GameCity 8 was major departure from the format of the previous few festivals. With more venues, more variety, and more interesting activities, we’re very pleased to say that it was a huge success!
With support from The Creative Quarter Company we took over a huge empty shop space, transforming it into our own pop-up events space. We called it The Open Arcade and filled it with developers showing games to the public, lectures, craft activities, science busking, live illustration and much more throughout the week.
Our Two Big Screens dominated the Old Market Square this year. They changed position every day to accommodate brand new games from Martin Hollis, Jonathan Smith, Hazel Savage, Spilt Milk Studios and others.
We also opened the STEAM School for the second year. Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies hosted a week of free educational sessions dedicated to the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics of making videogames. There were practical lessons with MinecraftEdu & Kerbal Space Program, seminars on music composition with C418 and Joonas Turner, a workshop on creating hypertext games in Twine with writer Cara Ellison, and a HTML5 workshop with PlayCanvas.
The winner of the inaugural Off The Map competition was announced with the trophy going to De Montfort University’s Pudding Lane Productions. Off The Map, a partnership between Crytek, GameCity and The British Library, challenged students from universities and colleges across the UK to build their own virtual environments using antique maps from the British Libraries collection and Crytek’s Cryengine 3 technology. More information about Off The Map at press.gamecity.org/offthemap.
Other highlights included a spooky midnight launch of Somethin’ Else’s Papa Sangre II in the Galleries of Justice Museum, writer Lucy Pebble in conversation with game designer Steve Gaynor, Paul Veer’s live pixel art on the market square, a day of Minecraft papercraft with lots of cake, Mike Bithell’s Volume story reveal, boardgames and live music every day in the Royal Concert Hall, Robin Arnott showcasing SoundSelf in the Broadway Lounge, Power Lunches with the Guardian’s Keith Stuart and Cara Ellison livestreamed from Antenna, pretending to be caterpillars with Lucky Frame’s Roflpillar, karaoke and a massive game of wink murder with One Life Left, and much more!
If you’re curious about the many other events that happened at gameCity 8, the full schedule is archived here: gamecity2013.sched.org/