The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) and FONDATION SUISA are pleased to announce the winners of the «Call for Projects: Swiss Games 2012/2013». The awards were handed out July 9th in the course of an official ceremony in the presence of the various juries, representatives of the three organizing bodies, the developers of the seven winning games as well as a large audience. We are happy to provide an insight into these productions on the online cultural promotion platform «Swiss Arts Selection».
The international jury had a framework budget of CHF 150’000 at its disposition, with a maximum support of 50’000 CHF per project.
The members of the international jury were:
MALTE BEHRMANN, GERMANY, JURY PRESIDENT – General Secretary of the European Games Developer Federation (EGDF), lawyer and lecturer
C FROM SUPERBROTHERS, CANADA – founder of Superbrothers HQ
DEBORA FERRARI, ITALY – curator, art critic and creator of the Game Art Gallery
MARC BODMER, SWITZERLAND – jurist and journalist specialized in digital media
LYN M, SWITERLAND – singer, author and co-composer of the band Aloan
Choosing from 43 competing dossiers, the five members of the jury decided to support seven individual projects (4 of them being of Swiss German origin, 3 from the Romandie), justifying their choices as follows:
ANTYZ (iPhone/Android/iPad) – DNA Studios
Supported by an amusing and speedy gameplay, the message conveyed by the plot and the screenplay of ANTYZ is noteworthy, in particular due to the many biological and paleontological references occurring as an invisible stromatolite turns into an insect.
DON’T KILL HER (Mac/PC, browser game) – Jérémy «Wuthrer» Cuany
DON’T KILL HER is simple but personal, childish but with a nod to the concrete art of Dubuffet, graphic but tending towards painting. Its artistic style brings you back to the core of the best traditions of Swiss and Central European design, gazing at other forms of art. Alongside the consistent visual style and musical mood, you won’t be insensitive to its delicate and expressive approach.
DREI (iPad/desktop browser) – Etter Studio
On top of its sophisticated presentation and simple fun concept with universal appeal, DREI delivers a dynamic shared experience. As essential as Abstract Rationalism, as absolute as Minimalism, the art of DREI takes the player through the best geometric abstraction, combining it with quotes from various cultures.
JOURNEY OF A ROACH (Mac/PC) – Koboldgames GmbH
In line with contemporary graphics and animation, the art of JOURNEY OF A ROACH brings us back to the works of Henry J. Darger and combines the scientific observations of entomologists with the surreal visions of Odilon Redon’s etched engravings. The ability to climb on walls and ceilings to solve problems offers a nice and unexpected hook, supported by a stylish presentation and solid adventure game design.
MIRAGE (Mac/PC/iPad) – Mario von Rickenbach, Andi Bissig
A perfect blend of Surrealism and imaginary worlds from Goya to Max Ernst, MIRAGE is an extremely artistic game that also quotes movies such as A Clockwork Orange and Blow-Up with finesse. It shows the way into a new era of game design with influences from film and fine art.
NED&TED (Mac/PC) – Simon Kovatsch, Marc Gruber
Enjoy NED&TED’s appealing visual style, loony look, tightly designed mechanics and snappy gameplay rhythm. A well-implemented coop game mode allows two characters to move simultaneously. Mixing surrealist Cubism, Dadaism and pop culture, NED&TED also integrates a hint to the two-some acting that characterized silent movies of the past century.
UNMEM (iPad/iPhone) – CAUSE (Karian Foehr)
Nowadays we highly depend on signs and words. A game that sets conceptual art at its core, without any prevalence of languages or idioms, turns signs into art and leads to a surprising experience. Hints to the works of Nam Jun Paik, certain aspects of the Swiss and German Optical Art, Minimalism as well as Spatialism make of UNMEM a refined testimony.
Additionally, FONDATION SUISA offered CHF 15’000 for a special award going to the composer of the best original sound composition.
The members of the FONDATION SUISA jury were:
LYN M – singer, author and co-composer / Aloan
ALAIN MONOD – musician / Young Gods, Al Comet
MARCEL VAID – cinema and theater composer
CHRISTOPHE CALPINI – composer, arranger and mixing engineer / Stade, Mobile in Motion
URS SCHNELL – director of FONDATION SUISA
Choosing from the seven projects selected by the international jury, the FONDATION SUISA jury decided that the award for best original sound composition should go to:
UNMEM (iPad/iPhone) – Composer: Elliot Vaucher
The jury members were particularly touched by the artistic approach in question. The research of contemporary and original sounds underlines the game’s strong and clearly defined personality, highlighting the very special graphic identity of UNMEN. The music reveals a true desire for research and innovation; it perfectly completes this coherent project, which clearly was conceived as a whole. Beyond entertainment, the sound universe of UNMEM offers a journey into the most abstract recesses of the mind.
Finally, the game platform company Miniclip SA presented its own Miniclip Swiss Games award, allowing the winning game to be internationally distributed on the company’s platform.
The members of the Miniclip SA jury were:
ALEX WILLIAMS – Global Head of Games
CHRISTOPHER BERGSTRESSER – EVP & Commercial Director
RICARDO VLADIMIRO – Executive Producer, Mobile Group
SAAD CHOUDR – VP Business Affairs
Choosing from the seven games selected by the international jury, the Miniclip SA jury decided that the Miniclip Swiss Games award should go to:
DREI (iPad/desktop browser) – Etter Studio
The jury appreciated the clear-cut design of DREI, very typical of Swiss game design, as well as the quality of the multi-player mode implementation, a feature fully in line with the philosophy of Miniclip.
The organizing bodies are extremely satisfied with the outcome of their second call for projects, as it has not only revealed an increase of quality compared to the first edition but also a higher degree of professionalism among the various developing teams. The award winners have until July 2014 to finalize their game projects. The organizers are particularly pleased to see that the Call for Projects now serves as a stepping stone towards international distribution and future selections in conventions. This fact clearly shows that the reputation of Swiss game design has travelled well beyond Swiss borders.
The Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF) is proud to have been mandated with the organization of this second call for projects, a proposition which proved to be perfectly in line with the activities developed for the Imaging for the Future symposium during the last few years as well as the festival’s general focus.
The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia on the other hand will maintain its commitment to video game culture, which it considers to be a driving force of digital creation at the crossroads of technology, innovation and culture. In this context, Pro Helvetia is proud to announce that another competition will be held in Zurich in 2014.
FONDATION SUISA is glad that its participation in the two first editions of Call for Projects has helped in bringing together musicians and video game producers, thus creating synergies which are highlighting the quality of creative work in Switzerland. On another note, FONDATION SUISA would like to draw the attention of its various partners and of the audience to the necessity of preserving and respecting the notion of copyright and intellectual property.