Great Dane Games

Great Dane Games

Great Dane Games - all things gamerelated

This weblog is the digital playground for Anders Højsted. I'm a philosopher, indie gamedeveloper, writer & all-round renaissance man.

Depression: Unlocked

Nordic Game JamPosted by Anders Højsted Tue, August 05, 2014 17:26

Another Nordic Game Jam has come and passed and what do you know? I made a game.

In fact: WE made a game.

It was based on my idea to make a fun'n'upbeat game about depression.

Fun'n'upbeat and depression are off course contradictions, but if we made a game that reflected the actual mental state of depression it would be ...well ...depressing.

And nobody wants to play a depressing game. So think of the "fun'n'upbeat" as sugar on the spoon: we wanted people to play the game, so they could learn about depression.

The game tries to exemplify the simple fact that depressed people can have a very hard time doing very simple everyday things, so the challenge in the game is to get up in the morning, go through the morning routine and get out the door.

It is in no way an attempt to belittle depression. It is an attempt to exemplify it.

I don't know if we succeded but we did have a lot of fun making it. And it made it even more relevant that many of us have been affected by depression - either personally or through loved ones.

I'll leave it up to you to judge how we fared: Depression: Unlocked (<- download link).


  • Comments(0)//

Monster Mash

Nordic Game JamPosted by Anders Højsted Sat, January 25, 2014 22:07
Hi all,

it seems like this blog only gets updated during the gamejams.

I had a great Nordic Game Jam last year and our group ended up doing Monster Mash.

I was on team with Linda from the indiedeveloper House On Fire. We used the engine from their awesome game Neon Zone for the game.

(Check out their game The Silent Age for a new take on timetravelling adventure games - it's awesome)

Basically you are the torso of one of Frankenstein's monster and must roll around picking up bodyparts to create a full body.

It was great fun and I plan to go again - here in 2014.

  • Comments(0)//

Nordic Game Jam - again

Nordic Game JamPosted by Anders Højsted Sat, January 19, 2013 10:19
I'm back at Nordic Game Jam again: Nordic Game Jam 2013

But this time - for the first ever - I'm not an organiser. I'm here as a regular paying customer, so I don't have to worry about making coffee or people having internet or... or... or...

We spent all of time friday evening brainstorming a concept but only managed to come up with an idea that is a bit to complicated to make in 24 hours.

So we're re-brainstorming. Something about bodyparts.


  • Comments(0)//


Nordic Game JamPosted by Anders Højsted Fri, February 03, 2012 16:23

Nordic Game Jam went well and was a blast.

We had around 325 people participating (payed participants + volunteers) and they made around 60+ games. You can see the games here: Nordic Game Jam '12 Games

I was volunteering at the event and was responsible for the minister of culture Uffe Elbæk's visit; it went really well. The minister used to be an creative entrepreneur himself and was very impressed with the event.

I didn't have much time to do gamedevelopment during the NGJ and didn't sign up for the competition, but I managed to squeeze in a few hours.

I decided to take my time to come up with a good idea, so I spent friday evening and most of saturday just observing people and events for inspiration. I had a volunteer-shift in the kiosk from saturday midnight to 4 am, so I figured I could make my game there (Oh Hybris, why do you love me such!)

And a new concept evolved: Battery Time Prototyping.

I was working on my laptop and was too tired to be bothered with finding a powersocket, so I decided that my prototype for the game had to be done before my batteries ran out. I'm have an old Fujitsu-Siemens Esprimo Mobile with an ancient battery in it, so that gave me around an hour to do it.

I managed it and did a bit more development during my shift, but had to acknowledge that I was too tired to think straight, let alone script.

My original idea was a shooter game titled StraightShooter, but the controls were so bad that I couldn't justify the title. So I changed the title to StrayShooter and voila! A bug had become a feature.

Here is a gameplay-shoot; riveting, isn't it:

You can download the demo here: StrayShooter

You have to move the crosshairs to hit the pink dots. Press Space to reload the level.

There is no scoring mechanism and no level-progression. It is just a prototype.

Sunday I even managed to squeeze in an interview with the danish boardgame website Papskubber (literal translation: cardboard-pusher; it's slang for boardgamefans). Be warned: it is in danish.

You can see the interview here: Nordic Game Jam - Anders Højsted Interview

So all in all: a good gamejam.



  • Comments(0)//

Nordic Game Jam - again

Nordic Game JamPosted by Anders Højsted Thu, January 26, 2012 18:30
Hi all,

Sometimes quitting isn't easy.

Like I said earlier, I wanted to stop doing volunteer work in the IGDA & with Nordic Game Jam. Not because I have any issues with either of them - in fact I think they are awesome and important - but I don't really have the time to be a volunteer.

But then life happened (Life is what happens while you are making plans - John Lennon).

We had an goverment election in Denmark in september and the goverment changed. I'm politically active in of the parties that took over goverment and happens to know the new minister of culture.

All of the goverment support for games in Denmark is cultural support, so I thought it would be an obvious idea to invite him to open the Nordic Game Jam.

So I invited him ...and he accepted.

So I got back into Nordic Game Jam. It's going to be hectic, crazy and fun as usual (LEGO donated 59 kilos of LEGO-bricks) and I'll see if I can manage to blog about it in here. Maybe also set up a webcam so you can see me make games - live.

It is going to be awesome.


  • Comments(0)//

Peter Molyneux @ NGJ

Nordic Game JamPosted by Anders Højsted Thu, March 11, 2010 12:34

It's been a gazillion years (almost) since I've updated this blog. Life's been hectic and I've been enjoying it.

First of, Nordic Game Jam 2010. I've been one of the organizers of it for the last couple of years. For those of you who don't know what a gamejam is, it's basically a bunch of people coming together for a weekend and making games. It's been happening at the IT-University in Copenhagen for the last 5 years and is arranged by the danish chapter of International Game Developer's Association (IGDA) of which I am a board member (the danish board, not the international one).

Nordic Game Jam is completely organized by dedicated & professional volunteers from the game industry and have organically grown to around 300 participants this year. In 2009, Susan Gold from IGDA Educations Special Interest Group pionered the proliferation of gamejams globally with the creation of Global Game Jam-network, which - essentially - helps people around the world with all the practicalities of making gamejams in the Nordic Game Jam-style. Global Game Jam is an amazing initiative and it is going to bigger then anyone can imagine; it's already massive.

Nordic Game Jam has always been a very hectic event to organize; we gather people, feed them for a weekend, supply them with gamedevelopment ressources and set up a full day of presentations as well. Last year we grew 100% and wasn't ready for it, so it was stressfull, but this year we were ready for it (going from 160 to 300 participants) and managed to make the event without anybody getting too stressed. The IT-University In Copenhagen is a great partner & venue for the event & I actually think we have the event-coordination nailed 110% now, so next year is going to be a walk in the park (North Central Park at night, that is).

My primary responsiblity this year was to take care of our keynote-speaker Peter Molyneux & his assistant Dimitri Mavrikakis, since I had invited them earlier.

After NGJ'09 the whole crew went to Game Developer's Conference in San Francisco. Peter Molyneux was doing a presentation and - being a huge fan - I went to it. I had decided to ask him if he wanted to do the NGJ'10 keynote. He was talking to people from the audience afterwards and I tried to gather the courage to ask him, but failed. So I left. Almost. I told the ushers at the door - GDC student helpers - about my ambition and failing courage and they just started pounding me. Do It! Go ask him! Now! Come on! So I did.

(Thanks for the push, it was exactly what I needed. If we ever meet again, beers is on me).

Peter was surrounded by a group af people; I went up and got his attention. I barely managed to stutter out the invitation and to my big surprise he said yes and handed me his business-card. "I'll bring a surprise for the event", he said. I just looked at his business card, muttered "Cool, thanks, I'll mail you" and walked away! I didn't even ask about the surprise; - I was that perplexed.

After returning from GDC I mailed him and he confirmed that he would keynote NGJ'10.

The surprise was that he brought Project Natal with him and presented it. It was very, very interesting. Microsoft is really trying to integrate a lot of different technologies in Natal and if they pull it of, they'll literally revolutionize they way we interact with computers - not just games, but in anything. The computer will not only be able understand your movement; it'll be able to understand your voice and respond verbally to your commands and it will also be able to interpret your mood based on it (imagine what this will do for disabled people or for gathering metrics on media-products).

There's a recording here of his keynote (w/o the Project Natal-presentation); we'll upload a video of it at the NGJ-website later (All the NGJ-organizers are in SF for GDC right now; I'm the only one in DK).

Peter (& Dimitri) was very pleasent guests and I was very impressed by Peter's enthusiams for games, even after 30 years in the games industry. So I got my motivation for working with games back, - more about this in a later post.

Big things are (hopefully) afoot and I'll use this blog to talk about them.

Best regards,


  • Comments(0)//