Nordic Game 2016: Day 2 Roundup

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Nordic Game Day 2 is basically over and so are my write ups. The combination of tiredness and a late night party means tomorrow is going to be pretty pointless from a writing perspective, so chuff that – I’m off to Copenhagen instead.

So here’s as much as I can remember from Day 2, summarised for you in the form of an, erm, summary. Enjoy!

The talks

First up, Hideo Kojima forced us all to get up early to see what he was banging on about. You can read a full write up here, but the main things he chatted about included Kojima Production’s mission statement, VR and his love of cardboard boxes.

Next, I saw Housemarque talking about single player eSports. Aside from Clash Royale and Starcraft, few games have recreated the thrill of solo sports(whether its Tennis or F1) in a digital context. So the Housemarque team hinted very clearly that it was what they’re working on and they’ll tell us more about it soon. The teases.

After diving briefly into the lunch hall for some munch, I then heard from CD Projekt Red’s Matthew Steinke about how the team balanced The Witcher 3’s in game crafting system.

Though I won’t pretend to understand the mathematics that went into it, it was fascinating to get a glimpse of how the ‘hilariously’ monikered WitchCraft system worked.

Elegantly combining elements as disparate as loot collection and different in game currencies under a single cycle of in game behaviour, Steinke explained how the team tied both the mechanics of the game and the crafting system closely to the game economy – helping players believe they were part of the game world. Very smart stuff indeed.

Finally, I listened to Reko Ukko from Seriously talk about the inventive ways the company marketed Best Fiends to a mobile user base. Partially chucking out CPI marketing in favour of branding a sports team, Youtuber outreach and advertising on EasyJet boarding passes, Ukko made a convincing case that alternative marketing approaches

Game of the day – Ellipsis

 An indie paid mobile game, Ellipsis is a zen distraction piece that quite happily captured my attention.

The premise is simple enough. You put your finger on the screen, you then have to draw a line through a series of numbered circles and, once you’ve hit the fourth checkpoint, either make a dash for the end zone or try to go through another checkpoint along the way.

It’s very simple to play, but it gently becomes more challenging and forces you to think as you play. And the final decision to exit a level immediately to make sure you clear it or risk going for extra points does introduce a nice/risk reward element too. A pleasant experience, that’s for sure.

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