“Travelling by night bus is not a good way to get sleep.” – Captain obvious
“Travelling by night bus is a great way to save accommodation money.” – Captain cheapskate
Captain cheapskate has been my faithful companion throughout my travels, and so it was that I arrived tired by night bus in Copenhagen. I didn’t stay in Denmark long, just long enough to go to the airport, eat breakfast, and then wait for Henrike and Richard to find me.
This lovable family of three would stay together for much of my time in the Nordics, but for now, we were just planning on catching the train to Sweden together. Whilst waiting for said train we also bumped into Sina (who works at Crytek and made a climbing game!) and Tatiana (who does awesome installations and hardware stuff!).
We caught the train to Sweden together and arrived in Karlshamn a few hours later. Fun fact: trains in Sweden sometimes split into multiple trains going to different destinations. We almost missed Karlshamn by sitting in the wrong section!
Karlshamn is a small town on the south coast of Sweden that only boasts 20000 inhabitants. Despite it’s size, there’s a fair amount of game dev stuff going on there. Part of that stuff is the Creative Coast Festival. Johan, the illustrious organiser of the event invited me to stay with him and his girlfriend Lina, and so I did!
As seems to be the trend with all my games friends, Lina and Johan were wonderful hosts and it was fantastic staying with them. Johan might look like the terrifying front-man of a viking metal band with things like “ANTIFLESH” tattooed across his body; but deep down, he’s a sweet heart.
I also need to mention their cat, Viktor. Viktor is the best cat. He’s super social, super chilled, and has an adorable inverted nose face. After staying with Johan and Lina, I was able to have bonding experiences with complete strangers (who have visited previously) over how great their cat is. All cats should aspire to be Viktor; king of cats.
After arriving in Karlshamn we managed to catch the end of the Ladycade event, where we hung out in a cool coffee/boardgames shop. Ladycade is a diversity initiative aiming to provide a safe space for women who are interested in games. Kinda similar to what The Amber Key Collaboratorium is doing in Cape Town. After that, we went out for delicious dinner. I had schnitzel.
Creative Coast was loads of fun. It feels very laid back and social. Not social in the same ALL THE COOL PEOPLE IN YOUR FACE way that GDC or AMAZE is social, more hanging out social. The content was top notch too; cream of the crop stuff. I loved the talks by Joonas and Tijman in particular. The exhibition was also pretty great. I really liked how all the tables had bowls of sweets on them because I am a horrible glutton. There was also a stand where you could take a free shirt and tie-dye it! What a great idea!
The main Creative Coast party was on Tuesday night and it was a gem. Raxter VJ’ed for for L0bst3r and Chipzel, both of whom played ridiculously good sets. A few days later I later made a friend in the bathroom at Nordic Game after he identified me as “the guy who was dancing alone by the stage at Creative Coast”. We got tattoos together.
I met some great folks at Creative Coast. Not just cool people, great people. Anyway, I hope that the festival grows from strength to strength and that I can be back next year! So great!
Editors note: I am a lazy and generally awful photographer. My friend Sebastian is neither of those things. Please check out his much better photographs on his website. They’re also on Facebook if you wanna see the names behind the faces.