In March of 2016, L.A. Zine Fest was held at the Majestic in downtown Los Angeles. Among the thousands of people who came to celebrate zines and DIY culture, not a few of them were surprised to see something new: videogames. Attendees of all ages and backgrounds stopped by to get told a story by an interactive plush, experience new underground music in a brutalist environment, and generally learn or remember that games are building a vibrant, DIY culture of their own.
Games at Playdate 2016
Absurd Elevator Simulator
“Rethink your everyday actions with this dazzling elevator sim! Who will board next? Where will they want to go? As the absurd elevator operator, you decide! Choose a combination of 3 buttons and tell your passengers to enjoy the ride.” A game by the absurd elevator operators: Tonia Beglari, Peter Lu, Elaine Gomez and Annamaria Andrea Vitali, ABSURD ELEVATOR SIMULATOR is a game about being an elevator operator meeting weird passenger with different daily rituals.
“We were just hanging out and wanted to make something chill (in a relaxed way) for the global game jam 2016. It’s supposed to be a relaxing, rose-smelling simulator game. No winning, losing, challenge, or puzzles. Just walk in the park, smoke a little weed, feed the birds, and blast off when you’re done.”
“Failsafe is a parkour exploration game that follows a young woman named Isra on her journey through the forgotten ruins of an old civilization. Failsafe’s still in development, but we’ve exhibited solid builds at shows like IndieCade, PAX, and Riot Games’ game night.”
“Wander a dreary city of concrete structures and unknown melodies tonight you die is an audio rich first person exploration game. players are abandoned in a desolate brutalist cityscape with only a menacing note as a clue: “tonight you die” Made in collaboration with LA band GRYPT and deathbomb arc.”
Temporality and EnviroGolf
“EnviroGolf is a horrid game. It’s a combination of a genre (sports game), style (text-based) with a theme (environmental protection) that shouldn’t work together. Yet it does. The game itself is quite enjoyable, silly interactions and EnviroGolf has been shown at Different Games Conference in New York City, at EGX in London, as well as at Giant Robot, here in LA. Temporality, on the other hand, is a somber musical experience; control a soldier on the battle field, “D” moves him forward across no man’s land. “A” reverses time. No key holds it still. Temporality is particularly relevant as we continue to experience the 100 year anniversary of The Great War. Temporality won Bronze at Serious Play Conference 2015, is a Jury select in the 19th Japanese Media Arts Festival, and was on display at the National Arts Center in Tokyo.”
“TWO SIDED is a play experience inspired to Milan Kundera’s novel “The Hitchhiking game”. Switching the play experience in two different game worlds, the game represents metaphorically a girl’s self-discovery of her two opposite “sides” coexisting each other as indissoluble parts of a unique personality.”
“OCTOBO is a game that has a hybrid of physical and digital gameplay. He is an interactive storytelling plush octopus companion for children that will respond to storybook cues and player interactions. He has a tablet display on his head and sensors integrated throughout his body that feed into an Arduino. Gameplay emerges when players follow the story prompt and “play” with OCTOBO physically.”
“Every night when you wake up / You try to put on your makeup / I say a little prayer for you…” Just because you’re a vampire doesn’t mean you don’t want to look good. No reflection, no problem! Right? Just grab your lipstick and eyeshadow, stand in front of the mirror, and apply it where you think it should go.”
“This was a collaboration between four girls at the USC IMGD MFA program. we wanted to explore internal battles. you, the player, face an irrevocable challenge: you are invaded by an alien virus. the game rewards balance and punishes one-sided thinking. sci-fi is used to speak iconically about everyday inner conflicts. the narrative structure is combinatorial, meaning that it will work well in many different orders. this aspect in particular required many tests. we found that, in leaving the gender ambiguous, players generally projected their own gender onto the protagonist. this game has 7 endings and successfully elicits replays. we are new to game jolt and have just published it for this application. we are very lucky to have the music of Disasterpeace.”