It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we write this letter to pay tribute and express our eternal gratitude to Philipp Gosch, our vice president and founding member of the association Game Development Graz and an integral part of the Austrian and international game development scene. But most importantly, to our dear friend, who was suddenly taken from our midst.
Phil was known for his contagious enthusiasm, multifaceted talents, extraordinarily kind heart, and his always fun attitude. Not only was he a foundational pillar of Game Dev Graz, but also a driving force behind bringing the community together, spreading knowledge, and organizing events like our local game jams and the Game Dev Days.
Phil was a skilled and experienced technical artist as well as a seasoned software developer. He was constantly striving for innovation, and his expertise seemingly had no boundaries, while also being eager and willing to share his knowledge with others.
Even more importantly however, beyond his professional achievements, he was an exceptional individual who enriched the lives of everyone who met him, from all around the world.
Phil’s departure leaves a deep void, and we are still in shock and mourning at this surreal loss. He was a core part of our community; ever helpful, diligent, and kind. Always ready to work hard and get things done for our shared vision, while always enjoying the little things along the way. Much laughter, many long project hours and drinks were shared with him over the years, fond memories that we’ll forever hold close to our hearts.
We will always remember his legacy, not only through the games and projects he shared with us, but first and foremost by how much he inspired all of us as a person and just being our friend. He touched the lives of so many, and his memory will be a source of inspiration to all of us.
In the end, there is so much more left to say as we are still lost for words.
You were one of us, Phil, and will forever be missed. We are grateful that we could spend time with you, get to know you, and see you accomplish great things. You left us too early, yet you also left us with so much.
We want to express our deepest condolences to the families and all those who have been touched by this loss. We console ourselves with the thought that Phil and Michi have shared the most beautiful time together in their last days as newlyweds, and we know that they will be remembered forever.
** Grand Prize ** * Audience Choice Award * * Local Star Award *
There will be seven named finalists selected by a jury for the Grand Prize (Value: 1.000€; Sponsored by WKO). Finalists will be given free passes to the Button Festival and space at the festival to present their games. The Audience Choice Award (Value: 200€; Sponsored by GameDevGraz) will be voted at the Button Festival by the audience of the festival from the finalists. The Local Star Award (Value: 300€; Sponsored by GameDevGraz) will be awarded to the best game from developers from/living in Styria.
Open to all independent game developers from Austria.
The game must be developed fully or partly in Austria.
The competition is also open for entries in the prototyping stage, and finalists will be mainly judged based on their potential.
Games must be in a playable stage for the Button Festival and must be presented at the festival.
Award-winning games from previous years are not eligible for re-submission.
February 10, Submission Deadline March 11, Award Ceremony @ Button Festival
Build your deck, choose your fighter and take on ever evolving enemies in this epic roguelike adventure. With over 4,000 combinations, you can battle against the oncoming Noise or take the fight online. Will you have what it takes to beat your enemies and end the cycle?
Inventive Deckbuilding: Create a unique playstyle with thousands of custom attacks!
Roguelike Adventure Awaits: Vanquish your foes throughout an increasingly challenging world, choose different cards and even different characters as you try to break the Cycle!
More Than Just a Roguelike: Battle it out against waves of enemies to perfect your build, before taking the fun online and testing yourself against other players!
Invent, Innovate and Imagine: Create entirely new maps, characters and builds with the easy-to-use Creative Centre.
Soul Passage is an action-adventure game with RPG elements that follows the journey of Obligor, an honorable warrior who makes a pact with the Soul Keeper to bring his family and village back to life. The Heartless Soul Keeper gives him a long task to complete in order to free his family and people. From that day forward, the nameless warrior is known as Obligor. He is obligated to gather the souls of his enemies and send them through the Soul Passage to complete the Soul Keeper’s task.
As players take on the role of Obligor, they will engage in fast-paced combat and defeat enemies to gather their souls. Along the way, players will encounter puzzles that must be solved in order to progress through the game and unlock new abilities. With RPG elements, players will be able to level up and customize their character’s abilities and equipment, making each playthrough unique. The game is set in a unique fantasy world with a dark aesthetic, where the player will explore different locations and experience a story full of twists and turns.
Soul Passage is developed by a solo developer, who is dedicated to creating an immersive and engaging experience that keeps players on the edge of their seats. With a mix of fast-paced combat, challenging puzzles, and a captivating story, Soul Passage is a true passion project that has been crafted with care and attention to detail. Despite being developed by a single person, Soul Passage offers a big and rich gaming experience that stands out in the crowd. This game is a true testimony of what one person can accomplish when they set their mind to it.
Dig into the mountain, collect resources to build your fortress, grow your population and keep them alive (and happy), learn new deadly skills, gather and refine materials to craft powerful items so you can fend off the many dangerous monsters threatening your colony in turn-based tactical combat.
In A Webbing Journey you play as a little spider and embark on a journey through stunning islands on the quest to collect the most exotic flowers for your spider date. You are accompanied by your friend Buzz, a fly, who will help you solve puzzles, engage in conversations and help you overcome your fears, and your friend Turbo, a turtle, who will help you travel between the different islands.
As it’s typical for a spider, you are able to explore your environment by climbing on all surface, even up-side-down. You can also make webs to build bridges for yourself and others, swing around to traverse the islands faster and use them to solve physic-based puzzles and quests.
The main story and side quest of the game centers around love and friendship. The gameplay will exclude any form of violence and combat but instead will feature a wholesome and relaxing gaming experience which focuses on exploration, quests and puzzles.
Draw Defend Collect Combine is a unique game where you collect different paints and use them to defend your heart from waves of incoming enemies.
Each paint has its own abilities and can be used in different ways. There are frontline paints that work as walls, there are ranged paints that shoot to kill the enemies, there are healers, mages, summoners and many more. Also every paint is a member of a class. If you buy enough paints of a specific class you can activate more powers and buffs to help your team. You have to choose your paints carefully while also managing your gold and combining offense and defense to create the ultimate team.
Then you put your strategy to the test as it’s time to defend your heart. You have to draw using the paints you choose directly in the battlefield, trying to defeat the upcoming enemies.
As you play you will encounter different enemies, with different abilities, that will require to optimize your strategy and your team composition. As the levels will become more difficult, you will also be able to upgrade your shop in order to acquire stronger paints.
It’s 2065, and you are an interrogator-model android tasked with rooting out deviants among your own kind. You must probe for lies, monitor and exploit emotional spikes, earn the trust of your subjects, and make the final call: release, or destroy?
In this tycoon your goal is to squeeze as much money out of gamblers as possible. Making them happy is only a means to an end. Like in real casinos there are way more lucrative ways to drain your guest. Build cameras to find out how they respond to different experiences. As soon as you know what the like, manipulate them by providing them with their favorite games and food, filling them up and playing their favorite music. But foremost try to separate them from guest they don’t like. Build a maze of entertainment for each of the 8 different gambler type and make sure they only leave when they have no money left.
Social Anxiety and personal space are topics that are more present than ever. Some aspects of personal space are even government-regulated in current times. The topic of social anxiety is important to me for a long time as I also suffer from said condition. I united with the artists Aleksander Kaplu (art) and Moritz Haberkorn (sound) to create this first part of a planned 3 part installation about our experience with anxiety and take the viewers into the depths of Vienna-based subway U6. The experience lasts 10 minutes and will grant the participants a glimpse of what it could be like for a person with anxiety to ride an overcrowded subway. Emphasized with a visceral soundtrack and minimalist art this virtual reality installation means to raise awareness and give an insight to an omnipresent and hardly discussed topic.
Bungee turtle, a new kind of 2D platformer, is the only mobile game to feature a real life bungee rope. Bungee, jump & run with our heroes Bantu & Banta, two turtles that love to bungee and are always hungry. Grab a bungee rope and move it along rails while avoiding walls and spikes and fighting off enemies. Collect as many veggies and fruits to set new high scores and coins to unlock all skins. But be careful… there are monsters everywhere… and yes, they also love to bungee. Throw stones to knock them out and if you happen to run out of ammo, then hide in your shell to reduce the damage. Keep your eyes open for treasure chambers full of coins, fruit and veggies. Features:
Monster Hunt Vienna is a digital urban game to discover Vienna using maps, riddles, stories and Google Streetview. In the game, you look for “Monsters” that are actually curious things that we have collected and written stories for. You can either play remotely using Streetview, or on location in Vienna with GPS. Once you find the monsters and answer the riddle, then the story of the Monster becomes available. Our first games were analog Monster Hunts for Vienna in the form of a pack of cards with a city map. We had sold already more than 6000 packs when COVID-19 hit and disabled people from even going outside. That’s when we came up with Streetview concept and made a simple web game for our community. During the lockdown in April 2020, every day we sent them a Monster to find in Vienna, and called it “A Monster A Day.” You can still try it here: https://citygames.wien/amad-en Now, we are turning it into a mobile game for people who cannot come to Vienna physically. The game will contain several packs based on different themes, and has a complete new design inspired by Vienna and its stories.
Create and manage your own music festival empire. Book bands, setup stages, organise your line-up, layout tents and toilets, roll out the food trucks and build your festival’s reputation to appease sponsors and earn big bucks!
Help Yourself is a puzzle shooter where you must work together with yourself – be your own best teammate! Every action you perform in a time loop is precisely replicated by a clone of you in the next loop. You have to cleverly plan ahead and cooperate with your clones across multiple timelines.
Innovative cloning and time loop mechanics that push the boundaries of what is possible in VR!
Unique blend of digital and analogue art styles.
Perfect for VR beginners and experienced users – easy to pick up, but challenging to master.
Game is still in development – new content and level editor coming!
** Grand Prize ** * Audience Choice Award *
* Local Star Award *
There will be five named finalists selected by an international jury for the Grand Prize. Finalists will be given free passes to the Button Festival and space at the festival to present their games. The Audience Choice Award will be voted at the Button Festival by the audience of the festival from the finalists. The Local Star Award will be awarded to the best game from developers from/living in Styria.
Submit your game pitches here: SAGA 2020 Google Form
The winners will be announced at the Button Festival.
Criteria: The competition is also open for entries in the prototyping stage, and finalists will be mainly judged based on their potential. Submissions must include a 2-3 minute pitch-video including gameplay of the game. Games must be in a playable stage for the Button Festival and presenting the game live at the button festival.
Open to all independent game developers worldwide. Award winners from previous years are not eligible for re-submission.
Feb 23, Preliminary Submission Deadline
Mar 4, Finalists Announced
May 9, Award Ceremony @ Button Festival (May 8.-9 in Graz) 23.12.2020 8PM twitch.tv/gamedevgraz
Tara J. Brannigan, Director of Player Experience at Behaviour Interactive, Canada Tadej Gregoric, Co/founder, CPO at Coherence, Sweden Sithé Ncube, Founder at Prosearium.net and Ubongo Game Lab, A MAZE Johannesburg, Zambia
The game is primarily a real-time multiplayer PvP experience in a Sci-Fi setting for iOS. It offers two interesting layers, the strategic layer (card management and deck building) and the tactical layer (PvP old-school RTS combat).
Players collect spaceships and create a deck of 8 ships, then test their strategy against other players in a fast-paced multiplayer real-time online experience. During the match, players earn resources (minerals) they can use to build ships from their previously created deck and try to destroy the enemy planet while defending their own.
Games yield rewards that can be used to improve the player’s fleet. They can unlock new ships or improve the ones they have already unlocked.
B.i.t.Lock is a 2D puzzle game where you move different blocks in a grid-based system. These blocks can be shifted and shaped to create certain patterns, which are required to solve the puzzle. All blocks move at the same time in the same direction and interact with their environment. A puzzle is solved when the movable blocks fill out the required shape with a certain pattern.
You navigate through six different worlds with their own themes and mechanics and free the world bit by bit with each level solved. Each world has its own style of gameplay and requires different ways of thinking to solve the puzzles.
Vintage Story is an uncompromising wilderness survival sandbox game inspired by Lovecraftian horror themes. Find yourself in a ruined world reclaimed by nature and permeated by unnerving temporal disturbances. Relive the advent of human civilization, or take your own path.
Start out empty-handed and learn to survive by foraging, hunting, crafting, and fighting. Enter the stone age by knapping primitive stone tools and sculpting clay for essential pottery. Advance further by smelting copper for more powerful tools, creating bronze alloys, learning to work iron, and ultimately mechanizing common tasks.
Enter a vast open-world populated by a range of cute, strange, dangerous, and outright horrifying creatures. Vintage Story utilizes a great deal of procedural technology to create immensely diverse landscapes, climate conditions, and geological features to always keep exploration fresh and exciting.
Take on the role of a lost being in the body of a tall blue creature and discover the remnants of civilization. There is no linear storytelling; it is up to you to piece together who you are and what has happened from the little evidence that remains. During your journey, you will encounter wayward creatures, find old stories, battle temporal instability, and endure temporal storms.
Weaving Tides is a charming single-player adventure set in a world of magic and textile. Ride on the backs of your carpet dragons and explore the stunning landscape soaring above and diving below the weave.
Call your Weaver and set out on a journey to explore ancient dungeons, solve puzzles, challenge quirky creatures and unravel the great mysteries of a long-forgotten past!
• Dive into an enchanting, woven world and reveal secret pathways.
• Stitch and cut your way through the textile landscape and wrap up your foes using your Weavers unique stitching abilities.
• Solve tricky textile puzzles that are scattered across the world.
• Conquer Zelda-like dungeons but beware of their fearsome guardians!
• Befriend different Weavers, choose the one that fits your playstyle.
• Outfit your Weavers with mystic embroideries to enhance their abilities.
• Uncover hidden mysteries packed in a charming story.
Pixel Soldier is a fast-paced game about fighting frantic bosses, while quickly dodging their attacks. Disregard gravity while walking on walls and jumping from one side of the room to another. With a minimalist yet dynamic 4-color aesthetic that doesn’t distract from the pure arcade action gameplay.
And the winners are:
Get to know the five SAGA finalists of the previous year 2019. here: SAGA 2019
On 15-16 March 2019, the button Festival will return to Graz for 2 days of gaming culture.
This year with Game Dev Graz will organize many subevents and programme points:
Talking Dev :: Talks from Game Dev Professionals (Friday evening 2nd floor, free entry)
Meet’n’Play :: Local Game and Indie Game Exhibitions -Talk to Local Developers (all day in Game Dev Area)
SAGA Award :: First Styrian Games Award will be presented at Button Festival!
15:00 – 03:00 Meet’n’Play – Play local games! – loc::GAME DEV AREA
19:00 – 21:00 TALKING DEV EXTRA EVENT – loc::2nd floor!
10:00 – 22:00 Meet’n’ Play – Play local games! – loc::GAME DEV AREA
19:00 SAGA AWARDS – Main Stage
Talking Dev @ button 2019:
Special Event: Friday, 15.3. 19:00 – 21:00: TALKING DEVS
18:45 – Door opens.
19:00 – Official Opening
19:00 Klemens Franz: Storytelling in Analogue Games
19:45 Wolfgang Tschauko (SAGA Alumni): How the SAGA Award sparked my career
20:15 Hector Moran: Character Design Principles And The Modern Remote Work Opportunities
Speaker: Hector Moran
Hector is a Freelance Character Artist from Mexico living in Austria. He has been working in the graphics and video games industry for more than a decade, much of that time as Lead Artist, later as Head of Art, and later as Freelancer.
For the past years, he has worked as part of remote art teams for games including League of Legends, Shardbound, Legend of Solgard, and more recently Fortnite. He also does a lot of work for 3D print-related industries including miniatures, toys, and collectible statues. He recently completed the entire miniature line for Street Fighter-The Miniatures Game, and he’s currently working on several other projects with popular intellectual properties.
Speaker: Klemens Franz
“Storytelling in Analogue Games” What we can learn from new narrative trends in an old medium
Klemens Franz was born in Graz. He studied at the University of Applied Sciences, Graz „Information Management“ and at the University of Tampere, Finland „Digital Games Research and Design“. For six years he worked as an Assistant for New Media at the FH Joanneum. In 2007 he started illustrating and designing analogue games. Since then he has worked on more than 250 games. He’s married, has 5 children and lives in the south-east of Austria.
Speaker: Wolfgang Tschauko (VR Giants):
“How the SAGA Award sparked my Career”
Wolfgang Tschauko studied Psychotherapeutic Propaedeutic at KF Uni, Mediatechnology & -design at FH Hagenberg and Interaction Design at FH Joanneum Graz. His master thesis dealt with the subject of body presence in virtual reality. As a practical demonstration for his research a local two-player coop-game was created named Goliath VR. Goliath VR won the SAGA Audience Choice Award 2017 and the Reversed Best Concept Award 2017 and has since then be exhibited at numerous international game events. The original version of Goliath VR used a Kinect Sensor to create a unique body presence of the player. Since 2018 the project Goliath VR has been modified to work with customer VR devices and has recently been renamed to VR Giants. VR Giants won the Innovation in Games Award (Ludicious Zurich Game Festival).
Meet’n’Play:: Here is a list of games which will be showcased at the game exhibition @ button 2019:
Accidently Awesome presents Pixel Soldier
Fight frantic bosses in this fast-paced multi directional shoot ‘em’ up as the world revolves around you. Avoid lethal attacks by dashing across the small arena and take your opportunities to strike back with one of various weapons. Beat several stages presented in a minimalist yet dynamic aesthetic.
VR Giants is a local coop VR game in which one VR player and on gamepad player work together. The VR player controls a giant and must protect and support the dwarf who is controlled by the gamepad player. To solve the puzzles good communication and teamwork is demanded.
Weaving Tides is an isometric singleplayer adventure for PC/Mac. Ride dragon-like creatures and use their ribbon tail to stitch up torn areas in a completely woven world. Tie down quirky mobs and pull the right strings to master puzzles while you’re on your quest to unravel the whereabouts of your parents. Currently in alpha, planned release in Q1 2020.
WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND is a story-driven roguelike game with point-and-click adventure elements. The game is set in a fictional japanese city where time and space are out of balance. Thus, time only moves when the player moves and the characters and layout of the city change randomly everytime the player dies. To escape this violent place, the player has to either sneak around enemies or fight them by combining items to create chain reactions. Furthermore, all characters have their own branching dialogue and talking to them may result in them joining forces with the player. Characters will remember how the player treats them and interacting with their storylines will have an influence on the final ending of the game.
Fantastic Fetus is a pregnancy simulator in a Tamagotchi style, where you are taking care of a pregnant woman and create your own dream fetus with SUPERPOWERS. You as a player will be able to create an enormous number of unique customised fetuses and unlock 6 different endings according to your decisions.
Fantastic Fetus is inspired by the Black Protest movement in Poland which was provoked by the new proposition of reproductions laws created in 2016 – the anti-abortion bill. Polish reproduction laws are next to Malta the strictest anti-abortion laws existing in the European Union. This game will let you experience a female perspective.
Sikanda is a 3D top-down Action-Adventure with RPG elements, inspired by famous Japanese SNES classics of the 90s. The game takes place on a fantasy island called “Galintrea” and tells the story of a young hero who incidentially found an ancient pendant named “Sikanda”. Throughout the adventure, the hero acquires several skills for “Sikanda” to transform it into powerful weapons and tools. All of them are invaluable instruments in order to fight their way through dungeons and encountering fierce enemies. As the very existence of the island gets threatened by a group of sinister strangers, the hero not only will have to accept that “Sikanda” is the only way to stop them but also that there is a connection between their world, the ancient relic and the hero’s own fate.
Join 3 friends in an arcade-platformer game like those you used to play in the arcade rooms. Every character has different abilities and there are different weapons to unlock and upgrade. You’ll also fight giant monsters at the end of each world, beat them and reach the final boss before the time goes up and the curse becomes permanent!
Gesellschaftsspiele sind für alle Beteiligten ein Spaß. Doch wie wäre es, einmal selbst ein Spiel zu machen? Wer sich diese Frage jemals gestellt hat – oder zufällig noch dringend ein Geschenk für Weihnachten sucht – interessiert sich sicher für die AnalogJam am 13.12.2015. Hierbei laden Ludovico in Zusammenarbeit mit Game Development Graz Interessierte ein, in die Welt des Game-Designs einzutauchen. Ihr bekommt die Möglichkeit, in sechs Stunden ein eigenes Spiel im Alleingang oder im Team zu entwerfen. Am Abend werden dann die Kreationen den anderen Teams und dem Publikum präsentiert und zum Abschluss natürlich gemeinsam gespielt. Wir stellen Materialien zur Verfügung, die es ermöglichen der eigenen Phantasie freien Lauf zu lassen. Die Teilnehmerzahl ist begrenzt, also schnell anmelden!