Wales Games Development Show 2016

Share this!

The Wales Game Development Show has been running since 2012 and was set up by a group of passionate local established professionals within the games industry. The Show acts as a meeting place for those interested in video games, but also serves as a great showcase for the ever-growing and eclectic games industry within Wales. Exhibitors from the games industry and support organisations present their new and upcoming products for public demos. Workshops, masterclasses and discussions from leading industry speakers are also peppered in throughout the day, which makes for an exciting event with a plethora of things to keep you busy.

Another focal point of the day includes the prestigious BAFTA Cymru Games Awards. The awards announced the BAFTA Cymru Games Awards for Best Game and four commendations were offered for Artistic Achievement, Technical Achievement, Sound & Music and Gameplay Design. More on this later.

Presentations

300sq_400x400

Antony Johnston – Comics to Consoles

The award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of graphic novels, video games, and books delivered an interesting presentation discussing his work on the Dead Space series of video games, his graphic novel adaptations of Anthony Horowitz’ Alex Rider novels, and his work with English writer Alan Moore. His notable works include Wasteland, Stormbreaker: The Graphic Novel, Dead Space, ZombiU, Alan Moore’s The Courtyard and Three Days in Europe.

IMG_1070

Byron Atkinson-Jones – Caretaker Sacrifice, An Exercise In Evolutionary Game Development

Head of game development company Xiotex Studios, Byron Atkinson-Jones is an accomplished, seasoned developer who has worked for Lionhead Studios, EA Canada, Sega Sports Interactive, Introversion, PomPom, Kuju Entertainment, Rebellion, Attractive Games, Stainless games, Mediatonic and Future Games of London. Notable games that he has worked on include Football Manager, Mutant Storm Empire, Darwinia+, NHL 2005 and Robot Unicorn Evolution, to name but a few. The focus of Byron Atkinson-Jones’ presentation was the story of the challenges he faced developing his own game Caretaker Sacrifice, a First-Person Sci-Fi puzzle/action game. His presentation was fascinating and enjoyable, and I appreciated his mention of Stargate the 90s TV show, which was a huge inspiration for his game.

IMG_1076

Dr William Huber – Game Education in Education

Dr William Huber is the current head of the Centre of Excellence in Game Education at Abertay University, a researcher, lecturer, and writer focusing on the theory, history and criticism of video games, new media, and software. Dr William Huber gave a fascinating presentation about the origins and development of game education within the UK and Europe and a brief overview of where its future could go from here. His detailed overview of the rise and development of Rockstar North, the creators of the Grand Theft Auto series, who formed from the ashes of Dundee-based developer DMA Design, was a particularly thought-provoking highlight. Who knew Grand Theft Auto originated from Scotland?

Key Exhibits

There were a plethora of excellent games on display at the Wales Game Development Show 2016. The following are just a handful of the highlights:-

7c0b01_564f21a371f74289b5f5fd35da15fc5a

 Elise: Unpainted Memories

A touch-screen focused, beautiful, haunting and serene puzzle game from Skyfish Studios(@SkyFish_Studios).

CdghWY1XIAA2dRc

Eekeemoo: Splinters of the Dark Shard

Awesome 3D third-person adventure game Eekeemoo: Splinters of the Dark Shard (@eekeemoo) launches on Xbox One, Steam and WiiU in 2016 by developer Cogg Games (@Itscogg).

CgLm9UmUEAA4c5l

Pooka

Creative and addictive free-to-play RPG Pooka from OysterWorld (@Oyster_World).

06_36

Mandagon

Artistic puzzle-platformer Mandagon launches on Steam this July, from developer Blind Sky Studios (@blindskystudios).

BAFTA Cymru Games Awards 2016

IMG_1075

As I mentioned earlier, the 4th British Academy Cymru Games Awards were hosted at the Wales Games Development Show. An audience of industry professionals and public guests joined host Gareth David Lloyd, who is known as a Games voiceover actor as well as being in Torchwood and other TV drama series and films. Here are the categories, nominees and winners:-

Best Game (Sponsored by Games Dev at Wrexham Glyndŵr University)

Winner: RANTMEDIA TV – Sports Soccer
WALES INTERACTIVE – Soul Axiom
Thud Media / Toots Enterprises Ltd – Toots Race

Technical Achievement Commendation (Sponsored by Sega)

Winner: Cube Kids – Teletubbies
BBC Cymru/BBC Digital Creativity/Aardman Animations – Doctor Who: Game Maker
Tell Player Limited – Mr Quit

Sound and Music Commendation (Sponsored by Spiros)

Winner: Thud Media / Pesky Productions Ltd – Boj Smoothies
BBC Cymru Wales, BBC Digital Creativity, Aardman Animations – Doctor Who: Game Maker
Cube Kids – Teletubbies

Gameplay Design Commendation

Winner: Thud Media / Pesky Productions Ltd – Boj Smoothies
Squarehead Studios Ltd – Star Ghost
Cube Kids – Teletubbies

Artistic Achievement Commendation (Sponsored by Ubisoft)

Winner: Thud Media / Pesky Productions Ltd – Boj Smoothies
Squarehead Studios Ltd – Star Ghost
Cube Kids – Teletubbies

IMG_1164

On the behalf of Infinite Frontiers, we’d like to congratulate the nominees and winners of this year’s BAFTA Cymru Games Awards!

Overall, the Wales Games Development Show 2016 was a really enjoyable hands-on event that really reminded me of what a positively eclectic and vibrant video game development community and maturing industry we have here in Wales and the UK as a whole. I met a ton of enthusiastic and passionate young, burgeoning developers who can’t wait to get their games out into the wild. It was a well-organised, fun-packed day and I’d wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone with a penchant for games. I look forward to many more to come!

IMG_1061

Facebook Comments