UK Games Expo 2014

So I was at the UK Games Expo this weekend and had a blast! It was great to hear that they’ve moved it off the bank holiday weekend so it doesn’t clash with every other geek event of the season and I’m looking forward to going every year from now on. I went with the UK Games Media Network, which this blog is a part of. (Seriously, there should’ve been a UKGMN link somewhere on this page for months and I’ve been really tardy about putting it up, let’s start this post with a great big picture of the logo for those who’ve not heard of us!)

UKGMNThis meant that I was conducting interviews with various exciting people over the course of the weekend. These aren’t live yet, but I’ll do a bonus blog post when they are, you can see me talking to Darell from Eclectic Games about how bricks and mortar games stores have been affected by the internet and more recently kickstarter. There’s one with Michael from Game Salute about what they do (and what they thought they were doing with the Emperor’s New Clothes). I hopped chairs and got interviewed about the games I make here too. All the people! Much like the expo itself!

Crowd5The expo itself was pretty busy, I took most of my photographs once I’d discharged my responsibilities on Sunday and things were already winding down, but there were still plenty of folks about.

Crowd1 Crowd3 Crowd4One of the things that I enjoyed was that the general games room had a corner set aside for prototypes. Designers of all stripes signed up for slots to show off their latest work and anyone who fancied could wonder by and try something new! I used the space to demo some of my own games and also played a bunch of new things, the quality varied but I’d say that my favourite discovery was “The Hen Commandments”.

The hen commandmentsIn this game you play as monks who worship a holy chicken and have the sacred duty of interpreting its messages. Each round a message arrives in the form of a series of eggs spelling something like “Thou must yearly covet the flesh under thy neighbour’s feet” and you each choose a virtue that the message is clearly about. Then each person who chose a unique virtue gets one minute to justify why this message is about (for instance) discipline and those who did not choose uniquely vote on which explaination is the most convincing.

I have reservations about “players vote on who gets a point” mechanics since some players will vote for “who is it tactically advantageous to give a point to” but that shouldn’t be an issue with such a plainly lighthearted bit of fun. I think I might’ve laughed more in the 15 minutes we had to play the game than I did for the rest of the day during the convention and that includes watching a particularly game game demonstrator trying to get a dalek to try their offering.

OptimisticDemonstratorThe Hilton served well as a venue, it was a bit labyrinthine in places, but once you got past the “twisty maze of passages all alike” feeling it wasn’t hard to get from A to B. Sometimes the juxtaposition of hotel and games expo was unusual but really all images like this made we want to do was organise a game of Witness Protection Program in a swimming pool.

PoolOverall I had a great time and saw loads of awesome things, I’d recommend it to anyone (or at least anyone who doesn’t hate games aka ensoulled humans) and am looking forward to going next year.

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