Johann Sebastian Joust is an exclusively local multiplayer game developed by Die Gute Fabrik. Scheduled for a release in Spring of 2014, Johann Sebastian Joust will come bundled with the Sportsfriends collection of games. When released, the game is intended to be released on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and most every brand of major computer platform.
The objective of Johann Sebastian Joust is to be the last man standing. This goal is carried out by players trying to cause an unstable motion in their opponent's PlayStation Move controller. During a game, music from Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg concertos is played at a slow tempo. In relation to a player being knocked out, there is a tolerance of motion the controller will allow that is linked to the speed of the music. As the speed of the music increases, the controller can move more freely without penalty, which allows players a greater deal of freedom as it pertains to how liberal they can be with their movements.
Thanks to the protracted release schedule of Joust, creator Douglas Wilson joined up with several other independent game developers to create the Sportsfriends bundle. In order to secure the funds necessary to take on such a gargantuan endeavor, the creators took to Kickstarter in November of 2012. Having received over $150,000 from their fans, the respective creators were able to develop the Sportsfriends title for many gaming platforms, including the previously unexplored Linux and Mac mediums.
Outside of Joust, the most notable title in the collection is that of BariBariBall. This game takes the aesthetic of a traditional platforming fighter game and injects a surreal sport into the mix. the players focus on scoring by throwing or dunking the ball into the opposing players water. The players attempt to knock the ball out of each other's grasp by attacking the player in possession of the ball with combat similar to that of most contemporary fighting games. If a player falls into the water (the goals) the player dies and re-spawns at the center of the stage in a few seconds causing their team to lose a point.
In the name of spreading awareness of the various games by word of mouth, Joust creator Douglas Wilson has been very active in showcasing his product. The video above, for example, was taken at MAGFest 2014. In addition, the game has been featured around the world and at some of the biggest shows in the industry. Just last Autumn, Joust captured the imagination of the crowd attending PAX Prime, the biggest show in North America, with its addictive play and a tournament featuring several hundred competitors.
Even in the aftermath of this bundle's release, the creators plan on a continuation of their promotional tour. Since Die Gute Fabrik is a small, independent studio, the amount of money that can be placed into advertising is almost zero. In lieu of that luxury, the people behind Sportsfriends would rather continue on with their existing method of exposure. For example, the team behind Joust just completed a run through Hong Kong where Joust was selected as part of the Hong Kong Art Centre's exhibition on "playable art."
Johann Sebastian Joust has been awarded a slew of pre-release awards from many highly respected bodies in the gaming industry. At the Game Developer's Choice Awards in 2012, Joust received the title of Most Innovative Game. Later in the year, it will also be inducted into the PAX 10 at the Penny Arcade Expo, one of the most illustrious groups in which to be included.
Hokra, another game included with the bundle, was showcased heavily the International Festival of Independent Games in 2012. While there, it received the Audience Choice award and was a nominee for Title of the Year as decided by the comittee running the conference.