Basic facts

Die Gute Fabrik
NYC & Copenhagen

Release date:

Available on:
PS3 / PS4 / Mac / Linux


Regular price:
See Sportsfriends



Johann Sebastian Joust is a no-graphics, digitally-enabled playground game designed for motion controllers.

The goal is to be the last player remaining. When the music — J.S. Bach's ‌Brandenburg Concertos — plays in slow-motion, the controllers are extremely sensitive to movement. When the music speeds up, the threshold becomes less strict, giving the players a small window to dash at their opponents. If your controller is ever moved beyond the allowable threshold, you're out! Try to jostle your opponents' controllers while protecting your own.

J.S. Joust is available on PlayStation 3 & 4 as part of the Sportsfriends compendium. The game is also coming to Mac and Linux on December 19 via Steam and the Humble Store.


  • Simple physical fun for players of all kinds
  • No screen needed! Players look at one another
  • Support for up to 7 players – perfect for parties!
    (Note: up to 4 players on PlayStation 4)
  • A variety of different game modes
  • Open-ended rules that encourage "house rules"

Controller Support

For info about supported controllers, see the Sportsfriends presskit.

For video file downloads, follow Vimeo links

Release Trailer Vimeo, YouTube

Alt Trailer Vimeo

Screen Display B-Roll Vimeo



Johann Sebastian Joust logo
Johann Sebastian Joust logo


Johann Sebastian Joust screenshot
Johann Sebastian Joust screenshot


Johann Sebastian Joust photo
Johann Sebastian Joust photo
Johann Sebastian Joust photo

Photos by Brent Knepper

Johann Sebastian Joust photo
Johann Sebastian Joust photo
Johann Sebastian Joust photo
Johann Sebastian Joust photo
Johann Sebastian Joust photo
Johann Sebastian Joust photo
Johann Sebastian Joust photo
Johann Sebastian Joust photo

Photos by Sara Bobo

Johann Sebastian Joust photo
Johann Sebastian Joust photo

Old Logo & Posters


Awards and Recognition

Selected reviews and mentions

(Also see Sportsfriends release reviews)


Road to the IGF: Die Gute Fabrik's J.S. Joust
Leigh Alexander, Gamasutra

IGF Factor 2012: Johann Sebastian Joust
Alec Meer, Rock, Paper, Shotgun

The Rumble Pack Podcast – 2012-06-21
The Rumble Pack

Video Apperances

A game of Johann Sebastian Joust breaks out
On The Verge, 2012

The Besties go to PAX East 2012
Polygon, Boston, 2012

Johann Sebastian Joust Saves Gaming From Video
Forbes, United Kingdom, 2013


Johann Sebastian Joust was first prototyped by Douglas Wilson at the the 2011 Nordic Game Jam. The original version used Wiimotes. In the summer of 2011, Doug ported the game to the PlayStation Move in order to take advantage of the controller's programmable LED light. In November 2011, we distributed a private, early alpha version of the game to several hundred people who had contributed to Brandon Boyer's Venus Patrol Kickstarter campaign. The game has since won a number of awards, including the Innovation Award at the 2012 Game Developers Choice Awards.

The game draws heavily from several folk games and playground games that Doug learned while living in Copenhagen. Like many classic sports, folk games, and playground activities, J.S. Joust features a simple ruleset and sound design that encourage physical performance, face-to-face interaction, and spectatorship. The hope is that this open-ended rule set "deputizes" players to improvise their own "house rules." For instance, are you allowed to kick your opponents? What are players allowed to do (or not do) after they're eliminated? What about playing with the controllers in your pockets? The idea behind games like J.S. Joust is that often, the most enjoyable game of them all is making up your own game.

Doug has written about the game at length in his PhD dissertation. You can read more here.

J.S. Joust is available commercially on PS3 and PS4 as part of the Sportsfriends compendium. It is also available on Mac and Linux via Steam and the Humble Store.


The early PlayStation Move alpha version of J.S. Joust used an open-source API pioneered by Thomas Perl.


Douglas Wilson
Concept, Game Design, Code, Promotion

Nicklas "Nifflas" Nygren
Sound Effects

Dominique "dom2d" Ferland

Jonathan Whiting
Sportsfriends Programming

Nils Deneken
Design Advice & Early Logo Concepts

Andreas Zecher