sheep – LookingOutwards

I chose Johann Sebastian Joust because I respect its implementation of a game without graphics. Its simple idea carries it really far that uses the gyroscopic output of each player’s Move controllers to generate interactions that range from the obedient to the downright evil. The goal of the game is to be the last person playing, by following the speed that the Brandenburg Concerto is being played. The slower the speed, the slower you have to stand. The faster the speed, the more freedom you have to move. This means that to eliminate other players, you can “jostle” them, while ensuring you don’t move your own controller, which would result in you getting kicked out.

The game was created for the 2011 Global Game Jam- in 48 hours. The creator Douglas Wilson describes the game pretty basically: “Moving in slow motion is fucking fun.” He co-creates the game with Nils Deneken Lau Korsgaard, Lau Korsgaard, Patrick Jamfelt, and Sebbe Selvig, and more fully develops the game with Christoffer Holmgård for a new collective called Gute Fabrik. In the state it took them to get it ready for the 2012 GDC, they treated it as a prototype. Douglas then joins up with three other game developers (Ramiro Corbetta, Bennett Foddy, and Noah Sasso) to release Sportsfriends which garners $152,451 on Kickstarter.

The game was initially created by connecting Wiimotes to the programmer’s PCs and using C# in Unity to build the game on site. I couldn’t find how the final version of the game was built.

Apparently, the game was inspired by folk games (tag, and hide-and-seek, red-light-green-light) but I could see various Wii games as being inspirational too: for example, in Wii Fit, the player uses the balance board and the controllers in a variety of games where the goal is to stand still or lose. I think there was definitely a combination of knowledge of things possible to implement on the Wii.

The game could lead to new ways to play games, that can make them more accessible. It is also a rejection of using advanced graphics to become engaging- it uses the physical world to be engaging.

Johann Sebastian Joust from Die Gute Fabrik on Vimeo.