CIN joins TIGA

In order to increase our exposure we have joined TIGA, an organization that supports game developers and associated business in the UK.

“TIGA exists to represent and to serve the interests of games developers and associated businesses. TIGA’s vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We focus on three sets of operational activities: political representation, generating media coverage and developing services that enhance the competitiveness of our members.”

Develop Conference in Brighton

This week CIN will participate in the Develop Conference in Brighton, 13 – 15 July. This is an conference for the video game industry and by the newsflash it looks like it will be a big turn-up. Steve will be working the floor and talk to developers about what we can offer in narrative creation for their game development. Getting the word out within the industry is challenging as narratives has been stigmatized as externally enforced stories and cut-scenes that has nothing to do with gameplay. But we persist in our quest to prove otherwise. By using our method the narrative content of the game will evoke individual stories in each gamer and be part of gameplay.

More workshops planned at Staffordshire University

Following the successful workshop given at Staffordshire University, UK, we have now planned to offer three workshops a year there. These will be open to game developers in UK that are interested in creating a structure in the work with narrative content. It will also be an opportunity for industry to meet students, to spot future skills and opportunities.

The first workshop is planned for the second week in December 2010. We will keep you updated on dates and how to sign up in a few weeks.

The main lessons from this workshop is that when creating narrative content for games, or any other media, it is important to design these for the specific media in mind. Many times, unfortunately, this is done with film or TV in mind resulting in a break between an external enforced story and gameplay. With the help of our method it is possible to create narrative contents in the beginning of a project that will guide the whole production, and potentially save both time and cost – as it limits the risk of changes late in the production.

Game concept ready for a mobile multiplayer game

We have just completed a game concept for a Swedish game developer that are building a multiplayer mobile game. It is a game full of humour where you can have lots of fun working with, or against, your friends, or anyone that you want.

In developing this concept we have used the ideas from the development team and structured this through Narrative Bridging. As this resulted in a conceptual map that forces us to define relations it was generated a narrative content in the game. This work has been pivotal here and the tool for constructing this game concept.

After we had presented the concept the head of the studio excitedly exclaimed “Sustain, as you have created a new kind of profession that could be compared with saying you were an astronaut during the 19th century”.

The game is now proceeding to the next phase and we are happy to see how the production progress, and the narrative content with it.

Montreal International Game Summit

At the moment we are sorting out the details for CIN to participate in the Montreal International Game Summit. This is an international conference for game developers, from Canada and around the world. As you know this area is exploding with activities in this area, as game development has been considered a key industry in Canada.

The conference is planned to 8-9 November and the following two days (10-11) Alliance Numérique will offer courses and workshops to participants, one of those will be the CIN workshop on how to develop narratives in games. We will keep you posted on how to sign up to the workshop.

Workshop at Staffordshire University

CIN will be giving a 2-day workshop at Staffordshire University the 4th and 5th of May. This workshop will be given, mainly, to students that study video games and narratives. Our colleague and UK agent Steve Webley have been giving some excellent courses on the topic over there. The workshop is also planned to be the first in a series of continuous workshops at Staffordshire University.

Varför måste jag ta över när allt går åt helvete?

Jag spelade ”Mass Effect 2”. Det är ett rymdepos som jämförts med George Lucas Stjärnornas krig. Men det är nog fel av mig att säga att jag ”spelat” “Mass Effect 2”. Vad jag gjorde var att ”spela” inledningen fem gånger eftersom jag inte hittade cockpit för att göra en uppdatering av en journal. Varför jag i herrans namn ville göra en uppdatering av en journal mitt i ett exploderande inferno med döda kroppar liggandes på golvet, och där larmet gick och en högtalar röst ropade ”mayday, mayday”, har jag inte en aning om. Det påminde mig lite om Max Payne – en noir-klassiker inom spel – där Max, som är detektiv, kommer till ett magasin där skurkarna håller till. Han ringer efter backup (polis) som säger att de är snart är på plats. Jag som spelare hade gärna väntat på backup men se, det vill inte Max. Han ville gå in i magasinet och säger lite kaxigt i polisradion att han ”går in”. Va, tänker jag, är du inte klok Max? Men det var inte det värsta. När han väl bestämt att han skulle gå in i magasinet så ”lämnar” han mig. Det är JAG som spelare som måste ta ansvar för hans beslut. Båda fallen slutar med att jag kastrerar hjältarna genom att fånigt stå och bli nedskjuten i ett magasin eller vimsigt springa runt i ett eldhav där folk dör för jag inte hittar cockpit.

Continue reading Varför måste jag ta över när allt går åt helvete?

“Fun factor” – glassigt värre!

Jag vet inte hur många gånger jag stått och stirrat ner i en kyldisk en varm sommardag med längtan efter glass, utan att hitta en favorit, och nästa gång jag gått dit har jag tänkt ”inte den, inte den, och inte den…”. Exakt samma känsla har jag när jag köper spel.

Tänk dig att du är designer som ska göra ett spel där det finns lika många åsikter som det finns glassorter i en kyldisk kring vad som är ett roligt spel? Arbetar man dessutom utifrån begreppet att ett spel ska ha en ”fun factor” så förstår man att detta innebär problem. Vad är roligt? Vi bestämmer målgrupp, säger någon. Ja, en målgrupp! Det underlättar saken……inte så mycket. Vi har barn, vuxna, tjejer och killar, familjer, vana och ovana, och vem ska man ta bort? Continue reading “Fun factor” – glassigt värre!

Collaboration with the developer Swimsuit Boys

In January 2010 we started cooperation with the Stockholm-based game developers Swimsuit Boys. In this cooperation Katarina participate in the development as Narrative designer in order to make sure that concepts and structures meet the requirements Swimsuit Boys want the player to experience. The work process is based on the NB method that supports the creation of narratives in interaction with game play.