Game City 3

Although it was over a fortnight ago I still want to write about the Game City 3 event that occurred in Nottingham. It was a three day event, but I was only able to attend on the last day. It is great to events like this organised outside of London.

While I enjoyed the event and I’m glad I attended, overall I’m not sure the event was as well organised as last years. The website made it hard to find some of the important information regarding the event and emails of inquiry were not replied to. The pricing structure changed from last year, previously tickets were bought for individual events, so you picked and chose which of the events that cost you were interested in and filled the gaps with the free stuff, of which there was plenty. This year is was like a more conventional conference in that you bought a ticket for the whole day, and this gave you access to all the events. The advantage of this is that there was a more consistent audience for all the events, but it wasn’t clear which events needed to be paid for and when events were cancelled there was no compensation or even notification. Thankfully the students that were there helping to run the event were helpful and friendly to make up for the lack of organisation.

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However there were some real highlights for me, including Little Big Planet developers showing the proof of concepts they used to sell the idea of Big Little Planet to Sony.

Little Big Planet proof of concept

It was nice to see the simplicity of the original concept and how it had developed.

I also really enjoyed the Guardian Games Blog Curry Night Games Quiz. Keith did a stand up job, and fun was had by all. There was a great atmosphere and plenty of friendly faces so I really enjoyed myself, even if I was useless.

Our entry into the playdo round of the quiz

Indiecade was brilliant, and despite the awkward location I think this was better than last year. It was great to see the next creation from the developer of Samorost. I really enjoyed that game as it reminds a bit a Terry Gilliam sketch. There was also an interesting Counter Strike mod based on the two factions in Northern Ireland and also documenting the graffiti and murals.

The lunchtime talk from Tom Armitage struck a nerve with me when he talked about what gaming had taught this generation, and more interestingly how the lessons learnt from gaming can be applied to other areas, such as interface design.

Tom Armitage

The other nice side effect of having a large group of gamers together was getting my ass kicked at a networked game of Mario Kart DS and making some new friends on the way. Thanks to the organisers and to all the friendly people I met.

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