Earlier this month, I took a brief glance at the IGF 2015 main competition finalists, which featured some very interesting projects. But this time, the focus is on the… student showcase winners! That’s right: students. Not all game developers are in for the money, after all (although I expect some will make that jump sooner or later).
For this ninth annual outing, more than 350 different games across every platform (desktop, console, mobile) from universities and game programs across the globe, made the cut. That’s one helluva large number, I’d say, and best of all – every last one will be playable at GDC 2015, on March 2nd. So if you’re going, be sure check out at least a few, eh?
Now, I’d love to say that I’m familiar with the victors, but alas, I am not. So instead, I’m gonna wrap this one up with a list of the lucky students (below), complete with links and descriptions. Hopefully I’ll get to sample the lot at some point. Hopefully.
a-part-ment (Team a-part-ment, University of Southern California)
Nick Connor just got dumped. His girlfriend of four years has left him behind. Explore the wreckage of their relationship by uncovering the memories scattered throughout their apartment. Venture outside to visit his neighbors: a lost daughter, a widow, an unfaithful lover. Strangers living within a single apartment complex.
Downwell (Ojiro Fumoto – Tokyo University of the Arts)
A 2D plat-former game about going down a well, wearing guns for shoes.
Close Your (GoodbyeWorld Games – University of Southern California)
Close your is a first person tragedy that uses a webcam to make the player’s blinking a primary input. Experience the perspective of someone who suffers from brain trauma struggling with memory loss and confusion in a interactive narrative about the brevity of life.
Even the Stars (Pol Clarissou – Supinfogame & Nicholas Gavan – University of Bialystok)
Even the Stars aims to capture the lack of purpose and the endless disappointment of a lone space cowboy without a home. Focusing on exploration and contemplation rather than ace fights and laser guns, the game lets players explore the galaxy, discover various structures, partly through text controls. From this ephemeral journey, only the ship’s log will rest.
Gemini (Echostone Games – Tisch School of the Arts, New York University)
Gemini is a poetic video game about a journey of two falling stars flying back to the heavens and lighting up the sky.
Interloper (Monogon Games – HKU Utrecht School of Art and Technology)
Interloper is a real-time strategy game with matches that only take 5 minutes. The result is an intense, fast-paced, micro-focused experience with surprising strategic depth. The world of Interloper is divided in 3 war-hungry tribes that battle for control of a newly discovered world. You fight by claiming domain for your tribe of allegiance in maze-like battlegrounds designed with spatial tactics in mind. The units and structures at your disposal were created to deliver ample opportunity for spatial reasoning and strategic advantage, allowing players to grow indefinitely.
Rooftop Cop (Stephen Lawrence Clark – Tisch School of the Arts, New York University)
“Rooftop Cop: Doesn’t Speak, Doesn’t Listen” is a collection of five endless vignette games and companion 7-track album, concerning a world of police that have forgotten what, and why, they are policing. Following a loose metaphysical timeline, the Cops lose their way through five different experiences including arcade-style action, performative toys, and atmospheric exploration. Each vignette centers on something a bit different, from surrealist portrayals of political and economic systems, to code-based environmentalism.
Stellar Smooch (Alec Thomson & Jenny Jiao Hsia – New York University)
Help the two space probes smooch!