Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

holiday season sale + ipad game of the year + interview!

Mittwoch, Dezember 22nd, 2010

indie sale! along with a bunch of fellow indies, osmos is part of two bundles this holiday season! we are fortunate and humbled to be part of the humble indie bundle #2, which – after one week – has sold 183000 copies (!). osmos is also included in the indie iphone holiday sale, which started yesterday and runs until december 31. in both cases, large parts of the proceedings will be donated to child’s play charity. i think that these bundles contain some of the best independently developed games of the past years, and since they are almost going for free (or for charity, your pick), what are you waiting for?

ipad game of the year!

to our great surprise and utter delight, osmos was selected by apple as their ipad game of the year! i guess that makes osmos the „best ipad game of all time“ for now? right? :) soooo exciting! thanks to all you people out there who love and continue to play the game!

another castle and last but not least, i was interviewed by charles pratt for the NYU game center podcast another castle. they also fed me beer, so my talking gets more incoherent as time passes. it was great fun! if you are not familiar with this podcast series, may i suggest that you check it out right now? there’s an amazing line-up of great game designers (many of which i consider mentors and ongoing inspiration) and i am, again, humbled to be part of this.

what a year. happy holidays you all! … and now back to igf judging…


Mittwoch, November 24th, 2010

indiecade 2010 this blog has been dead for a very, very long time. and i’m not planning on reviving it. thanks to facebook, twitter and many other activities in my life, i clearly have no time to write more than 140 characters at a time, or re-post something to my facebook feed. while i do think this is somewhat unfortunate, the things i am doing instead are so much more exciting than maintaining this space. still, i might try to post something here every now and then, if only to archive it for myself, since facebook and twitter are not useful for this at all.

but while i’m here, why not write a few lines?… i’m currently judging games for the independent games festival 2011, playing some other games on the side, researching/reading material for our book on minimalist game design (tentative title), and looking forward to another celebration of independent games at babycastles (NYC, 42nd street) this saturday, when mr. brandon boyer will be in town. next week eddy and i are off to shanghai for gdc china where we’ll be giving the talk we presented at indiecade 2010 on minimalism and osmos, and after that i’ll be working more intensely on two SIGGRAPH submissions and a few game designs, while also heading over to germany for the holidays. comfortably busy, as always, and i would not have it any other way.

in closing, osmos has been a huge success in 2010, with many glowing reviews and strong sales on ipad and iphone, pc, mac and linux, and i can’t thank all of you enough! it’s been quite the ride, and it will be hard — but hopefully possible — to follow up with more gaming goodness in the future. i am working on a new prototype, and also collaborating on a game with NYC game studio area/code (creators of my beloved drop7), so there’s at least a chance that i will continue to create games. i could go on and on about how much fun and how inspiring this has been, but i think it’s time to put my head down and get to work on all of my projects. one step at a time.

vision award

Samstag, März 28th, 2009

osmos won the 2009 D2D vision award at the IGF awards ceremony. yay! this all happened last wednesday. in the meanwhile, i’ve taken an overnight flight to chicago, where i have been busy judging the entries for this year’s SIGGRAPH conference. so for today (more to come soon), i can leave you with a streaming video of the awards ceremony. our part is around the 32 minute mark.

the awards ceremony was one crazy event. very professionally produced, and lots of fun. actually, we were nervous as hell, so the real fun started after we calmed down some time later. the definite effect this all had, is that we will continue making games. not sure how, when or what exactly, but i have a bit of a plan. and it involves me giving in and getting a mac. more on this in the near future. first though, i could really use some sleep.

osmos and zeit²

Freitag, März 20th, 2009

osmos our video game osmos has been nominated for three awards at this year’s independent games festival (igf)! eddy and i are on our way to san francisco this saturday to attend the game developers conference (gdc), the indie games summit, and the igf. the awards ceremony is on wednesday evening, and man, are we excited! we’re nominated for excellence in design, technical excellence and the seumas mcnally grand prize. it was also just announced that we’re nominated for the direct2drive vision award, and you can vote for our game in the igf audience award category, if you like what you see. if you’re interested in more details, some interviews and our general blog, have a look at the hemisphere games website.

osmos on steam frontpage a demo just appeared on valve’s distribution platform steam, where the full game will be available sometime later this year. if you click on the image left, you’ll see the (small) osmos logo in the list, on the steam frontpage along with things like left 4 dead and team fortress 2. so cool… osmos will also be available via direct2drive’s indie games portal. and while the demo gives a pretty good picture in terms of what to expect, eddy is hard at work on more visual experiments for the final version.

zeit² it’s also very much worth mentioning that a group of my very talented students in the tu-berlin game programming and design course are one of the igf student showcase winners! zeit² was developed over the course of a 13 week game programming and design course in the summer of 2008, and it is simply incredible what they have achieved in such short time. thanks to xna, the game runs on both windows and the xbox 360. xbox community games are not (yet) available in germany, but i am sure that the game will be up for grabs once germany is added to the list (hopefully in 2009). encouraged by this, and the overall quality of the games developed in my three courses in berlin, i am continuing this line of teaching (and possibly research) at my new position at rutgers university.

this all still feels too good to be true. we have been getting some incredible feedback over the past weeks since the igf announcement. our forum is full of constructive, positive reactions to the demo, and even rod humble found some very nice words to say in the comments of eddy’s gamasutra interview. rod is the developer of the marriage, which i (and many others) frequently use as a demonstration of just how strong the meaningful abstraction of visuals and interaction can be. thanks rod! and thanks to all of you who have continuously supported our efforts and my desire to work on this. it has been more rewarding than i had ever hoped, and i can promise that you have not seen the last of us. now that this kicked off, let’s see how far we can go. there are many ideas afloat, and so many nice platforms to develop for (looking at you, iphone). to be continued… cheers!

pac get!

Dienstag, Juni 26th, 2007

pac man C.E. i’ve been meaning to write a bit about video games for some time now. to my great surprise, it took a rebuilt version of an old classic to make this happen. pac man C.E. has taken up large batches of my spare (and not so spare) time lately, and i think it will continue to do so. toru iwatani and his team at namco have managed to revive the good old ghost eater in a style similar to newer games such as lumines and geometry wars, and the result is nothing less than painfully addictive. for more info, check out the excellent review on

other games i have recently played, enjoyed, and can wholeheartedly recommend are gears of war, god of war II, crackdown and guitar hero 2. guitar hero 2 is great for two reasons (a) it’s fun, and (b) olga is addicted to it. she recently beat my career score on the worldwide leaderboards, making it impossible for me to simply stop playing. this is rather unfortunate, since i am way too busy playing forza motorsport 2 and the recently fixed motorstorm.

fm2 lotus elise 135R

my fm2 lotus elise 135r. both the paintjob as well as the screenshot were created using in-game tools.

eddy and i gave the motorstorm time trials a go during his recent berlin visit, and they rock. in any case, i’m all about the races these days, which is a nice distraction from all the first- or third person action games of early 2007. but not to worry, there’s so much more on the horizon. i’ll be in san diego and montreal in the first two weeks of august, only to be welcomed by bioshock when i get back home. bioshock is the spiritual successor to system shock 2, which, to my great shame, i have never finished. september will greet us with halo 3, and the recent multiplayer beta was significantly more fun than i had expected. october is gta IV month. i’ve played all ps2 incarnations of the series, and judging from the trailer (and yes, the hype) this one should be good. ubisoft has some year-end fun in store for us with assassin’s creed and splinter cell: conviction. the assassin’s creed video footage looks awesome and really nails the visual style. as for conviction: a very good friend of mine is working on their physics and animation systems, and i can’t wait to see the results.

all in all, i’d say 2007 is (and will likely stay) a great year for video games.

in closing, check out what most video gamers look like, and the king of kong. we are indeed a weird (and mostly competitive) breed. we also like the fun. and some even enjoy making games. i personally also enjoy talking about games. for a glimpse of both the talking and the making, check out the class on video game programming i have been teaching at tu berlin this summer term. finally, this link will clarify the title of this post. shine get!

i’m not an addict

Freitag, November 10th, 2006

stefan visited us in berlin a few weeks ago, which generally leads to some hitting the town, and playing lots and lots of games. in this case i should rather use the singular „game“, since all we played all weekend was fight night. here’s us playing, the picture being heavily inspired by the penny arcade comic strip on the left.

penny arcade couch potatoes

i play games. lots of games. while i really enjoy many other activities, such as playing the guitar, snowboarding, photography, etc., nothing captivates my attention as much as a really good game. games are fun. period. online, offline, solo, with friends, whatever. i like games. and yes, i am an addict. in a good way, i think. and while this sometimes felt awkward in the early to mid 90s, when i’d listen to stuff like: „you’re a grown-up, why in the world do you play and/or like videogames?“, it has become fairly standard to indulge in the this pastime, independent of age. this development has even reached germany, although we’re still far from the craziness in north america and japan, which i guess is why they always get stuff first. meh.

and since it’s the title of this post, always remember that there used to be this great band k’s choice, and while they’re pretty much over these days, their old stuff is still great.

tetris: from russia with love

Samstag, Oktober 28th, 2006

watch the video to see tetris (and its maker) in all its glory. i just stumbled across this great bbc documentary, which was linked from my beloved kotaku. enjoy.

[update. unfortunately, the video was pulled from google videos. it is mentioned on the tetris wikipedia site]

as many others, i was totally hooked on this game back when it got packaged with the original game boy. for some reason i never tried it on any other platform since then, although it has been ported and re-released widely. easy to learn, difficult to master, i guess that’s what does it for me.

work = fun and games ?

Samstag, Oktober 21st, 2006

penny arcade so yeah, it’s not always fun and games. but, fortunately, sometimes it actually is! to instantly out myself as a gaming geek, i have been greatly enjoying penny arcade these past weeks. i remember reading them way, way back, i think on their second comic or so (thanks to my former roommate alex). if you know a bit about (video)games and like the comics you’re in for a treat. they’ve also published their early works in hardcopy form, and i’ve been re-reading them ever since they arrived in my mailbox. webcomics are cool. especially videogame related ones…

computer graphicsand, since i strive to keep up the fun and games, i’ve put up a jobsearch website recently, and am currently involved in some preliminary talks. but perhaps i should stick to my academic roots, which have also been mostly rewarding + enjoyable = fun. to complete this post, we have a nice new computer graphics website up at tu berlin, where i am currently in my final year of phd studies. if all goes well, graduation will commence sometime summer 2007. drop by if you’re in berlin. cheers.