We came, we saw, we were particularly impressed with the results. Game Happens 2017 – which ran from June 23rd to June 24th in Genova, Italy – was all about developers and innovation. International guests and scholars spent their days sharing tips, ideas, and discussing their projects.

Those who weren’t there could struggle to understand how different Game Happens is from other events. For us at The Indie Toaster, this was mainly an occasion to have a friendly chat with the guys behind some of the most interesting projects we could ever lay our eyes upon.  We collected a large amount of material, took some pictures, and even made a few friends!

Game Happens 2017: On Stage

The subtitle “On Stage”  promised us talks discussing performative arts and videogames; Game Happens 2017  delivered exactly that. Particular attention must have been paid when selecting the speakers, because those who stepped behind the podium seemed to be born to enthrall a crowd. Guests took the challenge head on, thoroughly explaining their projects  and what made them tick!

The first to talk was Elizabeth Simoens, an ex ballerina who got into live games planning. Her panel included an explanation of how to embrace the chaos deriving from people’s choices. Simon Wilkinson showed us how theaters could benefit from Virtual Reality while drawing in younger crowds; then it was Landia Egal’s turn. The young artist presented an interesting VR videogame about blindness, getting into how it had been planned and made so that people could experience what losing their eyesight means. Even Rihanna Pratchett,  award-winning writer who worked on Tomb Raider and Mirror’s Edge was there to share her experience!

There’s been way more to it, from panels about creating interesting stories for games to lectures on the history of VR. At a certain point, professor Mata Haggis explained everything we’ll ever need to know about hammers. Writing a single article about all of these things would have been a mess.
Perhaps, some will evolve into an episode of Beyond The Game.

Game Happens 2017: Showcase

Similarly to the past editions, Game Happens 2017  offered a free-access showcase. Plenty of games could be tried out under the watchful eyes of their creators! To us, that felt like reading Harry Potter with J.K. Rowling, or admiring Van Gogh’s Starry Night with the painter by our side, ready to answer all our questions. Needless to say, we had a ton of fun.

We slapped the hell out of a Watermelon to help it escape a dystopian society; we tried out the VR demo of A Short History Of The Gaze by Molleindustria; we built interactive towers of bricks; walked around Genova while tying strings to poles, drawing chalk balloons on concrete, and attaching clips to iron fences to save the city from an alien invasion.

Even though we ran around all day, we had no time to try out everything we wanted! We are currently talking to several of the people who attended Game Happens 2017  and may have more stowed away for a rainy day…

… in the meantime, you can enjoy our little gallery of photos from the event. Click any of them to open the slideshow view!

The Indie Toaster wants to thank Game Happens and its team for the amazing opportunity and continued co-operation!
No other event has been this welcoming nor had such tasty food!

This article is the result of a joint effort by both Elisa and Alessandro.
 All pictures in the gallery belong to us.


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