Not to get too event-heavy with the day, but there are a few more events worth not-missing this weekend, starting with Arse Elektronika, now in its sixth year and coming to San Francisco Thursday, September 27th, through Sunday, September 30th.
The conference, organized by Johannes Grenzfurthner & Günther Friesinger of Austrian art/game team monochrom (more on them back here), along with curator and Kokoromi member Heather Kelley, is centered on the interplay between “sex, technology, games, and culture”, and will include lectures, workshops, and the Prixxx Arse Elektronika 2012 Awards, “an unobjectionable award for sex machines, orgasmotrons and teledildonics”.
Most notably, this year’s conference will see talks and game demonstrations from familiar faces including Heather Kelley — who created the “intuitive and stylish vibrator interface” OhMiBod Remote for iPhone with Kokoromi’s Damien Di Fede & Tiger Style’s Amanda Williams, as well as Molleindustria‘s Paolo Pedercini, Santa Ragione‘s Pietro Righi Riva (whose Awkward Sex Game is pictured at top, and who now has the amazing honor of owning AwkwardSex.com) and a whole boatload more who you can see here.
With the Adventure Time Game Making Frenzy drawn to a close and submissions already in (more on that in a bit), we move straight on to the rest of the events coming to Fantastic Arcade in just a few short days with a special exclusive.
This Friday, September 21st, Venus Patrol will be presenting the first iteration of THE DANCINGULARITY, a free, interactive dance-party experience being put together for Fantastic Arcade and Fantastic Fest guests by Kokoromi, the game collective helmed by Heather Kelley, Cindy Poremba, Damien Di Fede, and Fez creator Phil Fish (also behind the poster above, inspired by Factory Records designer Peter Saville).
Montreal art/game collective Kokoromi have just announced that they’ll be bringing the latest installment of their yearly Gamma showcase (traditionally reserved for the Montreal Game Summit) to GDC in March of 2010.
The theme for this year’s indie game showcase has yet to be chosen (you’ll recall that last year’s was the 3D theme that spawned both the original version of Infinite Ammo’s Paper Moon and Kokoromi’s own early-Offworld-exclusive super HYPERCUBE, and that 2007 was the year where Jason Rohrer first made news with the debut of Passage), but the group says submissions will open in November, and will give prospective indie game devs 6-8 weeks to build their games.
The chosen games will be “featured on large screen projections, and accompanied by the music of local and international DJs” at Gamma’s San Francisco opening party, and then be “playable in a special GDC-donated booth on the Game Developers Conference Expo floor from March 11th to 13th.”
Watch Kokoromi’s site for more information throughout November.
Just released by Kokoromi’s Heather Kelley and Polytron programmer Renaud Bédard: Stimergy, the product of a recent Bivouac Urbain 36 hour game jam. As you never would’ve guessed from the screen above, Stimergy is a game of ants played out in retro-future style, where your goal is to lay down traces of attracting and repellent pheromones to guide your colony to food, and away from antlion traps, and its bloom-lit tracers make it far more mesmerizing than you’d imagine.
Taking a cue from Petri Purho, Bédard’s also just published a time-lapse video of the development process, showing, again, that even under the 1.5 day pressures of completing a game, no one can resist the siren song of Facebook.
Created for Kokoromi’s recent Live Game Sounds event I mentioned a few weeks back, Future Boy’s 8-bit Megamix clocks in at nearly two whole hours of chiptune and low-bit excellence from Freezepop to Treewave to Glomag to Anamanaguchi to Goto80 and everyone else you’ve heard of before, and more you will wonder why you hadn’t heard of yet.
Use it as a primer to the scene, use it as your Jetsons treadmill running mix, just don’t not download it immediately. If it weren’t 139 megs large, I’d embed it here.
While you’re there, also grab A Maze of Death, his ‘eclectro-pop’ opera produced in collaboration with Johnny Cashpoint and based on the Philip K. Dick novel of the same name, or his Strange Little World EP (both of which hover somewhere around Atom and His Package meets Magnetic Fields meets Cabel Sasser, when he can be bothered to compose), or any of the extra tracks and more traditional mixtapes he’s posted to his blog.
BLOG.POST – 8-Bit Megamix [Future Boy]
Having missed the opportunity last week by a few hours to warn Offworld that Montreal collective Kokoromi was going to be giving its first public show of their previously revealed game superHYPERCUBE — headtracker and all — I’m doing due diligence to not let this one slip by.
Kicking off May 14th with a night of chiptunes and 8-bit projections at Montreal’s École Bourget with local artists Noia and Matt Fuzz, Kokoromi members Heather Kelley and Cindy Poremba will be at the Montreal Biennale May 15-16th collaborating on a new game in the form of “love letters – deeply personal direct communication to our objects of affection.”
Kelley and Poremba say the event, Live Game Code: Love Letters, will “demonstrate and illustrate our own attempts to make a playful software system,” and will include “laboratory assistants in the Porous Lab [creating] visualizations and audio interpretations of the game code, exposing the normally private game development process for public observation.”
The assistants will be plotting, for example, “lines of code written per hour.. number and type of crashes… or cups of coffee consumed and minutes spent on Facebook.”
Both events will be held at École Bourget at 1230 rue de la Montagne, and are open to the public: see their accompanying Facebook event pages for more information on the whens and wheres, or via Kokoromi themselves.
If you haven’t yet been exposed to Fez, a quick recap. Starting off as an otherwise innocently and nostalgically charming low-res 2D pixel platformer, Fez‘s central conceit revolves (no pun intended) around giving the player control of an otherwise hidden axis that fwoom‘s the world into the third dimension, re-aligning the position of 2D element and letting you venture deeper into its levels. It’s a difficult mechanic to put properly into words, but one that is genuinely jaw-dropping the first time it’s performed, and utilized to a more logical and involving extent than seen in the Wii’s similarly dimensionally screwy Super Paper Mario.
For this year’s GAMMA, then, the collective invited the indie developer community to get just as playful with the third dimension, only, in true retro-futurist Kokoromi style, limited developers to using only red/blue stereoscopy and explore, as they put it, “alternative depth and location cues” and the “ability to hide information in separate viewing channels.”
Kokoromi themselves — consisting of programmer Damien Di Fede, Fish, creative director and researcher Heather Kelley (who you might remember from her “magical pet adventure and stealthy primer on female sexual pleasure,” Lapis, and digital media theorist Cindy Poremba — together with Polytron programmer Renaud Bédard, set out to up their own 3D ante and have created, Offworld can exclusively reveal ahead of the event, super HYPERCUBE.
Kelley explains, “The gameplay of super HYPERCUBE is kind of like that “human Tetris” event on those Japanese game shows… but with cubes. You have a cluster of procedurally generated cubes right in front of you, and your goal is to quickly line it up to fit through the hole in the wall that’s moving toward you, by rotating the cluster with the controller.”
“To see the hole in the wall on the other side of the cluster (and thus figure out what direction to rotate the cube to line it up) you have to lean,” Kelley continues, “The better you play, the bigger the cluster gets, and so the further you need to lean in order to see the wall behind.” Simple enough, but — and here’s where their true innovation comes into play — to implement that leaning, Polytron’s Bédard took a cue from Carnegie Mellon researcher Johnny Lee’s famous Wii-mote head tracking concept, and hacked together a pair of stereoscope glasses that lets players literally lean to navigate their way around the space.
The short videos we’ve seen of the experience appear just the tiniest bit magical — the combination of anaglyph 3D with movement-based perspective, on top of the game’s slickly minimalist style reminiscent of nothing so much as early PlayStation puzzler Intelligent Qube perfectly fits that Kokoromi retro future vision. It’s not hard to imagine the 70’s early game pioneers predicting that this would be the shape of games to come.
The ‘super’ version of super HYPERCUBE will be playable one night only at tonight’s event, but, Kelley says, a version simply called HYPERCUBE which uses the Xbox 360 controller to lean will be released after the show, as will the games from its other selected developers, including Infinite Ammo’s Paper Moon, Lee Byron and Joannie Wu’s Fireflies, Tim Winsky and Johanna Arcand’s AltiToad, Jim McGinley’s The Depths To Which I Sink, and Antony Blackett, Corie Geerders, and James Everett’s BlottoBrace.