Murmel’s Blog – Spielsalon Edition

FlorianMurmel's Blog, News

Hello my dear readers,

Disclaimer: This might be a long one, it was an awesome time!

I am back with a blog and it has a theme: Spielsalon Kassel 2013. The Spielsalon is an expo/festival/party for games (PC, console, even board games) which takes place in Kassel every two years and which is being put together by the Kunsthochschule Kassel, the animation class in particular. I was there between the 27th of November and the 1st of December, mainly partying but also to see the games and meet awesome people. Games shown at Spielsalon included Surgeon Simulator, Space Team, TRI and The perfect woman. The latter ones by our friends Rat King Entertainment and Lea Schönfelder.

First off all the Black Pants (including the Berlin ones) came to Kassel to take part in this event. That alone makes for an awesome time! Christian did a panel in which he talked about funding small businesses and Tobi did a workshop on paper prototypes for games. Both were very interesting and fun and I learned about what other people think about the indie scene and their businesses.

Among the people who were at Spielsalon were a few very special guys. Number one was Sos Sosowski, whom you might know because he made McPixel, which is on Steam. I don’t even know where to start with this guy. He did a talk on seriousness in video games and how some series became less fun to play because the seriousness took over, and he did it from floppies (you know, those things that were there before CDs, although these days even CDs might have to be explained to the cloud- youngsters…). He also took part in the 48h Game Jam which I will tell you about a bit later, and he found some other very cool people which are up next.

They call themselves Major Bueno and have a project to bring out one game every month of this year. Their last one, called Party Bueno was one of the main attractions of the festival, because they finished it over the course of the Spielsalon and everyone was able to put their own figure into the game by drawing it on a drawing pad. The game stands to be finished soon, they were not quite able to get it all done, but the alpha version was playable at the Spielsalon main party on Saturday. And Sos, hung out with them for most of the time to create the music for the game which can be heard online and even features some guy called Murmel. Ridiculous! Awesome game, awesome guys!

Major Bueno + Sos by Daniel Stubenvoll

Major Bueno + Sos by Daniel Stubenvoll

Over the course of the expo I found my two true callings: defending the honor of the Black Pants in a game called Drunk Quest and beating the high score at the Pong Invaders Reality machine. And I have to admit, I was only partly successful on my quest.

On Thursday night, Stefan from Spielsalon came to me to announce that he had just revealed the secret game of the Festival, which turned out to be Drunk Quest. The premiss is to get drunk in some sort of Magic the Gathering kind of card-RPG-thingy. He also told me I was the one to play for Black Pants. Lucky me! Free booze and playing for the glory of the Pants! Needless to say, I won the shit out of that one and beat Stefan for Spielsalon, Noddy for the Weinbergkrug (the bar team of the expo) and Mattias Ljungström for well… Mattias Ljungström. The Black Pants will prevail and stand champions of the Drunk Quest. Somehow over the next days no-one wanted to challenge me again, I wonder why that was?

The not-so-successful part was the pong machine. I include a video so you can see what that one is about. On Friday I was able to climb the top of the high score list for the first time. One guy from Spielsalon and Tobias, who built this awesome machine were right up there with me and Chrstian also almost took it away from me. Over the course the weekend a race between Tobias and me started, with live Twitter broadcasting of new high scores. On Sunday (the last day) I had the high score for all of the day and the festival doors were about to close, when suddenly a wild Filip appeared (he he Pokémone reference) and played a high score of 199 in the last round before they shut down the game. I was totally devastated and I had no chance to try and get it back. That really sucked but in the end I have to congratulate Filip on his victory. Some sweat and tears went into that game over the weekend. If you ever get to be in a place where that machine is, go try it, and tell Tobias hi from me.

My week concluded with jury duty. OBJECTION! Actually I was on the jury for the 48h Game Jam and I saw some cool ideas. A game jam is when people meet at some event to create games in a short amount of time. You can see all the games on the Spielsalon Kassel website (Sorry I can’t find them right now, maybe they will be uploaded later). We voted for “The Tower Of Babel” as the winning game and handed over their prize, which included a license for Unity, to further dabble in making games. Maybe the team will go on to become Kassels next great thing in gaming, I will keep an eye on them.

So long, people. So much talk. I apologize for that, but as I said, I had a wonderful time and I had to share it with you. I can’t wait for the next Spielsalon or for that matter for the next event I can go to with the Pants. Meeting and talking to other indie developers is so much fun and I have learned a great deal.

Until next time,