As if there weren't already enough reasons to visit this year's Rezzed (in only a week's time!), I'm really thrilled about two developer sessions I'll be hosting. And even more thrilled about who will be on those panels. With game-creating gurus Chris Avellone and Ragnar Tørnquist appearing on both, you'd be a fruitcake not to come along.
Saturday's 12pm panel kicks off the developer sessions in style. Rather unenigmatically titled How Can New Business Models Improve PC Gaming?, this will be a lively discussion of all the matters that get PC gamers most hot under the collar. Kickstarter, DLC, DRM, indie bundles, free-to-play... Coo, imagine all the DEBATE. Which of these are beneficially to games, gamers, and indeed developers? And we couldn't have a better list of names to discuss it. On the panel will be Introversion's Mark Morris and Chris Delay, who have been extremely successfully exploring the world of alpha-funding and bundles. There's Mode 7's Paul Taylor, who has also both experienced the rush of a Humble Bundle, and sold beta versions of Frozen Synapse. Then there's Ragnar Tørnquist, who as well as being Mr The Longest Journey has both worked for a multinational developer creating big budget MMOs, and recently launched a very small indie developer funded by Kickstarter and dreams. Finally there's Chris "Planescape: Torment" Avellone, who too has made the transition from mammoth publisher-funded projects to Kickstarter-supported epics.
Sunday's 12pm session is my passion made sentient discussion. Is Storytelling In Games Getting Any Better? Having recently explored these ideas in my own one-man dialectic debate, I'm going to sit back and keep my mouth shut as the pros make their opinions known. It's hard to imagine a better panel for such a topic. We've Splash Damage's Ed Stern - a genuinely brilliant mind, a man with a crazy passion for getting good story into games that usually just grunt. We've Project Zomboid writer and former PC Zone editor Will Porter, who is a man almost too lovely with whom to share a stage. And once again we've two of my all-time games writing heroes, The Longest Journey/Dreamfall Chapter's Ragnar Tørnquist, and Planescape: Torment/Mask Of The Betrayer's Chris Avellone. It's the dream line-up for this always fascinating discussion, and I cannot wait.
Rezzed of course also has a massive show floor with hands on access to a ton of unreleased games, such as Space Hulk, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Company Of Heroes 2, Tengami, The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot, Redshirt, Total War: Rome II, Wildstarand Ghost Recon Online. And loads more beside. There are developer sessions on Chris Avellone's Project Eternity, Hotline Miami 2, Dean Hall on DayZ Standalone, Creative Assembly on Rome II, Big Robot on Sir, You Are Being Hunted, and loads of others.
It's £12 for a day, or £20 for both, taking place in the centralist of all central locations, Birmingham's NEC. We're actually in the NEC! RPS - our silly little website is somehow taking over the NEC. My head shakes in disbelief. But it's real! So you should come. I'm so excited for both sessions I'm running, and just as excited to explore the show floor. And to meet people!
RPS will be there for hugs and high fives, and even the gorgeously haired Nathan will be flying over! So you really ought to be too.