A one-day participatory event completely dedicated to local multiplayer games. Join us!
If you couldn't attend the first edition of Join and would like to know how it was like, no worries, we've been thinking about you: Zuraida Buter put together an excellent Storify of the event, Julian Dasgupta took an incredible series of pictures and we've got some great videos of the talks courtesy of Iwan Gabovitch! You should also keep an eye on Aztec Fox's YouTube channel for some interviews he made during the summit.
What: Join is a one day event about local multiplayer video games, or “games that can be played by two or more people in the same physical location”. Think old classics like Pong, or, even better, recent ones such as Spaceteam and Johann Sebastian Joust. Everyone interested in the topic is welcome to take part.
Why: Because games that you can play together with other people are our favourite kind of games. They used to rule they world, then the internet arrived and we forgot about them. Now it seems like they're coming back. To our knowledge, there hasn't been an event completely dedicated to local multiplayer games yet anywhere in the world (with the exception of the LMPicnic), so we thought we should do something about it.
Where: In Berlin, Germany, a beautiful city – you should visit. The venue is called Supermarkt and it's also very nice, located not far from where the Berlin Wall used to be.
When: On Saturday, August 9, 2014, from 10am to 6pm. That's the weekend just before GDC Europe / Gamescom in Cologne, which is a 4 hour train journey from Berlin.
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Join is going to be a day full of talks, fireside chats and friendly conversations, alongside a spontaneous game exhibition (see details below). Here's the schedule:
- 9:30am: Doors
- 10am – 1pm: Talks, Morning Session
- 1pm – 2pm: Lunch break (you're allowed to play games, too)
- 2pm – 4pm: Talks, Afternoon Session
- 4pm – 7pm: Let's all play games together
- 7pm – 9pm: Dinner break
- 9pm – midnight: Let's play games on the street, projecting them on a building with the Light Rider
For those of you already in town on Friday evening, we're going to meet from 8pm for a pre-event gathering at an eSports bar. We don't get to see each other often, so we should make the most out of it, right? We're also planning to go to the park and play EXO: Arena on Sunday.
The event’s format is inspired by barcamps, we’d like all attendees to contribute in some way, if they feel like doing it: giving a presentation or showcasing a game is totally fine, but there are lots of other options as well, like facilitating a session, documenting (using text, pictures, drawings or video) the activities that will take place, offering a place to sleep to attendees coming from outside of Berlin… please get in touch if you’ve got anything in mind.
A list of participants is available here (note: filling this document is optional so there will be more people at the event than the ones listed!).
Confirmed speakers include: Adriaan de Jongh from Game Oven (authors of Fingle, Bounden, Friendstrap), Martin Pittenauer from TheCodingMonkeys (the team behind the superb iOS adaptions of the board games Carcassonne and Lost Cities), Dajana Dimovska (CEO and Producer at KnapNok Games and co-founder of Copenhagen Game Collective), Alistair Aitcheson (Greedy Bankers, Slamjet Stadium, Tap Happy Sabotage), Zuraida Buter (Global Game Jam director, Playful Arts Festival curator & co-founder), Glitchnap (Laza Knitez, Zumbie, GO NUTS!!), Jo Summers (digital producer and event organiser, Feral Vector), Thorsten Wiedemann (A MAZE.), Alper Cugun (Hubbub), Steffen Hees (Around The Tablet), Robin Baumgarten (4 Player Reactor, h3h.de), Robin Kocaurek (Klonk Games), Adriel Wallick (Train Jam).
Here's the schedule for the talks (please note that there might be some last minute changes):
Morning Session (10am–1pm), presented by Dennis Kogel
Glitchnap (Jonas Maaløe + Jonatan Van Hove + Mads Johansen Lassen) "Local^2 Multiplayer Games"
Robin Baumgarten “Custom controllers”
Martin Pittenauer “Local networked multiplayer”
Zuraida Buter "Playful Arts: Collaborative Play"
"Getting people together: the organiser’s perspective" – a conversation between Dajana Dimovska, Jo Summers, Thorsten Wiedemann and Zuraida Buter, moderated by Sjors Houkes
Adriaan de Jongh "It's not about local multiplayer"
- - - - -
Lunch Break (1pm–2pm)
- - - - -
Afternoon Session (2pm–4pm), presented by Zuraida Buter
Tobias Wehrum "Screamy Bird" (play session with the audience)
Robin Kocaurek "Coop or not – Observations of strangers playing a coop game"
Steffen Hees “HTML5 and node.js – developing multi device local multiplayer games with online technology”
Adriel Wallick "Some Words About Local Multiplayer"
Alper Cugun “Design lessons learned from esports”
Dajana Dimovska “Wait, what? Our game is multiplayer now?”
"Touching Experiences: innovative approaches in designing local multiplayer games for touch screen devices" – a conversation between Adriaan de Jongh and Alistair Aitcheson, moderated by Lorenzo Pilia
If you're going to bring your game to Join, first of all: awesome! We love seeing all these games being played, together. There are already more than 20 games confirmed, but we can always fit in more. The way we do that is that we ask you to bring your own equipment. That includes computer, controllers, audio sets and screens. A laptop is of course best. We are only a minuscule team, and don't have a hardware budget nor the time to set everything up. From what we've heard from some of you, this is no big deal, and it's all part of creating it together. Other than that, we will try to help you as best as we can, but please fill this document by Thursday, August 7 with details about the game(s) you're planning to showcase, so we have an idea of how many tables to prepare!
You can set up your game from 9:30am to 10:00am, during lunch break (1pm–2pm) or from 4pm. At Supermarkt, there's a decent amount of space to show games, but with so many people it'll be hard to divide the space. In this regard as well, we ask you to take care of each other, and find a place where you can both show your game well and are not in anyone else's play space.
Finally, try the other games at Join, even if you're showing something yourself, and tell the creators what you think! Tell them what you like and don't like. Use the advice others give you to improve your game. There are some wonderfully talented people attending, so this is your chance to learn!
What do we talk about when we talk about local multiplayer? Well, many different things, my friend. Here are a few potential topics to discuss and early ideas that we (the organisers) thought about. These are just proposals to get the conversations started, we're happy to expand them or add new ones based on your feedback, so don't be shy!
- Developing local multiplayer games: opportunities and challenges (very generic topic, on purpose)
- But I've got no one to play with!: organising events to play games with other people. Wild Rumpus, Local Multiplayer Picnic, public local multiplayer nights, let's-meet-at-my-place... what else? Let's come up with ideas for possible formats and discuss the creation of a network to meet other people that want to play games in your area, similar to lanpartylist.com but for a more general public and other type of games
- Smartphones & tablets: playing together using the most popular and accessible controllers in the world
- What local multiplayer video games can learn from folk and board games
- How to “get rich” (!) making local multiplayer games, or at least find an audience to sell a few copies of your game to. How big is the market?
- E-sports, playing games for an audience
Supermarkt is a conference and workshop center, a cafe & a coworking space that we got to know and appreciate thanks to the many community-based events that took place there in the past. We chose it, among many reasons, because of its central location, its lovely luminous interiors and most important the size, perfect for the kind of event we have in mind. It's also wheelchair accessible (with accessible toilet), just like the nearby Voltastr. U8 station (distance: 200m). Full venue address:
Nearest public transport: Voltastr. U8 (undeground train) or M10 (tram) stop "U Bernauer Straße". Check the BVG site for more information about tickets and to plan your journey. We also recommend using the Citymapper app to find the best routes to move around the city.
Travelling to Berlin
Getting to Berlin is easy. Leaving is the hard part. :P
By train: travel to Berlin Hauptbahnhof (main station), or one of the other train stations around the city (Zoologischer Garten, Ostbahnhof...). Book early, because prices rise every day.
By bus: check Eurolines, berlinlinienbus.de, Ecolines.
By car: we assume you can do this yourself. If you need tips, just let us know.
By plane: fly to Berlin Tegel or to Berlin Schönefeld, from there you can get to the city centre using public transport in one hour or less.
Once in Berlin: the public transit system is excellent, and you will have no trouble getting around by U-Bahn / S-Bahn (metro / subway), bus or tram. The summit's location is just in front of the Voltastraße U8 station. Bikes can easily be rented in a lot of places. If you like to walk, that's also great – Berlin is a very safe city.
Travelling from Berlin to GDC Europe / Gamescom in Cologne
Although it’s not next door, Cologne/Kölln is not a massive trip away either. By train it will take between 4 and 5 hours (see Deutsche Bahn's website for details). There are group discounts available, which we can help arrange by bringing people together. Last time we checked (end of June), prices were between 31€ and 45€ per person depending on the time of day. If you are interested in this, let us know. Keep in mind that if you get bored, you can always organise a Train Jam! Update, August 2nd: we put together a group of 9 people to travel together by train on Sunday 10th, sadly it's not possible to add more at this stage because of Deutsche Bahn's regulations. But if you're interested in travelling with them, we can give you the details of the train so you try booking a seat nearby.
If you have other plans that could help fellow guests out, like sharing a car, get in touch!
Safe Spaces Policy
The following policy has been completely borrowed from Feral Vector, a great event that took place in London last July. We thought we couldn't have explained this more clearly, so it didn't really make sense to write one from scratch. Thanks to David Hayward and Jo Summers for allowing us to use it.
Recent years have shown unequivocally that the tech and games industries have a particular need for inclusive policies. We expect all participants to abide by the policy below at Join.
Join intends to give everyone harassment-free events, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion. We want Join events to be safe spaces for everyone, and will not tolerate harassment of participants in any form. Participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the event at the discretion of the event organisers. No refund will be given in such a case.
Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. Participants asked to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately.
If you act or speak in a way that someone thinks is inappropriate, it’s inappropriate to that time, place and person. If somebody tells you that you are making them uncomfortable, you must stop making them uncomfortable. Do not put your opinions or desires before the comfort of others; “It’s just a bit of fun”, “It’s just a joke”, “Where’s the harm in it?” (and so forth) are not excuses for behaviour that makes anyone else feel unwelcome or as if they are a target. If you feel compelled to tell someone who is uncomfortable that they are wrong to feel that way, you are most definitely putting yourself in the wrong.
If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the event organisers may take any action they deem appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the event. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of staff immediately. Event staff can be identified by a bright orange dot on their name tag:
We will be happy to help people contact local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event. We want people to always feel safe and welcome at Join. In other words, we expect you all to be decent human beings to each other.
We'd like to thank the following entities for their support: