Swiss Games at Tokyo Game Show 2013
Switzerland made its debut in the international area of the Tokyo Game Show, with a Swiss Games Pavilion, introducing a selection of high quality games with clear economic potential. The Tokyo Game Show (東京ゲームショウ), is the major video game convention held annually in the Makuhari Messe, outside of Tokyo, in Chiba, Japan. It is organized by the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association (CESA) and the Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. The first two days of the exposition, September 19 and 20, are reserved for people working in the game industry and the press. The general public is only permitted to attend during the final two days, September 21 and 22. In 2012 the event saw 223’753 visitors. This year’s edition attracted 186 companies and organizations; 52 will participate from overseas and again more than 200’000 visitors are expected.
The Alp ICT Cluster, the city of Zurich and the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia have selected five studios (Everdream Soft, Faceshift, apelab, Gangogames, and Gbanga) for a representation of Swiss Games at the Tokyo Game Show. On one side, this game show provides the opportunity to advertize the creative potential of Swiss game developers as well as the quality of their production in terms of content and market orientation. On the other hand, the chance of participation is a testimony for the promotion of cultural products in a business driven environment.
On the opening day, the small but fine Swiss booth attracted a lot of media attention. Around noon, already five different television channels, such as major ones as FUJI TV and NHK, interviewed the game developers. The booth was neighboring Holland, Sweden and several Asian countries, sharing the view to the bigger exhibitor Taiwan. The EPFL spinoff, Faceshift presented its technology to many interested visitors. Also Didier Mesnier, Executive Officer of ALPICT, was present at the booth and very happy with the great media-attention on the first day.
Big game companies demonstrated their new products in huge booths. From Japan; Capcom, GREE, GungHo Online Entertainment, NAMCO BANDAI, SEGA, Sony Computer Entertainment, SQUARE ENIX, and from the US; ELECTRONIC ARTS and Microsoft. These companies speared no effort with real size models and decoration to attract the visitor’s attention. Several Japanese universities and colleges presented their classes for game design and animation, offering possibilities for international collaborations.
Everdream Soft presented Moonga
Moonga is a social Trading Card Game (TCG) for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) and Android. Based on 5 cards (4 Attack Spells and 1 Support Spell), the mechanics of this game are straightforward but require creative strategies to conquer the opponent’s deck. The 600 cards already available embed breathtaking illustrations created by renowned artists coming from all over the world. Developed by EverdreamSoft and released in 2010, Moonga was ranked #1 Role Playing Game in the Japanese AppStore and among the top 50 games of all categories the same year. Since then, the game reached nearly 300,000 downloads over the world, mainly in the US, Japan and France.
Faceshift and apelab presented Mimicry
Mimicry is a playful installation displaying a series of computer graphic paintings. As someone approaches the screen, the player finds himself in the position of a romantic figure surrounded by a fantastic landscape in which he manipulates the natural elements at will. Based on the real-time facial motion capture technology developed by Faceshift AG, the project demonstrates how this technology, interaction design, and motion graphics can be combined to use human expressiveness in a digital environment, and bind computer-mediated communication with physical interaction.
Gangogames presents Cannon Crasha
Gangogames teamed up with Fabian Rastorfer back in 2012 to develop Cannon Crasha a mobile game where two opposing castles destroy each other with a comically large cannon. See the destruction on each castle in real time and strategize your cannon shots by using theright artillery, watching the constantly shifting wind and aiming for the essential parts of yourenemies castle! Up the ante by rushing towards your enemies with strategically summoned armed units and react to the enemies actions with defensive maneuvers and spells!
Gbanga presents Bumble Bee and Famiglia
Bumble Bee is a cutting-edge mixed-reality game. You don’t control a bumblebee, per se—in Bumble Bee you ARE the bumblebee! To move the bee forward or change direction, you must physically walk forward in the real world in the direction you want the bee to travel. This innovative interaction creates an unprecedented empathy between player and in-game characters. Gbanga’s Mafia Famiglia II: Rise and Fall is the sequel to the pioneering location-based game Gbanga Famiglia. It combines traditional gameplay and GPSbased missions where players travel around to takeover the world and eventually become the supreme Mafioso. Local weather and tweets influence the local game world and in-game events.