Interview with Palo Buday – Game Days’ programmer

What will make this year’s Game Days special?
The structure of Game Days 2017 is clearly defined and arranged to reflect the festival’s 10th anniversary. The event is also a celebration of creative studios popular all over the world, as well as those waiting in the wings. I always approach the Game Days programme as though it was to be the last… and that’s why this year they’ll be the best yet.

The Game Days Pitching Session will take place for the first time. What is it about?
Drinking pints inspires many ideas…and that’s what Pitching was originally supposed to be – a session with some beers and a few presentations. The Pitching Session presents new and unreleased game projects developed by students and upcoming creators to a professional jury. So knowing how to present a project in front of a live audience is extremely important, and is an experience that will hopefully boost self-confidence and encourage further creativity. And hopefully a partner or two in the audience will help pitchers with their projects’ development. I hope that the Pitching Session becomes popular with young developers in finding a platform to show their creative genius.

The Game Jam competition is also very popular…
Game Jam is popular because of its spontaneity and testing of participants’ skills. From assembling a team you’ve never worked with before to a playable prototype whose theme is unknown until the timer says ‘start!’. Teams have 48 hours to create and present a game project. It might sound simple, but they’re under a lot of pressure and some don’t even sleep. The competition culminates in a gaming session in front of a live audience at Stanica Záriečie that has to be seen to be believed!

Žilina will host Amanita Design gaming universe indie stars again. What will their developers bring?
Amanita Design is our long-time friend – we support its developments and it supports our festival. We pull for each other. It’s a globally-recognized studio – its attendance shows we’re on the right track. Jaromír Plachý will present his new Chuchel project to give us a chuckle fest. The scenes with two cuckoo characters need no commentary and will have viewers in stitches. I’m particularly looking forward to his presentation.

Amanita Design developers join other guests in Žilina…
To highlight just one or two guests would be unfair to the others… but I’d mention the artist duo from Broken Fence Games with their visually-captivating A Light in Chorus project built solely with particle effects. This year we’ll also be joined by David Fernández Huerta, the creative director of ustwo games, whose talk will include the global hit Monument Valley.

Can we test-play games too? Which ones?
The game section will mainly contain projects not released to market yet. So visitors can try them for the very first time in Slovakia. The diverse range of games will please gamers of all ages. I recommend focusing on the playable preview of the fantastic-looking adventure My Memory of Us about a severely tested war-time friendship, and FAR: Lone Sails – a unique walk across a barren ocean floor.

ast year’s Game Days took us into a different reality with Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Gear VR. Can we look forward to similar gadgets this time?
Virtual reality is increasingly popular – and the only way to dive into this brave new world is through VR goggles. So yes, these tech gadgets will return this year. Gamers of all ages will enjoy the exhibition of early Slovak games curated in cooperation with the Slovak Museum of Design. Young attendees will have a unique opportunity to play these 1978 to 1993 games with the original hardware.

22.06. 2017