: Watch, listen and learn the rhythm patterns to figure out how to solve all of the sneaky puzzles!
2012 Official SelectionTale of TalesBelgium
There’s a man on T. Beach. Or a woman. I don’t know. I’ll decide later. The man is alone. There is wind. Wind and waves and sky. And the man. Or the woman. He closes his eyes: the glowing energy of machines. — What? This is not real! He opens his eyes. Looks around. And around again. Then he walks. Or she. And the gulls fly away. The beach is endless. Everything disappears, becomes fluid, becomes immense. We are lost in space. Looking for a man. Or a woman. To talk to. In French, if possible. Far away. Nearly summer.
2012 NomineeAaron Rasmussen & Michael T. Astolfi / USAUSA
BlindSide simulates the experience of waking up blind in a world filled with deadly monsters. Free from graphics and guided only by audio, you'll bump
against objects in the dark, slide along walls, and rely on your girlfriend to help you survive the monsters that now roam the streets. BlindSide melds the
iPhone's gyroscope and a pair of headphones into a uniquely immersive control scheme - simply turning to face a direction in the real world causes your in-game
character to do the same. Drawing on the memories of one co-creators' brush with temporary blindness, and real-world navigation tactics from the blind and visually
impaired community, BlindSide presents an opportunity for both sighted and visually impaired gamers to enjoy an identically fun and terrifying gameplay experience.
2012 NomineeRusty MoyherUSA
WARNING: HAND COLLISION IMMINENT — Bloop is a fast, frantic touch game for iPad designed by Rusty Moyher. Two, three, or four players race to tap the most
tiles...at the same time! Easy at first, but soon the tiles shrink. Hands collide. Fingers cross. Fireworks!
Each color plays a unique BLOOP sound. Hear your symphonic success or dissonant disaster. As players push their way to victory,
this onomatopoeic adventure becomes a hilarious party game.
2012 Award Winner: Story / World Design AwardAmanita DesignsCzech Republic
Botanicula is a point'n'click adventure game created by the makers of award-winning Machinarium, studio Amanita Design and Czech band DVA. It`s about a bunch of five friends - little tree creatures who set out for a journey to save the last seed from their home tree which is infested by evil parasites. We will help the main heroes to explore their world, solve various puzzles, play mini games, find tons of hidden bonuses and collect cards with all the characters we will meet on our journey. It's very relaxed game perfect for hardcore gamers, their partners, families and seniors.
2012 Official SelectionLotFP
Carcosa is a science-fantasy role-playing game setting with a sandbox approach: whether heroic or opportune, adventurers of all stripes will find freedom and consequence worth their mettle in a horrifying milieu mixing adventure fantasy, the Mythos, and comic book sci-fi with no punches pulled.
//Cards Against Humanity
2012 Official SelectionCards Against Humanity LLCUSA
Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people.
2012 NomineeRichard HofmeierUSA
Cart Life is a retail simulation for windows. This game combines common videogame devices with a mundane setting to examine the life of a street vendor.
2012 Official SelectionMango Down!The Netherlands
Catch-22 is a relaxing and frustrating one-button arcade game in which you have to evade yourself endlessly... You actively control one of the two orbs that are revolving around this Zen-like planet, and the other orb repeats your previous jumps. Your goal is to pick up ALL the coins when you take turns, and to avoid the other you (your ghost). When you do get all the coins you will switch control to your previous ghost, and you will now have to evade your own jumps from the previous turn. But as in real life you can't run away from your past, and your present self will inevitably crash into it. But in Catch-22 you are the only one to blame for it...
Chroma Shuffle is an abstract puzzle game that is played on Sifteo cubes. Arrange your cubes to match colors and clear out dots. Tilt a cube to shift and shuffle the dots. Clear out the cubes to solve dozens of puzzles, or form giant combos to rack up a high score in the arcade modes. Chroma Shuffle is an abstract video game with physical presence, an experience that can be shared in real-life social settings, as well as being played on one’s own.:
Blurring the lines between games and interactive art, Contre Jour welcomes you to a hauntingly beautiful world shaped by the interplay of light and darkness. Use your finger to morph the landscape, propelling the mysterious creature Petit to safety. Pull, swipe, and tap gadgets such as tendrils, air geysers, and pulleys to complete clever puzzles. Set to a poignant orchestrated soundtrack from composer David Ari Leon, Contre Jour both delights and bedevils from start to finish.
2012 Official SelectionDigital EelUSA
You are a Data Jammer, an elite virtual commando tasked with one purpose: Infiltrate the cybervaults of Ouroboros, the Military Industrial Complex's evil superdupercomputer, and take down The System! Data Jammers: FastForward is a continuously moving three dimensional driving and destruction game set within a retro wireframe world of impossible race tracks. Prowl twisting bitstreams amidst bizarre geometrical environments enhanced by otherworldly soundscapes as your nimble avatar encounters more dangerous denizens, hazards and boss guardians along the way!
//Dreams of Your Life
2012 NomineeHide & SeekUnited Kingdom
Dreams of Your Life is a thought-provoking and immersive browser-based experience, built as a response to the new documentary Dreams of a Life by Carol Morley. The film movingly pieces together the true story of thirty-eight year old Joyce Vincent, whose skeleton was discovered in her bedsit three years after she had died. Written by AL Kennedy, Dreams of Your Life is a darkly playful world that helps you think about the themes of the film by taking you through a conversation with a mysterious voice about your place in the world, and your relatedness to your social circle. The overriding comments indicate people are finding it provides a refreshing opportunity for contemplation and aesthetic appreciation, which is uncommon on the internet. We are proud to have tackled such a challenging task and feel that, like the film itself, the experience created is haunting, compassionate and inventive.
2012 Award Winner: Audio Design AwardRSBLSBUSA
Dyad will reveal to you the secrets of the universe via bright flashy colours and phat beatz. Dyad is a gamified tie dye machine. Dyad is an interactive mind altering substance absorbed through your thumbs, eyes and ears. Dyad is a tactical octopus action ballet in a reactive audio-visual tube.
2012 Official SelectionAuntie PixelanteUSA
An autobiographical game about my experiences as a trans woman undergoing hormone replacement therapy.
//European Rainbow Training
2012 Official SelectionKyle Patrick DwyerCanada
European Rainbow training is a 4 player TOJam game that forces players to rotate around a screen as their in-game gravity switches. fundamentally similar to musical chairs, the players race against each other to reach a hot spot. once the hot spot is full, everyone's gravity changes 90/180 degrees, forcing players to shuffle around the screen. The hot spot waits for less and less people as the game continues, and the screen eventually begins rotating.
2012 Official SelectionPeter VigeantUSA
One player is selected as Frogger, the lovable frog that is desperate to go home (again and again and again...). That player must sit on a giant bouncing ball and hop over the highway, over the river, and successfully land within one of the five safe zones within a short period of time. Other Froggers must land in unoccupied spaces in order to win and advance to a new level of difficulty. The highway is five lanes of doom and destruction! Each lane has between 1 and 3 "cars" (played by performing-players) that try to run down Frogger by only making forward progress to a synchronized beat. If tagged, Frogger loses a life and is out of the game. Once over the highway, Frogger must cross the river by staying on the five lanes of logs and turtles (indicated by performing-players with props). Should Frogger fail to stay in the safe areas, Frogger loses a life is out of the game! The final test is for Frogger to jump into one of the five safe zones beyond the final swamp lane. Each zone can only be used once during a round - and already used zones can mean death for Frogger. Beyond round 1, Frogger will encounter snakes, otters, and crocodiles that will present new peril along the way, in addition to more cars and less logs!
//Find Me A Good One
2012 NomineeAndy Wallace & Haitham EnnasrUSA
Find Me A Good One is a surreal puzzle platformer that explores responsibility felt by players towards non-playing fictional characters. In it, the player must explore a visually rich dreamscape to find dreams to fend off the nightmares encroaching on their brother or play with the toys offered up by the world. Although the brother in Find Me A Good One is clearly dependent on the player, it is up to her to decide how much she is or is not helping her sibling. Find Me A Good One allows the player to be diligent in her responsibility, or shirk it in order to further explore the dreamscape of the game. Because the system does not assign value to her actions, the player is left to judge her own actions and the effect they have on her virtual brother.
2012 Official SelectionBennett Foddy and Tim RogersUK, USA
Two noodly-armed gentlemen engage in a bout of fisticuffs on top of a mountain. Use a single button for punching, blocking punches, parrying and kicking the other dude square in the nuts. The winner is stands proud atop the cliff, the loser lies broken and disgraced in a ditch.
//FTL: Faster Than Light
2012 NomineeSubset GamesChina
FTL (Faster Than Light) is a spaceship simulation rogue-like game. Explore a randomly populated galaxy, hyper-space jumping over very long distances. Explore asteroid fields, rescue stations from pirates, and stay one step ahead of your pursuers, the rebel fleet. You will need to manage your ship by balancing ship power between weapons, shields, engines and life-support. You must find and buy new equipment, upgrade your ship and keep your crew alive to complete your mission. Each playthrough is unique and each death is entertaining in the uniquely challenging FTL.
2012 Award Winner: Visual Design AwardJason RobertsUSA
Gorogoa is a lovingly hand-illustrated world suspended inside of a unique puzzle. To solve the puzzle, the player rearranges a few tiles on a simple grid, placing them next to or on top of one another. But each tile is also a window into a different part of the game world--or perhaps into a different world--and each window plays like its own little game. The key to progressing never lies within one tile, but in the connections between tiles...
2012 NomineeDrinkBox StudiosCanada
Guacamelee! is a Metroid-vania style action-platformer set in a magical Mexican inspired world. The game draws its inspiration from traditional Mexican culture and folklore, and features many interesting and unique characters. Guacamelee builds upon the classic open-world Metroid-vania style of games, by adding a strong melee combat component, a new dimension switching mechanic, and cooperative same-screen multiplayer for the entire story. The game also blurs the boundaries between combat and platforming by making many of the moves useful and necessary for both of these.
2012 Official SelectionAdhesive GamesUSA
HAWKEN is being developed by Adhesive Games and published by Meteor Entertainment. Adhesive Games is an independent game studio located in Los Angeles, CA founded by Creative Director Khang Le, formerly of Project Onset. HAWKEN is the studio’s premiere title. It is a free to play mech shooter scheduled for open beta 12.12.12 (December 12, 2012). Upon starting gameplay players will enter the visually stunning world of HAWKEN with a memorable style truly capturing the intense feel of a not too distant world destroyed by corporate greed. Game play is centered around battling against other players in a rich multiplayer experience. Gamers will play across a variety of maps and game modes, including Death Match and HAWKEN's premiere experience, SIEGE. Siege mode requires great cooperation with a team of players. The goals are to collect energy, deliver it back to your base, launch your battleship, protect your base, kill your enemies, destroy their battleship and base, and SURVIVE. Players will be able to fill their mech hangar with powerful creations. Each mech can truly be something unique by customizing its parts, abilities, performance, and visual style to suit how you like to play.
//Hidden in Plain Sight
2012 NomineeAdam SpraggUSA
Hidden in Plain Sight is a local-multiplayer (shared couch) game where players attempt to blend in with NPCs while completing various goals. The game has five unique game modes, each of which employ the theme of accomplishing goals without revealing your identity to other players. In each game mode, players have the ability to eliminate each other from the game, so blending in with the AI-controlled NPCs is essential. In "Death Race", for example, players are racing to the finish line amongst a crowd of NPCs, but each player also has a gun with a single bullet. Players want to cross the finish line first, but racing out in front is a quick way to get shot by your opponents. Try to win, but don't look like you're trying to win, or you'll lose. Each game is tense, but the rounds are quick and always end with friendly shouting and laughter.
2012 NomineeKaho AbeUSA
Hit Me! is a two-player hyper-interactive, physical game that tests speed, agility and the ability to take good snapshots. Utilizing wireless technology and incorporating the concept of the metagame, Hit Me! encourages face-to-face real-world interactions, not only by the players but also by the spectators. The object of the game is to hit the opponent’s button on top of the head. Once a hit is made, the hitter’s camera takes a snapshot of the victim. The hitter receives a point for the hit, and up to 2 additional points can be awarded by the Judge based on the quality of the snapshot. The snapshots, points and times are projected on a wall for spectators to observe.
2012 NomineeRamiro CorbettaUSA
Hokra is a minimalist digital sports game. A fast-paced, competitive game for two teams, Hokra uses sports metaphors to foster cooperation between teammates and competition between opponents. The game has simple controls and minimal rules while not losing the depth that makes multiplayer games exciting for advanced players. Like the sports from which it draws inspiration, Hokra is engaging to both player and spectators. Hokra’s music and sound design were created by Nathan Tompkins.
2012 Official SelectionDennaton GamesSweden
Take a surreal trip back to the seedy alleys of Miami's criminal underworld in the late 80s. You'll soon find yourself in a deadly maze of mystifying phone calls, ultraviolent encounters with the local crime syndacte and strange dreams of interrogative people wearing animal masks. What is going on and what are you willing to do to find out. Hotline Miami is a brutal arcade game that forces its players to plan and choreograph their way through seemingly impossible scenarios, while encouraging them to channel the death wish of an 80s action hero.
2012 Official SelectionSemi Secret featuring aeiowu and LoscilUSA
Hundreds is a minimalist arcade/puzzle game for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Players interact with simple spatial puzzles, mostly involving circles, through simple and intuitive controls designed specifically for touch-screens, and most puzzles have many different, equally valid solutions. Over the course of the game, new objects are introduced that explore other facets of the design. Hundreds was created by Greg Wohlwend and features music by Scott Morgan aka Loscil, with programming and game design by Eric Johnson and Adam Saltsman.
2012 Award Winner: Interaction AwardEric Zimmerman & Nathalie PozziUSA
Interference is a physical game installation designed for a museum exhibition. It consists of five parallel steel walls, each 10 feet by 10 feet and less than a millimeter thick, which hang suspended from the ceiling and serve as visually permeable, vertical game boards. Pairs of players (up to 10 or more pairs at a time) can start playing anytime they want. The walls are divided into “cells” and each pair plays in a small, local area of connected cells. Gameplay is focused on moving colored wooden pieces around the walls in a simple strategy game. Your goal is to have the majority of your color in the cell cluster where your local game is taking place. The basic move in Interference is to steal a piece from another game that is going on between another pair of players. Playing your game means interfering in the games of other players.
//International Racing Squirrels
2012 NomineePlayniacUnited Kingdom
International Racing Squirrels is a race management sim that also models and reflects on real-world financial systems. The game has the player running an errant gang of misbehaving squirrels, who act a bit like glamorous soccer stars. It is set in the dark underworld of the international squirrel racing scene, brought to life with 50 interactive "storylets" and 25 levels through which the game's complexity gradually unfurls. Bribery, debt, hotel room trashing, gambling and secondary careers in reality TV or the pop charts are rife. In the up-tree urban training facility players purchase homes, build up their team, train their squirrels and send them off to racetracks around the world. From jungles to futuristic cities and streets to deserts they face a barrage of feisty opponents. The idea was inspired by an article in Scientific American on the relative running speeds of animals.
2012 Official SelectionBen EspositoUSA
Kachina is a physics-based toy that evokes Katamari Damacy's sense of order & scale mixed with Windosill's childlike wonder. Drawing as readily from Hopi folklore as it does Bruce Springsteen, Kachina invites you to play with the creatures and artifacts of North American mythology. Sweeping plains. Suburban backyards. Dogs playing frisbee. Why do raccoons wear masks? Why did the chickens cross the road? Who's the man on the moon? Players control a hole in the ground, swallowing up objects and spitting them back out elsewhere. For each object the player swallows, the hole grows a little bit larger…
2012 Official SelectionJosh DeBonis & Nik MikrosUSA
Two teams, each led by a powerful queen, face off in a foam swordfight. Be the first team to discover enough precious jewels, poison their opponents' base, or assassinate the enemy queen.
Killer Queen is a field game which won Best in Fest and Most Strategic at Come Out and Play 2011, and is the basis for the screen-based game Killer Queen Arcade
//Metagalactic Boners at the Edge of Time
2012 Official SelectionAuntie PixelanteUSA
Interstellar space chaperone Anna Anthropy curates an hour of games from the darkest pits of the human tomorrow. Bring a close friend or enemy. Leave with the sense that something cosmic and yet intimate has taken place. An opportunity for personal enrichment.
Massive Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling
2012 Official Selectionmonochrom
One of monochrom's special interest groups introduced the concept of 'Massive Multiplayer Thumb-Wrestling'. The principle of thumb-wrestling is simple. Two players take each others right hand and entangle their fingers - except the thumbs - forming a fist. The players then try to catch and freeze the opponent's thumb.
2012 Official SelectionSanta Ragione + BloodyMonkeyItaly
MirrorMoon is a first-person puzzle-adventure game set on a uninhabited planet that is experiencing a full solar eclipse. MirrorMoon is about mystery, solitude and feeling lost, it's a metaphor of space. It challenges players through real-time juxtaposition of two 3d coordinate system that partially coexist in the same game space, questioning the nature of interaction with the limits of the represented game world.
2012 Official SelectionItay Keren & AlobarUSA
Mushroom 11 is a post-apocalyptic puzzle-platformer with unique control mechanics. Guide a mysterious amorphic organism across brain-twisting obstacles, overcome swarms of bizarre mutated creatures, and understand the true nature of the devastation from which you emerged. This project was created in one weekend as part of the NYU Global Game Jam 2012 event, and picked up the Best Game Design award.
2012 Official SelectionTeam NevermindUSA
Nevermind is a game about challenging the player to go outside of his comfort zone. Players are asked to either bravely face the fear and stress of an unknown ever-changing space (and thus be rewarded with progress) or to balk and retreat, turning their back on not only the source of fear, but their character, other in-game characters, or –more importantly- themselves. While many games already employ this technique to a certain extent, Nevermind’s use of biofeedback technology isolates the problem of fear and stress into a concrete, measurable entity that can be identified and addressed on a very direct and personal level. The high entertainment value of the game will compel players to push further to find out “what happens next” - and, in turn, the demand to venture into the terrifying and return unscathed (both in and out of the game) encourages players to push beyond boundaries of fear in their own lives.
2012 Official SelectionTyler Coleman
Night Lights is a pictionary-style game that uses light art as its canvas. Players must draw their word without any reference within a short time period. Anyone in the crowd can try to guess the word. Check them out on Facebook!
2012 NomineeSuper SoulUSA
“Open Source” is a re-imagining of the classic video game Pong placed within the context of the Rauschenberg piece “Open Score”. Instead of a game played out visually on a screen, two participants face off against one another on a small scale tennis court with no ball or paddles. Players judge the position of a virtual ball based on auditory cues while Kinect hardware tracks the participants as their bodies act as virtual paddles. Open Source combines game and art history to further the dialogue of the past, present and future of games.
//Panoramical: A Musical Landscape
2012 Official SelectionFernando Ramallo and David KanagaCountry
Panoramical is an interactive musical landscape controlled with a repurposed DJ device. Players alter the scene with sliders and knobs, gradually changing the world's shapes and sounds. Every combination produce a different environment and musical soundscape that is generated on the fly. Panoramical is designed for the gallery setting where players can explore, fiddle and immerse themselves in the changing environments. It's also great to play at night.
//Papo & Yo
2012 Official SelectionMinority Media Inc.Canada
Papo & Yo is a 3D Puzzle-Platforming Adventure for the PlayStation® Network (PSN) about a young boy, Quico, and his best friend, Monster, a huge beast with razor-sharp teeth. Monster has a very dangerous problem: an addiction to poisonous frogs. The minute he sees one hop by, he’ll scarf it down and fly into a violent, frog-induced rage where no one, including Quico, is safe. And yet, Quico loves his Monster and wants to save him. As Quico, players will build their friendship with Monster, solving puzzles and adventuring through a magical, surrealist world. Quico, Monster and the world of Papo & Yo were inspired by the childhood of Minority’s Creative Director, Vander Caballero. Drawing on his experiences growing up in South America with an abusive, alcoholic father.
2012 Official SelectionThe Wise GuysUSA
Pickpocket Junction is the game where you loot and commute. You’re a sticky-fingered thief riding home after a successful day of stealing from suckers. Trouble is, your pockets are bulging with loot and everyone else in your train car is a pickpocket also: how will you make it to your stop without being the next mark? Players wear specially prepared trench coats with Velcro linings and take turns stealing treasures from each other, but each treasure’s value is hidden until you pick it from your opponent’s pocket. If your pockets are full, you can stop stealing, get off the train, and walk home, but the neighborhood stinks so you might not make it back with all your lucre. Part memory, part math, part role-play, Pickpocket Junction is so much fun it ought to be criminal.
//POP: Methodology Experiment One
2012 NomineeRob LachUSA
POP: Methdology Experiment One is an experimental game in the most literal sense. The game was purposefully built in way that explores a different approach to the typical game development pipeline. It was developed by first composing the music and running with the first game concept that happened to emerge during that creative process. In POP, the player plays through a series of erratic minigames stylistically tied with the music. The vignettes are interconnected by idiosyncratic videos creating a purposefully disjointed experience. POP:ME1 is currently available for PC, MAC, and OnLive.
//Pop Pop Battle J
2012 Official SelectionULTRANIMBUSUSA
Pop Pop Battle J is a 4-player party game that takes advantage of a shared custom-built controller and frantic, physical action. Utilizing a 3-ft, 9-button board, players bonk their opponents' characters while protecting their own by any means -- from a self-sacrificial slam on yourself to a (friendly) shove to your neighbor. With all the action squarely in the physical world, anything is fair game as long as all players agree to it, with player-created house rules abound. Pop Pop Battle J is a close-quarters, quick-reflex party game filled with visual pop and tactile sensation. It’s meant to bring together rowdy friends and social strangers alike, frantically clamoring for victory!
2012 NomineeExpressive Intelligence Studio at UC Santa CruzUSA
Prom Week is a Flash game that makes social relationships playable. Powered by a novel AI system created in
tandem with this project, Prom Week enables players to shape the lives of high schoolers in the tumultuous week leading up to their prom.
Play consists of selecting actions between pairs of characters that they themselves naturally want to do based on the social state, such as “Reminisce” or “Ask Out.”
Each action the player takes, be it backstabbing a friend or making two characters fall in love, sends ripples throughout the school, affecting the social landscape in
subtle ways; and consequently the desires and actions of the rest of the student body. This notion of Social Physics, paired with an ever growing Social Facts Database,
generates stories about these characters while teaching players strategies for social manipulation. Finding yourself using these strategies can be a moment for self reflection.
2012 Official SelectionTeam PuzzlejuiceUSA
Puzzlejuice is a game that will punch your brain in the face. The game mashes up three disparate game mechanics (block sorting, word spelling, and color matching) into a single brightly colored package. It was designed to challenge both your spatial and verbal abilities and if you don’t feel overwhelmed then you might not be human. Come for the puzzle, stay for the juice!
//Qasir al-Wasat: A Night in-Between
Qasir al-Wasat: A Night in-Between is a stealth-adventure set on a wondrous Arabian fortress, sealed in-between worlds. You play as an invisible and fragile summoned fiend, called by a sorcerer to fulfill a stealth mission. As the character explores and investigates the palace, it discovers that the mission is actually more complex than how it was initially briefed. It is up to the player to solve the puzzles and riddles scattered around and unravel the real secret of the palace. The game draws heavily from Arabic and Persian medieval folklore and iconography to set its tone and mood, being kind of a video-gamey One Thousand and One Nights poem. Qasir al-Wasat is available for PC and Mac.
2012 Official SelectionMario von Rickenbach
Rakete is a cooperative multiplayer game for up to 5 players. Each player controls one thruster of the ship with the goal of landing it safely. Let the insanity commence!
//Reality Ends Here
2012 Award Winner: Impact AwardJeff Watson, Simon Wiscombe, & Tracy FullertonUSA
Reality Ends Here is a pervasive game designed to reboot the freshman experience at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. This “secret” experience, officially unacknowledged by faculty and administration, launched in the fall semester of 2011 and was an instant success. Players are lured into the game via a series of mysterious communications from the “Reality Committee,” finding their way to a secret office, where they swear an oath of DIY media-making and are given a set of game cards that can be used to generate creative prompts. Players combine their card prompts into multifaceted “deals” that challenge them to collaborate in the production of media projects. Active participants are recognized by the Reality Committee with special serendipitous mentorship opportunities -- meetups and encounters with alumni, artists, and other industry professionals.
2012 Official SelectionLumalus Inc.USA
Recurse for iPad is the indie hit party game you play with your whole body! Using your iPad's front-facing camera, try to control your body so you move as much as possible in the green areas while avoiding the red areas. If you're good enough, your picture will be saved among the high scores for all to see. Not a high score? Try again!
2012 NomineewallFourUnited Kingdom
Renga is about finding a way home. Attacked and left for dead, our hero must carefully marshal their resources to build a new ship, confront their nemesis and finally return home. Only this hero isn't visible on the screen - it's the entire audience, working collectively to control the action using laser pointers directed at the screen. Turning the traditional hero's journey on its head, Renga asks the question - what if the ultimate reward can only be grasped by many hands? The show combines real-time crowd interaction technology, retro videogame aesthetics and a wry sense of humour to bring the audience together and leave them feeling a deep sense of camaraderie.
//Row Row Row Remote
2012 Official SelectionTom Sennett & Salil MalkanUSA
Row Row Row Remote is a computer game that you connect to and play using your smart phone or tablet, along with a bunch of other people at the same time in the same room. Players join one of two teams and have to work with their canoe-mates to outpaddle their opponents.
2012 Official SelectionThe Interactive Media Division at USCUSA
Songlines is a gesture-based musical experience, built in Unity and featuring motion control via Microsoft’s Kinect platform. The game’s core concept is based on an Aboriginal Australian creation myth in which totemic spirit beings created the world through song and dance. The player takes on the avatar of a primordial creator spirit who flies through a blank and formless landscape, using gestural control via the Kinect and a unique recombinant music system to directly shape and populate the world around her. Songlines provides a sensory experience that is at once relaxing, energizing, and transcendent, as the player watches life burst into being all around her.
2012 Official SelectionSpheroUSA
Sphero is the world's first robotic ball gaming system that you control with a tilt, touch, or swing from your smartphone or tablet. You can even use Sphero as a controller for on-screen arcade style gameplay or tabletop party games. Single and multi-player apps let you engage in the virtual world and play in the real one. It’s the ball evolved.
2012 NomineeCipher PrimeUSA
Splice is an experimental and artistic puzzler. The game immerses the player in a microbial environment and presents him or her with strands of “cells” that must be rearranged into a target structure in several discrete “splices.” The player must explore how the cells interact with each other and position themselves in space in order to predict the sequence of moves he or she needs to make in order to successfully solve a puzzle. (Hint: the cells arrange themselves as binary trees in radial space!) Splice will exercise the player’s ability to visualize sequential series of shapes and will either leave you with a headache or a heady sense of mental accomplishment! Or both!
2012 NomineeNYU Game CenterUSA
Staccato is a two on two playground game where players attempt to score more points than their opponents. The game is broken down into two roles, Offense and Defense. Offense strategically moves and passes the ball in order to bounce it into the goal. Each bounce inside the goal scores a point - so Defenders do their best to block it! The catch is, defenders are only allowed to move when the ball is in motion! Each team will have one minute to try their best at each role, and whoever comes out scoring the most points wins!
2012 Official SelectionDaniel BenmerguiArgentina
A storytelling puzzle videogame based on comics.
2012 Official SelectionTerry CavanaghIreland
Super Hexagon is a minimal action game by Terry Cavanagh, with music by Chipzel.
//Super Space ____
2012 NomineeAlexander Baard & David Scamehorn (Digipen USA)Singapore
Super Space ____ is a couch co-op arcade shooter about competition, cooperation, communication and the democracy of physics. Players control turrets attached to a blocky, misshapen space ship and earn points by shooting a never-ending onslaught of asteroids. Thanks to Newton's Third Law, the recoil from shooting propels the ship. Players must cooperate to avoid hazards and ensure survival, but also compete for weapons and high scores. Super Space ____ was developed by Super Space Team (Alexander Baard and David Scamehorn) at DigiPen.
2012 Official SelectionEdmond Yee and the Combiform TeamUSA
The game that ties you up in knots finally goes electronic in Combiform's Switch, a fun rendition on the classic Twister. Played with 2 to 4 players, Switch is the ultimate experience in non-screen based gaming. The beginning of the game starts with all 4 controllers connected in the middle, 2 are lit blue and the other 2 are lit purple. Switch's mechanics are very simple: players must switch the position of the 2 purple controllers without separating the blue ones. It may seem easy at first, but soon you wont be able to tell where your body stops, and where your partners begin!
2012 Official SelectionKurt Bieg & Ramsey Nasser
Swordfight is a two player physical game played using strap on Atari 2600 controllers. The goal of the game is to press your opponent's button with your joystick before they press yours. Kurt Bieg and Ramsey Nasser are to blame.
2012 NomineeNyamyamUnited Kingdom
Set in Japan of ancient dark fairy tales, Tengami is an explorative adventure game full of wonder and mystery. Players explore a beautifully paper architected pop-up world that folds and unfolds at your fingertips to solve puzzles and make progress. Tengami has a striking minimalistic art style inspired by traditional Japanese arts and crafts. In keeping with the visual aesthetic, the design of Tengami eschews many traditional game elements in favour of a contemplative experience focusing on the playfulness and possibilities that a pop-up world presents.
2012 Official SelectionJan Willem NijmanCountry
Tennnes is the new tennis. Minimalist sports game about my horrible experiences with tennis lessons as a kid.
2012 Official SelectionLocal No. 12USA
The Metagame is a card game about cultural debate. The original videogame edition and the more recent culture edition are simple to learn and play with small groups of friends or with hundreds at a party or event. In the Metagame, you make comparisons between two content cards. Which tells a better story: Passage or Uncharted 2? Which is more complex: Naked Lunch or the World Trade Center? The Metagame is not a single game or a single set of rules. Like a traditional deck of cards, it’s an open game system enabling a wide variety of games for different settings and play styles. We have designed several parlor-style games (listed in the rulebook) and players have developed their own variations and shared them in the online Metagame forums.
//The Stanley Parable
2012 Award Winner: Special Recognition AwardDavey WredenUSA
The Stanley Parable, created by Davey Wreden and featuring the vocal talents of Kevan Brighting, is an experiment in video game storytelling. Or the point of it might be that there's actually no story at all, or maybe the point is that there's no game. It's about choice, possibly, but it might be about something else. It is very important. It is not important at all. It makes perfect sense. It is utter nonsense. It is all of these things at once, or actually maybe it isn't. I, um…can you help me understand what's going on?
2012 Official SelectionParty Time! Hexcellent!
TRACK+FEEL II is a cooperative, interactive, glitch-art installation for play on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Two or more players must dance, feel the rhythm, and work together to discover the rules of the “game” as well as its goal. TRACK+FEEL II aims to present glitches and generative chaos as tools of construction rather than destruction. It is inspired by the audiovisual experiences in chiptune performances and the collaborative, friendly interaction they inspire.
2012 Award Winner: Grand Jury AwardmolleindustriaUSA
Unmanned is an experimental game about a day in the life of a drone pilot. Description from Art Technica: "The game uses a series of short, split-screen vignettes to combine simple mini-games with clickable conversation options, and takes you through the rather safe, humdrum existence of a modern drone pilot. Shaving, driving to work, flirting with your cute co-pilot, and even playing video games with your son are all given equal weight to actually blowing up a suspected insurgent thousands of miles away from a comfortable seat in front of a monitor. The game's short length practically demands multiple playthroughs, with different conversation options leading to significantly different outcomes. The result is a nuanced, wide-ranging look at a soldier's life from a variety of viewpoints."
2012 Official SelectionDash & Dot Game Studio
Virus Wars is a board game for iPhone that imitates evolution of several hostile colonies of viruses. The main goal is to kill all enemy's viruses or to bring to the situation when your enemy cannot make a move. Key features:
• Up to 4 players on one iPhone/iPod.
• Unique and smart AI.
• Online multiplayer through GameCenter or bluetooth.
• Clear interactive tutorial for fast start.
• Natural graphics, sounds and feel.
2012 Award Winner: Technology AwardZak S.USA
We asked Zak S., the game master of I Hit With My Axe, to make a little book full of the notes he had when running city adventures – and everything he wished he had. He gave us not only a sourcebook detailing key rules, tables, monsters and places in Vornheim – the city at the center of the Axe campaign – but also a treasure chest of resources for running adventures in any city. Need to know how to get from here to there even if neither here nor there are listed on a map? Even if there is no map? Need a random encounter? Need instant stats for that random encounter? Need to know why there was a random encounter? This book was designed to help you make a city happen now.
//Who Took the Apple?
2012 Official SelectionLau Korsgaard & Simon GustafssonDenmark
Who Took the Apple? is a 4 player card game played backwards in time! The game is played with an apple, a bucket, four beers and a set of large cards meant to be played on ground.
The objective of the game is to be the player who takes an apple placed under a bucket, but the game is played backwards in time. The first card played will be the last action happening.
By using perplexing reverse causal reasoning players can create paradoxes and counter paradoxes which make the other player’s actions impossible to happen. Yes it is confusing; playing games backwards in time has never been straight forward. Players pass beers around, puts the bucket over the head of other players; snatch the apple and bullshit over time and causality – all with the goal of answering the central question of the game: Who Took the Apple?
2012 NomineeUpper ByteFrance
Wooden Sen'SeY is an action-platformer set in a unique "Japan Steam Rock" universe with punch and tons of humor, several different types of atmosphere and gameplay. You follow Goro, the village chief, as he seeks revenge through a variety of levels using his axes to slice, dice, squash and grapple!Wooden Sen'SeY seeks to offer players a unique gaming experience, inspired by old school gameplay mechanisms, while incorporating contemporary technology and beautiful 3D graphics.
Created by researchers and students at NYU-PolyÕs Game Innovation Lab, Yamove! is a b-boy style dance battle game that uses tech to augment face-to-face dancing. Players compete in pairs, aiming for high intensity, in-synch, diverse dance routines. Each player wears an iOS device strapped to his/her forearm, and teams compete in 3 rounds. The game is hosted by an MC and results are displayed on a big screen. Scoring is based on accelerometer data from the devices. The experience is more social and spectacular than the current console-based dance games, because players face off and the crowd forms more naturally around them and the MC. The game was inspired by research that shows how being physically 'in synch' brings people together emotionally and builds trust.
2012 Official SelectionLab707USA
“Zombie Yoga” is a single player, third person Kinect game in which the player does Yoga poses to fight Zombies. Although Yoga is the means of interaction with the gameworld, “Zombie Yoga” is not an exercise game. It is much rather aimed at engaging and empowering players emotionally by leveraging the body to positively stimulate mind and soul. The Zombies are also not your regular Undead, but metaphorical representations of Inner Fears.
In this first demo level, the player takes the role of socio-phobic Rik, who decides to face his anxieties by embarking on a subway ride. The goal is to get from point A to B without being overwhelmed by fears / Zombies. Anxieties are managed with the help of three poses: Warrior I to create a protective light bubble that stuns the horde around you; Warrior II clears the path ahead, and Tree pose heals by regaining inner balance when the rising infection (panic) threatens to take over.
Since the development of this tech demo, a whole new version of the game has been created, which we hope to present in the near future: “Zombie Yoga - Recovering The Inner Child”.
2012 Official SelectionSix to Start and Naomi Alderman
Zombies, Run! is a real-world running game and audio adventure for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Players take on the role of a survivor of a zombie apocalypse and carry out missions to gather supplies and rebuild their base from the ruins of civilization. While they're out running, they receive gameplay and story information solely through their headphones, making the game an entirely hands-free and screenless experience.