During end of October and first days of November 2012, I had the pleasure to be invited to support the coverage of Learning Games Expo and Viborg Animations Festival (thanks to Emil Kjaer for making it possible), both events held in Viborg (Denmark) and organized by The Animation Workshop, one of the most important animation schools worldwide. They were really interesting, full of innovative and brilliant people. In this post I want to summarize the work The Gamer Inside developed there.
Viborg Animations Festival 2012.
At the Animations Festival, the audience was delighted with some really inspirational lectures, which I had the pleasure to film and also published two of them on The Gamer Inside Youtube channel:
As headteacher, Richard Gerver transformed one of England’s worst-performing institutions to class head of the class through a consistent focus on leadership, creativity and innovation. Education Guru Ken Robinson has highlighted him as an academic beacon, and Gerver is a sought after speaker and advisor at companies, institutions and the British Government. Gerver talks about the digital generation and the future of education. How do we use the creativity and energy that kids have?
George Mc Bean has been nothing less than 36 years working and researching on Health and Social Development, he is a film animator and illustrator, born in Scotland in 1948. He recently retired as Head of UNICEF’s Graphic’s section dealing with Animation for Children’s Rights. His research into Visual Literacy among rural populations in Nepal has been highlighted in the New Internationalist and was described in the book ‘People Pictures and Power’, Bob Linney 1991 – Macmillan-Talc) as “the most important visual literacy study ever done”. His illustrations and comic books on themes of Health and Social Development have been produced in mass numbers in several countries. He has given talks on his work at Stanford University, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He was key to forming one of UNICEF’s most successful partnerships with more than 100 animation studios worldwide (Including Disney, Pixar, Warner Bros, Dreamworks, Hanna Barbera, Cartoon Network etc. See link). His designs and animated film productions have been distributed world-wide by the United Nations.
Learning Games Expo 2012.
The event was celebrated from 1st to 4th November, and there I found really diverse projects and not only Danish, also some companies from other northern countries were participating. From mobile games, audiogames, serious and experimental games, even a videogame creation workshop! Here you will find a list with the interviews I did there, all of them accompanied with some cool pixel art sequences from our Pixel Artist Bakir Khawam and the main tunes from our musician Jonathan Hall, the video covers art has been designed by Isaac Garabito. Something to remark is also the retro-style map crafted from scratch by Bakir for this occasion:
Below you will find a list of all the exhibitors we could interview at the event, but to give you a fast access to each one of them, we created this short “video menu” with links to other videos:
Amazu Media presented the action RPG Light Apprentice and Shrug Island, an educational graphic adventure. The studio is directed by Igor Borges Noronha, Igor graduated in Graphic Design in Brazil, where he is from, has since taught himself animation and today lives of doing comics and animation at his studio Amazu Media in Viborg:
The guys at Clearcut Games know really well how to make learning maths a funny task. The answer consist of two words: Math Fu!
Morten Lennert from Dapper Games showed us Machine Island, a adventure-puzzle game with an awesome artistic work behind !!
Did you ever imagined how would be to have a mixing table where you use cassette tapes to mix different musics they have recorded and even your own voice? t’s called Do It Yourself DJ and the dutch team at Monobanda and NFC (Near Field Communication) technology made it possible.
Machineers is a 2D Puzzle Adventure, developed 2012 as a Master thesis project at ITU Copenhagen, designed to playfully introduce logic and programming concepts to children from 10 – 14 (puzzle fans of all ages have enjoyed playing Machineers). You are playing Zola, a young girl who wants to become a Machineer and work at Hayden’s repair shop in the midst of a great amusement park, filled with bizarre characters in need of help. Game is developed by Henrike Lode, Giuseppe Enrico Franchi and Niels Gamsgaard Frederiksen.
Runerod is a Role Playing Game that includes educational content as part of their quests and integrated in its game mechanics. The game has been used in small group of students with impressive results, now the developer company, Kanda, is researching about statistics on their gamers learning results to talk with the Danish Government and try to include videogames as a subject in primary school.
The already mentioned game makers at Monobanda have taken the term ‘sandbox game’ literally. In Project Mimicry you shape your world by digging in the sand. Monobanda has created a sandbox game with real sand, in which up to four players at a time control a ball that can roll around, jump and glide through the Mimicry world. Tiny virtual characters roll around in the sandbox. You can build obstacles for them or create a racetrack. Rules do not exist, there is no point system. This means you create your own games.
Ncouraged developed a geolocation tool to support the creation of games that are played with mobile devices and use geo-positioning services. They create mobile experiences, with a primary focus on the development of games and applications for smartphones, tablets and web.
Public Override presented “Nodus – The naughty note child“, which is an educational game prototype, targeted at primary school students,that helps them learning to read and write musical notes. The game got the attention from people in the educational community who wants to support the game, so hopefully the game will be funded and improved with features like composing and new instruments.
Radwin Island is a FPS audiogame by students at Aalborg University, Denmark, where the player can use both vertical and horizontal axis. The game has two modes: one using a regular mouse, the other using an iPhone or iPod with built-in gyroscope for tracking head movement.
Pixeleap is a small company based in Aarhus (Denmark), they work on educational games for clients and also their own pure enterntainment games. In the educational field Pixeleap is working on a project based on facial recognition techniques, so very young students will learn to recognise emotions in a facial expression. On the commercial side, Pixeleap presents Wacky Dragons, an action game that lets players to manage a dragon who has to sort out all kind of obstacles and test your patience with a really challenging difficulty level. This Free to play game is developed for mobile platforms and is already available.
The digital glassblower developed by YOKE is a digital version of the glassmaker’s workbench, where using traditional tools – pipe and various other tools – can breathe, shape and color your very own digital artwork. The resulting glass is displayed on a special monitor with holographic effect and mailed simultaneously to blowers via a built-in mail system. This installation has been part of the exhibition at the Glass Museum in Ebeltoft, but the world’s only digital glassblower was also exhibited there in Viborg.
Developed by a group of students at Aalborg University we could see and play a prototype of an eduactional game oriented to teach students how to classify and use several groups of words, this game is called RinRom’s Space Adventure.
The convention held a videogame creation workshop to teach schoolkids and also people of all ages how to create a small game prototype in Unity and/or Scratch. In the next video, Jonas Kastberg Rasmussen (member at Unge Spiludviklere) explains us about how the teaching experience developed along the workshop and how great and satisfied he felt about the possibility of transmitting others the same passion he has
Games for Health: When Danish soldiers return from missions abroad, they often have mental injury in his luggage. More are diagnosed with “post-traumatic stress disorder“, and for them, part of the answer to the Games for Health. Through something like a 3D shooter, the user is a mild so-called trauma exposure. Meanwhile measured his physical reaction with a special glove – and begins PTSD symptoms such as anxiety and stress to sign up, change the scene immediately from the dangerous battlefield to a harmless supermarket.
Serious Games Interactive is an award winning developer of games, simulations and virtual worlds. Their games are characterized by a strong integration of learning and game elements that support the best possible user experience. At Learning Games Expo they showcased their latest examples of game solutions for industrial, educational and healthcare. Build a car trade in slaves and strengthen your health – come by and see what opportunities technology offers games and take a peek into the future of learning and training universe.