Get ready for the fun
We're going to try not to get too excited while writing this preview. I mean, it's just that there's so much going on at Game City 7 this year that it's hard not to. For instance, MECHANICAL DONKEY KONG! Who doesn't want to play with that? Exactly.
In terms of gaming, there's more to do at Game City 7 than you can shake a pole at. Lucky, really, seeing as this year, the Venus Patrol Training Facility has just about every weird, interactive and hilarious game that you can imagine. For instance the innuendo-laden Pole Riders - a game which sets challenges for players which they have to undertake using only a fifteen foot pole - and Get On Top, a trampoline based fun-for-all that sees you battling sumo wrestlers. The facility will also be exhibiting one of our favourite games of last year, Johann Sebastian Joust, which involves players jousting with controllers to music, the speed of which denotes the sensitivity of the handset. Cheating is positively encouraged. Dozens of screens will be dotted around Market Square with a veritable plethora of different games, so make sure you leave yourself a good few hours to sample what the future of gaming has to offer. You never know, you could be trying out the new Zelda.
En garde! Zelda at Game City 6
There's plenty to keep the kids entertained, too. On Tuesday, those of us that feel a bit crafty can try their hand at making a 3D paper elk, in honour of LittleBigPlanet's Tearaway game - a great activity for the little ones to undertake. Cycle Pong allows them to burn off some excess energy, while teaching them that retro games are still pretty darn cool. This can also be taught at Gamer Dad's Retro Family Night where the whole family can play the old skool games that we were brought up with. All money from the Gamer Dad's night will be donated to SpecialEffect.org too, enabling kids with disabilities have a better quality of life. Make Your Own Text Adventure is "interactive fiction" for children, and programmer Alex Warren will be working with ages eight and up to help them design and create their own text games, this is followed with an age ten and up 2D game making course using Game Maker.
We in Nottingham always like a bit of a world record attempt. Remember the zombie world record breaker we did a couple of years back? When all and sundry turned up in their best zombie make-up to pose for a photo? And then we set a world record (did I mention that?)? Well that was part of Game City, and on Saturday 27th they're set to break another record, with the world's largest practical science lesson. And not just a boring one, with some fusty old teacher turning a bunsen burner up and down while you lose your eyebrows. Oh no, this will include goo! And rockets! And other things that make people get excited about science! Apart from Brian Cox that is, but who needs him when you can play with chemicals (in a safe environment, of course)? There will be a selection of experiments showcased over a thirty minute period, which will form the basis of the record attempt at 2pm, but exciting things will be happening both before and after, so stick around.
Doing the joust. Photo: Ashley Bird
Want more from a premier festival than just games? Well, STEAM (that’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths, to those who didn’t know (like us)) have courses in pretty much everything game-y to help those wanting to dive into the industry get on their way. And you know who are going to be there? Mozilla! Yeah, the Firefox people, chatting about the next generation of browser games. Also, Minecraft will be talking about how implementing their software into home and school can improve education, because come on, favourite lesson from when you were a kid? Ours had to be the turtle computer programming game. Remember that thing? That was cool. Note to the reader though, some of these activities need to be booked online, so please check the Game City website before going along. Unless you’re pretty good at touting, that is.
If you're interested in getting into comics and videogame writing, on Monday there will be a Q&A at the council house, followed up by a book signing at Page45 with games journalist Kieron Gillen and author Anthony Johnston. To watch the meeting of an unstoppable force and immoveable object then head to the Q&A on Thursday between EDGE magazine’s features editor Jason Killingsworth and Super Hexagon creator Terry Cavanagh as they meet to talk to the public and then compete in a fierce game-off, which they will then open to members of the public. If you want to test your gaming mettle, here is the place to be. Thursday will also hold a talk by Imre Jelle on creating a videogame from the tv show Merlin, which we can only imagine is a difficult feat, especially as Merlin is such an angular dude.
In fact, speaking of games and screens, there will be a tonne of stuff that traverses the two, like wallFour's Renga, which will be held at Broadway on Sunday. A mix of old school arcade gaming and conquest games, a hundred player audience have to work together to complete a fun, interactive quest. Like Lord Of The Rings? Well, LEGO will be in attendance on Sunday as well, for the premier of their LOTR LEGO game. Expect a fun tour through middle earth that the kids will love.
We probably need to stop there, before this article turns into War and Peace. We’ll have some exciting ramblings going on throughout the festival, so stay tuned, but we really recommend you get those thumbs on over for some reet good gaming fun. And if you see us hogging the Donkey Kong, please tell us to move on. Or challenge us to a game, though be prepared to lose.
Game City 7 will be held at various venues around the city from Saturday 20th October until Sunday 28th October.