gameZfestival is back with three days of talks, international guests, indie game studios, panel discussions, awards and OpenMic. This year's topic is 'Motivate Play!'. Our Highlights are Crytek, Thomas van den Berg, Mary Flanagan and Miguel Sicart. And 10 developer studios will present their newest products. Games are systems of control that are exceptionally motivating. We take a closer look at motivational design for games in our conference gameZ & ruleZ. Festival and conference will be accompanied by a playable videogame exhibition.

Location: Zurich, Kunstraum Walcheturm Kanonengasse 20. Just off from Zurich mainstation (5').

Program: Friday, 4. November

  gameZ & rulez conference track   [More on ]
10:00 Opening Conference
10:15 Keynote #1: Dr. Florian Müller, Exertion Games Lab Melbourne (AUS). Why it is fun to move: Motivational Design in Serious Exergames.
11:15 Dr. Mela Kocher & Dr. Anna Lisa Martin, Game Design ZHdK (CH). Move it, move it! Bodycentered Game Mechanics in Urban Games & Exergames.
12:00 Lunch
13:30 Petr Pouchly, Court of Moravia (CZ). Playful Design of Business Live Action Role Playing Games.
14:30 René Bauer, Game Design ZHdK (CH) & Sarah Celebioglu, TriCAT (D). iMoMo: Innovative Technologies for Monitoring, Modeling and Managing Water.
15:30 Pause
16:00 Wolfgang Walk, Grumpy Old Men (D). Ethics in Game Mechanics.
  gameZfestival indie game talks track
18:00 Opening of Videogame Exhibition "Motivate Play". Curated by GameLab ZHdK and Master Students Game Design ZHdK.
18:30 Swiss Game Trailers 2016. Presented by Andi Halter and Philomena Schwab.
19:00 Basil Weber, Urban Games (CH). Transport Fever.
20:00 Keynote #2: Dr. Mary Flanagan, Tiltfactor (USA). Critical Play: The relevance of game mechanics for the art of game design.
21:00 Robin Baumgarten (UK/ A). Line Wobbler (Winner of GameZfestival Award Most Creative Game 2015)


Program: Saturday, 5. November

  gameZ & rulez conference track:
09:15 Coffee
10:00 Imre Hofmann (CH). Overview and analysis: Theories of Game Mechanics.
11:00 Dr Hiloko Kato (D/ CH). Guidance Systems in Videogames.
12:00 Lunch
13:30 Keynote #3: Miguel Sicart, Game Center Copenhagen (DK). Beyond Fun: Why we play games.
14:30 Patrick Winkler, Gameforge/Robot Entertainment (D). Orcs Must Die! Unchained.
  gameZfestival indie game talks track
16:00 Selected Swiss Indie Studios present their newest games: Bitforge, gbanga, Blindflug, Niche, Koboldgames, Airconsole, Ateo, Great Sam
19:00 Swiss Game Designers and Experts present their favourite games. Panel moderated by René Bauer (CH). Names to be announced.
20:00 Crytek (D). Immersed in VR: The Climb and Robinson: The Journey.
21:00 Thomas van den Berg (NL). Kingdom: New Lands.

Program: Sunday, 6. November

  gameZfestival indie game talks track
12:00 Meet the Designers. Exhibition opens.
12:30 Petr Pouchly, Court of Morovia (CZ). Design & Play: LARP Workshop (2 hours 30 minutes; sign up the day before).
15:00 Open Mic. Swiss Game Designers introduce their new projects in 5 minutes.

Open Mic [Register by sending an email to - Email-Title: [OpenMic] Content: [ProjectName / Project&Team / URL / opt: Video-URL ]

  gameZfestival Awards 2016
17:00 Awards for most creative games. Best game mechanic and best visual. Presented by Philomena Schwab & Livio Lunin.
18:00 Finnissage

Exhibition: motivate play [combined with conference]

Friday, Nov. 4 Opening + 18:00 - 24.00
Saturday, Nov. 5 10:00 - 24.00
Sunday, Nov. 6 12:00 - 19.00

Concept of the exhibition: A game is an indivdual construction that becomes an actual game only by its execution, by acceptance of the rules and (in our case) by being processed on a computer. A game draws boundaries and embeds the players into a "Magic Circle", a symbolic scope to which rules apply that are different from the rules of the real world outside of the circle's boundaries. The exhibition focuses on game mechanics of videogames and shows how rule sets form a framework for successful gameplay interaction.


The award of 2015 goes to "Line Wobbler".

Moods 2015


November 4 - 6, 2016; Zurich, Switzerland. The international gameZfestival is organized by the gameZfestival association, Game Lab and Game Design ZHdK. The Program has been developed by Beat Suter, René Bauer, Livio Lunin and Philomena Schwab from the GameLab of the University of the Arts Zurich. The exhibition has been developed by Beat Suter, René Bauer, Philomena Schwab, Max Moswitzer and Livio Lunin. Max Moswitzer designed the Logo, Livio Lunin designed the posters and the t-shirts, Markus Rosse designed the in exhibition illustration. Students from Game Design ZHdK have collaborated in developing and installing the exhibition and festival spaces.