BERLIN · there’s no denying that a gaming culture in Berlin exists. whether it’s united, coordinated, and collaborating together is not as clear – but that is starting to change. it was most obvious this past weekend when we hosted and supported the A MAZE. Indie Connect Prelude: Indie Gaming Showcase as part of the PLATOON BOOTCAMP sessions.

the Indie Gaming Showcase at PLATOON BERLIN brought together some of Berlin’s most active game designers, developers, hackers and enthusiast for the first time in such a manner. Berlin has long had a gaming scene where gamers design award-winning games, host innovative game jams, and encourage gaming culture. but it has never managed to unite the entire community of indie gamers until recently. with anticipation for the A MAZE. Indie Connect next April, A MAZE. Festival and PLATOON joined together to promote a catalyzing event to help Berlin gamers get to know each other better and build a stable and healthy gaming platform in Berlin to set an example to the rest of Germany.

over the weekend, the PLATOON yard and container was transformed into an indie gaming paradise. there were five games set up in the main container, designed and developed by Berlin’s own independent gamers, as well as superHYPERcube by Kokorami & Polytron, a hacked Kinect game set up by gaming star Heather Kelley #5890, who happened to be in Berlin for the event.

in the tent, there was a stream of presentations including an energetic talk aimed at game developers about creating and producing your own game (Anjin Anhut #5900) and how Game Jams can expand creativity and gaming potential (Iwan Gabovitch #5898 and Christiaan Janssen). however the talks weren’t aimed strictly at gamers. there were talks concerning how art and gaming influence creative and user experience (Marek Plichta & Mattias Ljungström), the continuous blurring line between music and games that is altering music expression in many ways (Peter Kirn #5777), as well as games that cross the line between reality and fiction (Christiane Hütter).

during the day were workshops, and a particularly intriguing one by GAMESTORM, curated by Kevin Blank #5895. gamers who are used to developing and designing games on their computer were taken offline to develop a board game within a limited time based on strict criteria. watching established indie gamers build, design, and play old fashion board games was particularly entertaining as it appeared many gamers were out of the natural environment, yet all managed to perform up to the highest standard.

the festivities culminated with the Indie Connect brainstorming session lead by moderator and A MAZE. founder Thorsten S. Wiedemann #5817. it was a strategic planning session where we honed in on the most important aspects for next year’s festival while still maintaining an element of fun and enthusiasm. 

our prelude allowed us to come together to play games and connect with one another and establish the groundings of a Berlin independent gaming scene, which we accomplished in full. but next year, Berlin will be flooded with new gamers who come to attend the Indie Connect and they should be impressed with the creativity and innovative design that complements indie game developers in Berlin. the importance of a united Berlin gaming scene is the core to establishing a coherent and successful gaming scene. the people and ideas are already here, we just needed the chance to recognize it!

from the last warm days of the waning summer, we had bbq provided by the charming Mata #340 and laptop DJing by Thorsten. we partied with through the night, until the light of Thorsten’s laptop was the only light left on in the bar.

and there are already plans for more collaborations with A MAZE. for next year, and we look forward to supporting them. so stay tuned for more indie gaming festivities and of course, more games!

special thanks to presenters: Marek Plichta & Mattias Ljungström (Space of Play), Anjin Anhut (howtonotsuckatgamedesign), Peter Kirn (create digital motion), Norbert Haacks (Newtracks), Iwan Gabovitch & Christiaan Janssen (Game Jams), Hanno Hinkelbein & Christian Münch (Gamestorm), Christiane Hütter, Heather Kelley (Moboid), and Kevin Blank (Gamestrom).

and also, thanks again for the games: Volando, Binary Madness, Martin Rau, Martin Jaekel, Sergej Kern & Sebastian Drees, Homunculus Game Collective, Kokorami & Polytron, and Joyride Laboratories.