Gotland Game Conference Schedule (Day 1)

7:42 Good Morning! Wake up, brush teeth, and head downstairs for coffee

8:17 Leave Hotel Helgeand

8:40 Collect student conference badges

8:42  Walk through game exhibit in awe

9:00 Head of department Hans Svensson welcomes everyone to 2017 Gotland Game Conference!

9:15 Adam Mayes talks about “M for Mature” theme and leads up what will be discussed during the upcoming conference panels

9:26 Adam Mayes takes questions!

9:37 Conference breaks for coffee and cookies

10:00 Chris Franklin discusses “Platform Pressures and Perils”

10:53 Conference breaks for Lunch and exploring the games exhibit

11:02 Lunch is served, pork in a pepper gravy and fish in a creamy sauce

11:34 Done eating, all trash is sorted into a complex recycling system

11:41 Game time!!

11:43 Fast Gear, an 80’s aesthetic racing game, graphics were gorgeous but I’m a reckless driver

11:57 Somnium demo, collect all the plush’s limbs without letting the dream get to scary!

12:13 Bull Dog, an interesting look at an alternate controller

12:32 Pump the frog, absolutely adorable!!!

12:45 Lick, Wiggle Race! a fun and COMPETITIVE arcade game

1:05 Drink or Die, a hilarious game to watch as players try to drink like mosquitos without being swatted

1:21 The Fiddler, a game about playing your feelings on the violin

1: 34 Talking with the developers of The Fiddler

1:44 Causality, dark souls but with time travel?

1:53 Make way to auditorium for more conference talks

2:00  Dorris C. Rusch talks “From Porn to Love; Games’ Growing Up”

2:47 Question Time!

3:15  Sabine Harrer Talks on “Vulvas on the tablet: Cunt Touch This”

3:50 Questions for Sabine!

4:16 Back to the Game expo

4:21 Critter Flux, an iOS app about caring for your own little monster

4:32 The Summoning, a game to play against friends set against beautiful Japanese art

4:45 Casters, magic spells were difficult to learn but once we did, it got competitive

5:03 The group is hungry and forms a circle to decide where to eat

5:23 Two groups are formed Team McDonalds and Team Bad Wolf BBQ

5:40 Hungry and tired, we leave the conference in search of dinner!

5:54 Google Maps directs Team BBQ on an 17 minute journey through Visby

6:09 A Mr. Mime is spotted, and captured

6:16 Arrive at Bad Wolf BBQ, on a new side of Visby

6:23 Ordered Pulled Pork Sandwiches

6:30 An employee at Bad Wolf BBQ explains how the restaurant came to be and the story of its two founders

7:17 Leave Bad Wolf BBQ full

7:23 Observe weird store mannequins

7:28 Peek in window of Wiccan store

7:32 Take a scenic group picture of characters on a ledge overlooking the city

7:46 Make it back to Hotel Helgeand

7:57 Everyone showers and meets up later

9:21 Meet up to discuss the days panels and games

11:07 Bedtime!






Farewell, Visby

Today we said our goodbyes to Visby as we spent our last day together in the lovely seaside town.  We started late morning with a walk along the famous Visby wall, enjoying the beautiful scenery as we walked on dirt paths surrounded by blooming bushes of lilac, fields of Queen Anne’s Lace, tall green grass, and pebbly seashore where numerous small waves broke and foamed.

Our characters met for a final time in a “cave” in a watchtower and then in a model of that watchtower in a small park-like area.

As a farewell lunch, we went to the Brooklyn restaurant for burgers and milkshakes with Adam and Martine – good food, and great friends.  Afterward, we gathered to play our “impressive” game, which has turned out to be a source of pride for all of us as a testament to our teamwork.  It is an exciting thought to continue work on its production!

In the late afternoon, we had our last scoops of gelato at our favorite shop and savored them as we gazed out into the sunlight harbor, took care of some last-minute shopping as we picked out chocolate at Kränku Te & Kaffe, and explored a movie theater to consider seeing a film later that night.  Instead, we decided to get a late Italian dinner at Isola Bella, pack our things, and relax by watching Rick and Morty together.

We have an early morning tomorrow, a day of the flurry and frenzy of travel.

Goodbye, Sweden.  We dearly hope to visit you again.

Closing up the Game Conference

Howdy Y’all!

Today was the second and last day of the Gotland Game Conference. This morning we heard a talk from Richard A Bartle on Human Rights in the digital world and specifically in games. The second talk of the day was by Sabine Harrer, a speaker from yesterday, about grief in game design. Her talk inspired a lot of emotion as she shared her own story of loss and her process of coming to terms with that grief and making a game to express the pain of a mother losing her child (Game: Jocoi).

After a lovely afternoon of playing more games on the floor, my personal favorite of the day was Penny’s Farm, we moved onto the afternoon talk by Bonnie Ruberg. Her main point from her talk was that we can’t make games about empathy. We can make games that make us feel and exposes us to what something might be like for another person or character but the feeling of empathy escapes us. She also touched on queer game design and its importance.

After a fantastic dinner at Brooklyn, a burger joint in Visby, we returned to the conference center for the awards ceremony.

Big Winners of the Night were as follows

First Year Winner: Pump the Frog (also chosen to reside in the library for the upcoming year)

Second Year Winner: Goblin Doctors

Third Year Winner: Penny’s Farm

I would also give an honorable mention to Grave Call, a super interesting game involving a coffin, which won an innovation award.

Gotland Game was a GREAT Conference for all of us



Big Game Dev Day!

Sunday may 28

We began the morning by discussing the game we’re making, the mechanics of play, a basic example off the main quest/goal of the player’s party, and rudimentary examples of individual player’s quests. We came up with the basic example of the entire team working together to collect supplies in order to build a ship, and this scenario we called Shipwrecked to begin with. Then, we tried fleshing out individual character quests and how they would affect the main quest. We toyed with the idea of having a blue/red/grey personal mission system, but then decided that a good/bad/rogue system would limit player’s interpretations of the characters. We then just decided on a choice between three individual goals.

The group then split for lunch, and the group I was in went to a place by the harbor called Joda Bar and Grill. We had their chicken skewers, which was agreed was their signature item, because they were so delicious! The two of us who had fish and chips traded some for a piece of chicken skewer, and we told the rest of the group about the place. After lunch, my group went into a church ruin at the town square, or Storatorget and looked at the old architecture, and visited a few vendors who had set up in the square.

We met back at the hotel around 3:30 then, and we really cracked down on the design process. We ended up turning the individual mission process into three steps each player had to complete to “win” the game, on a player-by-player basis. Then we worked on how they would be able to interact with the main quest once they made the choice to split from the group.

A very rough prototype of the game came next: a grid of paper tiles and paper markers representing the parts of the game took form. We steadily worked through the game itself: where on the “board” each player would start, how movement works, and what attributes the characters have. Then, the process of exploring the island, getting items and objectives, and combat was banged out while we went.

By the time we got through most of the mechanics of this basic example quest, it was about 10 o’clock at night. For simplicity, we had decided on the lowest number of players possible, 3 characters, and decided to make this the “nice” scenario: all players going for cooperation and no inter-player conflict.

The Tissue Diaries of May 26, 2017

Our Viking Adventure!

Today was our big adventure day on Gotland Island before we settle into conference and game design mode. Sadly I have found out that the pollen on Gotland is not my friend so today will be the chronicles of my tissue usage.

Tissue 1:

Location: Hotel Helgeand


All the adventurers are getting ready to board our VIP bus for the day.

Tissue 2:

Location: Cliff



We arrived at our first outdoor spot for the day. A cliff! Students explored rocks and the water by traversing the steep stairs. I personally found a hidey hole and posed for pictures.

Tissue 3:

Location: Ferry


The party bus drove onto the ferry for our quick journey across the water to Fårö Island

Tissue 4:

Location: Fårö Church / Ingmar Bergman’s Grave



We arrived at Fårö Church and explored both inside and outside discovering the gravesite of Ingmar Bergman, a famous filmmaker

Tissue 5:

Location: Rock Field


All of the adventurers arrived and explored beautiful rock formations

Tissue 6:

Location: Ingmar Bergman Museum


We had lunch and took a tour of the museum. We learned about some of Ingmar Bergman’s famous films and the movies that were filmed on Fårö Island itself

Tissue 7:

Location: Ferry


On the bus again we took the ferry back to Gotland

Tissue 8:

Location: Blue Lagoon


Our bus driver took us to the Blue Lagoon, a former limestone quarry. We saw tons of tadpoles and enjoyed the sun

Tissue 9:

Location: Lummelunda Cave


We took a nice trip to the Lummelunda Cave which is located on a nature reserve to the north of Visby. Lummelunda Cave is one of the longest caves in Sweden

Tissue 10:

Location: Ice Cream


Finishing my tissue filled day with ice cream was a great closer to a long day.


Game Dev Day

May 25th, 2017 was our first legitimate game development day. The team (AK, Carson, Christine, Corey, Emma, Nikki, and Nate) traveled to Adam and Martine’s house. Here, we took all of our experiences (playing Follow, playing Arcadia, Reading the Kobold guide to Board Game Design) and put together an initial draft for our game.
The main questions that we needed to answer are:
A) How tightly are our Funko Pop characters integrated into this game?
B) What is the format of our game?
C) Who is our audience?

When it comes to the first question, we have decided to use take our characters, define them as a character archetype, and use those archetypes as the player pieces in our game.

Ascelot Pendragon = The Paladin








Alva = The Adventurer

Geof = The Monk

Maren = The Protector

Nozrak = The Ork

Nate the Great = The Viking

Spindelle = The Warrior

All of these characters have 3 attributes: Strength, Intelligence, & Luck. The type of character determines the distribution of points between these three attributes.

As a collective we would like to create a Storytelling RPG for ages 12 and over using cards, dice, our characters and most importantly, our imaginations. Although there is still plenty of work to be done, today we accomplished one of the biggest hurdles, getting started.

Got (is)Land? Yes, We’re in Visby!

Today, we had a leisurely morning, sharing breakfast together after our first night in Visby and discussing different movies as we waited for activities to begin.

At noon, we embarked to the Gotland Museum, meeting Martine for a delightful buffet lunch.  Touring the museum afterward involved viewing multiple exhibits, including rune stones, fossils, jewelry, pottery, human remains from archeological digs, Medieval Christian artifacts, treasure, armor, and a thoughtful Gotland art exhibition.  Downstairs, in the cold underbelly of the building, was old masonry and wells.  Upstairs, in a sun-filled room, a fish was saved, a fight was fought, and a meal was cooked for a photographing and laughing audience.

We then grabbed a quick gelato pick-me-up.  It was delicious.  Flavors chosen included amaretto, passion fruit, banana chocolate, violet saffron, and Oreo.

After returning to the hotel, some of the group finished readings within The Kobold Guide to Board Game Design while others saw two different church ruins sights under renovation.  We re-grouped and discussed the first half of design readings before meeting Adam and Martine for dinner at Plaza in the town square.

After dinner, we discovered that our planned meeting place, the so-called “Wi-Fi room,” was barred, so we instead met in the largest bedroom for a team bonding session: a fun way to end the day.

Second, and Last Day in Stockholm. Hey There Gotland Island!

We all woke ups (some of us very late haha) and got on the ferry cross the water to the island of Djurgarden (no swedish accents on my keyboard but its pronounced Djurgorden).  On the island, we all visited the Vasa Museum, a museum housing a 333 year old ship that was recovered and is still in the process of restoration even as people visit the museum.  We learned a lot about the culture, economics, and military relations between Denmark and Sweden at the time era of the Vasa’s construction.

After the Vasa, the group split into three groups.  Three of us went shopping on Gamle Stan and the surrounding areas, two of us went northwest into the new center of Stockholm to visit the Swedish Army Museum which was fascinating, and four went to the Swedish Viking museum.  We all reconvened at the fMS Birger Jarl at 7 to catch a taxi to the Gotland Ferry!

The Swedish Army Museum contains a very informative history of Sweden’s military from the 1300s to today.  The exhibits were fascinating and in both Swedish and English, which was very helpful.  We also saw what I gathered to be an officer’s education group attending a “crash course of Swedish military history, and was made of officers from Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Germany, Russia, and maybe one or two that I didn’t recognize.

Once on the ferry, the group discussed and collaborated on the interactions of our indiviual planets in the lore and backstory of our game.  We figured out how each of our planets are linked to the other ones in the “cluster” and how our characters might potentially meet.  We then switched gears and tested some character and story development games among ourselves.  The games we played were Arcadia, a more card and artwork based game, and Follow, a more narrative based story teller that got fairly ridiculous.  Maybe the fact that we were all extremely tired helped haha…

Stockholm Super Schedule (Day 1)


Good Morning!

Wake up at 8:40am

Meet up in Boat restaurant Ralsgen 9:28am

Coffee at Chockalatfabriken 9:42am

Food and Spice Market – Jam, Siracha, and Salt was purchased 9:53am

Vintage Window Shopping (all the stores were closed)  10:21am

Church spotted 10:38am

Walked through Gamala Stan (Old Town)  11:08am

Stop at Forex Bank for exchange 11:25am

Science Fiction Bookstore 11:38am

Take Ferry to Skansen Outdoor Museum, Djurgarden 12:15pm

Arrive at Skansen 12:33pm

Lunch  at Bollnagrillen 12:56pm

Wild Boars 1:26pm

Nordsvensk Pony 1:40pm

Naping Bears 1:43pm

Baby Bears! 1:48pm

Stop to smell flowers 1:51pm

Vastveitloftet Store house from the 14th century 1:54pm

Moose! (Meese?) 1:55pm

Reindeer 2:01pm

Flax Mill 2:13pm

The Stone cottage 2:15pm

Sammi Farmstead House 2:20pm

Rune Stone – (Memory of a deceased husband)  2:26pm

Cotton Candy Yum 2:32pm

Skansen Gift Shop 2:38pm

Red Squirrel sighting 2:50pm

Allotment Homes 2:51pm

Hazilushusel Mansion 2:55pm

Dry Goods Shop 3:00pm

The Bakery 3:02pm

Krukmakeri (Pottery Maker shop) 3:06pm

Glasbruk (Glass Shop) 3:11pm

Glass blowing demonstration 3:27pm

Map check 3:37pm

Leaving Skansen 3:39

Buying Ferry tickets at Bijetter center 3:47pm

Ferry back to Slussen 4:00pm

Arrive in Slussen 4:16pm

Shopping in Gamala Stan (part two)  4:20-5:30pm

Walk to meet up 5:42

Meet Up 6:16pm

Dinner at Deli di Luca 6:25

Late night game development in lobby of Boat hotel (Boatel) 9:03pm

Split into individual rooms to do work and prepare for Stockholm Day 2!




Goodbye Malmö, Hello Stockholm!

Today, we said goodbye to Malmö. To celebrate this farewell, Dr. Snyder took some of us to Malmö beach, where giant boulders lined the cliff overlooking the deep blue sea in the shadow of the Turning Torso, the tallest building in Sweden. He then took us to Malmöhüs, which is a castle, museum, and magnificent garden all in one place! We saw many exhibits about fashion, art, and the history of the castle in Medieval times! I felt right at home with the swords and armor!

We all met up with each other at a café for lunch with scrumptious pastries and coffee! It was also there we said goodbye to Dr. Snyder and Paul, and they wished us luck on our journey. We had some time before we needed to catch the train, so some of us went to a 100-year-old flower shop and basked in the atmosphere of fresh flowers and china tea sets and vases. I almost fell asleep on the couch with the flowers!

Unfortunately, we couldn’t spend too much time there as we had to catch the train to Stockholm, a journey of about 7 hours. It was there the group collaborated on their world-building skills by creating fictional planets for an assignment. I don’t know how they had that much energy to be creative—I’m dog-tired from today! After the train adventure, we bolted from the boat hotel and ran up over 130 stairs and ate food at a 7-11! Although it is almost midnight now, everyone is satisfied that we are all here. Well, time to sleep! big day for us tomorrow!