Sometime in early 2010 we decided that just producing one big event a year wasn’t quite stressful enough for us. Hence, in February that very year we launched GameCityNights – our brilliant – and AFTER-DARK – celebration of videogames.
Here’s what happened…
In the inaugural GameCityNights, Hello Games brought along IGF nominated thrill-fest, Joe Danger.
“We’re incredibly excited to be making the pilgrimage to GameCity to come and show what we’ve been up to with Joe Danger at the very first GameCityNight!”, said Sean Murray, MD of Hello Games. “In these faithless times, it’s only through events like these that we can really start to make sense of it all. I can’t wait!”
Ste Curran made the trip all the way from BRIGHTON near LONDON to deliver an amazing second GameCityNight. Afterwards, unprompted, he volunteered this :
“Despite my youthful good looks and effervescent vigour I am secretly old and tired, and only have the energy and inclination to talk at events that are fresh, exciting, and fun; places that offer the opportunity for me to try new things and meet people who get me excited about the future of games. GameCityNights follows in GameCity’s tradition, demonstrating that conferences about games don’t have to be the same-same people talking about the same-same things. It is important and I love it.”
Having been beaten back on the runway (by the volcanic ash – remember that?) for a previous special event we were going to be running, Remedy’s very own Sam Lake joined us at the opening of Episode 3 for a live video linkup on the eve of Alan Wake’s European release. Following him, Beatnik Games’ Robin Lacey rode into town to talk up their new PC Robot-Ninja-Shooter, Plain Sight.
It was ace.
Long-time friends of the festival Bizarre Creations managed (just) to beat horrendous motorway traffic to show and tell their new arcade racer Blur the night before its release. Chris Downey and Ben Ward gave an amazing insight into the track design and the hazards of photographic civic buildings in Los Angeles.
We love Bizarre.
Him again? Back in town to get to work on further designs for our playground project at Woodthorpe Park, everyones favourite gaming iconoclast Keita Takahashi elected to demonstrate iPad Noby Noby Boy by speaking only through the mouth of a beautifully fashioned glove puppet dog, ‘Mr Dog’.
Following this spectacle a rapt, confused and hugely excited audience went on to attempt to design new pieces of playground equipment using plasticine they had been given on the night. Their creations were then judged by Takahashi-san, Simon Hunter of Nottingham City Council Parks Dept and of course, Martin Hollis – producer of Goldeneye 64.
You had to be there.
A panel of esteemed contributors to the Doctor Who Universe, including Charles Cecil, James Moran and Anwen Aspden, joined us to talk time and relative dimensions in space. Compered by OneLifeLeft’s Simon Byron, the panellists treated a rapt audience to inside information about the creation of the first two phenomenally successful Adventure Games episodes and teased us with minute details of the third.
Fuelled by delicious themed cocktails, including the bright green ‘Sonic Screwdriver’, teams competed in a game of Consequences to create incoherent but hilarious micro episodes of Doctor Who. The panel then chose the winning entry and a lucky member of the audience won a pair of tickets to Doctor Who: Live, courtesy of Trent FM Arena.
With GameCity5 in sight, the G5 Summit was assembled. Friends, colleagues and interesting people were invited to become Ambassadors, share in exciting news about the festival, and give their input. Adam (Atomic) Saltsman made an appearance, previewing his incredible project that takes place over a few days during the festival. There was passion, there was enthusiasm, there was Ferrero Rocher…
Making the arduous journey from Manchester, Dark Energy Digital arrived just in time for some surprisingly brilliant stand-up courtesy of Paul Butler. Earlier in the evening Richard Brooksby talked about upcoming GameJams and demonstrated Floe, Otterly Games’ cute puzzler. Ben Bradley shared some of the development process behind his intriguing music-based shooter, Substream. Rob Williams enthused about a collection of games he’d brought along to show and tell including Ico, Shadow of The Colossus, Rez, the entirety of the PSN catalogue and PS Move. With headliners Dark Energy Digital fully immersed in the atmosphere, we moved on to an in-depth discussion about Hydrophobia, their XBLA game released just 48 hours previously. Covering design, coding, team, pre and post-release processes it really was a thorough dissection of modern videogame making. Oh, and we played a game involving blowing a paper boat across a bucket of water with a straw. While wearing hats. It was brilliant.