View Full Version : Nottingham GameCity

08-07-2011, 01:53 PM
I went to the launch event for GameCity 6 last night. It sounds fantastic and I thought it might be something that would interest some of you. GameCity is an annual festival based around video games, with a focus on the artists and the culture surrounding them. It is not the Eurogamer Expo and it is not a place to play new games (with certain exceptions) but it is a fascinating and interesting week.

I was at my first GameCity last year. I had only been in Nottingham for a matter of weeks and I was very excited. The week started for me with a talk by Jonathan Blow discussing how Braid was designed, including a look at earlier builds of the game so we could see how puzzles developed over time. Jonathan then finished with a look at his new game that he's working on. The Q&A session included a lively discussion between Jonathan and Chris Hecker on games development.
I had already met some good friends at that event and we went on to see the One Life Left team doing a (surprisingly good) comedy set in town. I'm sure fans of the show will remember when OLL were canvassing for jokes a year ago.
The next days were spent playing board games from the free board game library; playing huge multiplayer games on a big projector in a marquee; watching somebody play video game music (and a hacked version of Guitar Hero) on a laser and a theremin; dodging laser security to steal a hat in the basement of a tea shop; trying out Crysis 2 long before release; playing SpyParty with Chris Hecker looking on and hearing about the plans of Keita Takahashi (of Katamari Damacy) to design and build a new park play area in the city. Even with all of that I had missed such exciting events as the live-action Pac-Man and the horror film festival that were ongoing at the same time.

I really regret not having known about this before. In past years there have been other amazing events, like a huge zombie march through the town and a replica of part of the Crysis island in the central square complete with sand and jeeps.

This year's GameCity will be on the 25th-29th of October. Events are free and you do not even have to register for them beforehand. Gaming luminaries such as Robin Hunicke of That Game Company (Flower and FlOw), Richard Lemarchand of Naughty Dog (Uncharted) and Eric Chahi who developed Another World and From Dust will be there. Robin Hunicke will be doing a live performance of TGC's new game Journey. Eric Chahi will be curating all of the events on the Wednesday and will be doing something special that he hasn't revealed yet. Here are all of them from the live videoconference we had last night: http://twitpic.com/5mmkeh [nicked from the @GameCity twitter feed]. Ian Livingston of the Fighting Fantasy books; Games Workshop and Life President of Eidos [Who knew there was such a thing?] will be producing a new choose your own adventure story for the event.

There will be loads of other things happening as well. Details will all be up on the GameCity website (http://gamecity.org/) or the GameCity twitterfeed (http://twitter.com/#!/gamecity). With the new OpenGameCity initiative, I imagine there will be even more crazy and off the wall ideas as well.

I cannot recommend you come to this event enough. The festival and the GameCityNights have been some of the most amazing and inspiring things I've seen in my time here in Nottingham. It's a really interesting and innovative way of thinking about and of appreciating games. And, as I say, it's all free. Nottingham's not too hard to get to from most of the UK (assuming you can bear to travel through Grantham or Derby) and I met several people who had made a special effort to come from farther afield. If you're interested in games (and if you were not, why would you be here?) I think you might find something that would interest you at GameCity. Hope you can come and enjoy it.

Lewie Procter
08-07-2011, 05:02 PM
I'm planning to be there.

16-07-2011, 06:30 PM
Hoorah! I've been a few times now. Planning on going again this year. An RPS event of some kind would be great (hint hint...).