Do you have kids at home that are occasionally hard to get to clean their teeth? The freelancer team Artgear (consisting of several ZHdK students) created a cute iOS app for CSS health insurance that will teach children how to properly clean their teeth. But … do you really want to drive away these cuddly monsters? I would keep them all.
digiDingo, makers of the über-cute (coot?) Grooh!!, are back again with a new game celebrating the Olympic Games: Athleticooh for iOS and Android, in which you compete for medals in a casual track-and-field game. Do you have the dexterity and stamina to beat your Facebook friends?
RNDRLN Games created a sports game as well, but chose to fuse downhill biking and trick challenges in DMBX2 for iOS. It features 3 different worlds, 12 different levels and up to 36 challenges to beat.
Millform revealed new rules for their location-based game Gbanga, making the whole thing a whole lot more tactical. Which of the new families will you join?
In case you missed the first Game Designer Ping-Pong Tournament, there is a write-up of the events over at gamelab.ch – you missed something there, I told you from the start. There will be a next one, though, where you can prove your skill and defend your honour.
Don’t miss this year’s Scientifica at ETH and the University of Zurich on September 1st and 2nd. Two projects by the Serious Game Design unit of the ZHdK that fuse games and science will be presented: Gabarello and Hotel Plastisse. See those games in action and talk to their makers to see what went into the development of those special games.
For the third time, IGDA Switzerland teams up with Fantoche and presents you another Postmortem. Come along to the next IGDA Chapter Meeting on September 6th, 2012 in Baden and learn from the successes, failures and dirty little secrets of your peers!
As a member of the IGDA (and if your not, you should become one, seriously), you are also cordially invited to be part of the X Media Lab in Basel, held on September 14th 2012. X Media Lab is an event that updates you on all the trends in digital culture, in includes keynote presentations by Susan O’Connor (award wining video game writer for Bioshock 1 & 2 as well as Gears of War), Chris Bergstresser (computer games veteran) and Christoper Sandberg (transmedia producer, i.e. for Joss Wheedon), amongst many others. You should get your tickets now!
You have been challenged. Challenged to the first Swiss Game Designers Ping Pong Tournament! On Thursday, August 16 from 14:30 in Zürich at Limmatstrasse 80, you will compete against other Game Designers. Apply here and gain a coveted certificate that proofs that you are an official PingPong-Gamedesigner! More infos can be found here. May the best win!
Looks like one of the most successful game export from Switzerland is not just doing well on PCs: Giants’ Farming Simulator for iOS took the iTunes App Store by storm and managed to get into the charts for Switzerland, Austria and Germany in less than 24 hours. What was originally thought as a simple experiment turned out to be a success. It’s no wonder that this autumn the Farming Simulator will be available for Android and Windows Phone devices as well.
Not everything is visible to the naked eye, as the new game by Reto Spoerri proves. WunderKeeper has been commissioned by the city of Winterthur together with the Naturmuseum Winterthur. The iOS app will enable you to see little creatures previously unseen, hidden in and around Winterthur. Gotta catch them all!
There are even more things to catch: games2be has released Tiny Owls, a iOS game in which the player is tasked with rescuing cute tiny owls from the dangers that lurk in the forest. Bringing all owls to safety will ensure your victory.
Bitforge has been commissioned by the Federal Departement of Foreign Affairs to create a game to present in London during the Olympic Games 2012. The three different games came be played on iOS and Android devices.
Meanwhile, GameCulture has issued a new Call for Projects, this time in cooperation with the International Fantastic Film Festival Neuchâtel NIFFF. Projects can be handed in until January 2013, a maximum of CHF 50000 can be gained per project. All information can be found on the NIFFF website.
Still Alive Studios updated their website for their project Son of Nor – and received a lot of media attention: first PixelProspector, then IndieGames.com, and from there, it snowballed over to Kotaku, Rock, Paper, Shotgun and Jayisgames. Their blog post has more infos of where they have been featured in just three days.
Meanwhile, this year’s bachelor’s projects of the students of the ZHdK get their fair share of media attention as well: be it from Hochparterre, 20 Minuten or games.ch. I guess they are off to a good start.
Of course, you should have visited the bachelor projects exhibition at ZHdK already, but in case you missed it, are not able to go or just want a general teaser what awaits you there, wait no longer and head over to the iTunes App Store – where you will find Armadillo by Stefan Spieler and Ralf Mauerhofer. Armadillo is an action puzzle game for the iPhone/iPad, in which the player helps armadillos to defend themselves against the evil machines and beat humankind with their own tools of destruction. With its cute graphics and clever puzzles, it will entertain you for quite a while – can you beat the global highscore?
Moonga, the trading card game from the western part of Switzerland, will make its debut on Facebook on June 14th.
Pingwin Adventures by Feinheit GmbH, has received a major update – time to get the game, if you haven’t already!
A clever economy simulation has been developed by games2be for the Hochschule für Wirtschaft FHNW. In YamYam, players are tasked with setting the prices of goods, taking into account current conditions like storage capacity, the weather or the general consumer mood. The game is available for iOS and Android, and can be played for free on the web. [ᔥgameculture.ch]
Don’t miss the next MobileMonday! This event, co-organised by your local IGDA chapter and being held at Microsoft in Wallisellen, aims to strengthen the mobile sector in Switzerland by connecting developers and exchanging ideas and know-how. Get going and sign up for the event on Monday, June 18th 2012 at Microsoft, Wallisellen.
Support Swiss game designers! There are always the pioneers, the adventurers that need our support. Definitely also on the crowd funding platform wemakeit.ch. One project is currently in the running: Aerocity by peep-oh videogames, a.k.a. Philipp Thalmann. Show your support and let these projects bloom. [ᔥgameculture.ch]
Meanwhile, Gbanga is busy taking over Berlin, using large diamonds and QR codes. Read all about how they do it over on their blog.
Games2be pretty much doubled their already strong line-up of mobile games, offering their complete catalogue now for Android as well.
Bitforge released a new game for Coop, right in time for BBQ season – and yes, it contains delicious recipes!
Planning on releasing games on Xbox Live? Get in touch with Swissplayers Game Studios, who not only have experience in publishing on this platform, but also have the proper place of business to do earn money with Xbox Live. [ᔥgameculture.ch]
What’s coming up
The thing you really shouldn’t miss is of course this week’s opening of the game design thesis projects exhibition at the Zurich University of the Arts. Be among the first to check out the newest crop of Swiss game designers and their (if the leaked screenshots are any indication) awesome projects! Be there at the opening on 17:00 on Friday, June 1st or the following two weeks.
As a remainder from the last instalment, where we already spoke about the three smartphone games being featured by Guido Berger on the Swiss radio, here comes his own blogpost with reviews of the games and the complete MP3 of the emission.
Nothing produced two new games for Swiss companies: One for Swissgrid, the operator of the Swiss electricity network called Keep the Balance, another for V-ZUG for a trade fair. Read all about those projects in Nothing’s blog posts. [ᔥ Nothing]
Bitforge once again helps to make the world a better place with their game ByeByeMosquito, produced for WorldVision and available for iOS, Android and on the Web. Go hunting for mosquitos to stop the spread of malaria. Part of the game’s appeal is surely due to the sound, made by Daniel Sommer, who already did the sound design of bitforge’s wildly popular Orbital. Pretty sure we will hear more of him in the future. [ᔥ bitforge, gameculture.ch]
Speaking of sound design, chapter news regular Chris Polus also has some new projects he has worked for. There is Little Black Fish, an animated picture book with 12 orchestral pieces by Chris. War Isn’t Fair is clearly less peaceful, it being a strategy game playing in World War 2. And then there is Gnomes at War, a tower defence game that additionally profits from Chris’ expertise in creating the death wails of gnomes (among other sound effects). All those games are still in development, so there are no actual links. Those will be delivered as soon as they’re available.
When it comes to new releases on the iTunes App Store, we have (like in almost every instalment of the chapter news) a few new games for you to check out.
Firstly, Sky Jam by NXComponents – nothing for people with a fear of flying, since the player is taking a passenger plane on a wild ride through the sky, trying to avoid the congested air lanes. [ᔥ gameculture.ch]
Feeling too privileged with your presumably mainly white, male, western european lifestyle? Try out Discrimination Pong by and-or.ch, in which you suddenly find yourself in the role of the not-so-white paddle, that has to battle against numerous unfair advantages of the opponent. Not only is the game a clever commentary on daily discrimination in society, it also takes a stab at today’s trend to “freemium” games. Available for iOS, Mac/Win or directly online, DiscriminationPong invites you to have not too much fun with it. [ᔥ gamelab.ch]
Swiss games got heavily featured this week both in the on- and offline versions of 20 Minuten – and if you look at the new releases we feature here (almost) every week, then this is well earned!
A beautiful new puzzle game by Geneva-based developer hart[dev] made its debut in the iTunes App Store: GraviMaze makes you traverse mazes using gravity (you wouldn’t have guessed, right?). [ᔥ gameculture.ch]
Meanwhile, Microsoft handed out awards at their SHAPE conference, amongst them one for the best game app on Windows Phone 7, which has been won by Grégory Strübi with his ProCurl7 app. [ᔥ gameculture.ch]
More awards might be received by Mario von Rickenbach, Christoph Burgdorfer and Phil McCammon for Krautscape, given the fact that they’re nominated for Best Audio at the 2012 Independent Propeller Awards.
Congratulations to Gbanga, which is celebrating its 5th (as a company) and 2nd (as a mafia game) birthday! Happy festivities – and may you live long and prosper!
The news about crowd funding platforms don’t stop. There is now a third contestant online: ProjektStarter opened its doors! Go have a look!
Interested in testing a game, before anyone else has the chance to set eyes on it? Now’s your chance to do so – and help a master student in the process. Jeremy Spillmann currently works on his follow-up game to Hollow Grounds called The Highest Heart and he still needs testers. If you’re interested in checking out his newest creation for the iPhone beginning approximately mid-April, drop him a line! Happy bug-hunting!
First of all: congratulations to all winners of an App Award! When it comes to games, these have been taken home the prizes: Millform for Pilotifant (in Best User Experience and App of the Year) as well as Karios Games for Monster Up (in Best Game App).
Terribly in need for five servings of fruits and vegetables today? There is help on the way – with Crown Adam’s Picnic Wars, an iOS game which pitches fruits against vegetables and allows you to smash your opponents to pulp.
Another new Swiss game for iOS uses an old game for inspiration – quite sure you’ve played it too in ski camp. The mobile version of Shithead let’s you play against AIs, in a local multiplayer modus or even over Bluetooth or WiFi.
Present your game at hóPLAY in Bilbao! Apply now to show off your creativity and style – and in the best case, take home an award. The rules for applying can be found online, the deadline is June 16st 2012.