About Rakethopp

This is my personal site about interaction design in general and game design in particular.

However, it's terribly out of date! Expect a revamp very soon (as of the fall of 2014).

Jacob Michelsen

@Jickelsen on Twitter
Rocketjumpr on Tumblr
Read this stuff! :D

Our SGA game Jolly Gyro Jaunt has been submitted!

 

After many late evenings of work we old Fortenighters finally submitted our SGA game last Thursday! Jolly Gyro Jaunt is our continuation of the concept from Telewalker, and we are super happy with how it turned out! It would never have been possible without the help of our fellow interaction design student Jonas Wickerström, awesome musician David Nilsson, and my dear artist friends Sandra Kjellström and Björn Jonasson.

Right now we've regressed to only supporting PC on Windows 7, but we hope to have a Mac version soon enough. You can download our SGA entry HERE (requires Xbox 360 gamepad), just remember to hit that pesky Y button to restart a couple of times (specifically, 2 for singleplayer and 4 for multiplayer) and the camera will start working just fine! You may also need to alt-tab out the first time you reach the end of a level to let the high score system through the firewall. We'll patch these issues ASAP, but for now they are there for actual crunch time authenticity. :)

The results from the jury weekend, this weekend, are set to come in tomorrow. So excited! :D ... and just a tad nervous

SGA Conference Recap


I've had time to gather my thoughts on the SGA conference and I can safely say it was really worth the long car drive (did I ever really doubt it?). There were of course a few things I thought they could have handled better, most importantly keeping both presentation sessions in sync so you could more easily have switched between them.

Another thing was Per Strömbäck of Dataspelsbranchen, whose industry-centric but sobering final talk effectively lowered our enthusiasm one or two notches. Putting him as the final speaker was perhaps not such a great idea.

 

Otherwise though, it was awesome! Here are some of the highlights.

Robin Flodin of Power of Two and Zeal Game Studio talked about his game Dwarfs!? and setting up a game studio. I remember meeting Robin at Gamex 2011, and that he through an offhand remark meant as a joke got me started down the entirely wrong path, making games with Torque 2D :D

Our friends at Unity were there and showed off some new features of their latest release, Unity 3.5. Of all the features, nothing could have made us happier than the announcement that external version control is now a free feature! The limited version control compatibility of the free version has  been a huge problem for us in Fortenight Games, with versioning conflicts stealing lots of time.

Anders Frank from the National Defence College held a presentation on Serious Games, a category of the Swedish Game Awards which he also is part of the jury of. It was really interesting and many of the gameplay concepts and aesthetics he mentioned really tickled the interaction designer in me. This is the kind of stuff we are doing right now in the aesthetics of interaction course!

Jon Svenonius of Stardoll is head of their newly started studio focused on mobile games, and he talked about surviving in the iPhone App Store. Don't go over 20 MB!

Johan Pilestedt at ArrowHead Game Studios, makers of Magicka (one of my favorite games) shared lots of advice and lessons learned. Check out his awesome postmortem on Magicka at Gamasutra!

Oskar Burman of Easy, once part of DICE, talked about the future of digital distribution and games a service. Very interesting, and I've always thought games as a service seems like a reasonable solution to the problem piracy supposedly poses to the traditional business model... assuming you can leverage the appropriate infrastructure!

 

Of course, we met lots of cool indie devs who were alsp just starting out, and we tried to convince more than a few of them to come visit the awesome bohemian city of Gothenburgh and drink beer with us on indie beer nights.

We had plenty of opportunities to be starstruck too! On Saturday there was an announcement that Youtube legend and game critic/promoter John "Totalbiscuit" Bain would be around to give feedback on concept documents for SGA entry games, but we had nothing like that... we have a playable prototype! TB gave us some good feedback and we were super psyched that he liked the core concept! There was much mead drinking later that night!

And of course, it was pretty cool seeing our Minister for Culture Lena Adelsohn side-by-side with TB onstage. 

GG, SGA!

Onwards! To the SGA Conference!

Since we're entering our Fortenight game TeleWalker into the Swedish Game Awards (after we've spent a couple of months improving it!) we decided to go to the SGA Conference at my old campus in Stockholm. After renting a car and driving for nearly 7 hours we are finally here!

Lots of presentations from game developers (Arrowhead, DICE!)  and software companies (Unity!) await. There's also a Starcraft 2 tourney as evening entertainment, commented live by none other than TotalBiscuit, of Youtube fame.

... and jam we did. All the way to second place!

So I went to the Nordic Game Jam 2012 in Copenhagen, met a great team with some very talented artists and an awesome sound designer... and together we created our lovechild Spelunca.

... and among the 61 other awesome games created at that jam, the audience voted us all the way to second place.

I can't believe this actually happened. I've been bouncing on clouds all week! :D

My friends from Fortenight and school also made some games in other teams (though Ebbe was in my team too). I'll post more detailed impressions and some other highlights of the event after the weekend. :)

Nordic Game jamming again!

Hello blog sorry I keep neglecting you! I'm on my way to the Nordic Game Jam in Copenhagen again. With me are three of my interaction designing, game programming friends from school; Edvard Rutström, Micael Svensson and Anton Persson.

 

Blergh why aren't we there yet

These last two months we've been making two-week games in Unity, (though usually it's taken like 3 weeks +). Now we just started this huge project in school where we're to extend the Ogre3D rendering engine into a fully-fledged game engine and make a demo game with it. Fun times! Hopefully I'll get around to writng about all that here soon. Making those little games in Unity has been great fun though and we've really gotten to know that engine a lot better, which is probably the most used development platform at the jam (the danes at Unity being one of the main sponsors and all...).