I arrived early so I had chance to see Henry Smith (@hengineer) give a talk about his local cooperative game SpaceTeam. He also spent some of the time talking about his latest project Blabyrinth and his long term project Shipshape.
What interested me most about Henry’s talk was the influences he drew on to create his game. Board games like Space Alert (Vlaada Chvátil), influenced SpaceTeam. Whilst, Escape Curse of the Temple (Kristian Amundsen Østby) and the TV shows Knightmare and the Crystal Maze influenced Blabyrinth. Games including Galaxy Trucker (Vlaada Chvátil) are an influence on Shipshape.
(more professional GameCity event photos like this one here)
Most of the day was spent manning the table with Massively Multiplayer Rock Paper Scissors, but thanks to my friend Keith who came to help out I had a brief chance to run around the rest of GameCity and try my hand at a couple of things and meet some great people.
I had a chance to sit down for a couple of minutes and play GlitchSpace (@SpaceBudgie), I turned down the offer of the OculusRift and settled for a standard monitor. This first person puzzle platforming game used the interesting idea of a graphical coding UI to influence the objects in the game world. So in order to navigate the space you would use code to open and close doors, change the length of platforms and other such things.
I had a quick talk with the creator of Spectral (@FirepunchGames) whilst someone else was demoing the game. Here the player controlled a spectral entity which could manipulate objects in order to solve puzzles and unravel a greater mystery. I wish I had chance to sit down with the game, hopefully I’ll get chance again in the future.
There were plenty of other games/events/talks I heard about whilst at GameCity which I did not get a chance to participate directly in all of which sounded great. It is a shame I did not get more time to wonder round and see all the different things in the constantly changing space. Next time I need to book more time for it.
GameCity Closing Event
In the evening I attended the GameCity closing event at the Nottingham Contemporary (@nottm_contemp). Whilst things were getting set up, I spent some time watching a few people try Titan Souls (Acid Nerve), which brought to mind a punishing 2d pixel art style Shadow of the Collossus. This game is definitely now on my radar.
I got an opportunity to announce the results for Massively Multiplayer Rock Paper Scissors on one of the stages with a microphone. For those that care about these things the results were:
- Team Blue: 110
- Team Red: 121
- Team Yellow: 141
During the event I got a bit more time to play and see a number of games they had set up. These included (but not limited to):
- Hohokum (Honeyslug) which involves exploring strange worlds and unlocking new paths. This was also projected onto a wall at an impressive scale.
- Dog Park (@potatojin) a simulation of being dogs in a park.
- Musclecat Showdown (Major Bueno @ThatMajorBueno), a game of striking poses with your cats by matching the commands on screen. This had amazing cartoon muscly cat poses. from Natasha Allegri (@natazilla)
- Push Me Pull You (@pmpygame) a game for four people in teams of two (or two extremely dextrous people) involving controlling a two headed creature in a game of ball control. I do not think I few words can describe it, go have a look for yourself.
As well as meeting and speaking to some fantastic people, I have to say my highlight of the evening was the spoken word piece by Hannah Nicklin (@hannahnicklin), Games We Have Known and Loved. Hannah gave the titles of all the stories she had exchanged during her day at GameCity, breaking the list to expand on certain stories (mine included amongst them). She highlighted towards the end how we all had a story to tell and with just a little prompting we can find something interesting to say. I reflected that although I was initially racking my brain to think of something on the spot I have since recalled many more stories of games with friends. One of the stories Hannah told was of a girl whose last gift from her father before he past was a Playstation, that is still running today, really moved me. I too am left with the hope that this Playstation never stops working. I am left at the end of all of this with the confirmed impression that games are really important entities/experiences in our lives – individually, socially and culturally.