Posts Tagged ‘ innovation ’

IGF 2009: finalists for the innovation award

My recent posts on the IGF finalists for the innovation award have been a really fun experience. I really appreciate the reactions of the designers and readers. Next to being inspired by the games, I also noticed that these designers have loads of other interesting games that I’m fascinated about. And I can’t wait to take a closer look at the other finalists. I do have some critical remarks to say about the innovation category in general.

Although the games all had innovative elements, I wouldn’t call all of them innovative. Innovation within games means – for me personally – to totally redefine the medium and to break with gaming traditions. I was clear about You Have To Burn The Rope, I still think it’s weird that it’s a finalist in this category, I enjoyed playing it, yet I don’t see anything innovative about it. I had loads of fun playing Mightier, yet – apart from a few elements – it was just a mix if different genres, but in essence it’s just a puzzle/action/platform game. The same goes for Between.

When it comes down to innovation Coil and The Graveyard rule. Both have a very emotional impact on the player and they redefine the medium, each in it’s own way. Both have a lot of similarities when it comes to passivity and simplicity. Yet both offer a very different gameplay experience.

Next I’ll be taking a closer look at the finalists for visual art! For an overview of my articles on the IGF 2009 go here.

Mightier

This game pleasantly surprised me. I thought it was a really cool combination of player creativity and puzzle solving. The puzzle solving didn’t get too hard, yet the different challenges kept me interested. All in all, Mightier entertained me for quite some time.

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Coil

At my first attempt at this game, I couldn’t get past the second level. Now I’m a pro and I’ve become a big fan of coil. I like the fact that it takes you through an emotional rollercoaster and combines fun, playful mini-games with sometimes grim peaces of text. It’s definitely an interesting contester for the innovation award at the IGF 2009.

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Between

Once I got over the fact that I needed another player for this game and after I forced Daan to play it with me, I actually started to enjoy it! It’s a really cool mix of puzzle and collaboration. It gave me a Tetris-vibe at first, but then I realised it was much more complex.

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The Graveyard

The games by Tale of Tales have fascinated me ever since I met Auriea and Michaël at the Innovative Game Design Symposium in 2005. I participated in their Drama Princess workshop and I organised an event during the KunstTour 2006 for which they created a beautiful Abiogenesis performance. So I have to admit, I’m a bit biased when playing their games. Yet even though I’m such a big fan of their work, I didn’t enjoy playing The Graveyard!

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You Have To Burn The Rope

The above video is the official walkthrough for this game and it shows you all of its content. You, a small pink dot with a funny hat, get thrown into a dungeon level, where immediately melodramatic music begins to play after you take your first step. Then as you go along the corridor, there are four announcements: 1. There’s a boss at the end of this tunnel; 2. You can’t hurt him with your weapons; 3. To kill him you have to burn the rope above; Have fun!

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Coverage of the Independent Games Festival

On the 7th of January the IGF announced its finalists. The Graveyard of Tale of Tales is one of the finalists in the category innovation. After the fiasco of their submission of The Endless Forest to the IGF a couple of years ago, I really hope they get the recognition they deserve with this game. But their nomination has motivated me to examine the other finalists further. So the upcoming weeks I’ll be ‘covering’ all the finalists of the IGF, starting with the category innovation.

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