What excites us about the Birmingham show is that it is there to showcase the Indie PC and Console arena. That means we get to meet some real enthusiasts and some old friends.
We met some guys from El Salvador who run a series of course under the Art Code Studios banner and had brought some nice work over with them including a game called Enola which is definitely worth a look for it’s dark content. They are producing some real talent on negligible budgets.
It was great to get the chance talk about the Interactive Entertainment undergraduate program with students and tutors from a number of FE colleges. We must be on the right track as we were constantly being asked which modules would work best to allow progression through to us. Chances are we are going to be busy taking the product on the road to showcase in the coming few weeks.
We spent a lot of time having some inspiring chats with young game enthusiasts who were eager to gain some insight in which A-levels to chose and how to progress into the industry. The calibre of questions we were fielding really make sit seem that the industry will have some superb new talent over the next decade. Even better is that parents seem to “get it” too. Regardless of the games, this made the 3 days more than worthwhile.
We did get chance to leave the stand and get a feel for things – actually we got rescued and given respite by a lot of the current GamerCamp guys who had come along to the show and were more than happy to spend some time giving their personal insight on the courses to anyone who was near the stand!
One of the more interesting stands at the show belonged to the guys from the Special Effect who are a charity designed to bring gaming inclusivity to those with disabilities. They were showcasing some really quite cool interface devices and it got us thinking about how we could maybe factor these devices into future products.
The one area that we love, mainly because it gives us a deep sense of nostalgia, is the Replay area. Some of us grew up on 48K and dodgy tapes so it’s always fun to see the reaction the old tech gets from Generation Playstation. This time round they had added an area called the 80s Classroom. It seemed VERY popular.
We had a prime view of the Game Jam area on Saturday and watching the smoke of intense hard work coming from there was frankly knackering for us. Our own Alex Darby was in the thick of it and we swear he didn’t change his position at his laptop all day. Given half a chance he would probably have been there Sunday night with the hall being dismantled around him!
Did we enjoy it? Yes. Did we spend far too much on coffee? Yes. Did we see cool stuff? Hell YES. Were we glad that we were slightly less busy than the guys from Yogscast? Probably… Were the people that came and showed interest in learning nice? Yes, they were. Maybe we will get to see of them here at NTI in the near future.
Roll on the September show. We will have some new, even more sexy, pop-ups and swag…
Big thanks to Iain, Steven, Zuby, Matt, David and Mara for all the hard work.