Tuesday 28 May 2013

Guardian Gamesblog: How iPads are revolutionising social games

The Guardian Gamesblog put up an article in the last week following my talk from GameHorizon 2013. Pretty exciting to shared-device play is pushed further into the spotlight.

The article picks up on a lot of the philosophy that's propelled my recent work, especially with Slamjet Stadium. Physically getting in each other's way creates memorable social experiences, and it's okay for a game to be "unfair" when you're trying to create laughter rather than simply test player skill.

The article is here, and I hope you enjoy giving it a read!

"Rule-breaking is creative," Alistair Aitcheson says in his presentation to the audience at GameHorizon. "Laughter trumps fairness." It's this theory of schadenfreude he has come to the conference to discuss: how pitting us against each other can strengthen friendships, and bring players of games closer.
Aitcheson wanted to encourage people to play together again. He emphasised physical multiplayer – sharing a tablet screen. Physical disconnection, he said, was OK for matching people together in skill-based games such as Street Fighter IV, however the social aspect is really important. Touchscreens are big interactive canvases; they offer us a bright, enjoyable future in terms of being together, being... well, social.
Read the full article on Guardian.co.uk

Sunday 12 May 2013

Re-imagining Multiplayer: Talk from GameHorizon 2013

This is the talk I gave at GameHorizon 2013 this week. I got a lot of enthusiastic comments back about it, which was great to hear! In it I talk about shared-tablet multiplayer, using Greedy Bankers vs The World and Slamjet Stadium as examples of the motivations and design challenges behind this exciting genre of gaming.

I had a fantastic time at GameHorizon, and met some fantastic people there. I was particularly inspired by two digital artists who spoke at the event. Alex May gave a presentation about his work with robots and A.I., while Ernest Edmond spoke about interactive art in social spaces. Both are fascinating insights into the ways interactive technology is used beyond the game world, and the processes share so much similarity with experimental game design.

A full playlist of the talks from the GameHorizon 2013 can be found here.

Friday 3 May 2013

New Interviews: Developing Slamjet Stadium

Well, it's been an exciting week at Aitcheson towers. I've been preparing my talk for next week's GameHorizon Conference, and I woke up this morning to discover that Slamjet Stadium is in the App Store's Tabletop Games feature in the UK App Store.

I also had two interviews I did recently published online. They were really fun to do so I hope you enjoy reading them!

Thunderbolt interviewed me about the design behind Slamjet Stadium, and why genres and trends from the past - including local multiplayer - are seeing so much new innovation from the indie sphere.
Read the interview here

I also spoke to HeyUGuys Gaming about my history as a game developer, my inspirations and motivations.
Read the interview here

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Speaking at GameHorizon 2013

Exciting news! I've been asked to speak at GameHorizon in Newcastle, a major UK games conference. The talk I'll be giving is titled Re-Imagining Multiplayer for Tablet.

I'll be having a look at how physical multiplayer creates exciting new experiences, and the unique opportunities provided by tablet interfaces. I'll explore the reasons why physically interacting over a shared tablet has the power to build friendships and encourage creative thinking. Then I'll be going through the design lessons I've learned from making Slamjet Stadium and Greedy Bankers vs The World.

As followers of my blog will know, shared-tablet multiplayer is something I find really inspiring as a developer, so I can't wait to get on stage and give this new approach to play a platform!

More information about GameHorizon can be found on the GameHorizon website.