Johann Sebastian Joust – Folk Gaming

GDC was last week, here in San Francisco, and it was pretty awesome. Lots of clever people, interesting projects, and great discussion. I want to go over one of these interesting projects. I’m sure many of you have, at this point, heard about Johann Sebastian Joust. In case you haven’t, let’s go over the rules:

  • All players have a PlayStation Move controller.
  • If a player moves their controller too quickly, they’re out.
  • “Too Quickly” is dictated by the tempo of the music. The faster it is played, the faster people can move, giving them opportunities to be aggressive, or saving a seemingly doomed player.
  • The goal is to knock out other players, while defending yourself, and be the last person standing.

A demonstration:

[stream provider=youtube flv=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DiUzIhFHxJ5Q img=x:/img.youtube.com/vi/iUzIhFHxJ5Q/0.jpg embed=false share=false width=640 height=360 dock=true controlbar=over skin=stormtrooper.zip bandwidth=high autostart=false /]
Categorized as a “Folk Game”, which may seem like a really strange thing to have on the PS3, Johann Sebastian Joust has received a huge amount of attention on the indie scene. Some of you might not even know what a Folk Game is. As a general rule of thumb, they’re games that are generally very inclusive, promoting other players to join. They can incorporate a large number of people, and usually have very simply rule sets.

Look at how simple this game is. It’s ridiculous. I’m not sure if I can even call this game clever. Clever might not be the right word for it. It is, certainly, very novel. With all the new hardware we see game console develop, we are finding that developers are beginning to think outside the conventional box. They’re less video games, and more “traditional games that are enhanced by video game hardware”. That’s a whole new way of looking at games, a way that’s not limited by the preconceived notion of what video games have been.

This is the sort of thing that, I think, is going to open a lot of eyes in to alternate ways to used input devices like the Move, Wii Motion+, and Kinect. Of course, equipment is a limiting factor. I don’t know anyone who owns a neighborhood’s worth of PlayStation Move controllers, but that doesn’t detract from the value of Johann Sebastian Joust.

A lot of times, I observe innovation in an area of gaming, and it’s clear that the game is a first step. That it’s pioneering new ideas, but that those ideas will be improved. Johann Sebastian Joust isn’t that way. It is a fully functioning game that is complete. I don’t think you can really improve on that design. You could give it bells and whistles. “After you get someone out, that player is immune to being out themselves”, or something. But I don’t think that that improves the gameplay any.

As a designer myself, all I can do is tip my hat to these guys. The game is legitimately fun, and it shows impressive “outside the box” thinking. Here’s hoping we see more hardware used to enhance existing games. Hide and Go Seek? Red Rover? Who knows.

Share this article:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on tumblr
Tumblr
Share on email
Email
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp

Recent Posts

Valorant Killjoy Cosplay & Fashion

NTWRK and Riot Games Partner with Milkman on Valorant Apparel

If you’re into sneakers or urban streetwear, you are probably aware of NTWRK, a live-streaming shopping network. If not, think of the Home Shopping Network, but for sneaker enthusiasts and …

CES

Mad Catz T.E.3 Fight Stick Overview | CES 2023

We saw a ton of gaming peripherals during CES 2023 but Mad Catz definitely stole the show. Their suite was packed to the brim with controllers, keyboards, mice, and other …

Gaming News

Not Just For Music | EPOS GTW 270 Hybrid Earbuds

There have been more and more companies that focus on gaming audio adding earbuds into their product lines. With the growing popularity of mobile and cloud gaming, gamers have wanted …

Gaming News

Brook Vivid Wireless Controller is Perfect for the Switch

If you’ve been on the search for the perfect controller for the Switch, your search should end here. The Brook Vivid wireless controller has all the features you could ever …

EPOS GSX 300 and H3 Headset Gaming News

EPOS GSX 300 & H3 Headset are a Perfect Combo

The EPOS H3 headset and the GSX 300 sound card are a match made in heaven.

Game Reviews

Dyschronia: Chronos Alternate Impressions

Have you ever wanted to live in a society devoid of violence and crime? Well Dyschronia: Cronos Alternate takes place in such a place. Astrum Close is a marine city …