I took a trip to AMAZE in Berlin last week, which was a phenomenal experience. I'd recommend the event for anyone who wants to explore unusual and thought-provoking games and listen to speakers that reach beyond our usual definitions of games and play.
It was also a fantastic opportunity to demo my brand new game, Codex Bash, for the wireless button kit I've been developing. Codex Bash was playable on Thursday as part of the Open Screens section of the exhibition. I also set it up again on Saturday in the courtyard of the venue for everyone who'd missed it first time around - after all it was a sunny day and a good excuse to try a new setting!
|A team of three takes on Codex Bash at Urban Spree in Berlin|
|Codex Bash being played on the AMAZE show floor|
Codex Bash is played using four coloured button units which connect to a computer by bluetooth. The buttons can be placed anywhere in a venue, and being wireless I can set them up in all kinds of environments in imaginative configurations. As well as games exhibitions I want to run this at public festivals, schools, pubs and even gyms. I even plan to take it out into the woods and tie them to trees!
|Codex Bash played at Kong's, a gaming pub in Bristol, during the Bristol Video Game Social|
|The introductory sequences show you the sequence of buttons you need to press in the real world|
|The four wireless buttons shown next to an on-screen codex|
In the current build there's a few different codexes - some of them are based on information on the screen, and some of them use objects in the real world. For example, one round involves players looking through a book of schematics, and another involves them having to hold down buttons on the keyboard to reveal the mapping.
|A player checks through the schematics to guide his team-mates|
|They must decipher the on-screen instructions to figure out what buttons to press!|
|This team split themselves evenly between the buttons, with one player acting as captain in front of the screen|
|Three players await orders from their leader|
|This trio had a very good shared rapport, splitting tasks between them differently each round|
The complexity of the team-based interactions was beautiful, and far more exciting to watch than I'd anticipated. It certainly informs the direction of the game as I grow it, and I'm glad I decided to demo it publicly even at this early stage of development. Team-based play is clearly central to the magic of the experience, and I may have missed that without bringing it here!
Lots of players likened Codex Bash to gameshows such as The Crystal Maze, The Krypton Factor and Fun House. When I was a kid I dreamed of being on these shows, so if building games like this allows me to bring this experience to a wider audience I'll be a very happy developer!
The next public appearance of Codex Bash will be at Indievelopment in Utrecht on Friday 15th May. I look forward to updating you on how the game has grown since!