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.