Sarurday, interview of the day

05 | 05

Sarurday, interview of the day

JAKUB DVORSKÝ: Games Are Finally Being Accepted as an Art Form 

Jakub Dvorský is a prominent figure of artistic game design and the curator of our International Competition of Independent Games.

Anifilm has opened an exhibition called Game Worlds: Another Level of Czech Animation. How do you feel about games spreading from computers to galleries?

I believe games belong first and foremost on computers, consoles, and mobile devices, and anywhere where gamers can enjoy playing them, but I see nothing wrong in presenting them in galleries either. I think the fact that games are being shown in galleries is evidence that the awareness of this still relatively young creative field is growing and that games are finally being accepted as an art form. I think it may also encourage artists, animators, freelance artists, writers, and designers to learn more about games, discover what incredible means of expression they offer, and perhaps even start designing games that will push the limits of what we now think possible. 

How difficult is it for you as the curator of the International Competition of Independent Games to find truly interesting games among the tons of titles that are released every day? 

It’s true that an awful lot of games are being published, and it’s increasingly difficult to keep up with them. I try to follow game media and festivals regularly, and I’m always on the lookout for titles that catch my interest. I like indie games with interesting worlds and original visual designs, which I make list of as I encounter them during the year and play when I get the chance. Naturally, I always miss many interesting titles. I don’t pick the nominees on my own, so the resulting list is a somewhat chaotic compilation of games that caught the attention of several people over the course of the past year. But I think it’s still a useful overview for people who don’t really follow game releases.

How do Czech games compare to foreign titles? 

I’m happy to say that Czech game design is world-class. We have many studios, from tiny ones to big AAA companies, which produce wonderful, globally successful games. What I believe could do with some improvement is communication between game studios and partnerships between game developers and academia and the cultural scene. I think both are slowly improving and their improvement will prove universally beneficial. 

What are you personally interested the most in games? Do you remember a game that really blew you away?

I like it when a game has an intense atmosphere and when all aspects of a game perfectly fit together, producing a great overall experience. By that I mean when the visuals, music, story, and game design perfectly fit and reinforce the main idea or message of the game. I also like a little bit of ambiguity and room for subjective interpretation, which encourage players to use their imagination. In the past few years, I was really blown away, for example, by INSIDE, Journey, Proteus, The Witness, Stanley Parable, and This War Of Mine

Amanita Design’s new title CHUCHEL was recently awarded at the prestigious IGF Awards (San Francisco). How come you are constantly so successful? 

For us, the IGF award means that we have to be doing something right, even though our games are always a bit different. We plan to continue making smaller offbeat auteur games. Amanita already has multiple distinctive authors, it’s not a studio dominated by a single designer, and we’re also open to new people.