50% of Hookshot Inc. is attending GameCity, Nottingham’s annual video game festival. Where most other game conferences and events are high sucrose affairs, with dark rooms, insatiable lights and noise, noise, noise, GameCity has the ambiance of a church fete; a gentle Sunday afternoon celebration of the games industry’s more innocent, playful side.
Inside the canvas marquee erected in the centre of town children can design monsters on pieces of paper, scribble their feedback on indie games on chalkboard walls and play games as creators watch over their shoulder.
There are no big name publishers here (EA has rocked up with a trailer filled with its Christmas releases but this is stationed next to the main marquee, not inside it) but that doesn’t stop the kids of flocking in to play Minecraft, League of Legends or the raft of other interesting indie titles on display.
Good friend of Hookshot, Brandon Boyer, creator of Venus Patrol, a game site dedicated to independent games, is running a special area in the main tent dubbed a ‘gym’.
Here players can play Bennett Foddy’s GIRP on a giant floor mat keyboard or, brilliantly, enjoy George Buckingham’s Proteus ‘Frog Mod’, in which you control a frog roaming through Proteus’s pixel block world by jumping up and down while holding a PS Move controller.
To aid with the jumping, GameCity has installed a trampoline. This is a picture of a kid wearing a green amphibian-tone hoody and pretending to be a frog in Proteus:
If this week has you feeling down for whatever reason, we hope this image helps. And here’s to GameCity, one of our industry’s most precious and wonderful fixtures.