Platform has pretty much taken over Hull City Centre today and tomorrow, being in force in the City Hall, Guildhall, Studio School, and Ferens Art Gallery. In the City Centre the main gaming focus is taking place, with a mixture of games developers and gaming-related firms in prescence. It was great to see the Multiplay guys commentating on some fantastic Hunger Games Minecraft and Ace of Spades games.
One of the indie developers there, Beard Bandit, was on hand to feature the first-ever public showing of their new game, Comet Chaos. It harks back a little to Missile Command, albeit with far better gameplay, graphics, and insane powerups - swopping your missiles for a laser is ridiculous fun! And watching the stellar chunks bounce off a handy shield is very satisfying.
|Comet Chaos - don't be put off by my low resolution picture - I just need a new camera!|
|One of the chaps from Beard Bandit does an interview while his colleague gets the important job of "playing the game so the interview has it in shot, whilst sitting on the floor behind a table to keep out of the shot himself"|
Elsewhere, in the Guildhall, two rooms are set up with all kinds of retro gaming computers and consoles available, from Acorns and BBC Micros, through Ataris and Sega Master Systems. They only had one Spectrum but it was a +3 - oh how I wanted a ZX Spectrum +3 when I was a kid! I tried various games, and reminded myself just how bad I am at them. Today's games are a lot easier, you can pause them and save them and go back whenever you want, and if you die you restart just before where you died... I remember the family playing one game for a month, and that meant that the Spectrum stayed on for the month. Amazing that the power supply didn't burst into flames really, knowing how hot they got!
|BBC Micros. At least they didn't have any of those nasty Commodores around.|
I also popped over to Ferens Art Gallery to see what was going on there, as I sauntered in a Platform volunteer said "are you here for Platform?", I answered in the affirmative and within twenty seconds found myself in a lecture hall, with no idea of who was speaking or what about. Fortunately the speaker was the very impressive AJ Grand-Scrutton who gave a fantastic talk about his experiences of working in the games industry.
Special mention must be made to Hugh of Let There Be Light Productions - great to finally speak to you in person! And if he reads this, hi to Nana, I'd be interested in challenging you to a chair-breaking contest sometime, I understand you're quite an expert at it!
All in all a very entertaining day!