A guide to next weekâ??s Nottingham video game festival
Pub quizzes, Lego and a 72-hour game creation marathon.
You’ll find all these and many more unique events at next week’s GameCity festival, Nottingham’s fifth annual celebration of video game culture.
It isn’t known for throwing the biggest parties, and nor does it have to. Since its inception in 2006, GameCity has grown considerably. It has hosted the unveiling of Noby Noby Boy, broken a zombie world record and held BAFTA keynotes, with figures such as Lorne Lanning, Alex Evans and Masaya Matsuura.
GameCity has always had a strong focus on the people who make games, as well as those who enjoy them. GameCity 5 has a collective of indie developers attending to give talks and take participate in special events. Jonathan Blow will be discussing the topsy-turvy world of Braid, while Playdead’s sound designer Martin Stig Andersen presents a look at the eerie and atmospheric Limbo.
The festival, which runs from Wednesday, October 27th to Saturday, October 30th, is taking place in several different venues across Nottingham’s city centre. The daytime events will take place in Nottingham Council House, and inside a large tent that is to be constructed directly in front of it.
CasualGaming.biz will be present to speak to as many of the industry guests as possible.
Here’s what to look out for at next week’s GameCity 5 festival:
Wednesday, 27th October
Braid - Director Commentary
Jonathan Blow, Game Designer, Number None
Famed for his dogged solo efforts, the creator of Braid will provide a live director’s commentary on his time-defying masterpiece. Blow will tackle his game and guide the audience through the design, development process and reception. He’ll also take the time to answer questions on the laws of time, saving princesses and nuclear destruction analogies.
Thursday, 28th October
Invitation to a SpyParty
Chris Hecker, Game Designer, SpyParty
Outspoken programmer Chris Hecker, known by some for his GDC rants, will introduce attendees to his upcoming indie game, SpyParty. Let go from Spore developer, Maxis, in 2009, Hecker has been enthusiastically working on his solo project in earnest. SpyParty involves deception, miss direction and mind games that pit players against one another. In addition to his talk, this will be the first time SpyParty will be playable to the public in the UK.
Listening to Limbo
Martin Stig Andersen, Sound Designer and Composer, Playdead Studios
Drawing attention for its gruesome deaths and clever presentation, Limbo was one of this summer’s most debated titles. Martin Stig Andersen will focus on the game’s audio, an integral part of the eerie experience. He will guide the audience through Limbo’s creation and offer a new perspective on an area vital to the overall experience of this monochromatic dream walk.
Friday, 29th October
Kinecting with Rare
Nick Burton, Executive Producer of Technology and Communications, Rare
With Microsoft’s Kinect motion sensor launching next month, Nick Burton, will guide GameCity attendees through designing for controller-free gaming using Kinect Sports, from the early stages of development to the final product. There will be the opportunity to demo Kinect Sports before its November release too.
Saltsman and Mayes’ Working Relationship
Adam Saltsman, Game Designer; Rebecca Mayes, Musician
Canabalt creator Adam ‘Atomic’ Saltsman will be attempting to make a game in 72 hours. Attendees are encouraged to get involved by providing the designer with ideas and design documents during the previous two days. Songwriter and musical game critic Rebecca Mayes will be collaborating with Saltsman to provide the soundtrack for the game. The insomniac duo’s feat of creative endurance will reach its climax today, when the fruit of their labour will be unveiled.
In addition to these events, NetDevil’s upcoming MMO Lego Universe will be playable, EA will be demoing EA Sports Active 2.0 all week in the GameCity tent, and a there’s the chance to participant in a human version of Pac-Man in the streets of Nottingham.
See the full schedule of events at www.gamecity.org.