The Day One

Entrance fee: 
35 € online ticket, 40 € at the site

A MAZE. Indie Connect April 26
9:00 – Opening the doors @ HBC Berlin()

Box Office
Welcome to Indie Connect! Grab a drink, shake a few hands and get ready for the program. If you haven’t gotten your tickets already, you can get them now at the door.

10:30 to 11:00 – Thorsten S. Wiedemann / DE()

Opening Manifesto
Festival director Thorsten S. Wiedemann opens the conference by publicly reading the A MAZE indie game manifesto.

11:00 to 11:40 – Jonatan Söderström / SE()

Indie Connect Key Note
A few years ago games like “Braid”, “Everyday Shooter” and “flOw” created an awareness among the public that independtly developed games could be something very special. Through innovation and uniqueness the indie scene started to grow and made a place for itself in the games industry. Discussions went rampant about whether games could be considered an artform or not, and developers were talking about the evolution and maturing of our medium. It was truly a time of inspiration. Since then hits like “Minecraft” have shown that indies are even able to compete with mainstream productions in terms of audience. But what are the consequences of gaining such success? Where are we heading now and why?

Jonatan Söderström
Jonatan Söderström aka “cactus” is an award winning game developer from Gothenburg, Sweden who has been making independent games for seven years and has gained praise and fame for his continuous output of odd freeware games.

11:40 to 12:10 – Jay Cousins / UK()

New Level Accessed
A presentation/provocation about how open source principles could change the game for games and game design. 

Jay Cousins
Jay Cousins is an Enabler of Interesting Projects, and an evangelist/explorer of Open Source Methods, Products and Practices. In the last 2 years he’s helped give birth to multiple awesome projects and supported many others.

12:10 to 12:40 – Martin Nerurkar / DE()

The Indie Brain on F2P
This lecture aims to provide an introduction to the design of free to play games and show why free to play is a great fit for the indie developer. It will give a succinct definition of the F2P (free to play) business model complete with it’s advantages and disadvantages. This lecture will also provide some useful tips and advice on the actual design of F2P games along with a few common mistakes to avoid.

Martin Nerurkar
Martin has studied architecture and worked as a freelance 3d artist, as a level designer, scripter and game designer. His last employment was as Lead Game Designer for Gameforge. He is now a freelance game designer with his Sharkbomb Game Design Services.

12:40 to 13:15 – Norbert Haacks / DE()

Buckle up
A talk about why you have to make creative concessions to achieve true independence. Norbert gives insights about the startup life and why it is the best and the worst thing that can happen to you

Norbert Haacks
After trying to study Computer Science Norbert moved to Berlin to study Game Design. After that he co-founded Newtracks with two fellow students to work on Next Big Thing. He loves everything related to games, is a passionate comic reader, t-shirt collector and meme connoisseur.

13:15 to 14:15 – Lunchbreak()

Grab a bite, play some games, connect.

14:15 to 14:45 – Mario v. Rickenbach / CH()

From Idea to Prototype
A talk about how to evolve ideas for games and how to get them out of our heads to create prototypes.

Mario v. Rickenbach
Mario just made his bachelor’s degree in game-design at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and is now working as freelance game-designer and research associate at the ZHdK.

14:45 to 15:15 – Jonathan Brodsky / UK()

Creative Music Games
Lucky Frame creates things that allow other people to create. With their recent projects, this has taken the form of games in which the player writes songs as they play the game. Jonathan will talk about some new ways to be creative with music using the vocabulary of games, showcase a number of prototypes and outline the design decisions that went into Pugs Luv Beats.

Jonathan Brodsky
Jonathan Brodsky is a designer and programmer. He makes electronic musical instruments, games, and very occasionally websites. He is interested in presets, quick creation, minimalism, and maximalism. He lives in Scotland.

15:15 to 15:45 – Thierry Platon / FR()

Cultural value in games
From the first moments of the design process, most of the Game Designers incorporate notions of “value” in their games (What value does my game going forward it to the player?) or even notions of “trace” (That he will remain in my game once the player has finished?). And this notion of value is directly associated with the cultural heritage of the Designer.
Yet it is much rarer than the same Games Designers, at least in Europe, directly integrate elements of their own culture in their game… Our European cultural heritage has certainly no reason to be ashamed next to our Japanese and American colleagues … So isn’t it our role, as Game Designer, to do radiate our heritage through our modern creations?

Thierry Platon
Thierry Platon is a video-game industry veteran with a musician, actor, stage director, comic books and science fiction writer background. As early as 1985, Thierry worked for Atari France in the localization of the very first Atari 400 games, while publishing numerous articles in various games magazines. His career as a freelance Game Designer eventually led him to the creation of the BiP media studio, of which he is the Creative Director. Thierry is also vice-president of the SNJV (Syndicat National du Jeu Video) and the PRIMI (Mediterranean Transmedia Cluster), organizer of the European Indie Game Days in Marseille.

15:45 to 16:45 – selected speakers()

Open Discussion
Let’s discuss cultural value in games and the A MAZE. Indie Connect manifesto.

On the panel:
Zuraida Buter NL
Andreas Podgurski DE
Thierry Platon FR
Michael Liebe DE

17:00 to 21:00 – connect time()

Time to relax and playtime at What?!

21:00 to open end

After Party of Lara Award + Deutscher Computerspielepreis @ Umspannwerk
Closing out the first day of Indie Connect 2012.