A MAZEing!

Tue 01 October 2013 in Videogames. Tags: Videogames, A MAZE, Berlin, Luftrausers, Samurai Gunn, Sos, Stille Tänzer, Vlambeer. By mrwonko.

The venue where A MAZE took place

I went to Berlin for the first time in my life this April. The reason? A MAZE. Indie Connect, a small indie developer conference. Turns out there's a cheap bus from Hamburg to Berlin and a cheap hostel close to the venue (the Industriepalast Hostel, which was quite nice), so it wasn't particularly expensive either. In fact it was quite worthwhile. As was the smartphone I finally got for the occasion, an Xperia U. Not overly powerful, but it has served me well so far.

I did better than I do on my phone

There were a lot of talks during the day and many games were on exhibition. I met Sos of McPixel fame, JW and Rami from Vlambeer and lots of other nice folks. I got to player C64nabalt, a Canabalt Demake for the C64 (my first encounter with the system), Vlambeer's Luftrausers and many other games, but two games left a bigger impression than the rest.

The first one was played during the Local Multiplayer Picnic we had one evening: Samurai Gunn. It's still in development but even in its unfinished state it was already a lot of fun. Didn't even feel unfinished. You're a samurai with a sword and a gun with 3 shots. 1 hit kills. Fast paced 2D platforming deathmatch with an awesome showdown in case of a draw. Lots of fun.

The other game was an experimental project by a couple of students: Stille Tänzer. The idea? Get a couple of people together, give 'em Headphones, play music to them and let them dance. Then, unbeknownst to everyone else, turn off somebody's music. If someone rightly accuses you of having no music, you're out, otherwise they're out. It was somewhat lacking in feedback, but the general idea is great. They had a pretty elaborate setup with multiple wireless headphones and a DJ; Hardware instead of software, basically. But thinking about it I realized it would be a perfect fit for smartphones: They're very common - unlike wireless headphone and hardware to control multiple of them independently - and they have WiFi and audio-out jacks, so given an appropriate app a lot could be automated. I may look into this once I'm done with my other current projects, of which there are many.



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