I am very excited to announce that our latest game, Magister Ludi, is now launched at Experimenta and available online. It puts a twist on the escape-the-room genre, highlighting our role in needing to escape. The game was commissioned by Jonathan Parsons for Experimenta’s 2015 Biennial of Media Art: Recharge, which means it will be touring Australia for the next year. Magister Ludi was also Official Selection for the 2014 Freeplay Independent Games Festival’s Parallels event at ACMI. I was inspired by the growing phenomenon of real world escape-the-room games and our attraction to them, and couple this with personal epiphanies I have come to regarding crucial psychological processes that must be attended to truly leave behind traumatic events and circumstances. Like all my projects about serious topics, I deliver everything through the lens of comedy. The title is an allusion to Herman Hesse’s Nobel-prize-winning novel “The Glass Bead Game,” and Magister Ludi plays with the idea of the conceptual game depicted in the novel.
I had a great team working with me to make it happen. Marigold Bartlett (Goldie) is the artist who does a wonderful job in creating room illustrations with beautiful and meaningful tones, detail and lighting. Goldie has worked with me before on my DIY SPY School card game (it is coming next year!). Trevor Dikes of Soundplay Interactive created the sound design and compositions for the game. He creates these wonderful mood moments with layers of fascinating samples coming through. Trevor worked with me before on our web audio adventure AUTHENTIC IN ALL CAPS. Cameron Owen of Attract Mode Games is the programmer on the game, creating all the assets in Unity. Cameron is both a designer and has UX skills himself, and so the process progressed quite quickly and smoothly. Cameron has just released his own game too (with James Bowling): Tail Drift.
I am also very excited to let you know that applications for the 2015 Forward Slash Story Lab are now open. Lance Weiler and myself ran the first one this year just out of NYC and it was amazing. We had such a great group of participants from around the world championing this opportunity with us. It is an event, an idea, that Lance and I have had for a long time and we’re super keen to develop it. Indeed, we’re very lucky to be a part of this.
FORWARD/STORY (Forward Slash Story) is an invite-only 4 day residential lab taking place in Costa Rica, May 15, 16, 17 & 18th, 2015. It is a special lab for writers and designers who work in uncharted territories to share their journey, techniques, socialize, collaborate, and solve problems. Five core challenges that storytellers face will be explored in a collaborative environment. On-site expenses are covered for those who attend.
We had a huge influx of applications for the first lab and so choosing the final participants was just about finding the right mix. Once again, we are putting our call out as far and wide as we can to encourage fascinating creatives from around the world to apply. It is a safe and welcoming community of inspired creatives. We love people who are trailblazers, who are continuously progressing their craft and art for themselves and others, who are drawn to interactivity and understanding ourselves. Writers, designers, directors, artists, critics, theatre makers, filmmakers, game makers, and whatever great thing you do are welcome. The deadline for submissions is December 31st! Let me know if you have any questions at all, and share the news if you think someone in your network may be interested in F/S or even Magister Ludi!