AMAZE - Thanks, Stories and awesome!

edited in General
So AMAZE is officially over now and there's been a bit of time for the dust to settle. Who else had an incredible time? What were your favorite moments of the festival? What would you like to see next year?

My own favs:
The AGM working out despite the crazy stress beforehand. It turned out way better than I was worried it would.

Mario's Constrained Game Design workshop. Yay for the chalk games! So happy that the duel thing took off - all the scrawls of past battles covering the sidewalk was exactly what I imagined as a "wouldn't it be cool if?" scenario right when we first ambled outside. Huge thanks to everyone that helped with the design and pointed out/solved problems with it. Seeing people who hadn't played the game wondering what the hell had happened there was brilliant :)

Joust in SA! Fuck yeah. Hope I can get some of the light-painting pics we took on the roof, I want to send them to Doug to say thanks. Does anyone know how Thorsten's macbook got pwnt?

Playing indie katamari on my own continent. Ambling around Braamfontein in search of a place that was still open with a bunch of interesting people to chat to was great. The epic convoy to Greenside and the ever-growing-table must soon be the stuff of legend.

Exploring the Alexander Theatre. How cool is the roof?

Evan's talk. BOOM!

Stuff for next year:
I was at the feedback session and spoke a lot (probably too much, maybe) but I thought I'd put my biggest points here to prevent possible duplication...
1. Orientation session when the festival opens. Give everyone a chance to meet each other and get to know the organisers so that more cool collaborations can happen. Let press meet everyone too and give people a chance to schedule interviews over the course of the festival. The beginners guide to Braamfontein would also be great here.
2. Signage. Simple, easy to see directions to the cool stuff that was going on.
3. I want everyone to go. Twice... Next year is going to be even better :)

So huge thanks to Thorsten for making this happen and I'm looking forward to everyone's favorite moments!
Thanked by 1damousey


  • Thanks for this Danny! I will send through the compliments and suggestions to Thorsten as part of the feedback document I'm compiling (Oh yay. Paperwork. Just what I always wanted, how did you know?)

    My turn:
    15odd first years charging around Braamfontein looking for talking baloons... half on foot and the other in one car.
    The Friday night talks lasting until 23:30. Thanks Danny, Evan, Pippa and Dario (from Zurich) it was epic.
    Joust. I loved it then, and I love it now.

    Stuff for next year:
    Wits Game Design is looking at taking a greater organisational role (to facilitate orientation and signage mostly ;) )
    We would like to partner with MakeGames in organising and curating the games arcade for added awesome.
    The Game Jam will be up again, so we hope everyone will join us and be creative!

    Thanks to Thorsten and all participants for making it a week to remember.
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    (but was sad I didn't get to attend as much as I could have, Greenlight and AMAZE at the same time was an unlucky conflict for me)

    I loved that it provided a space for fine artists to present new media work. I nearly became a professional new media artist once upon a time, but the field is even more sparcely populated in South Africa than game development. I hope Amaze facilitates more of this kind of art and that this results in awesome collaborations with the game community.

    I loved meeting the people. That was great. Wish I could have hung out more.

    I loved the physical showcase of South African games. Made me proud. I hope there are even more even betterer games next year!

    I was very impressed by the number of attendees and the press that were there.

    I loved that I came back from it super inspired to make games.

    My only complaint, that isn't a duplication, is that I would have liked for more game artists to have participated. I would have liked there to have been some focus on the practical side of making art for games. I'm hoping that next year we can encourage some of the game artists in the community to do talks and/or workshops or just hilight the awesome work they do. I love that there was a lot of conversation on game design at AMAZE, I hope this can be expanded to include some focus on game art and music and writing etc.

    Thanks Thorsten!!
  • YES! Amaze was AMAZING!

    It was super cool to meet everyone, even thought I'm really young in this awesome community :)

    I loved seeing everything that everyone has made, and I wish more people could show - I really think many more people could have shown.

    I loved the talks, they were really varied and inspirational. Evan's talk was built in Unity. Nuff said. BOOOOOM! :)

    Now just a few suggestions:

    I wish there was more foretelling what was going on, who was there, showcasing international artists, etc. Like Danny said, I suppose.

    Maybe I really failed at navigating the site, but I found that I didn't really know what was going on. Finding out and hearing cool stories from other people made me WISH I hung around the entire festival even if I thought nothing was going to happen. Half of the stuff that was spoken of upstairs (earlier posts) I really wish I knew about. Chalk battle? What? I heard the maker of the BMW kinetic balls was at the festival. Didn't know that at all!

    Lastly I suggest much more warning before the event, and more noise from the local community, so that international stars arriving can get the welcome that they deserve, and we can plan our (and media's) attention accordingly. Obviously the local community will have to take up a lot of this role, so I hope that MakegamesSA will be even more awesome and ready this time next year!
  • My highlights were meeting some of the people from the CT chapter of the community. (also playing tag for the first time in 20 years :P).

    And the procedural tree! I was amaze(d) at how seemingly simple it was to create a treeshape that was convincing from such a basic algorithm. Dario's talk really made me question my whole "I am not an artist" mindset.

    Things that I would like to see next year is the games getting more exposure? I would have liked it if you walked into the exhibit as soon as you entered the theatre. And maybe have the displays higher up so it's easier to stand and watch people play.

    This might be something that only bothers me...but the booklet for the festival needs to have fewer errors in. Bradley's talk description was about one of the other presenter's talks. Not cool.

    But other than that great festival and I wish I could have spent more time time I'll sleep in my car or something so I can attend every day. And finally...BOOOOOM!
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    I really enjoyed Friday night, even if I had supper only around midnight. ^_^ It was a pity I had to miss most of the festival though because of work/classes/bad timing.

    I'd love to see much more by people who're talking about games that they've made, or drawing from those practical experiences. I mean, if you look at the stuff Danny could say in the Q&A because of experience, with his work in educational games (as an example), that was just damn awesome. There was just so much insight there that you can't get by talking about educational games as some abstract thing that you haven't attempted before. I personally gain very little out of folks who talk about their experiences playing games (except when play-testing). It usually feels no better than reading comments in some blog or YouTube video to me; people wanting to be heard, but having little to offer. Those kinds of discussions just end up being ("Well when I played this game, this happened." "No, I felt this instead." Okay, so?) Just about everyone has an opinion on that stuff, and you can ask them any time. People who've gone through making games though (especially failing at making lots and lots games) are rarer and much more interesting. I'd like to see much more on game design (mechanics) and practical, outside-of-ivory-tower art, but maybe I just felt there was a lack of that because of how little of the festival I could attend. :<

    I also enjoyed IGTM (or at least, the second half of the film, because we got there very late). It felt a bit long, and very repetitive, and whiny, but overall I thought it was a great watch. :D

    Overall, it was awesome, and I'm keen to help out next year if I'm around! :)
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    I mean, the rest of A MAZE was cool and all, but seriously: BOOOOM!

    Hell, wasn't it just great overall having a festival that was about us and for us, just as a change? :P

    And it took a few days for this to sink in, but ... isn't this basically the first time that international developers have made a focused effort to hoof over to our back yard? Can we have this -- but with more of 'em -- next year too? It's like inviting a whole bunch of buddies over to your house for beer and pizza, but with less vomiting and dirty dishes (though Joburg's sidewalks will probably never be the same again).

    The Constrained Game Design workshop was great, hosted by a Real Life Foreign Indie Developer (TM). I ate half a box of chalk. Good times.
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