Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Cold

Wohoo.. Understood now what went wrong the other day.
Nils Deneken is working on the Waterfalls scenario.
Integration of Box2D worked and now we're tweaking around and fixing it, so it runs the way we want. Any Box2D-wizz out there? I'd like to chat about it.
Getting cold in Copenhagen now. Happy holidays, everyone.

Monday, December 7, 2009

errors of last week

What's happening? (I still don't get it..)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

shot of the day

work done today: implemented an xml-reader for loading animations, implemented display of animation loops.
yesterday night was a cool concert with two bands: one called Megafaun the other called the Dodos. Really nice music.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rapid Prototyping

Paper, scissors, and crayons. Rapid Prototyping without the computer. Trying to figure out an algorithm for automatic panel-placement.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Robotic Beings

Earlier this year I've been showing WIMH at the AMAZE Jump'nRun party.
Later on I helped Michael Liebe and his team with the game design of Robo-Cup.
I designed the little robots and made up some rules.
In an unexpected and cute move they decided to use these robots as a logo for the AMAZE Festival.
on top: robo designs
below: rules of the game represented as comic panels

below: robo logos of the amaze festival

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

First Screen-Shots from the New Device

Where Is My Heart is being remade from scratch for a handheld device. Here are the first shots from the new development tool. It's quite a different paradigm, than I am used to coding-wise. But slowly I am trying to figure it out.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mutatione Prototype

Two months work on Mutatione with Nils Deneken. Now we're setting up sounds and music. Very soon the Mutatione prototype will be at testing stage. It's going to be interesting to see how people play it and where they get stuck.

Working with Nils and the Mutatione team was a great experience.

We've had lots of new ideas, we want to try out in the future. Soon, Nils will be working with me on Where Is My Heart?, for which he will design graphics and parts of the Forest world.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


trying to get weird with the colors-
Can anybody get even weirder with them? It's a challenge. Maybe your colors will appear in the final game - yay!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

no more sweden!!

No More Sweden is over. It was cool to meet up again with everybody. Also I met many nice people. Some were even from overseas. (From Toronto and from Phoenix) Here's a snapshot from an unfinished game, I made at the party. It's called C Y A N   M A G E N T A   S E X  and it's supposed to be a 2-player party game where a couple has to reach orgasm. Maybe I'll continue a bit and see where it goes. Soon I'll post some photos too.
Also, mad thanks to Martin Jonasson 'Grapefrukt' for making everything possible. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

into the green

Sorry for not posting in quite a while. I am currently working rather intensively on Mutatione, which is a game concept Nils Deneken realized. 

We work together at his place in Copenhagen. After work we sometimes sit on his balcony where we talk a bit about games we've seen or aspects about games.

This post is not going to be very deep or based on steadfast academical references. It's nothing new, it's just something we noticed.
In many games, especially games about exploration, the first levels are set in a summerly green world. A placid, bucolic setting, where the player should feel safe and comfortable. This can be taken as a fast rule of story telling (look at the rules of the monomyth).  

Also, I think this is somehow an instinctive choice made by game designers. Perhaps it constitutes a cultural legacy, to start the story in such a green land of honey and milk.

A friend who studied lighting design told me this: The way light falls through tree tops and scatters on a green canopy is very soothing to the eye. Is it an age-old mechanism, perhaps hard-wired into us? Green summer forest equals safety?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Wo ist mein Herz?

WIMH appeared in GEE, a german print-magazine about video games culture. Actually this was a while ago, but I never got to post this one. Now I decided to use my phone camera and get a really bad quality shot. I'll try and replace it soon, when I get hold of a better camera.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Games played in the Philippines

While travelling in the Philippines I came across a couple of games.

Catch a big beetle and bind it to a stick with a cotton thread. It's like a remote control toy helicopter. If the beetles are lucky they get released after play. Most of them face a grim fate.

Lots of Sony's PlayStation Portables. I've never seen so many of those. The children in the photo surprisingly played N+, a 2D indie game.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Two Months of Mutatione

Hi everybody.

I am spending June and July working 3 days per week on a prototype for Nils Deneken's game Mutatione

During that time I plan to work on WIMH for 2 days per week.
I think it will be fun to have some change for a while.
Also I am currently in Kopenhagen. Anybody based in Kopenhagen?
After that, in August I'll be working full steam on WIMH again.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Totally unrelated to game-making, I am currently travelling about in the Philippines. So far it's a blast!
Travelling means less time for blogging, but soon I'll be back in Germany. In the meantime, why don't you read this older blog entry and take part in the discussion. I find any opinion on this very interesting.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Please make an awsome 10%-finished game and submit it to the Indiecade Festival.
Even if it's no where near half finished and you don't think it's ready yet, do submit. Not even near finished, that's how I feel about everything I ever turned in. (For example lots of documents at Uni..)
But also last year when I submitted my game to Indiecade, it was incomplete. (And it still is..) While I didn't get into the list of finalists, I was invited by the Indiecaders to show my game at a the Game City Festival in England. That was a very great experience. So even if you don't get to be a finalist, there are ways to profit from participation.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Welcome to the Land of the Bat!

Here is a part of a concept I am currently working on. It's a pdf. Let me know what you think of it.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

back at work

Hi everybody.

Nothing much to say. I am back at work.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

WIMH @ Experimental Gameplay Sessions 2009

No email to Jonathan Blow

I wanted to write an email to Jonathan Blow. The email would have been phrased something like this:
"Hi Jonathan,

I wanted to thank you for inspiring me. I first saw your talk in 2008 in Germany and the talk was awsome!
Thanks a lot for sharing your ideas with the community.

kind regards,

Bernie Schulenburg"

I decided to not send it to him (I guess he receives heaps of this kind of emails, anyway)
Instead I am going to write a bit about what his talk did to me.

When I saw Blow give a talk last year in Germany, I didn't know anything about the existence of indie games. (Well, maybe I felt vaguely that they existed, but I didn't really know). I had never seen any games that were commercially successful and actually seemed interesting to me. Apart from really, really old games back in the 80's and early 90's, some of those were kind of interesting. All I knew was, I wanted to make video games, that didn't contain orcs, dwarves or elves or big axes and guns. Back then I wanted to make a game about an entrepreneur named The Krampus, who exploited the people of a little town, letting them work in miserable conditions in a deep fried potato chips factory. This was the setting. The people worked in the factory, and all they could ever eat was deep fried potato chips. They lived unhealthy lives and died of boring factory work and the wrong nourishment. (This idea was actually inspired by the work of The Royal Art Lodge, a canadian group of artists) How could such a game ever be commercially successful, next to stuff like Halo? I was pretty pessimistic about my future in making games.
And my 3D skills are very modest. So here was this guy saying: "I wouldn't make a 3D game, if I were you.You can make really interesting games in 2D and apart from that people actually have problems using 3D games, there are tests and it doesn't work so well."

This is no direct quote, but the essence was pretty much that. This guy had all these (to me new) ideas about the gaming industry. He really inspired me. Right at the beginning of his talk he read out aloud the philosophy statement of a game company called Molly Rocket. This statement changed everything for me. You can read it on the Molly Rocket site right here.

After this lecture I returned home and my mind was set aflame. I started working on a game that I really cared about.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's not over yet!

GDC has been a total rush. I met lots of interesting and nice people. And I met some old friends from down-under too. It was pretty fun. 
Somebody touched my crotch. I won't say who. It was kind of weird but still endearing. I saw some motorbikes hanging from the ceiling and an orange cat, so fat it must have been Garfield, by name.
Tonight is the last party. So it's not over yet! Tomorrow I fly. Erik Svedäng left today, I hope he didn't forget his prize trophy. Also Kian Bashiri left. We said good bye just around the corner from the arcade museum. See you at No-More-Sweden, guys!

I am exhausted, yet refreshed.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Embroidering is Hard Work

Soon it's time to leave for the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

I thought I'd embroider a promotion t-shirt..
I'm not going to do that again in a hurry.
It took a long time. :P

I am going to show 'Where Is My Heart?' at the Experimental Gameplay Sessions and talk a bit about the experimental aspects of the game. I recommend you come if you're around. I'm sure there will be a lot to make us all gaze.
(San Francisco Moscone Conference Center, Thursday, March 26th, from 3pm-5pm in North Hall room 135)

Also I'll be talking about the game at the Education SIG Session:
Student Independent Game Festival (IGF) Post-Mortem
(309) Student Independent Game Festival (IGF) Post-Mortem Speaker: Magy Seif El-Nasr Date/Time: Tuesday (March 24, 2009) 2:00pm — 4:00pm

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Survive in the Woods

Only very recently I had an art attack. Art attacks come and go without preceding warnings. This one had the theme: "Survive in the Woods".  Here are some of the results. They often inspire me to go on and perhaps make a game or a comic. I would like to make an adventure game sometime soon.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pikachu Sightings at Cologne Carnival

We went to the Carnival in Cologne yesterday. Laura dressed up as a Pikachu. And me? Well, for me we discovered a new species of Pikachu. The black Pikachu! They are very rare and quite shy. Even their lightning bolts are black and have a distinct smell of licorice. Here are a couple of snapshots to prove their existence.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Achtung Autobahn!

Achtung, for those of you, who speak German. The video from the Amaze Jump and Run Party is out. I talk about the game, as a native speaker:

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Something new Worx

Hi friends.
Nothing much to say. Only that I'm back at work. I am trying out dynamic effects on the frames.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Happy Jamming

Over the last weekend I went to the Nordic Game Jam. I worked with Erik Svedäng and Kian Bashiri on a game involving grapes and the cutest music. We didn't get it done at all, but it was a good experience to work together on one little project. If we'd just had more time.. 
I met many kind people. It felt a bit like we had known each other since childhood.
I am really looking forward to the next jam.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Where is my Heart? IGF-Demo

Where Is My Heart? is a video game project by Bernhard Schulenburg. The game is currently still in development and will be released, in 2010.

There are Demos of the game, which you can play to see how you like it. Look for them in the category download.

Recently the game was selected to be amongst the winners of the Independent Games Festival Student Showcase, which made me, my mum and my dad fondly rejoice.
I also want to congratulate all the other winners, and encourage those who didn't make it this year, to continue developing and to try it again next year.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Manufacturing Game Rules

Ian Bogost, author of the book Persuasive Games has written an article, in which he mentions Where Is My Heart?. His article discusses a concept, which he calls Proceduralism.

How I understand it, the term Procuduralism, as Ian defines it refers to a style or group of games.

These games have a set of properties in common. Ian defines and describes these properties (Procedural Rhetoric, Introspection, Abstraction of Instantial Assets, Subjective Representation).

I think his list is a good milestone for starting a discussion about these games. I am not going to carry on this discussion right here. Instead I want to talk a little bit about how 'Where Is My Heart?' fits into Ian's framework.

If you want to know more about Ian's article, I recommend you read it. I found it quite inspiring.

One aspect Ian mentions, is that the Proceduralists' game rules are purposfully woven by the authors to be interpretable and to carry some introspective, personal meaning.

This is actually true for Where Is My Heart? for at least a subset of the rules. Some of the rules I designed in such a way that they express some aspect or feeling in my life. For example in the game when the character 'Gray' is surrounded by grayish bubbles, what I had in mind was to depict his individual perspective. His own way of seeing the world. I wanted to express his way of seeing negativity in each and every pixel of reality. Quite naive form of expressing this negativity, I now notice, but to me it currently seems to be the right way of expression. It fits well enough in the overall game.

However other rules I come up with for my game are the product of experiment or tradition. I say tradition, because I can't say that I am the inventor of platform games. I think it is not wrong to pick from the big pool of traditional game rules. What's wrong with building upon the cute fundament of the eighties? It helps quickly conveying the 'basics'. Now we can get on to the specifics of my personal life by designing specific rules.

For the experimentally picked rules, I think sometimes design is about trying out stuff and keeping the most potent errors. However, often I discover an inherent meaning in these 'experimentally' picked rules, only after they are in place. Maybe you could call this mode of manufacturing expressive rules 'cheating'.
I'd just call it my way of working on a game. If you want to express it as a design rule it could be formulated as:

"Don't be afraid of experimenting with rules. Keep those rules that are
strongest for expressing what you want to say."

It can be fun to work this way, to see where some idea ends up, and how they mess around with the game environment.

I should also mention that many experimental rules never reach the stadium of being actually programmed. Many experiments are just fought out with pen and paper, and take the form of little sketches.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I am quoting Erik Svedäng, because I couldn't phrase it any better!!!!!!!!!!!


I'm in shock!"


for erik's original post go HERE

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jump and Run

We listened to chiptune and there was a power-out. I held a small talk on 'Where is my heart?'
It was pretty exciting for me. Then people were playing and one person found a bug! (Oh no!)
On first glance it seems to be non-reproducable..
Have a look at some photos from the event here.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year!


I had a nice new years night. We went to a place in the woods nearby from where you can see over the entire town. We wanted to see all the pyro-action. That's what we thought at least. But Mr fog crossed our plans, and believe it or not, we didn't see any (none, nada, null, zero) fire-works. Just fog. Fog. And again fog. So we went home again and had some nice food. 

'Where Is My Heart?' will be featured at the AMAZE Jump N Run Party in Berlin on 8th January.
I am currently preparing the game for the party. You should consider to come, if you're around.