PLAY: new videogame commissions

As part of our exhibition 'Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt', we have commissioned three leading international independent designers, Paloma Dawkins, Studio Oleomingus and Kitty Calis & Jan Willem Nijman, to each create a short experimental game.

These commissions are intended to extend the exhibition's theme of 'disruption' and to support the work of independent designers whose work pushes the boundaries of videogame design.

Each of the commissioned designers were tasked with creating a game that could either be a one-off vignette game or a playable prototype that explored a larger idea or concept. Beyond this the designers were free to explore whatever genres, ideas or subject matters they chose.

You can download these free games and find out about each of the designers below.

Oceanarium by Paloma Dawkins

This game takes place in the deep sea where you meet alien-looking fish that are afraid of a human invasion.

Have you heard the quote, "We know more about deep space than we do about the ocean"? This is a game inspired by that. It doesn't seem fair if you ask me, the ocean is full of undiscovered aliens. Have you seen the Gulper eel? Seriously, Google it. Have we given up on our own planet and are looking to jump ship? It's not the time to give up.

Stills from 'Oceanarium' in development phase. © Paloma Dawkins

About Paloma Dawkins

Paloma started animating using a computer tablet and almost immediately wanted to be immersed in a world inhabited by animations, which led her to learn how to use the game engine Unity3D. She began her journey making art games with a little experiment called Dream Warrior and hasn’t stopped making games since then!

Paloma Dawkins. © Paloma Dawkins

Paloma has directed over seven games/VR experiences from her home in Montreal, Canada, has exhibited at countless museums, galleries, events and festivals internationally and has been invited to give talks all over the world.

Twitter: @palomadawkins | Instagram: @missserious999

29 steps by Kitty Calis and Jan Willem Nijman

Players often have expectations when it comes to videogames, and can have completely different interpretations you probably haven't considered. What happens when an ordinary exploration game is used as an expressive extension of these expectations? Interactions in a virtual space are shaped not only by what is presented, but also by all spaces previously visited. This is one such space and you're right at the door...

Still from 29 steps. © jan Willem Nijman & Kitty Calis

About Kitty Calis and Jan Willem Nijman

Kitty Calis is an artist, designer and producer working on projects all over the games industry, such as Horizon Zero Dawn and Action Henk. Jan Willem Nijman is a game designer and co-founder of Dutch independent games studio Vlambeer, creators of Ridiculous Fishing and Nuclear Throne. Together they have recently released Minit, a 60-second adventure game that ends each day after just one minute.

(Left to right) Kitty Calis & Jan Willem Nijman. © Kitty Calis & Jan Willem Nijman

Twitter: @kittycalis | Twitter: @jwaaaap

In the Pause between the Ringing by Studio Oleomingus

In the Pause between the Ringing is a rumination about completion, about territorial margins, and about the haunting of bodies and memories that are translated across borders.

This work is adapted from an unpublished story by the Gujarati poet Mir Umar Hassan for the editor of the Malwa Chronicle in 1958.

"To be complete is to be enclosed. To find yourself contained within the margins of your own body and the boundaries of collective reason. To be complete is to be able to see an edge to history".

Still from 'In the Pause between the Ringing'. © Studio Oleomingus

About Studio Olemingus

Studio Oleomingus is a two-person game studio run by Dhruv Jani and Sushant Chakraborty, and based in India. We practice at the intersection of post-colonial literature, speculative architecture and games, creating stories that seek to understand how spaces, histories and language respond when narrated within interactive mediums.

(Left to right) Dhruv Jani & Sushant Chakraborty. © Studio Oleomingus

Twitter: @studiooleomingus | Instagram: @studio.oleomingus | Tumblr:

Header image:

Still from 'Oceanarium' in development phase. © Paloma Dawkins