Packed House at GDC 2011

Congratulations and thank you to all the great folks who participated in the Experimental Gameplay session at GDC 2011! Another packed year – sorry if you didn’t get in before they declared us full!

Here are the creators and games that were shown:

Hanford Lemoore: Maquette. Maquette is a puzzle game where the enclosing game world is also visible to the player in as a miniaturized maquette. By manipulating objects at the smaller scale of this maquette, they can create changes in the world around them. For example: by placing a key found outside the maquette, the playe can create a key-shaped bridge in the full-scale version that surrounds it.

Michael Brough: The Sense of Connectedness. A game that deals with concepts of memory, thought, emotion and the passage of time.  This game was originally released as a “Masquerade” — where 4 designers released eachother’s games. You can read what Michael has to say about it here on his blog.

Nicolai Troshinsky: Loop Raccord. In this game, players splice together different segments of video to create a fluid action between panels of footage. The resulting rhythms are sometimes musical, often hypnotic. Update: Nominated for a Nuovo Award and and Indiecade 2011 Finalist, you can now play this game on your iPad!

Stephen Lavelle: Opera Omnia. This game explores notions of history, and how history is created to justify actual events, after they have occurred. In the game, the player must figure out how to “explain” certain end states by manipulating what happened before them – effectively creating new histories in the process. This game was demonstrated at the session by Daniel Benmergui

Agustin Perez Fernandez: Mantra. In this experimental game (currently unreleased to the public), the player must move the mouse in a clockwise circle as pulsing sound and streaming visuals occupy their eyes and ears. The object of the game is to induce a state of meditation or non-attention, similar to that the creator experienced in the context of a meditation retreat.

Jason Rohrer: Inside a Star-Filled Sky. Jason debuted his “recursive, tactical shooter” at the session. In it, the player maniuplates a small creature through top-down mazes attempting to vanquish all the creatures it encounters. The player can descend into other creatures   to fight them (in a new level created by their shape) and achieve their powers. They can also transcend   the current level to fight new creatures and acquire new powerups in levels “above” them. Trippy!

Andy Schatz: The Abrupt Goodbye. In this presentation Andy showed some of his own experimental work on user-generated content, as well as Farbs’ experimental wiki-based game Playpen. Farbs joined the group for Q&A to discuss both the potential and frustration of user-generated gameplay.

And for the first time ever, EGW also featured a live game! USC IMD students Mihir Sheth & Asher Vollmer led audience members in an impromptu game of Ninja. Rules for the game, along with Andy Nealan’s Grow 21 were given away to the audience as well – to encourage continued experimentation in the non-digital realm.

Update: check out a summary of the session here on Gamasutra.Thanks again to everyone who participated and of course, those of you who came to the session.   See you at IndieCade – and GDC 2012!