AMaze/Berlin 2014

Puh. I don’t know where to start exactly. What a week. We where very spontaneous about this: we went to the AMaze Festival in Berlin!

Months ago Monika and I talked about participating and also showing “Sir Eatsalot” at the event. In the end we decided that our game doesn’t fit the “tone” of the festival. Though we liked the crazy awards like the “Human Human Machine Award” or the “WTF! Award” our game wouldn’t fulfill the requirements in order to win. Besides: the game wasn’t finished let alone in a presentable state. So we did what ever mature game-dev did: we cried and got over it.

Fast-Forward to last week. We had breakfast:

Me: “AMaze starts the day after tomorrow…”
Monika: “Yeah…”
Me: “Why don’t we just go?”
Monika: “But…’Sir Eatsalot’ isn’t finished yet…”
Me: “Whatever! We’ll just go, talk to other devs, listen to lectures. We’ll just participate, no one’s forced to show games.”

And well, we did exactly so. We were lucky my best friend lives in Berlin, so we had free place to sleep (thanks to Désirée at this point, you’re the best). We arrived Wednesday towards evening and planed our visit at AMaze.
At the next morning we woke up early in order to be punctual at the very first talk. But of course we weren’t and got lost instead. After some time we found the Urban Spree-Building (dirty, but very cool place. I expected Walther White cooking some Blue next door), where we were told to go to the WYE-Building for the talks and registration. We missed two lectures till we arrived at the right building.

Right after registration we slipped in Dajana Dimovskas Talk about the Copenhagen Game Collective. Interesting and very motivating speech about the importance of regional communities for game-developers.

We got really motivated by people like Pippin Barr, who presented his collaboration with the artist Marina Abramovic and their artsy games.

Shout-outs to Cara Ellison who is doing a really incredible and unusual thing for a game-journalist: instead of writing just about the games, she wants to actually get in touch with the developers, talk to them about their lives, their backgrounds, their politics and so on.

Jonathan Blow was present, too, talking about puzzle-design for “The Witness” and major flaws of the most Adventure-Games nowadays.
Rilla Khaled presented some interesting ideas about reflective game-design.

Of course we also participated at the Indie-Arena Session. Different devs hold “Hyper-Talks” about their experience while developing their games.
If you don’t know what the Indie-Arena is:
it’s the online gathering place for independent developers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, if you’re interested:

To sum up: we had a blast. We talked to different people, exchanged ideas and experiences and played crazy-fun games. On a certain meta-level we felt like being at home. Everyone was supercool and we all had just fun talking about the one thing we’re all here for: creating games.

We hope next year will be AMAZing, too!