[Event] A MAZE. Johannesburg 2014

edited in Events
Great news! Wits University has undertaken to fund A MAZE. Johannesburg again this year. We are therefore on track for another great event. (yay for funding!)

When: 11-13 September 2014
Where: Tsimologong Technology Hub on Juta Street

A MAZE. Johannesburg will run on the 11th to the 13th of September, in Braamfontein.
We have arranged a new venue, in the Tsimologong Technology Hub on Juta Street, so all of the games and game related events will take place in the same space. (http://www.jcse.org.za/hub)

We are able to negotiate with the (revamped) Bannister Hotel for a block booking for out of town visitors. http://bannisterhotel.co.za/

Kalashnikovv Gallery (www.facebook.com/KalashnikovvGallery) have come on board and will be arranging music events and parties in the evenings in the same area.

A MAZE. Johannesburg will run as a partnership between Wits Digital Arts and the international A MAZE brand (Read: Thorsten).
I have been assigned as content curator, in collaboration with Thorsten, for the games arcade, workshops and talks.
I will also be representing MGSA, and involving MGSA as much as possible in the event.

A formal call for content will be posted soon, but in the meantime, feel free to begin submitting your games, proposals for workshops and talks, and nominating other games from South Africa, and Africa as a whole, for the event. Post them in this thread so we can keep it all together.

I have also been in negotiation with the Swedish Embassy and Swedish Institute about bringing out Swedish indi-game designers. They are on board, and I will be visiting Sweden and the Nordic Games conference in May to approach people for the festival and to build partnerships for indi-games between the countries. (I'm not sure what that means either, but they have a string of meetings arranged, and I will be talking to Nick about what to expect from 'trade missions')

I am very exited about this, and so please to be able to finally confirm with you all that it is definitely up and running for 2014!


  • Wunderbar! So many people were keen on coming to AMAZE at GDC, so I'm going to be doing a lot of telling people today :)

    Sweden's got an indie scene that's a lot further along than ours here, it's not just all Mojang - there's a strong creative dev history of people doing really interesting things. A skills transfer would be amazing!
    Thanked by 1hanli
  • This is some exciting stuff. Hope we can get our game worthy enough for the festival.
    Thanked by 1hanli
  • The Sweden partnership sounds super exciting! :D

    Another Hard Deadline™ to get my ducks in a row for! So exciting! :D
    Thanked by 1hanli
  • I propose: the A MAZE JOBURG mascot:

    283 x 500 - 17K
  • I am very excited to come and spend time with everyone at Amaze again this year :) Very excited
  • I would like to showcase MONTEZ there if no one objects. It will be great if we could meet with international devs.
  • A MAZE./JOBURG unicorn head T-SHIRT. Who wants one? :D

    I'm thinking it would be a great way to raise something for us :)
  • @hanli, can you please ask Thorsten for the original vector? If it's alright to use it, of course.
    It was on their poster, and I haven't seen it big enough anywhere else online.

    Of course I can just trace it but it would be nice to get the real thing :)
  • Not to rain on your parade @Tuism, but all I see when I look at that mascot/logo is this thing, with all it's connotations:

    It took me a while to understand how it was supposed to be a unicorn... I'd suggest making the head shape an actual horse head. It can still have the derpy-happy grin ;)
  • Wowwwww, I've never thought of that, at all. Why oh why the hell does everything these days have to turn into a sexism debate :/

    The face came from AMAZE Berlin, making it a horse is kinda... well then we might as well make our own...

    I mean really:



    With a notch that breaks the shape of the circle:

    283 x 500 - 19K
    283 x 500 - 18K
  • lol. Thats not a horse. It's the pig from SAW!
  • lol the point is that it was supposed to be a simple shape and it came from A MAZE :)
    here's a better horse but i'm not sure if this is right. I don't see the sex symbol in the original, feels like finding a man symbol in that isn't going to be common at all,,,

    283 x 544 - 21K
  • I think the base of the tower needs an obvious intersection point on the head. Then it'll read like a horn.
  • I really think it's sufficient that the tower points left. Male symbol is conventionally right. Truth be told, I think the shaft itself is far more suggestive of the Venutian crossbar than an arrow, anyway.

    We're in deep shit once we enter the Hall of Mirrors, though.
  • Honestly, I never ever saw a male symbol. I like the original with the notch. The idea of the re-use of the Berlin one appeals to me as well,
  • The woman (women?) speaks! :P

    Can I remind us to get the file from Thorster? :) and all the logos we'll need? :) Can make the poster too!
    Thanked by 1hanli
  • I think we've avoided talking about the elephant in the room long enough...

    Will there be a Cape Town Game Dev Road Trip Bus this year? Preferably a chrome plated one.
    Thanked by 2raxter hanli
  • I'll have to take a plane jam first just for that.
  • Careful, you'll have half of joburg taking a flight down just so that they can train-jam back up :P
    Thanked by 2Karuji Stray_Train
  • hanli said:
    Careful, you'll have half of joburg taking a flight down just so that they can train-jam back up :P
    I would actually do that. (We know I'm not shy of going down to CT for dev events ;) )
  • I would fly down to get on a train!
  • Indeed, that sounds damn epic, when do I have to take leave for? ;)
  • Yes! Not missing this after missing last year!

    Shotgun a seat on the bus trip from CT!
  • edited
    dislekcia said:
    I think the base of the tower needs an obvious intersection point on the head. Then it'll read like a horn.
    I agree on this one. I feel as though a simple white line along the left side of the tower and curving slightly at the bottom would work better than the notch in terms of clarifying that it's a horn :)
    Thanked by 1dislekcia
  • @Hanli

    What is the final date that we can submit a game to show case at A.MAZE Johannesburg? We'd like to show a polished version of Alien Lobotomy
  • I am not sure yet - I am still in discussions with Thorsten about the details.
    I would suggest submissions by the end of June, so you can be notified by the end of July, so you have August to polish?
  • where/how do we submit?
  • Ahem, just another reminder about getting assets for AMAZE so we can get the t-shirt and poster design started and dusted sooner than later!
  • Just another another reminder. Train Jam.
  • edited
    Woooooo, this is starting to get close now :D.

    The first list of cool foreign developers attending has been revealed:

    Emilie Gervais, digital artist (FR) - @emilie_Gervais

    I’m the girl next door with a smiley tattoo working with the internet.
    PS. Everything about my work that was social media related is over since June 2013. I am no longer interested in questioning performance art that way right now. =)

    Julie Heyde, game designer (DK) - @julieheyde

    Julie Heyde is based out of Copenhagen, Denmark, and grew up playing video games with her two older brothers. They called it babysitting. Julie has been in the video game industry for 10 years. She started on the investment side, next as a connector between game developers, publishers and technology developers through her company, Bandello. Julie is an active game jammer and is currently working on the Norse mythology based Virtual Reality game, XTODIE, which clearly reflects her Viking roots.

    Tatiana Vilela, game designer (FR) - @mechbird

    Graduated in game design and contemporary art, Tatiana Vilela is a digital designer. She creates playful experiences based on dedicated controllers as part of researches on perception. She’s currently involved in a master’s degree in interactivity studies at the Sorbonne University in Paris.

    Pippin Barr, video game maker (NZ) - @pippinbarr

    Pippin Barr is a video game maker and critic who teaches prototyping and game design at the University of Malta. His games address everything from airplane safety instructions to contemporary art.

    Jukio Kallio, musician, game designer (FI) - @jukiokallio

    As a kid, I begged for a guitar from my mom and it went surprisingly well and now I make videogame music. I went on to make soundtracks for such things as Nuclear Throne, LUFTRAUSERS, GunGodz, Super Game Jam and Old Spice Saves The World. And some of my own videogames too. And live shows as Kozilek.

    Joonas Turner, musician, sound designer (FI) - @KissaKolme

    Joonas Turner is a sound designer with a passion for video games. He is most notably known for his soundscapes found in the mobile hit BADLAND (by Frogmind) and the mutant shooter Nuclear Throne (by Vlambeer) and for voicing the action packed shooter Broforce (by Free Lives).

    David Hayward, game event producer (UK) - @nachimir

    David Hayward has been running games related events for over a decade, including organisation of London-based festival Feral Vector, production management for the GameCity Festival, and curation of independent games and custom hardware for EGX. He is also a founder of one of Europe’s largest hackspaces, with a particular interest in digital prototyping tech and short run production.
  • this may be a bit late, but I would like to submit montez to everything except rage 2014.
  • Thank you all for your submissions. We are keeping a list, and will inform people who are invited as soon as final decisions have been made.

    You can still send me submissions if you have not yet done so. Email it to me at hanli.geyser @ wits.ac.za
    Please title your email AMAZE Game Submission so that I don't loose it.


  • edited
    I'm pretty fucking stoked that Pippin Barr is coming...

    Also obviously beyond happy that Joonas is coming to South Africa.
    Thanked by 2hanli Merrik
  • I am so excited for Pippin Barr. I've been teaching his work with Abramovich as setworks, so having him talk about it is just awesome. :D
    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
  • So how keen are people for this, and how much are you willing to pay? I can get in contact with these people and see if we can't organise a group discount/see if they have electric points:

  • Before this thread gets too polluted with train stuff :P, remember the Train Jam thread is over here.
    Thanked by 1francoisvn
  • So how keen are people for this, and how much are you willing to pay? I can get in contact with these people and see if we can't organise a group discount/see if they have electric points:

    Wouldn't it only make sense if it's close to the price of an airline ticket? I mean, currently it's "Premier Classe one way train ticket fares from R2650" whereas a plane ticket is closer to R1000 one way.

    Granted, you wouldn't be jamming in either direction.
  • Let's not derail this discussion any further and park this discussion in the Train Jam yard :)


    I'm very disappointed that you failed to use that pun first :P
    Thanked by 1Bensonance
  • @LexAquillia I'm keen on travelling by train at that price. If they have plug points.

    I can ask the rest of the members of Free Lives who are heading up what they think. Jarred says it sounds fun.
  • edited
    So I noticed that there was an option for buying tickets on the amaze site.

    Kinda curious how this is going to work since we've never had to buy tickets for it before, and last year it was really cool that kids in the area could just come in and play some games and I can't really see that happening this year if that's the case.

    So any chance we can get some clarity on the matter?
  • All I know is that the exhibition is free, so the kids and anyone else can still come in and play/see the games. I can't really comment further because I don't know the full story.

    We will have to wait till Hanli is back from Digra next week Thursday/Friday before we can receive full and informed comment on the matter.
  • So @ramperkash and I have booked our flight and paid for tickets. Yay!

    Now we need to organise some accommodation. What is the situation with that? Is there something cheap we can get in on, or must we organise it ourselves? Perhaps someone has a couch/floor we can sleep on?
    Thanked by 1Bensonance
  • I think there was a block booking being organised at the nearby hotel. Almighty @Bensonance , what's the latest word on that front?

    (also booked flights but not hotel rooms :D )
    Thanked by 1Bensonance
  • Well, I've got space. If anyone's interested. PM me.
  • @raxter As much as I enjoy the 'almighty' moniker - I'm just the messenger :P. It's already on my list of things to ask Hanli about when she gets back from being awesome at Digra :).

    You putting in work to make AMAZE possible, almighty or gtfo :p
    Thanked by 1Bensonance
  • Hey just ralised - I have a couch for someone not dodgy throughout amaze :) As for transport, I should be spending the max amount of time at amaze so lifting is an option, though I'm also on the gautrain bus route. Though - I'm in Rivonia so not really that close to town.

    Taking interviews :P
  • @Bensonance any news on the block booking thing? Want to book from that hotel soonishish so I know what day I can book my flight back (I'm assuming the block will be until Saturday night/Sunday morning though)

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