Young game studio Process takes home victory and a support grant of 100 000 NOK in front of the biggest crowd ever at the Norwegian Gameplay Championship.
It was the assymetric local multiplayer game Agents vs. Villans that took home first place at the Norwegian Gameplay Championship (NM i Gameplay) this weekend in Oslo. The prototype from the young Norwegian game studio, Process, managed to beat the competition with the best interpretation of this year’s theme for the competition, which was resistance.
In the game, three agents are fighting against the villain and each other through four stages, and they are thus each other’s resistance or opposition. Both of which can be encompassed in the Norwegian word “Motstand”, which was the theme that the participants in the championship were given only 10 days before the competition.
The Norwegian Gameplay Championship is organized by the Norwegian Film Institute, and the winner receives a public grant of 100 000 NOK (€13 500). The Championship has been held since 2011, and according to Kaja Hench Dyrlie of the Film Institute, the level of quality has been increasing ever since.
The level of quality is really high and a lot of the games looks almost ready for publishing. The main thing is of course the gameplay, but we still see that a lot of developers are also using a lot of resources on polish. The level of quality is increasing for every year that we organize the championship and I’m very impressed with what people have managed in a little more than a week.
The winner is decided by both a popular vote from the audience at the championship and a professional jury, who each have 50 % of the vote. Dyrlie tells Nordic Game Bits that the audience is primarily comprised of other game developers, but that they have also seen a positive development in this department. “We were 60 people during the event this year, and that’s a definite increase over last year. Actually to a degree where the venue was almost completely filled, but that’s just great!”
Dag-Erling Jensen from the winning developer, Process, tells Nordic Game Bits that Agents vs. Villains was actually not the first concept that the studio developed for the theme. “When we first saw the theme, we became super excited because “resistance” seemed like such an easy theme to create a game around. After brainstorming we realized that it wasn’t so easy after all. It is a very open term and you can connect anything from resistance groups during WW2, to gravity, to electricity to the theme.”
We brainstormed two other ideas but we didn’t feel we hit the theme that well. For our third idea we asked ourselves “What if the resistance in the game is one of the players”? Therefore we defined resistance as the opposition. Everyone loved that approach and the game theme Agents vs. Villains came shortly after.
Process then proceeded to create a prototype in Game Maker, and within four days, they had a functional demo up and running.
Process also participated in the championship last year, and they are actually still working on the project they competed with the last time. In fact, the studio is pretty much built up around that project.
Last year we made the game Spooked for NM in Gameplay. We made it to the finials, but lost to Moondrop. During the event we saw that people enjoyed playing Spooked, so we decided to go ahead and create the game. We now aim to release Spooked first quarter of 2015.
With their victory, it now seems likely that the Norwegian Gameplay Championship will be responsible for two upcoming games from Process, even if they haven’t made a final decision yet. “We still haven’t decided if we want to create the game,” Jensen says. “But general feel of the entire team is that we want to continue developing Agents vs Villains, so it’s likely that we will go ahead and finish the game.”
With Process and Agents vs. Villains emerging victoriously and an increasing level of quality in the competing games, Kaja Hench Dyrlie tells Nordic Game Bits that the Norwegian Film Institute feels the championship is a success, working as intended in creating an alternative channel for handing out development support.
When we started the championship it was with the intention of creating a place where the established industry and those not within the industry could meet each other. And it’s great to see that it’s working so well and that people choose to stay the whole day to socialize, try each others games, and encourage each other.
And with the continuing increase in popularity, Dyrlie is pretty confident, that the Norwegian Gameplay Championship is working as intended. “I think that the fact that the quality and participation increases every year means that we are doing something right,” she tells Nordic Game Bits.