Playing Narratives kickoff – A MAZE. / Berlin

Playing Narratives 21.04.2022.
Time 7 PM
Language English
Location SGA YouTube
Price Free

Playing Narratives kickoff – A MAZE. / Berlin

The German platform for "games and playful media" is one of the partners in the second, regional cycle of the program which will bring together about 30 young creatives from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Macedonia and Romania, who will work on their first video game concepts by November. As part of the first online event, participants as well as the wider audience, will be introduced to Thorsten S. Widemann, the festival's founder, as well as authors Annika Maar and Anselm Pyta.

After an open call to which 135 young creatives from five countries in the region reposnded, the kickoff event of the second cycle of the Playing Narratives program will be held online on Thursday, April 21 from 7 to 9 pm, and is open to a wider audience. It will gather all selected participants from Serbia, as well as those from Northern Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Romania, about 30 in total. The program will be dedicated to authors who work at the crossroads of contemporary art, experiment and gaming, and are related to the festival and the platform that has been popularizing this approach to games in Germany for ten years, but also around the world – A MAZE. / Berlin.

A MAZE. / Berlin is an international festival, a platform for art games and “playful” media. A MAZE. / The Berlin Festival returns for the 11th time in 2022, bringing together the world community of creators of art games and playful media. From 13 to 17 May, this event will be held both in the virtual/digital space and physically at several locations in Berlin, so this program is a real opportunity to get acquainted with everything that the audience expects at the event itself. , and what are the latest trends and focuses in the field of so-called arthouse games.

In this special program of lectures and presentations prepared for the audience from the region and participants in the program Playing Narratives: Ideas to Games, we will be introduced to Thorsten S. Wiedemann, founder and artistic director of this organization and event, as well as several authors who have successfully exhibited within different A MAZE. / Berlin activities, both in Germany and throughout Europe, but also in South Africa. On this occasion it will be Annika Maar and Anselm Pyta.

While Thorsten will present the world in which A MAZE operates. and talking about the need for arthouse games, Annika and Anselm will look at different creative aspects of game design, which will mainly deal with the concept and role of time. The ups and downs of writing a time loop adventure will be the theme of Annika Marr, while Anselm Pyta will speak on the theme of Time as a Game Mechanic.

The event will be available as a live stream via the SGA YouTube channel!

After this initial program, participants can expect several online meetings in the coming weeks, and then a complete three-day program at the Science and Technology Park in Novi Sad in mid-May, when all participants will gather and have lectures and workshops, and start their team/project work.

As in previous years, the Playing Narratives program is supported by the French-German Cultural Fund. The general sponsor is Unreal Engine (i.e. Epic Games and 3Lateral), while the prominent sponsor is Ubisoft Belgrade. This year, the Niš-based company Webelinx Games joined the realization as a sponsor, while additional support in the realization will be provided by French and Goethe institutes from the entire region, as well as the French audio-visual hub Plain Images and the German creative platform A MAZE. / Berlin.

Thorsten S. Wiedemann,
Founder, A MAZE. / Berlin
About the lecturer

Thorsten S. Wiedemann is founder and director of A MAZE.. He produces and curates under this international label festivals, exhibitions and workshops on the intersection of games, games culture, digital arts and playful media. With “A MAZE. / Berlin” he created one international festivals to present arthouse games, playful media and alternative games culture.

He generates new controversial formats (e.g. A MAZE. Magazine, A MAZE. Pop-ups, A MAZE. / SPACE, A MAZE. Train Jam) and gives room for experimentation and exchange. Thorsten established since 2012 the A MAZE. Awards, which goes artistic games in six categories. His focus is on the interdisciplinary and diverse discourse about the medium of the 21. century and in filling the gaps between playful media, art and technology. He also spend during his Disconnected performance 48hrs in virtual reality! Currently he lives and works in Berlin.

Annika Maar,
Video game designer
About the lecturer

Annika Maar started her career as a fantasy illustrator before she entered the games industry. Driven by passion and a bit of recklessness she founded “Happy Broccoli Games” and developed the prototype for Kraken Academy!! on her own, to later recruit her team to complete the project. Kraken Academy!! has released on PC, Switch and Xbox and is published by Fellow Traveller.“

Anselm Pyta,
Cofounder, Studio Seufz
About the lecturer

Anselm Pyta is one of the founders of Studio Seufz, an independent German studio focusing on unusual games and animations. Besides his brainchild The Longing, he co-created viral web hits like Murder and Lucky Tower.