After getting in touch with little game booths and crowded places at the Notgames Fest on Tuesday, we felt ready to check out the gamescom. Luckily Wednesday is Trade Visitors Day, so everything is just half-crowded, but totally set-up for the big mayhem to start.
The first thing we headed for was the CD Project Red booth in the business area. Most business booths are super boring, have food and drinks for the press, no booth babes and are seldomly crowded. The CDPR's booth was full of people that were interested in their upcoming projects. GOG.com's Trevor Longino was there handing out t-shirts with a raising fist claiming the DRM-free revolution. And there was a Witcher boardgame, that looked quite nice. But no game to play, nope.
Another booth we visited with great interest was the Indie Megabooth booth. Kelly Wallick talked about their epic project to make Indie games more visible and to bring them to tradeshows like PAX or gamescom. We met Zoii (Global Game Jam, Playful Arts Festival, Women in Games NL), Jonatan Van Hove brought his suitcase arcade with the multiplayer WTF-game 'Go Nuts!' and Sos Sosowski arranged his hairspray and Achtung! Arcade. When you have a game or any interest in indie games, go there. I bet you will meet someone interesting.
The Iran was there, too. And brought us games where you have to chase your nose! Or MMO cockfight games. But seriously, I regret that we didn't have much time to check out this booth more closely.
After leaving the business area we went straight to the German IndieArena Booth, assembled by Oliver Eberlei from Hammerlabs Games. In a short amount of time he achieved to get contacts, indies, material, computers and all the stuff necessary to present a great collection of games.
Thomas Schulze, whose game I'm currently playing, showed us his monitor with the special foliage he needed to keep his game Splatter (word!) from the eyes of children.
You can also play Beatbuddy by Threaks there. An underwater platformer where you play in the rhythm of the music with a fantastic art style and a cute character. They even have a human sized mascot!
Or meet Thomas Bedenk and his team Brightside Games, who work on a game with many indie characters you might know.
If you want to see the ten ambassadors of the German Indie scene, go to Hall 9, Booth A-045 and feel the bright, fresh wind of German indie spirit.
A picture of a nice dog. I asked the booth babe to step aside for the image. She didn't look pleased.
Yes, we had press material.
After getting deaf through the booth next to the IndieArena we seek a more peaceful place and found it in Hall 10. Our friends from Leipzig prepared together with a lot of other retro enthusiasts a huge area of exhibitions, retro consoles, games, relaxing spaces and more interesting stuff than you will ever find it in any other booth.
The yellow wall is a German 80s kid's room. OMG, look at this stuff!
Some steps further you can play the analog version of Pacman – the Whacky Wit boardgame. Norman Sommer created this beautiful-looking, wooden boardgame. It even sounds awesome when you reset the pills! We played one session and talked about the process of making such a game. Norman made this game for an computer-enthusiastic friend in hospital, so they could play things together there. Now he got quite famous with this luxury boardgame for collectors.
Thomas Köhre from the Haus der Computerspiele (House of Computergames) introduced us to the most ugly, strange, shitty game covers exhibition. We should make a jam just from these packages.
In the same area we found game schools, cosplayers, the German Bundeswehr (if you like head shots, you should get hired there!) and case modders (the theme is 'Steam Punk').
That the OUYA is only one of many companies starting to be a competitor on the console market was something we recognized even more at the gamescom. There is the Pandora (you may find the creators in the retro area), UNU (by a German company) and the BOYO. The UNU was most interesting, because of its access to the Google Play store. The docking station will be delivered with a remote (quite similar to the Wii remote, but without the Gyro) and in the game version a controller is added as well. The UNU company is planning an own shop as well.
Another trend that was very visible at the gamescom are games that enable the player to be more creative. At Microsoft's booth you can see presentations and playable versions of Project Spark. With this tool you can create a 3D-world by adding and removing material, like working with clay. Afterwards you can paint the stuff with prepared grass, rock, ice or desert textures and add props like trees, rocks, plants and enemies. This is just the edit mode. In play mode you can add a character and walk through your newly built level. With a very basic and easy programming tool you can add behavior to your character. The whole tool looks like a polished and more user-friendly successor of Kodu.
And for those who already have the boob pads, check out for the brain wave controlled cat ears. Hooray for technology!
Alright gamescom. We leave now. See you next year, probably with more to TRI.