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Artistic Research Café Monday May 30th: Queens Game by Maureen Thomas Photo: Margrete’s ship in the harbour below Akersborg castle, modelled by Sindre Lie

Welcome to Artistic Research Café at the Norwegian Film School for a presentation of the Queens Game storygame by Professor Emerita Maureen Thomas and Snowcastle Games director Bendik Stang, followed by a live concert by the composer of the game's soundtrack, Kariina Gretere. Moderator: The film school's new dean Eli Bø.

When: Monday 30 May at 2 - 5pm

Where: The film school's premises at Myrens Verksted, Sandakerveien 24C, Oslo (entrance by Akerselva).

The event is free and open to all.

On Monday May 30, the film school's professor emerita Maureen Thomas and Bendik Stang (Executive Creative Director, Snowcastle Games Oslo) will present and demonstrate their project Queens Game storygame live at Artistic Research Café at Myrens Verksted.

In Queens Game, the player can explore the medieval Akershus Castle through the historical character Queen Margrete who arrived Norway from Denmark at the age of 10 to marry the 23-year-old King Håkon. Queens Game combines the dramatic narrative modes of the middle ages and the exquisite visual aesthetic of medieval manuscript painting with innovative games design to create a new enjoyment of authentic history through music, drama and gameplay.

After a live demonstration of Queens Game, we will get an insight into the creative process behind the game through talks moderated by dean Eli Bø:

  • Maureen Thomas, Bendik Stang (Snowcastle Games) and Tom Andersen from the Akershus Fortress for Art and Culture Foundation: Conversation about artistic project development in collaboration between an art education institution, a commercial gaming company and a public cultural institution.
  • Q&A with the creators behind the game

In the break there will be coffee and a chance for the audience to try out Queens Game.

The evening ends with a live concert: Experience "Margrete at Akersborg", original songs from the Queens game, performed by composer Kariina Gretere with live 3D projection from the game.

The event will be in English.

Figure26a Queens Game

Akersborg kitchen - Queens Game Team


14:00 - Welcome and brief introduction to conditions, research aims and results of the Queens Game Project.

14:20 - Live demo of Queens Game with Maureen Thomas and Bendik Stang, Exec. Creative Director, Snowcastle Games

15:00-15:15 - Coffee break

15:15 - 16:00 - Round table discussion/ Q&A with the Queens Game team moderated by Eli Bø; Dean of The Norwegian Film School

Tom Andersen (Akershus Museum (Art & Culture)

Bendik Stang (CEO Snowcastle Games, Oslo)

Rafal Hanzl (Dnf NARP fellowship completed 2019)

Wenche Hellekås (Concept art, 3D character art, modelling and animation - Dnf MFA graduate 2019)

Kariina Gretere (Soundtrack composer - Professional composer/performer)

Idunn Agustsdottir (Sound design - about to start MA in music production, Stockholm Academy of Music)

Sindre Lie (3D art, environment design - Westerdals Kristiania University College Games Design BA graduate 2019 and Snow Castle intern 2019)

Johannes Skjeltorp-Borgaas (Unreal programming - BA finalist, INN Games School, Hamar)

Carlos Madonado (Rigging and animation - BA finalist, INN Games School, Hamar).

16:00 - 16:15 - Coffee break & opportunity for participants to try out Queens Game

16:15 - 17:00 - Live Concert: Margrete at Akersborg:

Original songs from Queens Game performed by composer Kariina Gretere, with pre-recorded backing-tracks managed live by Idunn Agustsdottir (sound designer); live 3D navigable 'set' from Queens Game as back-projection operated by Wenche Hellekås (QG artist).


Akersborg Queens Game Unreal model from the West - Rafal Hanzl

About Queens Game

Queens Game brings together advanced film and interactive media storytelling research and 3D interactive games-development for entertainment, addressing engaging dramatic narrativity on the frontiers of film, animated musical, period drama and interactive game.

The year is 1363. Queen Margrete I (formerly Princess of Denmark) arrives at Akersborg – today’s Akershus Castle, Oslo – as the 10-year old bride of 23-year old King Håkon VI of Norway. Players explore, with Margrete, the virtual medieval royal stronghold - most of whose physical buildings no longer exist – and discover the stories hidden there. Little is known of Margrete’s actual childhood, this gamestory is an imaginative dramatization of her introduction to her new home.

Queens Game explores the potential of the computer as dramatic storytelling medium. Presenting history through the lens of the medieval imagination, it aims to create something more than a game. Featuring a real medieval princess and a girl from the realm of King Arthur, innovative interactive dramaturgy offers an exciting ludo-narrative journey into the Middle Ages.

Part of Queens Game is included as a standalone interactive exhibit, 'Medieval Akersborg Castle', in the international exhibition ‘Vår fru dronning Margrete - Our noble lady Queen Margrete’ (March – September 2022:

Queens Game is supported by the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme and developed in collaboration with Snowcastle Games, Oslo; with generous assistance from the Museum & Visitor Centre, Akershus Fortress & Castle.

Original concept, story-architecture and first full draft scripts devised and written with support from the Norwegian Film Institute’s interactive development fund.

Figure14v2 Queens Game

From medieval manuscript characters to 3D models – Wenche Hellekås

Queens Game Core Team

Principal Investigator: Professor Maureen Thomas - research, story architecture, dramaturgy, dialogue, direction
Senior Research Associate: Dr Rafal Hanzl - 3D sculpting, 3D model-rigging, 3D castle modelling, Unreal Engine project optimization, Unreal texture creation, 2D-animation, panoramic site photography, video editing, Perforce management, web-design, graphics, creative technology research

Creative Practice Research Assistants:
Kariina Gretere - music and sound
Wenche Hellekås - concept art, 3D character art, modelling and animation
Sindre Lie - 3D art, environment design
Carlos Maldonado - Rigging and animation
Johannes Skjeltorp-Borgaas
- Unreal programming
Amir Soltani - historical architectural modelling
Emil Walseth - Unreal programming)
Iðunn Ágústsdóttir - audio

Show castle games team

Erik Hoftun -producer
Nikola Kuresevic - games design
Theo Nogueira - audio
Bendik Stang - games design
Fredrik Tyskerud - initial player-character modelling

Read more about the Queens Game project here.

Figure18 Queens Game

Margrete & Ingegerd: manuscript to model - Wenche Hellekås (reference paintings from original manuscript by Rafal Hanzl)

Figure26a Queens Game

Akersborg kitchen - Queens Game Team


Akersborg Queens Game Unreal model from the West - Rafal Hanzl

Figure14v2 Queens Game

From medieval manuscript characters to 3D models – Wenche Hellekås

Figure18 Queens Game

Margrete & Ingegerd: manuscript to model - Wenche Hellekås (reference paintings from original manuscript by Rafal Hanzl)

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