With the latest installment of the world’s best-loved video games festival just around the corner, you may be wondering what gaming goodness will be taking over the city of Nottingham. Be enlightened!
Running from October 26th to 30th, the entire city of Nottingham will be consumed by video game culture, with numerous events being hosted by various venues in and around the city.
We have already mentioned One Laugh Left, the comedy night featuring Graham Goring, Chris Stokes and Wil Hodgson. The evening will take place at The Forum, NG1 4AA from 7pm until 11pm and will be hosted by Ste Curran, Simon Byron and Ann Scantlebury. In a move that some may call brave, others stupid, the hosts themselves, who happen to be the team behind the award winning radio show One Life Left, will be taking to the stage and performing their first ever stand-up routine. This could well end up being the stuff of legends and will likely be talked about for many years to come.
Apparently video games journalists actually eat breakfast, which is news to me. For those that have trouble believing this, The Broadway on Broad Street will be the place to go at 9.30am from Wednesday 27th to Saturday 30th. Spaces will be limited, but attendees will be able to watch real-life video games journalist Keith Stuart, Guardian games correspondent, eat breakfast and get involved with some lively debateÂ and discussion about various video game related issues.
Keith Stuart said, “GameCity is by far my favourite video game festival, and I’m delighted, though petrified, to be involved this year with something a little bit different. I’m hoping that with the Gamesblog Breakfast events we can re-create the atmosphere of a daytime studio discussion show, but with controversial issues from the gaming world rather than teen pregnancies, overweight pets or mass family brawls.”
Keith Stuart will be joined each morning by several of the festival’s main headliners, providing moral support and opinions and points of view.
If 9.30am is a bit too early for you, then maybe heading down to Tonic on Wednesday 27th from 12.00pm till 1.30pm for What’s The Point? will be more appealing. This panel discussion will be debating the big question; “what’s the point in making video games?” The debate will be hosted by IGF Chairman and indie game advocate Brandon Boyer and will include Adam Saltsman, (Developer, Flixel), Jonathan Blow, (Developer, Independent), Chris Hecker, (Developer, Independent), Paul Taylor, (Managing Director, Mode 7) and Keita Takahashi, (Designer, Uvula). This one is sure to be an interesting debate, one that may actually give some reason to my life.
At 10.45am on Wednesday 27th, gamers will be able to attend Council House Ballroom to bear witness to the maiden voyage of a new event – I’m Your Fan. This event will see an as yet unnamed fan interviewing Pixeljunk Edenâ€™s graphics and audio contributor, Baiyon.
Another debate, or pair of debates, for Wednesday 27th involve the re-launch of the National Video Games Summit. Who Should Save Video Games? from 12:00-1:30pm at Tonic, and A Reproductive System, from 2:30-3:30pm at the Council House Ballroom.
Who Should Save Video Games? will debate the who, what, where, why, when and how of digital preservation. Compering the debate, NVA co-founder Professor James Newman will guide a panel comprising Jonathan Smith (TT Games), Michael Rawlinson (UKIE) and Tom Wooley (National Media Museum) as they explore how the industry, Heritage Sector and public can, and should, work together to save video games.
A Reproductive System â€“ With the plethora of sequels, prequels, remakes and reboots spilling over from Hollywood into video games, those lucky enough to attend this second panel discussion will find a unique exploration into this most hallowed of arts from both sides of the argument.
Professor James Newman returns to lead another debate, with the panel comprised of both remakers and remakees, including Martin Hollis (Goldeneye 64) and Paul Carruthers (Xor) as they shed light on the challenges behind remaking beloved titles, and the difficulty in seeing their work re-imagined by others.
As if Wednesday 27th was not already packed enough, the Council House Ballroom, from 4-6pm, will play host to a commentary from Johnathan Blow, creator of Braid. Johnathan will guide fans through the design, development process and reception of this great game, and also give some insight into his next project, The Witness.
GameCity Director Iain Simons said, â€œBraid is a uniquely innovative title which we featured an early build of as part of Indiecade years ago, itâ€™s an honour and a privilege to welcome the man himself here to reflect on the making if this brilliant work.â€
Tuxedos are not required for the following event. Thursday 28th at the Council House Ballroom from 10.30am to 12.00pm will see “Invitation to a Spy Party” in which Chris Hecker, creator of espionage thriller Spy Party, will be quizzed and interrogated about his upcoming game. Fans will then be able to head to the GameCityLounge from 2pm till 6pm to get some hands-on time with the title.
GameCity Director Iain Simons said, â€œChris is widely known as one of the most talented programmers around, though few people know that during the development of Spy Party he also became an expert marksman, adept at hand to hand combat and a smooth talker.â€
Creativity and networking will be the order of the day at Nihon, St Mary’s Gate on Friday 29th from 6-10pm, with the Studio Output event. Bringing their monthly London based networking event Glug to Nottingham, Studio Output will host a brand development workshop aimed at independent developers.
The second part of the evening focuses on the bespoke GameCity5 Granimator pack, designed and released by ustwo, now available for free on iPad, with sounds from world-renowned multimedia artist and producer Baiyon.
Entrants can download the app for free, create their favourite design and upload them to the Granimator site to be judged on the night. The best entries will be whittled down to two finalists, both of which will be turned into a limited run of t-shirts by Waste, to do battle via a public vote, with an overall winner crowned best designer.
Saturday 30th is a date to put on your calendar as “Super Mario Birthday Tea Party”. To celebrate the birthday of the world’s most famous plumber, GameCity5 will host a party as only they can, with cake, tea, squash, paper plates and moustaches. The GameCityLounge will play host to this event for the duration of the day and will also host the first ever GameCity Mario Cosplay Competition, with five Special Edition 25th Anniversary DSi’s and a 25th Anniversary Wii to give away as prizes for the best Marios.
All of this is but a portion of the gaming related craziness that will be consuming Nottingham for the duration of GameCity5. For more information on all of these events and the other events as they are announced, head over to www.gamecity.org.