The first Yorkshire Games Festival took place from 9th – 13th November 2016 at the National Media Museum in Bradford in partnership with Game Republic, supported by Autodesk.
The festival resulted in large audiences coming to Bradford to take part in games design and writing workshops, hear world-renowned games industry speakers, play new and exciting games from local developers and get invaluable career advice.
Speakers for the festival included John Romero (co-creator of the defining first-person-shooters Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake), Brenda Romero (developer of Wizardry and many other titles), Gary Napper (lead designer of Alien: Isolation and now working on VR projects at Supermassive Games), Kevin Carthew (Creative Director at Team17 – pictured), Sean Millard & Seb Liese (Sumo Digital), Adrian Hon (creator of Zombies, Run!), Warren Spector (Otherside Entertainment), Rhianna Pratchett (writer of Tomb Raider), Charles Cecil (co-founder of Revolution Software) and Rob Bartholomew (Creative Assembly).
Particular highlights included: Brenda Romero’s inspiring talk “Mother, Woman, Girl: A Lifetime in Games”; Warren Spector meeting fellow Ion Storm alumni John Romero over Skype backstage – pictured; the Guardian interview panels on the Wednesday and Thursday, with Keith Stuart and Jordan Erica Webber (pictured at the top of this feature); Gary Napper at Supermassive describing the moment a tough American bro was reduced to a gibbering wreck after playing VR; discovering Seb “Snake Pass” Liese from Sumo owned two snakes names “Solid” and “Liquid”; and the Edge Presents interview on-stage with writer Ben Maxwell and John Romero – pictured.
The family weekend included a Nintendo Zone (complete with appearances by Pikachu), a talk and live play of Gang Beasts by The Yogscast, a Minecraft workshop and a Yorkshire Games Showcase from more than a dozen local developers such as Red Kite Games (pictured), Triple Vis Games, Team17, Sumo and Kotori Studios.
The major event for Game Republic, however, was an exclusive Speakers Dinner, held at the National Media Museum and Omar Khan’s restaurant in Bradford, and sponsored by Red Kite Games, Escape Technology and HP.
The special festival event was an opportunity to bring together the National Media Museum, University of Bradford and Bradford College together with speakers from the festival and Game Republic members.
As well as enjoying a drinks reception in the Games Lounge and a curry in the city that has won Curry Capital of the UK for the third year running, the Speakers Dinner was an opportunity for GR members to meet and talk to festival speakers to discuss their games and the wider games industry issues such as diversity in games, VR, AR, skills in the region, education provision and access to finance.
The Speakers Dinner was also just a fun event for members to chat to and meet legends of the industry such as John Romero and Brenda Romero. For more information on the Game Republic network, how we can help your games company or educational institution and to make sure you don’t miss out on our upcoming events, do get in contact. For more photos check out the Game Republic Facebook Page.