Spasiba Bolschoi!

The hottest day of the year in Ulyanovsk finally came to an end - and so did Место преступления изменить нельзя // Can’t change the crime scene sucessfully shot 8 crime movies, arrested 5 perpetrators and lost a great Cop due to corruptness. Check out the pictures of the event here. The movies are online as well - subtitles are under process!

We say thank you for a great day full of action, a splendid festival, all the help and curiosity in games.

Keep playful!

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WELCOME TO ULJANOWSK

So, what are we doing in Russia? Following the news of course. Discussing. All the time. Not. Russian people, especially the young ones, often refuse. The german ambassador canceled his visit, but this might have other reasons than the latest developments. Our office is also a storage of multiple flags. Black red gold and red blue white. Then there is this mysterious box with EU- and nobody really knows what to do with it. While we have been thinking about switching the whole setup to a more political one. We just wish there might be some more constructive game design and mutual trust in politics.

Even if we do not have political CONTENT, we provide a kind of CONTAINER that can be filled. And the real political thing: we are very happy to make people see and use their public space in every way suitable- for themselves.

GAME DESIGN CHALLENGE

Occasion: German/russian days in Uljanowsk. http://www.germania.diplo.de/contentblob/4275766/Daten/4482970/uljanowskprogramm.pdf

Location: Uljanowsk. Birthplace of Lenin (who also gave name to the former Simbirsk)

A game for 50-70 people for an afternoon.

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For the german/russian days we wanted to play with stereotypes. When we started working on the project, also “Im Angesicht des Verbrechens” should be shown after our game.

Let’s have a look on some Russian crime statistics:

The 2009 crime survey claimed every fourth adult male had been to jail at least once. But this is no new post-soviet development. A famous Russian folk song sings half the nation has been in jail and the other half has been waiting. Murder are in rising number, although police statistics do not count un-identified bodies or missing people as murder-victims. Interesting as well: the differentiation between “murder” and “using material on somebody with fatal consequences” (not counted as murder). In 2009 officially there have been 45.100 murders committed in Russia, 77.900 un-identified bodies and 48.500 missing people.

We came to the conclusion, that a game about crime stories would be great. Even better: Crime movies.

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OUR CONTAINER: NARRATIVE STRUCTURE

Ok. We had our container. Storytelling/moviemaking with references to german and russian formats. So what else could we choose than TATORT? Broadcasted each Sunday evening millions of Germans watch the Tatort week by week. Recently (during the last maybe since the football world cup) there were more and more public viewing events. Tatort’s stories take place in several german cities that have more or less convincing commissar couples.

Dramturgically Tatort follows a quite strict structure. In the beginning in 99,99% of all Tatorts there is a dead body. The two commissars start investigating: In the social environment of the victim. So Tatort is not only a crime movie, but also (at least some of the good ones) a good container to wrap social studies in an entertaining format. The end of the Tatort: open. Not every murder is caught. It depends on taste of the production team (writer, director etc.).

Due to some trouble in just literally translating the name “Tatort” to russian, we did some research on russian crime formats and were led to Место встречи изменить.  нельзя http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Meeting_Place_Cannot_Be_Changed

- a cult series of the post soviet generation TV and decided to merge both formats.

So the narrative structure of the game (the storytelling set that helps the teams to develop their stripts on the locations) follows the typical Tatort-structure, the content (e.g. choices that can be taken during the development of the story) is enriched with quotations of Место встречи изменить.  нельзя.

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INPUT: REAL CRIME STORIES

Not only the places are real (and wonderful. In the morning on our way to our office we are singing “Mister Lada Lada” )- we also did research on site concerning real crime in Uljanowsk. A former detective, a former prisoner (of one of the 8(?) prisons in Uljanowsk, the police press office told us stories.

For example the story about the guy who invited another one to his place to batter him to death with a glass of mustard- because he was curious how the brain tasted. Another one killed himself because he could not hide the body parts of his wife he had murdered before. Although Uljanowsk is said to be much more quiet than 10,20 years before (where it was a real heartland of violence), there are still things going on. Each spring girls are kidnapped literally in front of their homes- and found in the forest with separated extremities.

But most of the times: crime seems to be influenced much by accidents. Wrong time wrong place. People drunk. Bar fight. Bad luck. People who slip in the staircase and shoot into other people’s head instead of the shoulder.

Somebody tried to explain a strange Uljanowsk atmosphere (people tend to find people from other parts of Russia more friendly and happy) with the fact that there are those 2 rivers (Volga and another much smaller one) that flow into opposite directions.

However: We found enough material for a crime movie shooting game: with much suspense. (Interesting sidenote: suspense or excitement do not exist in russian language as words with positive connotation.)

 

LAST HOURS TO GO.

So, tomorrow at 14h we will start.

70 people will spread out in teams of 5. Each team will leave (after a tutorial about the general structure and the material they get, especially the flipcam) and visit 5 different locations we found in the vicinities of Simbirsk, the historical city center. They are prepared with physical tools to develop, perform and shoot their scenes.

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And in the evening we will celebrate the premiere of all 10 movies in KVARTAL.

 

We are working with three wonderful volunteers- and would be lost without them. This is the first time that we make a live game for 70 people in a foreign language. And most of the people here do not understand or speak english or german.

So: Exciting. In a positive way.

 

The Museum of Minor Incidents (MOMI)  has opened its doors at Aichi, Japan!

In this set of site-specific audio-games we show a mosaic of small dramas, of hope, surprise and relief arising from unconnected, hyperlocal events. We highlight small incidents that can happen to us everywhere - as individuals, as families, friends, or companies. Small incidents that interrupt our individual feeling of control and form our collective memories and make us change our behaviour: We invent strategies of coming to terms with this mysterious thing that one might call fate.

All playable exhibits are based on facts and fictions of people who live and work in Nagoya and Okazaki. Backbone of our research are more than 60 interviews we conducted in spring 2013, and a precise survey of people’s environment and their unique physical, architectural and social conditions. Put together within the framework of game mechanics from local children’s games over arcade games, from physical games to role-playing, we create playable experiences for real people in real places.

Check out the MOMI in english or japanese on your mobile device. Even if you are not in Japan, you can play exhibit 01 everywhere (some of you might already know it ;)) Now first visitors are learning how to play “KAME-WUSHU” :)

http://invisibleplayground.com/museum/

http://aichitriennale.jp/english/

Designing services or other things and testing them with game-prototypes. This was what we have done with participants at the d.confestival - a festival for Design Thinking in Potsdam, September 2012 (yes, it has been a while…). In the workshop Rapid Game Design as Prototyping Method we translated ideas we wanted to test and concepts we wanted to prove into games. No doubt, this is a tricky undertaking at first. At the same time participants reported that the ideas they were confronted with during gameplay were highly tangible and the experience was insightful.    Obvious gains: high involvement of testers, lots of interaction.

Today Invisible playground kicked off Augenblick Mal 2013 (The German festival of theatre for young audiences) with a playful dance! Take a look at the pictures and see how this is done.

Check out this lovely video from the Giang Starfish Kraken Rodeo at Roskilde Roadtrip at MS Dockville Kunstcamp.

Finally the birds are signing and the sun is caressing our cheeks, which means it is time for a new season of Open playground (Hurray) Join our first open playground in 2013 and lets us kick-off the season together by playing a handful of ridiculously fun games that are eager to be tested!  We meet at our office at 14 and then we will be in the space of Mehringplatz playing the 4 games. You can join later but then you might have to use your Sherlock Holmes skills to find us. If you can’t find any clues that guide you in our way, call Daniel at 0176- 23210488!  Dress code: Wear comfortable shoes and cloths that match the weather.  The games being tested is: ***The Giant Starfish Kraken Rodeo*** Being an organic tentacle of a kraken your team and you has to collect pearls without having your arms chopped off! Here are some pictures from the design process of the game: http://tinyurl.com/cvjnacc ***Instant mapping game*** Site specific street game  …. that focus on instant mapping. Watch this video and get a feeling of how the game was developed at the Zürich Workshophttp://tinyurl.com/cew28h2 ***Exhibit 13*** Audio Game developed In Japan for the Aichi festival 2013. Here is a photo from our playtest in Nagoya: http://tinyurl.com/crtuxmv *** Childhood dreams *** Audio street art game  … about lost souls that are caught in limbo until their fulfilling their last wishes
 
Join our facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/450830004993885/

Finally the birds are signing and the sun is caressing our cheeks, which means it is time for a new season of Open playground (Hurray)

Join our first open playground in 2013 and lets us kick-off the season together by playing a handful of ridiculously fun games that are eager to be tested!

We meet at our office at 14 and then we will be in the space of Mehringplatz playing the 4 games. You can join later but then you might have to use your Sherlock Holmes skills to find us. If you can’t find any clues that guide you in our way, call Daniel at 0176- 23210488!

Dress code: Wear comfortable shoes and cloths that match the weather.

The games being tested is:

***The Giant Starfish Kraken Rodeo***
Being an organic tentacle of a kraken your team and you has to collect pearls without having your arms chopped off! Here are some pictures from the design process of the game: http://tinyurl.com/cvjnacc

***Instant mapping game***
Site specific street game
…. that focus on instant mapping. Watch this video and get a feeling of how the game was developed at the Zürich Workshop
http://tinyurl.com/cew28h2

***Exhibit 13***
Audio Game developed In Japan for the Aichi festival 2013. Here is a photo from our playtest in Nagoya: http://tinyurl.com/crtuxmv

*** Childhood dreams ***
Audio street art game
… about lost souls that are caught in limbo until their fulfilling their last wishes

 

Join our facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/450830004993885/

Not that long ago we had the pleasure to host a workshop at Zürich. So many amazing prototypes was created - kudos to the participants! 

Watch the video and get a feeling of how it works when we facilitate workshops that focus on designing rapid game prototypes used to think and discover the potentials of new play constellations. 

Our design approach is always that it is only when we start to put our ideas into the world that we start to realize their weaknesses and strength. The faster we do that - the faster do our ideas developed.

Exploring different kind of game aspects and aesthetics through various materials is a crucial part of our design process of Starfish Kraken.

After an hour of building the Starfish Kraken it was ready for a new test - and to be bounced like crazy!