Train2Game News Live Action Text Game in London

GamesAid today releases exclusive early bird tickets to the games industry for the live action text-based adventure interactive show The Dark Room.

Organised as a London Games Festival fringe event and hosted by GamesAid, the UK games industry charity, in partnership with the BFI Certification Unit, this one-off show will be on 10 April at BFI Southbank.

The cult hit touring the world since 2012, The Dark Room’s award-winning stand-up comedy is wedded to retro video games and fused into a deranged rock n’ roll game show where the audience play as contestants. It has been a huge success at Insomnia Gaming Expo, Runefest, EB Games Expo Australia, SFW, UK Games Expo, Soho Theatre, Gameblast, the Edinburgh Fringe, Underbelly Festival and MCM Comic Con.

Matt Spall, Chair of GamesAid said, “Expect no loot boxes, no DLC, The Dark Room is just good, old-fashioned 1980s-style torment and after its killer session for GamesAid at The Comedy Store two years ago, GamesAid is delighted to be partnering the BFI’s Certification Unit in hosting this day.”

Hosted by John Robertson, a comedian for 15 years and host of the Videogame Nation on Challenge, 2014-2016, this is how The Dark Room day works – the rules are simple:

1 – Options appear on the screen.

2 – Audience calls out the option they want.

3 – You’re either right, or dead.

4 – In the end, everybody plays!

The Dark Room reviews:

★★★★★ Sun

★★★★★ British Comedy Guide

★★★★ Den Of Geek

“NOT TO BE MISSED” – The Guardian

“Don’t miss it.” – The Daily Telegraph

“Hi, I’m Ian, I invented the thing you’re parodying.” – Ian Livingstone

Tuesday 10 April 2018
BFI Southbank – Blue Room
Doors Open at 7:30pm
Starts at 8:00pm
Ticket Price: £12.00
Tickets available here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/date/473194/

Train2Game News London Playable Christmas Tree


Millions of people are expecting video games waiting under the tree this Christmas, but at King’s Cross station the Christmas Tree IS a video game: the world’s first ‘playable’ Christmas tree.
#GamesTree has landed at King’s Cross and is an interactive exhibit 6 meters high and made of 7,000 LED lights.

The tree is an adaptation of of award-wining London-made independent game Line Wobbler and has been created following a unique collaboration between the upcoming London Game Festival, Network Rail and acclaimed games designer Robin Baumgarten.

The Games Tree adds games-themed festive cheer to King’s Cross and also celebrates the upcoming third London Games Festival, which takes place in four months running from 5 to 15 April 2018.

The London Games Festival is run by Games London, a joint initiative between the London screen industries agency Film London and trade body ukie (The Association for UK Interactive Entertainment). Games London is funded by the Mayor of London’s London Enterprise Action Panel.

Hundreds of commuters and tourists have already played the Games Tree at the station just hours after its installation. It will sit in London Kings Cross station until January 4th 2018 before appearing at other venues.

Train2Game News Second Annual Yorkshire Games Festival


The potential for storytelling in games to compete with film and TV, the difficulties of pulling off successful PR for your game, and the growing chasm opening up between big budget triple-A releases and their indie counterparts: It might have only been the second annual Yorkshire Games Festival, but that didn’t stop prized speakers tackling the games industry’s difficult issues.

Taking place at the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford over five days earlier in November, the festival saw some of gaming’s brightest and most esteemed peers both take to the stage and light up various events to educate, inform and, dare we say it, entertain almost 9,000 attendees – a figure that represents a 15 percent jump over 2016‘s figures.

Speakers who have worked at the likes of award-winning studio TT Games, Frontier Developments, Criterion Games, Ninja Theory, Wargaming.net, Naughty Dog, and the talent that created mega multiplayer hit Overcooked, all offered insight and provoked debate aplenty.

“This was my first year attending the Yorkshire Games Festival and it was great to see such enthusiasm for the games industry running throughout the speakers, organisers and attendees,” offers Dominic Matthews, Commercial Director at Ninja Theory. “The quality and breadth of talks was excellent and the audiences eager to learn. Altogether a hustling, bustling event of enthusiasm and optimism for the games industry set in the aspirational setting of the National Science and Media Museum.”

It was a setting fit enough to host Matthews’ own musings on the growing divide between games from triple-A studios and the often more creative releases from indie developers – developers who have the freedom to take risks their bigger brothers don’t. Ninja Theory, however, sits in between the two he argued, exploiting the opportunity and somewhat greater scope provided by independence with the bigger budget typically afforded only the major players. Does this growing ‘independent-triple-A’ space offer a massive opportunity for studios currently entering the market?

His time on stage came after scriptwriter and narrative designer Martin Korda, who drew on his experience as a writer on some of the biggest games launched in the last decade to suggest storytelling in games has the potential to become one of the most powerful forms of narrative in the world. Games, he suggested, can utilise storytelling techniques from movies, TV, radio and books and combine them with interactivity and player choice to create a compelling combination.

“The Yorkshire Games Festival has the potential to become one of the key annual UK games industry events,” said Korda of his visit. “Its audience of established game development professionals, and students aspiring to one day become a part of the industry, provides the event with an excellent balance of experience and enthusiasm. It was a real pleasure to speak at such a vibrant and welcoming festival.”

For organisers, the jump in attendance and the overall quality of the speakers has validated both the event’s creation and its expansion this year, which saw a dedicated School Day, numerous workshops and game showcases.

“It may only have been the second Yorkshire Games Festival, but the event already feels both established and growing in scale and scope,” comments Festival Director, Kathryn Penny. “It’s so exciting to see the mixture of experience – our amazing speakers – and excitement from the large number of students and delegates the festival attracts all mingling together, exchanging ideas and debating the issues. It’s an event that really lights up the museum.”  

The schedule, in brief, included:

Wednesday 8th November, 2017

  •     School Day: A free day of activities for schools, with special events for KS2 and KS3 children covering all elements needed to make a great game

Thursday 9th November, 2017

  •     Talks: Presentations by Destiny 2 videogame writer Martin Korda, Arthur Parsons – Head of Design, TT Games – who examined the legacy of TT Games and delved into the making of his current game, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, Director of Special Projects at Wargaming.net Tracy Spaight, Louise McLennan and Sebastian Hickey of Elite Dangerous developer Frontier Developments, and Dominic Matthews from Ninja Theory
  •     Workshop on the Business of Video Games

Friday 10th November, 2017

  •     Talks: Keynote speech from former Naughty Dog VFX artist Iki Ikram who talked about his work on The Last of Us and Uncharted 4, plus legendary composer and musician David Wise, Overcooked’s Oli De-Vine and Phil Duncan, Kieran Crimmins and James Svensson of Criterion on Star Wars: Battlefront VR Mission, Gang Beasts’ creators James Brown and Michael Brown of Boneloaf
  •   Meet the Developers networking event

Saturday 11th November, 2017 and Sunday 12th November, 2017

  •     Let’s Play Weekend –  Scores of special events, many of them free, extending beyond the National Science and Media Museum, encompassing games showcases, arcade games, WiFi Wars (charge applies), Minecraft workshops and The Displaced, a live-action multiplayer game!

Train2Game News Yorkshire Games Festival

yorkshire-games-festival-2017

The Yorkshire Games Festival returns for its second year, once again showcasing some of the greatest talent and titles from across the videogames spectrum, as well as providing gamers and budding game makers unrivalled access to the industry.

The festival, organised and run by the National Science and Media Museum, offers insights into all aspects of the games industry, from studios such as the award-winning TT Games, Frontier Developments, Criterion Games and Naughty Dog, as well as hosting live shows and events such as WiFi Wars and the Let’s Play! Weekend, which features a wealth of games and activities.

Yorkshire Games Festival 2107 is proud to welcome back Bradford College as its Headline Sponsor, and, for the first time, will dedicate a day to school groups as it increases its scope for inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with the many aspects of videogame design, development and coding.

Festival director, Kathryn Penny, said: “Last year was a fantastic success, which we’ll be building on this year as we once again welcome some of the top studios, games designers and developers from around the world, the UK and Yorkshire, to share their experience and advice, and of course, demo some games. I think we’ve included something for anyone interested in videogames, and we’ll hopefully inspire a few future stars.”

Schools Day: 8 Nov

This year’s Yorkshire Games Festival kicks off with a day dedicated to school groups. Pupils will get access to specially created talks, workshops and activities covering all the elements that make a great game, from coding to storytelling and design. This day is for education groups only – booking details can be found at https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/learning .

Delegate Programme: 9 and 10 Nov

Highlights for the Delegate Programme start with an insight into the UK-based studio responsible for some of the most iconic games in recent memory, as Arthur Parsons, Head of Design at TT Games, discusses his lead role on various titles within the LEGO videogame franchise, including the LEGO Marvel series, LEGO Batman series, LEGO Harry Potter series and many other familiar titles. Arthur will also delve into the making of his current game, LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2, an all-new, original adventure scheduled to launch in the UK on November 17.

Tracy Spaight has worked in the industry since 2005 under many guises from project specialist to game developer. He now acts as Director of Special Projects at Wargaming.net, the developers and publishers of the World of Tanks online game, and will be talking about bringing history alive through gaming, AR and VR and the World of Tanks phenomenon.

Frontier Developments’ Louise McLennan and Sebastian Hickey will be revealing all about the development of BAFTA nominated Elite Dangerous – the latest (and some say, greatest) version of the legendary space combat and trading game from UK games luminary David Braben OBE. Louise started her career at Disney Interactive and is now the lead UI designer on Jurassic World Evolution. Sebastian, an alumni of the University of Bradford, is the lead UI designer on Elite Dangerous.

YGF 2017 is a homecoming for Iki Ikram, the award-winning VFX Artist, as he started his career more than 25 years ago while studying Graphic Design at Bradford College. Iki will be giving the festival’s keynote presentation on his work as an FX Artist at Naughty Dog and how visual effects were used to build an impactful narrative in games such as Uncharted 3, Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us, as well as other work on titles such as the PlayStation’s EyeToy, Singstar, The Getaway, and the Killzone series. This session is presented by Bradford College.

Legendary composer and musician David Wise has been producing game soundtracks since 1987, including many of UK developer Rare’s classics such as Battletoads, Donkey Kong Country and Diddy Kong Racing. More recently, Wise has composed music for Sheffield developer Sumo Digital’s Snake Pass and for Playtonic Games’ smash hit platformer Yooka-Laylee. He will be discussing some of his most famous works and giving advice to any musicians interested in making soundtracks for videogames.

Kieran Crimmins and James Svensson from Criterion Games will host a session on their development work as Art Director and Producer respectively for Electronic Arts’ Star Wars Battlefront VR Mission. They’ll be discussing how they recreated the Star Wars universe in virtual reality, along with a few of their trade secrets, including how to hide a Star Destroyer!

Other guests include Phil Duncan and Oli De-Vine, aka indie development team Ghost Town Games, whose debut game Overcooked was made from their lounge and recently took home the BAFTA for Best Family Game and Best British Game.

Let’s Play! 11 and 12 Nov

This year introduces the festival’s Let’s Play! weekend, with a host of activities designed for families and gamers of all ages.

The two-day event includes the Yorkshire Games Showcase, as the regional games industry descends on the National Science and Media Museum, bringing the best in new, upcoming and under-the-radar titles. As part of the showcase, Creative England’s GamesLab Leeds programme will be offering advice and demonstrating some of the projects they have funded across the Leeds City Region. Elsewhere Videogames, But… shows the diversity of the medium with small, experimental and unusual, yet beautifully formed games.

The Museum also welcomes back the Impact Gamers LiVE! show to the Museum’s Pictureville Cinema (Saturday only – tickets £2/£3), which takes audience participation to a new level, inspiring children to get involved in games and coding. The Impact Gamers team will also be bringing along their homemade arcade games – all created by young people from Bradford (free to play).

The Yorkshire Games Festival is produced by the National Science and Media Museum in partnership with the games business network Game Republic.
Ticketed events are now on sale via www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/yorkshiregamesfestival