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Suda 51, from Grasshopper Manufacture, the “Video Game Band”, was at Nordic Game to talk about how different influences affected the development of their game No More Heroes. Those influences were from movies, anime, other games and certain personalities.

The presentation consisted of Suda going through those influences, explaining what their effect was and then for many of them, showing a video clip. Showing videos turned out to be a good way to keep things rolling as the presentation needed to be translated from Japanese to English.

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IMG_0423_1Nordic Game 2009 conference included a session “Pitching the Game”, in Art of the Deal panel series (Led by Jason Della Rocca), that was topical for our interests.

“Pitching the game” was interesting panel from the point of view of ownership of vision and practical issues with communication between developers and publishers. The panel discussion included interesting approaches and was also rather entertaining – much obliged to our homeboy Jussi Laakkonen from EveryPlay.

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Mirror's_EdgeThe Creative Director of DICE, Lars Gustavsson was talking on behalf of the designers of critically acclaimed Mirrors Edge and the studio’s approach towards innovation at the Nordic Game 2009 conference. The presentation was titled as “Innovation – Making the Leap of Faith” (Lars Gustavsson, DICE (SE)).

In the beginning of the presentation Lars Gustavsson was describing the studios design philosophy as “suicidal approach of making games: Let’s do something that no one has done before”. This applied also with Mirror’s Edge. According to Gustavsson the innovation and risks in the Mirror’s Edge were: introducing a new heroine Faith, game being 1st person platforming adventure and fresh art direction of the game. The innovation paid of, since the game has been a commercial success as well as praised by the critics. This years Nordic Game 2009 the bold approach of the studio was also rewarded with first positions in two categories of Nordic Game Awards:

  • Best Nordic Game: Mirror’s Edge by EA DICE
  • Best Artistic Achievement: Mirror’s Edge by EA DICE

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One of the interesting Nordic Game 2009 sessions was titled “The Global Game Jam: Nordic Beginnings” (Led by Gorm Lai, Game Jam (DK)).

On this session Gorm Lai, co-founder of Nordic and Global Game Jams, was introducing the movement and some of the projects risen from the workshop weekends. One of the many interesting Game Jam projects included The Dark Room Sex Game from Nordic Game Jam 2008. The same game was also on display and free to try on the expo area of Nordic Game 2009 . The theme of 2008 Nordic Game Jam was “Taboo” and it is safe to say that this particular game succeeded in this goal. Nobody volunteered to play with Dajana Dimovska in the middle of the session 😉 (maybe it was just the Nordic shyness). Another interesting project presented at the session was  Love Child. Love Child is a game, where you are playing parents manipulating the genes of a child to get the best possible combination.

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It is one thing to make a game for a big screen. It is completely another case re-creating the same game world using a small handheld device.

Ian Bowden from Rockstar Leeds talked at the Nordic Game conference about what kind of challenges they encountered while developing the Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars on Nintendo DS. Chinatown Wars is the first GTA game for DS, and it is based in the world of GTA IV. You would think there is not much innovation in developing the twelfth sequel for a well-known game series. Surely, they had an established concept; they even had an already created city environment. However, as we heard at the Nordic Game, it takes much creativity and a bunch of innovative decisions to take a big-scale game and to convert it to a small screen and other limits of a handheld device.

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