The International Mobile Gaming Awards (IMGA) has announced three Dutch nominees for the 13th IMGA’s in San Francisco. The jury, consisting of experts from all over the world, will decide who wins The Grand Prix and 12 other Awards.

The Dutch nominees are:

Crap! I’m Broke: Out of Pocket from Arcane Circus | www.crapimbroke.com
Rusty Lake: Roots from Rusty Lake | www.rustylake.com
Swan Song: Fantasy chronicles from Games_Labs | www.spilgames.com
Vote now and help determine who wins the Public Choice Award!

Crap! I’m Broke: Out of Pocket – imgawards.com/games/crap-im-broke-out-of-pocket
Rusty Lake: Roots – imgawards.com/games/rusty-lake-roots
Swan Song: Fantasy chronicles – imgawards.com/games/swan-song-fantasy-chronicles

Winners will be announced on February 28, 2017 during the IMGA ceremony, which will take place in San Francisco, USA.

About the International Mobile Gaming Awards:
Created in 2004 and with an average of 800 studios participating from all over the world the IMGA are the mobile gaming industry’s leading independent showcase for groundbreaking innovations, displaying exceptional quality and new trends in mobile entertainment.

More information:
Please visit www.imgawards.com for more information on the contest and the awards.

The Netherlands is partner country for the 9th Nasscom Game Developer Conference 2016, taking place on November 10-12 in Hyderabad, India. After a successful India Games Roadshow in april 2016, the Nasscom Gaming Forum invited 8 Dutch game companies to the conference, providing showcasing, speaking and networking opportunities for them as well as a representation of Dutch best-practices in a whitepaper on applied gaming.

The trip to Hyderabad is a joint effort between the Nasscom Gaming Forum, Trade Network India, Dutch Culture and the Dutch Games Association. The companies showcasing and speaking at the conference are QameZ (publisher), Hulan Studio (educational games), IJsfontein (playful learning solutions), Wind Tales (health games), Ellis In Wonderland (applied play consultancy), ThinkFast Studio (indie developer), Monobanda Play (VR experience and health games research foundation) and Pillo Games (health games, special needs games). The group is guided by the Dutch Games Association and the embassy who are looking into possibilities to start up a lengthier program of collaboration between the Dutch and Indian games industry with the aim to enhance each other’s industries by combining India’s technical know-how with the Dutch creativity and innovative mindset.

Whitepaper on the possibilities of applied gaming using Dutch best-practices

The whitepaper has been prepared by the Special Interest Group on Applied Gaming, that is part of the Nasscom Gaming Forum in collaboration with the Dutch Games Association to highlight how applied games can provide solutions to the grand societal challenges that India and the Netherlands are facing. Four Dutch best-practices have been included to illustrate the variety of solutions that games can provide in different sectors such as health, education, advertising and elderly care: Underground by Grendel Games, Monsterzoo by &ranj, AHDino’s by Little Chicken and &samhoud media and Tovertafel (“Magic Table”) by ActiveCues. The games show the broad array of possibilities of Dutch applied games from surgeon-training (Underground), to fine motor skills-training needed for writing (Monsterzoo), bring Dinosaurs to life in VR and AR with an affordable solution for all Dutch children (AHDino’s) and how to activate elderly with severe dementia (Tovertafel). Each of the examples is a case of how research was successfully incorporated in game providing a trusted solution, or – in the case of AHDino’s – how Dutch game companies are able to deliver fun, state-of-the-art interactive advertising campaigns for large corporations.

From September 26 – 28 an economic mission to South Korea led by prime minister Mark Rutte will take place for the top sectors Agri Food, Horticulture and starting materials, HTSM and the Creative Industries (specifically gaming, urban design & architecture). DGA chairman Horst Streck will join the mission to represent the Dutch games industry, seek opportunities for Dutch companies and knowledge institutes in the Korean market and create a channel for collaboration between the Dutch and South Korean games industries. Registration closes on August 5th.

South Korea is Holland’s third most important Asian export country. Export to South Korea has grown 31% between 2011 and 2015. In 2015, the export growth was even 14% higher than the year before.

The goal that has been expressed for the mission by prime minister Rutte is to underline the excellent relations between Holland and South Korea and to further explore opportunities for collaboration between the two countries. The focus on the top sectors Agri Food, Horticulture and starting materials, HTSM and Creative Industries doesn’t exclude people from other sectors to join the mission. The Dutch and South Korean government have found that the largest opportunities for collaboration lie within these top sectors.

DGA joins to represent the Dutch games industry

The DGA, Dutch Game Garden and entrepreneurs from the games industry have marked the mission as an important moment to represent the Dutch games industry as a whole. Furthermore the games industry will be well represented in the program. Therefore DGA chairman Horst Streck will join this mission on behalf of the industry. Besides representing the Dutch games industry, the goals of this visit are to identify opportunities in the Korean market, create a channel for collaboration between the Dutch and South Korean games industries and find moments in the coming year(s) at which individual entrepreneurs might benefit from a dedicated gaming mission to South Korea.

Members of the Dutch Games Association are invited to provide Horst with their inquiries about South Korea. Companies or individuals who wish to join the mission themselves are free to sign up separately, or join the DGA on this mission within the fee of € 950,- euros (travel- and accommodation costs are not included – only for DGA members).

Focus creative industries: architecture, urban design and gaming

Seoul and other Korean metropoles strive to create a convenient ‘urban’ environment, in which nature, leisure, relaxing and cultural activities play a large part. A lot is being done to develop these environments and Korea is looking for partners that can aid in the process. Furthermore, Korea is the mecca for e-sports. The focus for gaming is also moving from PC to mobile, with a currently growing mobile gaming market. Korean companies are looking for publishers abroad. VR is also on the rise: VR hardware is available, but there is a lack of content. Korea is not only looking for visual content, but also for peripheral equipment that can enhance the VR experience.

 

A warm welcome to 2 new members: Big Bang Studio, a company focused on creating accessible games that help you rehabilitate and Capstone Beyond Limits, a specialized consulting company for the video game and interactive entertainment industry.

Big Bang Studio

Big Bang Studio creates simple accessible games that help you rehabilitate in a fun and engaging way! Providing the health professionals with much needed insights on performance and giving them the flexibility to incorporate serious games in their treatment plans. All our technology is easy to use and built to last without you having to spend enormous amounts of money to utilize serious games.

 

Capstone Beyond Limits

A specialized Consulting Company for the Video Game and Interactive Entertainment Industry.
We focus on companies that are active in the industry or use game technology in other industries.

We bring companies and professionals closer to each other. Making expertise accessible to all industry players.

  • Industry Facilitator: stimulating collaboration and finding ways to create a stronger industry.
  • Business Enhancer: Bringing the best game talent to your company. (Search & Selection, Project sourcing and RPO)

We are proud to announce 6 new DGA Members. A warm welcome to AtHand, Curve Fever, Hulan Studio, iQU, Willow’s Pillow and Qamez!

AtHand

For AtHand, gamification is about seducing people to learn, to change behavior and to perform better in real life and work, making it feel like a game. Using science, psychology, economics and arts as our inspiration, AtHand has years of experience and had the pleasure of working for established, well-organized clients.

Curve Fever

In Curve Fever you control your snake and it is your goal to cut off the other players with your snake, trying to stay alive as long as possible. Curve Fever is best played with 6 players on 1 keyboard, but can also be played in an online multiplayer arena. What is truly special about Curve Fever, is that it is mostly played at schools!

iQu

iQu are the preferred marketing partner for growing mobile and online games. The company’s experience and integrated solutions deliver high quality players and connect with premium sources of traffic and media, fueling global growth for game developers and publishers.

Hulan Studio

Hulan is a young company with years of experience when it comes to the development of serious games, applied games, apps, and gamification. Hulan has made games games to teach how to read, to practice theoretical driver’s exams, and everything in between.

Pillow’s Willow

At the beginning Peter (former lead animator of the OVERLORD series) came up with the idea of a VR game, having a girl that needs to find her way out of a virtual dreamscape. After having some design sessions with a few of his skilled friends, he got in contact with Andy and Sven (founders of iOpener Media). Together they represent quite some years of experience within the field of gaming and together they started Pillow’s Willow VR studios.

Qamez!

QameZ is a game publishing team owned and managed by games industry veterans. It offers instant access to a worldwide distribution network and is specialized in digital game publishing with high transparency. QameZ optimizes game monetization models and enhances value of games. With QameZ indie developers can do real self-publishing. At the moment still setting up shop but you can get in touch already through their website.

“Bridging research, creativity, entrepreneurship, and focus on talent development, upscaling, and to strengthen our international competetiveness”. This is the goal of the “Creative Manifesto” that was presented to Members of Parliament Michiel van Veen (VVD), Agnes Mulder (CDA), Jacques Monasch en Tanja Jadnanansing (PvdA). Politicians are called to action by the The Topteam Creative industry, the Federation Dutch Creative Industries, and the Dutch Creative Council.

Within six years the Dutch creative industry has developed into an ambitious and well organized top sector with a unique knowledge infrastructure and an internationally recognized strategy for internationalization. However more effort is required to strengthen this position and grow into the most creative industry in Europe. For this reason the creative industry calls for action in the Creative Manifesto that focuses on three main focal points neccesary to sustain and grow the importance of the creative industry.

The three main themes in the Creative Manifesto are Knowledge and Innovation, Internationalizing and Upscaling, and Talent Development and Entrepreneurship. Chairman of the Dutch Creative Council, Jeroen van Erp, states: “a new Cabinet would do well to promote development of the national and international activities of the creative industry as a provider of solutions for societal issues” Additionaly, a multi-year program is required to stimulate international efforts in the sector, and to stimulate the development of new creative concepts. The focus on ‘21st century skills’ should be central in talent development. Enhanced job opportunities both in and outside of Europe will help promote creativity, and increased availability off part-time educations will allow a system of ‘life-long learning’. Finally, the manifesto calls to recognize typical aspects of the creative industry and give way to crossovers between the creative industry and other sectors.

For more information visit the website of the Federation Dutch Creative Industries or read the manifesto in the attachment of this post on the right side of this page.

DGA chairman Horst Streck responds to the discussion that arose around the recently revealed growth numbers of the Dutch games industry in the Games Monitor 2015. “The opportunities were there, but we haven’t been able to seize them.”

In an interview with NRC, DGA chairman Horst Streck responds to their previously published article on the creation of a bubble in the Dutch games industry. “The Dutch games industry has been too optimistic about growth possibilities for a number of years,” he states and adds how numbers mentioned in the press often take on a life of their own. He responds by pointing out how we must put all our efforts in trying to seize business opportunities, for instance by asking for a return-on-investment on certain subsidies and put much greater emphasis on entrepreneurship in the games industry in general.

Read the interview (Dutch)

 

 

Do you have experience with validation of health games or apps? What do you think about the need for validation and methods of validation in this sector? Read on to fill out the survey on validation of health games.

This survey is part of the wrap-up of Growing Games, a support program (2013-2016) to promote the sustainable growth of the Dutch applied games sector. This survey is the next step after the Growing Games consortium published a position paper at the end of 2015 on the state of validation of health games and apps in the Netherlands. That paper called for a more differentiated approach to validation befitting the highly different characteristics of these innovative products.

To further develop a critical view and build upon the position paper, it is crucial to hear what people with recent experience validating health games and apps think about the need for validation and appropriate methods of validation in this sector.

>>> Go to the Validation of Health Games Survey <<<

And remember: it doesn’t matter whether your experience was good or bad, or at a design, research, insurance or governmental organization, or about a game or app for prevention, cure or care; it is greatly appreciated if you share any experience you have had!

Feel free to spread the word in your network, and have others fill out the survey too.

 

(Image: Coach4Life – Little Chicken Game Company)

 

Literary games Puzzling Poetry and Winter are subsidized by Gamefonds and the Dutch Foundation for Literature (Letterenfonds). Game developers collaborate with writers to make these games.

Flemish writer Joost Vandecasteele is working with indie game studio Happy Volcano on the game Winter, in which the story’s dark narrative is determined by gameplay. In Studio Louter and poet Lucas Hirsch’s game Puzzling Poetry players recreate poetry.

The two developer-and-writer collaborations took part in an open call done by the Gamefonds (an initiative of Creative Industries Fund NL and Mediafonds) and the Dutch Foundation for Literate. The three funds want to stimulate the collaboration between the literary world and the games industry.

Puzzling Poetry and Winter were chosen out of almost 50 submissions. Last summer, five projects were selected by the Dutch Foundation for Literature to be further developed. A joint advisory committee selected two games that would receive subsidies for their development. The committee was especially enthused about the manner in which the literary quality and the game design merge into one cohesive whole. Which games were the best and most appropriate to present during the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2016 was also a discussed topic.

Suzanne Meeuwissen, senior policy officer at the Foundation for Literature, stated that the collaboration between games and literature is ‘relevant and exciting,’ especially given the technological developments. “The literature takes place outside of the book through technology, and focuses on a new and younger (reading) audience. It also enriches the process for game developers, as the literary scenarios and storylines add a new and often times surprising layer to a game.”

Puzzling Poetry is a game in which the player is presented with deconstructed poems by Lucas Hirsch and other poets, with as end-goal the recreation of these poems. Next to the meaning of the words, the challenge is to pick up on rhythm and graphical relativity. “Playing with words leads to an unexpected, concentrated way of reading,” according to the selection committee.

The game Winter (by Flemish collective Happy Volcano) is a mobile game in which the player navigates step by step through a world of tiles. With each step, a story unfolds – an inner dialogue written by Joost Vandecasteele, which the player can use to determine the course of said story. The fresh, sleek design by Happy Volcano is combined with a dark, literary story by Vandecasteele.

In October of 2016, Puzzling Poetry and Winter will be presented at Buchmesse in Frankfurt; a presentation for which the games will also be translated into English and German. The Creative Industries Fund NL, the Mediafonds, and the Dutch Foundation for Literature will bring these two selected games to the international book fair, where there will be an increased focus on new forms of literature. This year, the Netherlands and Flanders are guest countries at the fair that is the largest book fair worldwide.