Before we begin can you introduce yourself?
Sure! I'm Eddo Stern the founder and director of the UCLA Game Lab and a professor in the Design Media Arts Department.
Great, thanks! Maybe you can start by describing what the Game Lab’s role or mission is?
The lab’s core role is to contribute to the culture of art and games. Internally the lab supports UCLA students and faculty from a diverse range of disciplines though mentoring, technical and conceptual support, and by providing a broad set of material and intellectual resources.

The lab consciously seeks to reach out beyond the academic boundaries of UCLA to the world at large. Many university labs or centers operate without a focus on cultivating a public profile, as they are centered primarily on supporting faculty and graduate student research, with perhaps strong corporate relationships for funding support. But at the UCLA Game Lab, I seek to emphasize the public facing side of things though the Game Festival we organize at the Hammer Museum and the many other co-located and co-curated exhibitions and events around the U.S. and the world, working with dozens of partner institutions. The lab also operates its own high school summer Institute program which helps bring young and ambitious new students to UCLA and help to raise our visibility in LA and beyond; community service is a vital dimension to the lab’s outreach as well, and the lab offers an intern program for underrepresented high school students and free curriculum consulting to Los Angeles Unified School District. The lab of course remains dedicated to developing game artists and game education, providing technical and promotional support for our students, as well as supporting an artist in residence program, extensive alumni and media networks, and a robust public lecture and workshop series.
What makes it a laboratory?
I would say two central practices make the UCLA Game Lab a laboratory.

First, is the experimental approach to human interactions in the lab. The lab attempts to be non-hierarchical in the sense that all the projects and folks in the lab are regarded as free creative agents and are encouraged to explore their own directions conceptually, technically, politically and artistically. This approach leads to many student initiated projects and collaborations. The lab goes out of its way to recruit “game skeptics”, people who are not already “in love” with games and the common discourse about games, but who often bring a fresh and critical perspective to games.

We also pay a lot of attention to promoting cultural diversity and a politics of inclusion, generosity and sensitivity. Additionally, the introjection of our artists in residence, high school interns, visiting scholars and faculty, and the many random weekly visitors to the lab offer many unpredictable opportunities for creative discussions and interactions.

The second principle is the lab’s concerted effort to challenge and critique the tacitly accepted definitions and production methodologies surrounding games. This open-ended, inherently experimental approach to making and thinking about games leads to many new investigatory approaches to game design, game technology, game aesthetics, game distribution, and game scholarship.

The results of these experimentations can be seen in the eclecticism, energy and originality of the many game projects created in the lab, as well as in the diversity of the interdisciplinary research output of the lab.
Here is an image from AR Bodybuilding, a workshop with artist Jeremy Bailey, done in the lab. Gives you an idea of what the space looks like.
What is the lab’s particular or unique contribution to game making and game education?
The lab is unique in its devotion to serious and rigorous game making and education from a fine art / media arts perspective. Additionally, our lab has a unique focus on exploring how games and game culture integrate and crossbreed with other media such as film, theater, animation, literature, sculpture, installation, hardware engineering, industrial and graphic design, sound art, and conceptual art. And finally, the mix of students brought together in the lab is truly special, as it includes students coming from a vast array of disciplines and fields, who often share a mutual interest in studying game making, game engineering and game theory.
What compelled you to found the lab?
I have always been a strong believer in the “lab” model over the “studio” model for creative practice. Labs are social in nature – and for a multidisciplinary, creative area such as games, the social component is vital. When I was a graduate student at CalArts I loved working the integrated media lab, which later led me to found the arts and games co-operative C-LEVEL in LA’s Chinatown.

I also knew that my particular ideas for game-making culture, and what game-making education could be at UCLA, would best be served by building an agile institution to create an alternative model for games and art education—a place that would be distinguished from the more common institutions that prepare students for work in the game industry or focus primarily on social, educational, and “serious” games.
Has your vision for the lab changed/altered/grown since its founding? Has the lab experience refined your own thoughts about game art/practice/education?
Yes, I’ve recently been focusing on emphasizing the importance of craft as an essential component of game making. Developing craft is essential alongside other values that are important. By “craft” here I mean mostly the cultivation of a rigorous technique applied to game design, developing game aesthetics and the programming aspect of games. Currently, I am working with Tyler Stefanich, our lab manager, and other faculty and students to figure out how the lab can nurture the game making craft(s) without replicating the established pipelines used to develop and design games.

Also, more broadly, I am looking to possibly expand the scope and focus of the lab in a more radical way beyond games. I am very compelled by Roger Caillois’ ideas about how games belong to a broader set of cultural practices. At the moment, this future plan is still classified as “top secret”, so I won’t elaborate further – but stay tuned!
As you mentioned, the UCLA Game Lab also produces a Game Art Festival at a Los Angeles museum on a semi-regular basis. Why is this kind of exhibition so vital in an era when games can so readily be downloaded and played privately or online?
The decision to produce a large-scale festival in a public space not traditionally associated with games as an artistic practice is key. It reflects the lab’s mission and agenda to expose new audiences to new games.
Here is a video that shows what the festival is like.
But there are several specific reasons why we put on the festival the way we do: the first reason has to do with the cultural value of games. To be frank, games suffer from an image problem in the arts community and in the culture at large. They are looked down on as low-brow, mass entertainment—perhaps appreciated for its technical sophistication, but deemed intellectually vacuous. So, in the most un-subtle of terms, hosting our festival in well-established and respected cultural institutions compels the skeptics to at least take a new look at games. The second reason is that, while it is true that games can be a satisfying solitary experience, their cultural value as a relational mediation of human interaction is just as profound. Showing games in a public space allows for formal experiments of social and physical scale as well as increased attention and sensibility to materiality and allows intersections with other artistic practices and media: games presented on stage; large-scale collaborative games; game workshops; games as film, sculpture, book or manuscript; and many other kinds of games that expand the scope of what game-playing means in a way that downloaded games and/or solitary play simply don’t allow.
Is the lab currently experimenting with VR/AR/Mixed Reality in order to ascertain its aesthetic potential (and pitfalls) for game art?
Definitely. We have students and artists in residence working on a variety of VR/AR projects, and we’re exploring the visual possibilities and interactive challenges of these media.
Here is an interview with two ungrads from our fellowship last year who were working in VR.
What are the challenges of balancing or integrating technology with art in making games?
I think integrating game technology with game art is one of the great challenges of making and teaching games today. The emergence of digital games has been a revolutionary force that has changed games dramatically, and we likely would not be having this discussion if it wasn’t for digital games (we could be discussing sports and parlor games…). And as is evident in the parallel tensions that exists in the relationships between media arts and “fine” arts, between traditional and electronic music, between drawing and 3D animation; those same tensions that exist universally in almost every corner of society well beyond the arts.

The influence of new technology is profound and requires a nuanced position. Fortunately, the unique positioning of the UCLA Game Lab in a Design and Media Arts Department, in a top raked School of Arts and Architecture, in a globally connected research university in very helpful in engaging this challenge in a sophisticated and nuanced way.

My approach to this challenge is to focus first and foremost on the conceptual and formal vision of the work, and only then move on to consider technological mastery or virtuosity. But admittedly, the lab is paradoxical in this area in that the practices and relationships to technology embraced in the lab are simultaneously those of the Technophile and those of the Luddite.

But the lab is very advanced across a wide range of technologies. For example, we build and design integrated circuits from scratch, develop low-level open source software tools for game developers. We also hack, augment, and expand commercial software and hardware to be used in new ways, and we use technically sophisticated commercial tools and techniques, such as motion capture; 3D scanning and printing; image and sound processing; AI algorithms; 3D modeling, rigging and animation; computer graphics and network programming; and many other technically sophisticated game-related tools and skills.

On the other hand, the lab embraces the hand-made object, the written word, the one-of-a-kind object, the analog, the expressionistic, the idiosyncratic, the glitchy, the soft, the messy, the accidental. We embrace both the idiosyncrasy of the amateur and the production values of a master craftsperson.

I think this gets at the meat and potatoes of my role and the values of the lab, which cultivate the process of negotiating the embrace of new technologies, while focusing on making good art – and sharing this sensibility with students so they can develop their own intuition towards using technology in their work. To develop the strongest work in this area, one needs to allow for time and opportunity to explore new technology, but also retain an uncompromising culture of artistic critique and rigor. I think this is what we are trying to foster at the UCLA Game Lab!
Before we begin maybe everyone can introduce themselves?
David O' Grady (PhD Cinema and Media Studies)
Hey, I'm David. I’m a researcher at the Game Lab finishing my doctoral dissertation in Cinema and Media Studies at UCLA. I co-direct the Game Lab Summer Institute and I’m involved in applying for grants and funding to develop the lab.
Nick Crockett (Design Media Arts Undergraduate 2014)
Hey, I’m Nick. I graduated from UCLA Design Media Arts with a BFA, and received my MFA from Carnegie Mellon. I make experimental games and animation. Features include cursed treasures, fake armor, software that relies on people behind curtains, and hardware that runs on masking tape and hope. While at UCLA I joined the Game Lab, where I developed my practice around experimental game development. Notable projects I developed at the lab include Sneaky Cactus, and Horse Game: A Friend You Can Ride On, in collaboration with Adeline Ducker. I also worked on Eddo Stern’s project Vietnam Romance.
Sofia Staab-Golbenkian (Design Media Arts Undergraduate 2018)
I'm Sofia, I graduated from UCLA in 2018 after double majoring in Design Media Arts and English. The mediums I use in my practice span writing, visual art, and games, and I need a lot of time to work on each of these elements of my projects. Luckily, my experiences at the Game Lab have helped me acquire skills that let me work more or less part time while I spend my energy on my projects. I worked for a long time in the lab as an undergrad and continued there as a graduate, facilitating the completion of a lot of heritage projects from past members.
Peter Lu (Design Media Arts Graduate 2016)
Hi, I'm Peter. I was a student at UCLA and made games together with the Game Lab while I was there.
Oscar Moralde (PhD Cinema and Media Studies)
Hi, I'm Oscar. I became involved in the Game Lab as a PhD Student in Cinema and Media Studies at UCLA on embodied game aesthetics.
Lena NW (Design Media Arts Graduate 2019)
I’m Lena! I did my MFA at the UCLA Design Media Arts program where I became involved with the Game Lab. I developed my most recent game Nightmare Temptation Academy with a lot of support from the lab. I create video interviews and other web content for the lab as well.
Adeline Ducker (Design Media Arts Undergraduate 2013)
Hey there! My name is Adeline and I am a freelance designer and artist. The UCLA Game Lab is a special place—I joined as a resident sometime around 2010 (back when the walls were completely undecorated) and stayed as the community grew. One of my more notable projects, the VR indie game Classroom Aquatic, was created in collaboration with fellow UCLA Alumni during my Game Lab years.
How would you describe what’s unique about the Game Lab?
David O' Grady (PhD Cinema and Media Studies)
The video game development landscape today often emphasizes commercial or technical training over artistic growth and experimentation. But the UCLA Game Lab is different--it’s a special place for game artists and game scholars alike. I highly value the lab's organic, collaborative environment, cultivated by the lab’s founder, Eddo Stern, and lab manager Tyler Stefanich; it has the right feel or "vibe" in which to explore game-making as an artistic practice, not a mass product. The space is available for students to collaborate, share ideas, and learn from each other in a self guided and self directed way makes it pretty unique.
Nick Crockett (Design Media Arts Undergraduate 2014)
The Game Lab brings together people from all kinds of backgrounds. You get people from the English department, the Computer Science department; people with really diverse interests and disciplines come into the Game Lab. Other game design programs in universities have serious games, games for change, or industry game design programs. The Game Lab is one of the tiny handfuls of places I know that encourages embracing games as a creative, expressive medium.
Sofia Staab-Golbenkian (Design Media Arts Undergraduate 2018)
It’s one of the few places on campus to do projects where you don’t have to sign on to someone else’s work or someone else’s idea. You don’t have to work within many constraints. It’s really just an organic incubator for people who want to work on game projects.
Peter Lu (Design Media Arts Graduate 2016)
There are a lot of interesting people at the Game Lab and they are all encouraged to go out there and do whatever wacko idea they want. It only needs to be distantly related to games, or even completely unrelated to games at times. That really helps expand the scope of what’s creatively possible in the space.
Oscar Moralde (PhD Cinema and Media Studies)
The Game Lab is this really interesting intersection of different viewpoints. I'm really grateful to have this kind of space as a critical game studies scholar where I can interact with practitioners who are they themselves critically oriented and creating really interesting avant garde work with their projects, which creates this energizing space.
What would you tell prospective students about the Game Lab?
Peter Lu (Design Media Arts Graduate 2016)
Make a game that you would want to play yourself. Definitely come in with no expectations and keep an open mind.
Nick Crockett (Design Media Arts Undergraduate 2014)
If you’re someone who’s interested in a more mainstream way of thinking about making games, then maybe the Game Lab isn’t right for you. But if you’re open to exploring unique possibilities, then it’s definitely the place for that. The Game Lab is always evolving; the group of people actually engaged in the Game Lab really affects what it is in the end. Members of the lab can plan their own events, like having their own game jam, or running their own workshop. In the past, while I was here as a student, there were a number of game jams that focused on one theme or idea. People would give different demos, some were really practical, like how to 3D model in blender. Other demos were weirder; I remember Alex (Rickett) and John (Brumley) did some strange character animation workshops. For example: take this chair, rig it like it’s a human. If you have an idea for a weird thing for the group to do, you can do it.
Adeline Ducker (Design Media Arts Undergraduate 2013)
Come in with some projects in mind, don’t be afraid to experiment. What’s valuable too is the community there. Find people you can collaborate with. It’s very valuable to create small teams, and see what you can do with your super powers combined. Don’t be afraid to come up with ideas and add to the culture. I came up with the idea to do a food game jam. People made really cool projects; like this wonton boat game where you have a little boat and a pot of soup, and you had to drive your boat around your food.
Sofia Staab-Golbenkian (Design Media Arts Undergraduate 2018)
If you want to be a part of the Game Lab come in with a pitch for a game that you want to make, and be prepared to work on it. Be open to asking for help, and seeing your project grow and change. Be dedicated to your project and document everything that you do.
Lena NW (Design Media Arts Graduate 2019)
It’s important to be ambitious and self-directed. The Game Lab will support you in whatever game-related project you have in mind, but it is up to you to make sure you are passionate and engaged in what you are working on, because no one else is going to keep tabs on the progress of your project. Don’t be afraid to share and get feedback on unfinished work; criticism from the Game Lab community has your best interest in mind.
David O' Grady (PhD Cinema and Media Studies)
The Game Lab is an ideal environment for student-artists who desire the opportunity (and responsibility) to work "across" a variety of artistic practices to create interactive, playful art. The meta-medium of games requires great flexibility and willingness to embrace the challenges and ambiguities of new technologies and emerging media forms. Most importantly, the lab is a place for people who love the idea of pushing games into new concepts and spaces. I think anyone excited about working with innovative, interactive media--and willing to take on the thrilling and mystifying play impulse--should consider the lab a safe space for bold experimentation. This is place where students who have ideas they want to pursue but are open to expanding and potentially changing or morphing the direction of those ideas would find this a very rich and rewarding place to work.
What are you up to now?
Oscar Moralde (PhD Cinema and Media Studies)
I’m in my seventh and final year of PhD at Cinema and Media Studies, and Eddo Stern is one of my advisors on my dissertation. I’m focusing on embodied game aesthetics; thinking specifically about what's occuring when players are actually playing; the kinds of sensory reactions, and feelings that are generated by play, and how players take those experiences into the larger world. I’m finishing my dissertation this year and publishing some articles in the near future.
Peter Lu (Design Media Arts Graduate 2016)
Somehow I ended up doing Blockchain work. I can find creativity in a lot of different things, even working at a boring job. And I don’t mean like finding creativity in what I’m doing there, but in finding creativity in subverting what is there. Recently I’ve been more interested in diversity in tech. I’m really involved in both the technical side of Blockchain and the social side of it, which I think is more interesting.
Nick Crockett (Design Media Arts Undergraduate 2014)
I’m at grad school at Carnegie Mellon. I still make games, sort of. I’m working on a project that’s a narrative animation that uses a game engine, instead of a normal 3D pipeline for film. I had this realization that I was interested in performative parts of games. I also realized that I enjoyed working in 3D, craft materials, and visual effects. I am interested in worldbuilding and embracing that as an interesting part of exploring games. As an undergrad I thought that the things I liked as a highschool student were stupid, and I had to leave them behind and grow up a little bit, and make work that was political. In grad school I had this crisis and realized that I could have it both ways. I could engage in important issues, but also make weird monsters and fantasy and stuff.
Lena NW (Design Media Arts Graduate 2019)
I recently released my third game, Nightmare Temptation Academy, and I am working on finding a context for it through festivals, shows and promotion. It is a rap musical game that takes places in an apocalyptic high school cyber fantasy world. The game explores group dynamics, manipulation, identity construction and morality. I also started my own animation studio called Anachronic which is how I make a living; we create animations, music videos and visuals for music industry artists.
Adeline Ducker (Design Media Arts Undergraduate 2013)
Blood of the Ortolan is one of my favorite projects I’ve worked on recently with Richard Hofmeier. It’s this game about weird foods and the weird rituals we have around these foods. The way I designed the environment was like a cathedral/kitchen/temple thing. And in the last room, the chef is there and he’s laid out on a gurney, and he asks, “which part of me would you like to eat?” You can choose to kill the chef, or let him live, depending on which body part you decide to eat. It was a really intense, grotesque, beautiful game.
David O' Grady (PhD Cinema and Media Studies)
I’m a lecturer on digital media at California State University-Long Beach and a researcher in the Game Lab. I'm also finishing my doctoral dissertation in Cinema and Media Studies at UCLA. I mostly research and write about interactivity and the aesthetics of play--for example, just finished an article on the origins of the NIntendo D-pad controller, which will be published in a book titled How to Play Video Games. I’m also fascinated by what I would call “mindfulness” in various forms of play, as recent games such as Walden, a game and David OReilly’s Everything explore. I'm interested in play forms that are less about absorbing us into a game world and more about returning us to ourselves.
What do you want to do in the future?
Sofia Staab-Golbenkian (Design Media Arts Undergraduate 2018)
I want to polish up all the games that I have started during my time as an undergraduate. My favorite idea is the drug addiction and capitalism game based on a William S. Burroughs essay. I want to polish up that game, and submit it to festivals. I’d like to perfect my idea of what a browser-based narrative game is.
Peter Lu (Design Media Arts Graduate 2016)
I really love emergent game play in multiplayer games, I want to create a game that challenges what is typically accepted in an MMO and subverts some of those assumptions, and see what kind of new emergent gameplay can come out of that. I am working on a very distilled but complete version of my dream project, which is just going to be a game about breeding animals, and building houses for them.
Adeline Ducker (Design Media Arts Undergraduate 2013)
I want to do more of my own projects, I’m still trying to understand what that would be because I’m still trying to understand who I am. I’m looking to make games where I’m doing everything and not depending on other people. I have this idea for a game, about me and my sister. My sister used to go to UCLA as well and we used to drive back home together up to the Bay Area. I want to make a game about driving from LA to the Bay Area; speeding along Interstate 5, harpooning people’s cars like pirates, and stealing their stuff.
Oscar Moralde (PhD Cinema and Media Studies)
From my perspective and what I can do as a game scholar and a game critic, is to shift the conversation that people have in the popular discourse about games in a number of specific ways. I want to make more people and audiences of games to be aware of the labor that goes into games. As a scholar I want to advocate for fairness and justice when it comes to compensation in labor, crunch culture, and basic things like being credited for your work.
Lena NW (Design Media Arts Graduate 2019)
I want to continue to make games and rap, but keep taking it to the next level. I am planning to do live concerts with the music and visuals I have created for my games, taking the experience off the screen and onto the stage!
Nick Crockett (Design Media Arts Undergraduate 2014)
I’m interested in finding ways of teaching that expose people to these kind of subcultures and help people think critically about the cultures they live in. It could be teaching in a university setting, or a high school setting. Of course I want to keep making art, games and weird stuff. It’s not important to me that I be able to live off my games, or have a studio art practice. I want to find ways to distribute my work in an accessible, egalitarian way.
How has the Game Lab helped you pursue your goals?
Lena NW (Design Media Arts Graduate 2019)
I learned how to ask for help. I have a tendency to plan out long elaborate game projects and I don’t have all the skills I need to complete them on my own. I animate, write and create music, but I am a beginner at coding. The people at the Game Lab have such a wide variety of skills; you will be able to find the help you need if you just ask and become a part of the community. Instead of planning a project around the skills I already have, I am able to be more ambitious, because I feel confident I will be able to find the solutions to the problems I encounter if I just ask someone at the Game Lab.
Nick Crockett (Design Media Arts Undergraduate 2014)
When I was in high school, I was really enthusiastic about some pretty normative ways of thinking about games. By working along all these different people (at the Game Lab), I felt pushed to make things that were much more intellectually challenging and humane.
Sofia Staab-Golbenkian (Design Media Arts Undergraduate 2018)
I’ve learned a lot about iterations of games, version control, Arduinos and circuits. It’s been really useful to see technology trends go in and out of style, and see how they influence work here. At the Game Lab you get the chance to experiment with new technologies and see their limitations first hand. Like when the Vive came out, we got one!
Oscar Moralde (PhD Cinema and Media Studies)
One of the most educational experiences for me was just having Eddo Stern’s perspective on game design, on the state of game scholarship, game creative practices and creative research as a field. Eddo really focuses on making sure that the idea of game art, and the art in games is at the forefront, which is really a challenge for a lot of other game labs and game departments. Eddo has always maintained that the focus that this space is for artists.
David O' Grady (PhD Cinema and Media Studies)
The lab provides direct access to the people and projects that are shaping the future of games as a vibrant and diverse medium. There really is no better place to watch artists come up with inventive solutions and approaches to interacting with games. Certainly the game Perfect Woman (by Game Lab alumns Lea Schönfelder and Peter Lu, interviewed here) was something that struck me as a compelling blend of a social issue--the warped, distorted expectations placed on women in society--with a play mechanic that embodies the challenges of trying to be “perfect.”
Adeline Ducker (Design Media Arts Undergraduate 2013)
I learned that games can be a form of artistic expression. I felt a lot of freedom in the Game Lab to make what I want, and felt supported in that decision. A lot of the original Game Lab games were made because people were just throwing ideas against the wall, and somebody had the courage to be like “hey, let’s just make it!”

Apply to Design Media Arts and join the UCLA Game Lab!

The UCLA Game Lab offers graduate students in Design Media Arts (DMA) the opportunity to explore the art of making analog and digital games within the context of interactive, contemporary media art practices. As part of pursuing your MFA degree in DMA, you can work in the Game Lab in a variety of roles, develop your own game projects, discuss and workshop media arts topics and ideas, and collaborate with other Design Media Arts students.

Opportunities for graduate students in Game Lab include:

• Teaching Assistantships for game design classes
• Research Assistantships in the Game Lab
• Mentoring undergraduates
• Summer opportunities, including teaching in the Game Lab Summer Institute Program

Deadline for MFA applications is Jan 4, 2021!

For more information on an MFA in Media Arts from UCLA and how to apply please visit the Design Media Arts website.


To learn more about UCLA Game Lab and its opportunities, please email Game Lab founder/director Eddo Stern ( or Game Lab manager Tyler Stefanich ( And please visit our main website to see many of the Game Lab’s various projects and activities at:


Garrett Johnson

In a race to ascend to the rank of god, players control a group of souls from a fallen civilization to unearth enchanted artifacts, manipulate terrain, and hinder opposing civilizations.


Sofia Staab-Gulbenkian

Inspired by a William S. Burroughs essay, Junk is an unbalanced game about the intersection between drug addiction and capitalism.


A.M. Darke

Objectif is a card game that challenges our perceptions of race, women, and beauty, while simultaneously revealing the assumptions we make about ourselves and others.

Perfect Woman

Peter Lu and Lea Schönfelder

Inspired by questionnaires or “psychological tests” from women’s magazines, the game asks the question: How perfect are you? Over the course of seven different life stages, you make decisions how your life is going to be. But be careful with your choices: Having a perfect youth can make it very difficult to be a perfect grandmother when you’re 80!

Nightmare Temptation Academy

Lena NW and Costcodreamgurl

Nightmare Temptation Academy is a dating-simulation/choose your own adventure/roleplaying game that is also a rap musical. The game is set in high school in an alternate universe at the end of the world. Visual tropes from anime, videogames, and early 2000’s digital culture are referenced and remixed to evoke the Millennial adolescent experience of apathy, desensitization, and confusion.

Horse Game: A Friend You Can Ride On

Nick Crockett and Adeline Ducker

Horse Game: A Friend You Can Ride On uses the UCLA Game Lab Arcade Backpack in a performance, where players guide their pink steed, portrayed by Nick Crockett, through in-game city streets and real-life physical spaces.


Heather Penn, Joshua Nuernberger and Trevor Wilson

Poliphony is a game about exploration, communication, and discovery. After landing on a strange but peaceful planet, you learn that you’re equipped with the tools to talk to the creatures residing there and awaken an ancient civilization buried in time.


Mark Essen (aka Messhof)

Tickleplane is a six-player game that uses the keyboard as a gestural input. To move, players must repeatedly tap each key to move the plane in the direction they want, surviving obstacles and attempting to outlast other planes. Tickle the different parts to pilot your plane, and outmaneuver your friends to win!

Gecko Ridemption

Theo Triantafyllidis and Alex Rickett

Gecko Ridemption is a browser-based, online-multiplayer area-control, rock-climbing, laser-blasting, stuff-barfing, sport-ish game. Up to 8 players control geckos which can puke random bits of sports equipment that stick together into gravity-defying structures. Players must barf, build, and crawl up these structures to capture levitating sport-balls and score points.

Fly the Friendly Sky

Jumo Yang and Nikki Woo

Inspired by the long and painful experience of an international flight, Fly the Friendly Sky simulates key moments of preparing for air travel. Choose what to bring on the flight with limited bag space, and use all of the items in the bag to survive the journey.


Esther Absoch and Wenrui Zhang

In Idyll, players tend to a farm as they tend to their relationships. As they till, water, and harvest, they must talk to NPCs and advance their storylines or risk losing contact with them.

Empty Dreams

Jingjie Chen

Empty Dreams is a journey about finding oneself, about exploring a mountainous land of consciousness and memories. With the aid of an imaginary friend, the player learns more about the identity, memories, and philosophies of this dream world.


Kristyn Solie (aka Kyttenjanae)

Apoptosis provides a brief journey through the experience of having a psychotic break, and examining the thin and easily blurred line between reality and delusion.


Lauren Mahon

Puff follows the journey of different kinds of smokers as they trade various items and tools to feed their cigarette habits.

Letting Them Sleep

Stalgia Grigg

In Letting Them Sleep players use a character creation system to make an avatar that immediately goes to sleep. The most undisturbed sleeper wins.

Real Shadows Shine

Miller Klister

Real Shadows Shine is a puzzle game about... shadows. You embody the role of the sun, watching over the pilgrimage of a small being making its way across a desert. Using the contours of the barren landscape, you must shield the pilgrim from its biggest obstacle: yourself.