Another year is upon us and with the ashes of GameCity7, the embers of GameCity8 are starting to glow. It will be a good few months before the phoenix will rise so in the meantime we have another years’ worth of GameCityNights to whet out appetites until then.
Many things were observed before the evening began. Iain Simons had returned! Owain Davies was sadly absent and for once the Nottingham DevSoc gang didn’t have anything to show. Instead they were huddled on a table playing Munchkin all night. As usual the night started late and one group of people passed the time playing Magic: The Gathering.
Eventually the night began, sponsored by Edge and Sim City – something which was brought to our attention several times during the night and in the name of loyalty I shall be doing the same, but more subtly. Sadly due to the late start and slightly running over of events there wasn’t as much happening as a regular GameCityNights, but what was there was to be had in great quantity.
Professor James Newman from Bath University made a welcome return with an inspirational speech made in a very soft tone, with the lights down and the calming backdrop of some water rippling about how even though the games he played as a young man may not have had the greatest state of the art graphics he still loved them because of the way they made him feel when he was playing them. This is something I think you can all relate to with different games when you were all young readers. Sure, you may say your vision has been blurred by the cloud of nostalgia but there is no denying you have a strong connection to those games and that enjoyment is something that no one can take away, no matter how simple the game may have been. A personal example from myself is that of Taito’s Bubble Bobble, it wasn’t a complicated game with a sophisticated physics engine or 3D polygons or whatever, but I bloody loved it. Even when I bought the GBA rerelease of the game in 2004 I still had the same feeling I had back when I was a kid.
Guest speaker Mike Barclay from Crytek UK gave a lengthy presentation about the level design process in the Crysis games, complete with some amazing WWE Wrestling imagery for comparison. One detail which is something many game/level developers should take note out of anything Barclay said was that polish can make the difference between a good game and a great game. So you could make a grand multiplayer level but if the level doesn’t have the right level of polish it may not be as popular. The devil is in the details people. I would go into a more detailed analysis but it would be far better to actually hear and see the man in action rather than me describe in most likely incorrect detail as to what Barclay was saying. Sorry. Sim City.
Sadly I wasn’t able to experience the games this time due to the amount of speaking going on, but here are the links to those who were in attendance to find out more about them:
Falchion Games came with Monkey Island (among other point n’ click games) inspired Go To Hell Dave!
Lucky Red Fish brought us Tonga
Anthill Games with Archipelagos
AlloydGD’s entry was very intriguing with ReversE, a game where the controls are reversed for both sides and the obstacles couldn’t be more different.
Twitter – alloydGD
GameCityNights is an event that happens on the last Thursday of every month at Antenna in Nottingham. For more information check out http://nights.gamecity.org/