Festival of Art and Independent Games in Cieszyn 2017
The second edition of the video games festival took place on 24 –25 June 2017. Among those who participated in the festival were students and representatives of the University of Silesia, the University of Ostrava and the University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, as well as designers and artists from the USA, Austria and Mexico. During the festival, there were concerts and game presentations held. The events took place on the market square in Cieszyn and attracted crowds of spectators.
Report from LAG Festival 2017:
In 2017, following the arrangements under the “Festival of Art and Independent Games” project, five events were organized in Cieszyn, Trnava and Ostrava (and at their respective universities) for those who are interested in the game design process. There was– a game design competition LAG Arena, workshops for students Game Jam, the LAG Edu conference and a 2-day LAG Festival.
In 2017 saw the second edition of our game design competition. The competition named “Design a Game” is intended for students of high schools who want to challenge themselves and solve concept and execution-related problems posed by new technologies.
In a 3-stage competition, participants come up with ideas for a game and create its elements. After coming up with an idea, they need to present certain elements of the game. In every edition there is a different theme. In 2017, it was the legends of Cieszyn and the region.
The winner of this edition was Karolina Ziółkowska for designing a game titled “Cieszynianka.”
The winner also took part in another LAG activity: the Game Jam. She and over a hundred other students from Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia created a video game simulation in 5 days.
LAG Game Jam
In May 2017, there was yet another workshop for students from the affiliated universities. Each year, the workshops are organized by a different affiliated university. In this edition, about one hundred students of art, game design and IT from Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic met at the University of Ostrava.
The 5-day Game Jam workshop is focused not only on improving participants’ skills and creativity. It also develops teamwork and teaches how to deal with the time pressure. And all this in an international environment where co-operation and communication skills are especially important. Those who take part in the workshop are put in randomly selected groups of 8-10 people. Their goal is to create a working version of a game in 5 days. It is worth mentioning here that game titles are picked randomly by an automatic title generator. The final effects are judged by experts who decide on: the best graphics, the best audio, the best gameplay, the best marketing and the best game. There’s also an audience award. The best teams can present their works during the Lag Festival.
10 games were created during the Game Jam in Ostrava. Below, we present the top 5:
Each year, a conference with the participation of experts in the fields of video games and arts is held as part of the Game Festival. It is addressed to a wide audience. There are also other events.
On Saturday, 24 June 2017, in the sport and entertainment arena in Cieszyn, there was an opportunity to meet and listen to experts in video games and other creators and artists. Here is the list of the distinguished guests of the Festival:
1/Tim Linder (St Louis Community College, USA)
“Games and Virtual Environments for Education”,
2/Eric Olivares (Graphic designer, Spain/Mexico)
“Visual identity systems (case studies)”,
3/Winfried Ritsch (artist and research engineer, specialized in media-art Graz Art University)”Auditory Virtual Environment (AVE) as a coulisse, backdrop or as scenery for acoustics beyond the physics”,
4/Jaromír Plachý (game developer, Amanita, Czech Republic)
“Chuchel-the new game of Amanita Design”,
5/Marcela Polochová (University of Ostrava) “Animation without camera”,
6/ Iwona Pomianowska, (“Gamification of film narration”),
7/Marcin Goldyszewicz (University of Silesia) “Inspiration from nature in game design”.
During both days of the Festival, the guests could listen to all kinds of music related to games and electronic entertainment. On the first day, the silent horror classic “Nosferatu” (1922) was played with live music performed by SALK. On the second day, there was a concert by Percival, a band known for their soundtrack to “The Witcher 3” video game. A large audience also gathered for the concert of film music performed by the Border Guards Orchestra and the Choir of the University of Silesia “Harmonia”.
What was new about the 2017 edition? Students of the Faculty of Art of the University of Silesia in Cieszyn organized a get-together for all fantasy and games lovers. The event attracted a large number of visitors of different ages. There were video games and board games and people could play them together. The meeting was organized in one of Cieszyn’s high schools.
The main event of the LAG Festival was, as expected, the presentation of games. The presentation was honoured by the presence of independent developers, graduates of the faculty and by the teams participating in the LAG Game Jam. There was also a presentation of the best works of high school students which had been distinguished during the LAG Arena contest. The audience also had a chance to pick their favourite projects from those presented and grant the audience award.
As every year, the awards were granted for the best independent game and the best diploma project. There was also a separate award for the best game project in the LAG Arena contest.