GDC 2013 Day 3 WILD RUMPUS!!

5 04 2013

Wednesday was the day of the Wild Rumpus + Venus Patrol Party. I’d been looking forward to this party more than the conference if I’m honest, it’s a small slice of the best part of London life, transposed to the USA.

Wild Rumpus is a sort of club night crossed with an indie game showcase. You can casually hang out with your friends and watch people playing games that are being projected onto the walls, and if any of the games catch your interest, you can just go over and try it out for yourself – simple.

The key to why these parties are so much fun, is in the game curation. I asked Marie Foulston about how they choose what games to play. She said that they pick games that are as fun to watch as they are to play. They must be easy to understand just by watching and be made up of relatively quick bouts so that nobody will have to wait to play for so long that they get bored.
She’s also strict on how many games feature, too many and it would be overwhelming, too few and circulation around the venue will freeze up.


Panoramical ♥ SoundSelf
♫ ♥ ∞

A game by: Fernando Ramallo, David Kanaga,
Robin Arnott & Evan Balster
With Matt Divito & Brendan Byrne

A trippy chill out room held these two games, especially modded for the party to interact with each other.

Players of Panoramical use a sound board to control the landscape in the game.

Meanwhile, players of Soundself lay on the ground under microphones chanting, singing and talking to alter the game space.

Super Space ____
2(+) players, 1 ship

A game by: David Scamehorn
& Alexander Baard

This game had up to 4 players all playing as the same ship in control of their own gun. Shooting asteroids as they came into the field of play got you points, but also propelled you all dangerously close to the deadly perimeter. Shooting in the wrong direction would stop you from flying into danger, but then you won’t score points. Players had to make a judgement call between ruthlessly scoring points for themselves, or saving everyone to keep the game going.

Samurai Gunn
A weapon is only as strong
as the one who wields it

A game by: Beau Blyth

Tenya Wanya Teens
A coming-of-age tale
About love, hygiene, monsters
And finding discarded erotic magazines
In the woods

A game by: Uvula, Wild Rumpus & Venus Patrol

Two players race each other to perform the right actions in the right place first in a sequence of scenes that represent the day in the life of a teenage boy. Each time a new action is introduced the player has to remember which colour button matches it. Which is almost impossible, especially as the buttons start to switch place on the controller while you’re not looking.

This panic and confusion is all the more funny when you try to confess your love to a girl only to accidentally pee on her shoes instead.


Interestingly, an argument arose after GDC around the parties put on during the week. The big parties on the Tuesday and Thursday were both publically derided for having women in skimpy outfits and allegedly girls hired in to socialise with the crowds in the VIP areas.
Two members of the IGDA, including the chairwoman Brenda Romero quit in protest over the situation.

Commenter are split on the scandal, half are saying that this is an example of how thoughtless sexism perpetuates the ‘boys club’ barrier to entry around the games industry.
The other half saying that ‘this is just how parties are’ promoters bring in youthful attractive people, women chose to wear partying clothes.

Half of the people in the house I was staying at went to the Mojang party on the Thursday and the conversation afterwards was less about feeling outrage and more about feeling embarrassed and awkward to be seen there.

No matter which way you look at it, the party(ies) were tacky.

After giving it some thought, I’ve decided that the party organised by Yetizen for IGDA was tacky because it was lazy thinking.

Here is why Wild Rumpus put on a better party than Yetizen. Answer this question:

Q: “What will entertain a bunch of computer game fans?”

A “go-go dancers”
B “computer games”

The correct answer is B. Just in case it wasn’t obvious, (because apparently it wasn’t obvious to Yetizen).

I’d go as far as saying that Wild Rumpus was the perfect party to throw at GDC. The love of games saturated every facet of the event organisation –
I’ve mentioned the games on the walls, but then there were the DJs

Chipzel, who ‘indulges in the use of Gameboys to create energetic, melodic dance tracks.’ Her music is part of the hypnotic Super Hexagon, which was being played live projected onto the wall behind the DJ booth.
David Kanaga, the musician behind PROTEUS & DYAD performed Dinosaur Planet remixes

I Am Robot And Proud The co-creator of SOUND SHAPES played live electronic melodies and procedurally-generated reactive projections.

Closing the night with joyous floorfilling pop was Philippe Lemarchand A French DJ literally made up of Phil Fish, subject of the documentary Indie Game the Movie and Richard Lemarchand, once lead designer of the Uncharted game series.

The jokey title of the party All Other Parties Are Trite and Dull turned out to be more true than anyone could expect.




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