I returned to GameCity 9 on the Thursday, where I had signed up to a couple of talks and got chance to have a look round at a few of the exhibitors.
The first talk I attended was with Prof. Richard Bartle, co-creator of MUDs (multi-user dungeons). Richard spoke humorously about developing MUD and sincerely about how he envisioned it as a social equaliser, where in a new virtual world your background would not matter.
In front of me was a series of cards each with a title on them, I was allowed to pick one to hear that story on the basis that I would give a story back in return. All the stories were about games. I picked Basement of My Neighbour’s House. I heard the tale a young boy who use to visit his neighbour’s basement to play video games, and how they decided whose turn it would be. In return for this I told my story about how me and my brother played a physical version of Pong in our living room with a tennis ball and a settee and bay window for goals. I got to keep the card with Basement of My Neighbour’s House which was replaced with my story Physical Pong.
I got to meet Geraldo Nascimento and try the game he was working on with CrazyArcadia. Gunkatana is a four player couch co-op where players move around a shared screen trying to kill each other with their Gunkatanas (blades that also shoot ricocheting laser beams), trails on the floor allow the players to boost their speed, and a spinning attack deflects the attackers beams. After killing myself countless times, I finally got the hang of the game and managed to win three games in a row.
Finally I got to try Nidhogg by Mark Essen (@messhof) against another human being, sadly I lost two out of three of our games, but the game is vastly improved by a real world competitor and a giant screen.
The second talk of the day, ‘In the beginning was the word’. Chaired by Professor James Newman (co-founder of the National Videogame Archive), Professor Richard Bartle and Kieron Gillen (@kierongillen) (Marvel-writer). An interesting discussion on the role of text in computer games.
The final thing I had signed up for was a game of the Mouse Guard RPG, which was run by Tom Hatfield (@WordMercenery). For those that have not read the Mouse Guard books the rpg is based on, they should, the art is incredible.
I’ve been wanting to play Mouse Guard for a while, think I will need to play it again to fully get to grips with a system. I think two hours was a little short, we had to finish by the time we had got the story moving. Definitely want to play this one again.