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LESS THAN TWO WEEKS TO THE 3rd ANNUAL HAND EYE SOCIETY BALL! And have we got some news for you: After hours of playtesting submissions from local artists and curators, as well as suggestions from our many friends in the international videogame arts and culture community (see our thank-yous below), we are extremely excited to finally confirm our full lineup of some of the best games from Canada and around the world. From Toronto’s own jam scene to contemporary titles and unreleased gems from Australia, South Africa, the UK and Japan, there’s something here for everyone!
We’ve included in this post the first six of eleven titles that we’ll be showcasing at the Ball as well as profiling new artists from our music lineup, and will be announcing the second wave later in the week. Ticket sales are picking up, so get ’em while they’re hot now that you know exactly what to look forward to (19+). Want a free ticket? Either sign up for an Annual Membership anytime between now and the Ball, or see our on-site volunteer information at the bottom of this post!
!!! GAMES GAMES GAMES GAMES !!!
Studio MDHR / Canada / Unreleased
Make a deal with the Devil with this highly anticipated, visually sumptuous run-and-gun platformer, featuring traditionally hand-painted cel animation and a jazz soundtrack inspired by 1930s cartoons. Two players cooperate to overcome wave after wave of increasingly surreal enemies, including ghosts, dragons, boxing frogs, mechanical moon men, a carrot with hypnotic powers, and what appears to be a weasel in a soup can.
Last One Standing
Douglas Gregory & David Vitas / Toronto, Canada / Unreleased
You’re all dominoes! Chase down opponents and topple them by running into their trail, but don’t let the same fate catch up to you. With up to six players at a time, this tabletop ain’t big enough for everyone! Made during TOJam 2016 and freely available as a work-in-progress.
Bennett Foddy & AP Thompson / 2016 (Canadian Premiere!)
From the creators of QWOP and Beglitched comes a mashup of hundreds of retro games from the ’80s and ’90s, stuffed into a fast-paced collage of Warioware-style minigames for two players. Following the simple onscreen directions is no easy task as they flash by in seconds: Score the most points! Win the race! Fish! Can you name them all?
Robin Baumgarten / UK / 2015
A unique one-dimensional dungeon crawler played on a five meter long strip of LED lights, using what looks like a doorstopper (actually a custom-built steel spring). You play an adventurous blob of light who must make the perilous journey from one end of the line to the other, avoiding enemies, lava pits and other obstacles along the way by “wobbling” the controller. Winner of multiple game design awards and exhibited around the world, including TIFF digiPlaySpace earlier this year!
VHS vs BETAMAX
Adam Robinson-Yu & Maxwell Huang-Hobbs / Toronto, Canada / 2015
Vaporwave aesthetic meets Smash Bros. in this vibrantly silly brawler and historically accurate depiction of the ’80s Format Wars. Grab your collection and play a quick-fire succession of battles where you must dodge videotapes, block them with your shield, or toss them at the other players. Which format will emerge victorious? Let the game decide…
Tilt Brush Pictionary
Google, presented by VBAReality
It’s Pictionary… in virtual reality! Put on an HTC Vive and become a painter of light, while baffled onlookers try to guess whether your 3D scribbles might be a car or a whale wearing sunglasses.
!!! MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC !!!
Come dress up, play, and dance the night away with our fantastic DJs and performing artists! New to this year’s party is Scarlet Spades, who will be gracing us with dubby psychedelic beats with worldly influences. With music ranging from 60-180 BPM, Ms Spades’ sets are an eclectic montage of energy levels. Recently, she has been exploring different genres such as psytrance and chill-hop.
Also fresh to the Ball is C418, who hails from Germany and will be playing some of his own original work. You may know him as the sound designer and composer for a little game called Minecraft!
!!! VOLUNTEER VOLUNTEER VOLUNTEER !!!
Want a free ticket, AND the opportunity to make this party the best it can possibly be? Fill out this form or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to become an on-site volunteer! Your help will be immensely appreciated, and you’ll become an invaluable part of a very memorable night. You can get all the details about volunteer perks, expectations, and roles in the HES Ball Volunteer Guidelines, and view the schedule and roles that have yet to be filled on this handy spreadsheet.
??? MORE GAMES COMING SOON… ???
With the help of Hand Eye Society staff and volunteers, Sagan Yee and Jim Munroe curated the games with invaluable suggestions from like-minded videogame arts advisors and curators from across the world:
Kitty (BROEIKAS, Utrecht), Pietro (Milano Game Festival), Jonatan (GDC Europe’s Innovative Games Showcase), Carolyn (Mount Royal Game Society), Lorenzo (A MAZE Berlin), Tanya (Pixelles, Montreal), Ben (Glitch City, LA), Annie (Game Developers Association of Australia), Louis (SK Games, Perth), Chad (Freeplay / Hovergarden, Melbourne), Holly and Jo (Now Play This, London), Lujan (Game on! El arte en juego, Buenos Aires), Robert (No Quarter, NYC), Heather (Kokoromi), Paolo (Molleindustria, Pittsburgh), Patrick (Vector Park, Brooklyn), Doug (Die Gute Fabrik, NYC), & Saleem (KOOP Mode, Montreal).
Thanks to you all, and please get in touch if we missed anyone!