Posts Tagged ‘GameCity’

The Gothic Revival: Off The Map

The Off The Map competition is my favourite part of GameCity. Admittedly, I might enjoy the actual event if I ever managed to drag my self to Nottingham while it was happening, but the delights that Off The Map produces would still be fairly high in the rankings. The competition “challenges higher education students based in the UK to create gaming software inspired by the British Library’s collections.” CryEngine is the weapon of choice. This year, the library’s collection of gothic literature was the focus. No, not the Robert Smith/The Crow slash fiction you left tucked between the pages of Fifty Shades of Grey – we’re talking sunken abbeys, old Poe-face himself and Whitby.

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Party Games: Dog Park And GameCity’s Grand Finale

Every month, we dispatch Brendan to some of gaming’s best blowouts to schmooze and play party games with the partygoers. This week, he visits GameCity, pretends to be a dog, and listens to some spoken word performances about games.

It’s Saturday night and I’m standing in one of Nottingham’s oldest pubs, where a Tekken 3 arcade cabinet is blinking in front of me. Two of the bar’s regulars have just challenged me to a game. My opponent picks Jin out of the line-up, his favourite character. Meanwhile, his friend explains something to me – this cabinet has something of a personality. The joystick on the Player 2 side does not recognise ‘up’ or ‘down’ commands. But because this pair are always here, always playing this machine, they will let me use the Player 1 controls, effectively handicapping themselves. I put my drink down on the game’s bonnet and prepare myself. The time is approximately 1am. I have selected Law.

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CryEngine & The British Library: 2013’s Unusual Team Up

The winning team presents their virtual map at GameCity
It’s October 2013 and I’m sitting in a large auditorium at the UK’s best games festival, GameCity, awaiting the reveal of the Off The Map competition. Student developers were given access to three different historic maps from The British Library as their inspiration: The Pyramids of Giza, Wiltshire’s Stonehenge, or London around the time of the Great Fire in 1666, allowing them to interpret the information into CryEngine scenery and architecture. Read the rest of this entry »

GameCity Festival Returns To Nottingham Next Month

I was extremely disappointed to miss last year’s GameCity. Everybody I’ve spoken to who was there speaks about it in reverent tones. Actually, scratch that, there’s no reverence at all. It’s happiness, the remembered joy of sharing a splendid, creative, social hobby with a wide array of pleasant people. I won’t make the same mistake this year, although I’ll probably only visit for one or two days. The event runs October 19th-26th and it sounds like a very different beast to traditional/commercial gaming gatherings. Indeed, it’s billed as a festival rather than a convention, with family-friendly events that involve both play and discourse. It’s my personal mission to count the number of free energy drinks and dubstep assaults. Confirmed events are listed below, including an intriguing week-long headliner.

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GameCity Loves Minecraft

Are smiley faces art?

If you were listening to BBC Radio 4 earlier this morning, you’d have heard the presenters of the Today programme poking that most ancient, tedious and meaningless of chestnuts – are games art? While it was grand indeed to hear Auntie’s invaluable but oft-haughty talk station taking games this seriously, everyone involved loses points for not saying “it just doesn’t matter, and why does no-one bother to have this argument about JLS records?” And for repeatedly using the term “computer games”. That said, GameCity judge Charlie Higson did attempt to educate listeners on the matter of gaming being impossibly broad and changeable rather than neatly fitting one category or description, so there was talk of worth in there.

The spur for the discussion was the weekend just gone’s GameCity festival in Nottingham, and its attempt to bring about a videogames equivalent of the Man Booker prize for literature.
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Er… We’re A Bit Late: Nottingham GameCity

I sure hope that character on the left is from an actual PC game and not a console rip-off of Gary's Mod with a budget.

I’ve been meaning to blog about this all week, but with the preparation for The Road Trip (i.e. Trying to find my copy of Munchkin), I haven’t had time. And now it’s almost too late. The key word, being “almost”. It’s the last day of GameCity 3 in Nottingham today, so anyone in the area of the home of Rock City could pop into by any of the following events…
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A Tale Of Two Gamecities


It was the best of times. It was the worst of timetabling. Somehow, in the videogame cultural desert that is the UK, two progressive, forward looking and fun videogame events got scheduled in the same week.

Nottingham’s GameCity, in its second year, “explores videogames in new ways, trying to uncover the most interesting parts of their culture and inviting you to join in. You’ll find games to play, speakers to hear and talk with, music to dance to and plenty of surprises. We hope you’ll discover something you’ll love”. Meanwhile, the London Games Festival features “diverse events in different venues for different audiences. Whether you’re a gamer, a parent needing advice on games, someone working in the industry, or just want to find out more about how games work and where the future of entertainment will take us, this is a festival for you.” Which makes you think that the Nottingham one, with clear Indie Cred, would be the one the always-ready-to-posture RPS would back up.

It’s certainly what GameCity organiser, the ever-sharp Iain Simmons would argue. “The fact that we’re independent gives us a mandate to do anything we want”, he argues in his interview. “From what I can gather, we’re trying to do quite different things.” he continues, “The fact that we’re independent and we’re not industry run – not instigated by ELSPA or a publisher’s point of view – gives us a mandate to do anything we want.” Except it’s not that simple. The London Festival is of such a size that it has its own Fringe. Our contacts inside argue that they’re probably just as “independent” as GameCity, and the events are mostly free to get into.

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