The Creative Gaming Awards are granted annually during the PLAY – Creative Gaming Festival. Honoring video games, playful media, and media art, the Creative Gaming Awards are made up of two categories, which are determined by the developers’ experience. Indie game developers from all over Europe can submit their projects. Hardware games and media art are also strongly welcome! Moreover, all projects in our PLAY20 exhibition qualify for the Audience Award: Visitors of the festival can vote for their favorite game or media, which will also be honored during the Awards Show.
Creativity can mean subverting established patterns, finding new perspectives, or simply challenging previous gameplay ideas and finding originality. We do not want to limit you in any way and welcome all forms of videos games - whether you like focusing on narrative games; whether you created a game that plays with the way we are used to control video games; whether you use video games to originate media art; whether you developed a game that you think is fun and want others to play. This list is most certainly not exhaustive.
The Most Creative Game Award is given annually to the most creative project made by experienced indie developers, who have developed video games before. Beta versions and finished projects are eligible for submission in this category. Winners will receive 1,000 €.
Song of Bloom is an intense narrative puzzle game. Intense, as a mashup of styles and interactions, to mirror the protagonist’s emotional world. Narrative, as a playful comment on our culture, with all its benefits and mistakes. The game breaks away from standards in terms of controls, gameplay and design. It is a genuine mobile experience, and understands the device as its real context – It’s not a story, told behind a screen, it rather IS the story. It plays with the expectations of the player, and animates them to playfully explore the scenes. The game makes use of the whole device: It begins as a game, mainly controlled with known touch gestures, developing into something that is controlled through the whole device – gyroscope, volume buttons, charging cable.
Ida Hartmann & Niila Games
Combining dark comedy and mental health themes, the interactive graphic novel Stilstand is a personal and hand drawn tale about the high expectations and fragile emotional life that many young people struggle with. Stilstand follows the grim yet hopeful journey of one woman through a summer riddled with anxiety and loneliness, trying to stay afloat in Copenhagen with the help from the shadow monster in her apartment.
Trapped between life and death, a young girl must explore her surroundings to unravel the dark and poignant truth about her death. This point and click adventure is a compelling adult tale like no other, told like no other.
Stilstand is a courageous game about facing and fighting anxiety and loneliness in a unique hand drawn artstyle. While Song of Bloom is a mashup of styles and interactions and a playful comment on our culture with all its benefits and mistakes. In the minimalistic yet wonderful art setting of The Almost Gone you’ll find yourself trapped between life and death, helping the protagonist to unravel a dark secret.
The jury was truly impressed by the inspiring visions and valuable messages behind each of the nominated games.
The winner we chose encourages the player to be creative himself with a unique gameplay and breaks through boundaries by using the entirety of the mobile device as a possible control mechanism.
The winner of the award for Most creative game is:
Song of Bloom
The Most Innovative Newcomer Award honors the most creative and inventive newcomer production. Newcomers include students and inexperienced indie developers, who have not published a video game before. You can submit prototypes, alpha and beta versions. Winners will receive a one-year mentorship that aids them gain a foothold in the gaming industry.
Jessika committed suicide, and it’s up to you to find out why she did what she did by prying into her digital past. What at first seems to be a job like any other quickly develops into a dark drama with twists and turns.
Marble Run is a fast-paced local co-op game, played on a 3×3 video wall with alternative game controllers. As grumpy marbles make their way through a mazy and slightly confusing contraption of a marble run, players have to communicate and coordinate with each other as a team to make sure all buttons are pressed, bridges are placed, levers are shifted, and wires are plugged, for the marbles to find their right way.
Archipelago is a single-player point and click adventure game served to the player in bite-sized, three-minute-long daily levels. It is a "cyclical adventure game", like a year-long advent calendar: each real-world calendar day has its own unique level, and players can return to levels year after year to uncover more of their secrets. The world of Archipelago can be explored for many years. Archipelago tells the autobiographical story of a traveler searching for a home in a country made up of small islands.
From exploring diverse islands as a daily experience with Archipelago, to a colorful game of cooperation with Marble Run, and the in-depth exploration of an important topic of our society with Jessika, we know that the games industry is in a better place with young talent rethinking the way games are made. All of the nominees provided us with a new perspective on how games can be experienced and how they can involve their players.
As the winner of the category Most Innovative Newcomer we chose a team who showed that with creative approaches bridges can be built between the digital and the analog world. They weren’t shy to think outside the box and to acquire new skills to create a game that gives a unique experience of cooperation. As with the other nominees, we hope to see much more from this team in the future.
The Most Innovative Newcomer is:
Each year, visitors of the festival can vote for their favourite game of the exhibition. Every game is eligible for winning the Audience Award. This year, we congratulate Marble Run by No Time.
Once again, the Creative Gaming Award Show closed this year's festival! On Saturday, the jury will announce the winners of the Creative Gaming Awards.
We would like to thank Gwen Foster (independent political game developer, known from Superhot), Rebecca Lautner (Landfall Games), Margarete Schneider (Gamecity Hamburg) and Mikkel Robrahn (PietSmiet) for judging the Creative Gaming Awards 2020.
We would also like to thank Janina Dreßler aka OddNina and Manuel Fritsch from Insert Moin for hosting the Live Let’s Play including all nominated games – for all of you, who have not seen the games until then or those who cannot get enough of them.
All nominated works could be visited and some even be played in the virtual festival location inside the A MAZE./ SPACE. If you are lucky, you may also run into the artists!
Carina Anziger, Philip Sonnleitner, Dominik Winter, Bianca Zankl, Florian Peinsold
Mr Whale’s Games Service
Jesper Bergman, Kristina Stiskaite, Zhang Hangning, Wang Kaijun, Alexander Sinn, Merve Metinkol, Songqiao Cai
Seed by Seed
PLAY20 – Creative Gaming Festival is an event produced by the Initiative Creative Gaming e. V. and jaf – Verein für medienpädagogische Praxis Hamburg e. V. in cooperation with spielbar.de, the platform of the Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb on the Subject of Computer Games, Behörde für Schule und Berufsbildung Hamburg and JIZ – Jugendinformationszentrum Hamburg (BSB).
Supported by the HAW Hamburg - Faculty of Design, Media and Information with the Mastercourse Games, the BürgerStiftung Hamburg, designxport and Gamecity Hamburg
In cooperation with the FUNDUS THEATER
Sponsored by siebold/hamburg messebau GmbH