The Yorkshire Games Festival returns for its second year, once again showcasing some of the greatest talent and titles from across the videogames spectrum, as well as providing gamers and budding game makers unrivalled access to the industry.
The festival, organised and run by the National Science and Media Museum, offers insights into all aspects of the games industry, from studios such as the award-winning TT Games, Frontier Developments, Criterion Games and Naughty Dog, as well as hosting live shows and events such as WiFi Wars and the Let’s Play! Weekend, which features a wealth of games and activities.
Yorkshire Games Festival 2107 is proud to welcome back Bradford College as its Headline Sponsor, and, for the first time, will dedicate a day to school groups as it increases its scope for inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with the many aspects of videogame design, development and coding.
Festival director, Kathryn Penny, said: “Last year was a fantastic success, which we’ll be building on this year as we once again welcome some of the top studios, games designers and developers from around the world, the UK and Yorkshire, to share their experience and advice, and of course, demo some games. I think we’ve included something for anyone interested in videogames, and we’ll hopefully inspire a few future stars.”
Schools Day: 8 Nov
This year’s Yorkshire Games Festival kicks off with a day dedicated to school groups. Pupils will get access to specially created talks, workshops and activities covering all the elements that make a great game, from coding to storytelling and design. This day is for education groups only – booking details can be found at https://www.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/learning .
Delegate Programme: 9 and 10 Nov
Highlights for the Delegate Programme start with an insight into the UK-based studio responsible for some of the most iconic games in recent memory, as Arthur Parsons, Head of Design at TT Games, discusses his lead role on various titles within the LEGO videogame franchise, including the LEGO Marvelseries, LEGO Batman series, LEGO Harry Potter series and many other familiar titles. Arthur will also delve into the making of his current game, LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2, an all-new, original adventure scheduled to launch in the UK on November 17.
Tracy Spaight has worked in the industry since 2005 under many guises from project specialist to game developer. He now acts as Director of Special Projects at Wargaming.net, the developers and publishers of the World of Tanksonline game, and will be talking about bringing history alive through gaming, AR and VR and the World of Tanks phenomenon.
Frontier Developments’ Louise McLennan and Sebastian Hickey will be revealing all about the development of BAFTA nominated Elite Dangerous – the latest (and some say, greatest) version of the legendary space combat and trading game from UK games luminary David Braben OBE. Louise started her career at Disney Interactive and is now the lead UI designer on Jurassic World Evolution. Sebastian, an alumni of the University of Bradford, is the lead UI designer on Elite Dangerous.
YGF 2017 is a homecoming for Iki Ikram, the award-winning VFX Artist, as he started his career more than 25 years ago while studying Graphic Design at Bradford College. Iki will be giving the festival’s keynote presentation on his work as an FX Artist at Naughty Dog and how visual effects were used to build an impactful narrative in games such as Uncharted 3, Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us, as well as other work on titles such as the PlayStation’s EyeToy, Singstar, The Getaway, and the Killzone series. This session is presented by Bradford College.
Legendary composer and musician David Wise has been producing game soundtracks since 1987, including many of UK developer Rare’s classics such as Battletoads, Donkey Kong Country and Diddy Kong Racing. More recently, Wise has composed music for Sheffield developer Sumo Digital’s Snake Pass and for Playtonic Games’ smash hit platformer Yooka-Laylee. He will be discussing some of his most famous works and giving advice to any musicians interested in making soundtracks for videogames.
Kieran Crimmins and James Svensson from Criterion Games will host a session on their development work as Art Director and Producer respectively for Electronic Arts’ Star Wars Battlefront VR Mission. They’ll be discussing how they recreated the Star Wars universe in virtual reality, along with a few of their trade secrets, including how to hide a Star Destroyer!
Other guests include Phil Duncan and Oli De-Vine, aka indie development team Ghost Town Games, whose debut game Overcooked was made from their lounge and recently took home the BAFTA for Best Family Game and Best British Game.
Let’s Play! 11 and 12 Nov
This year introduces the festival’s Let’s Play! weekend, with a host of activities designed for families and gamers of all ages.
The two-day event includes the Yorkshire Games Showcase, as the regional games industry descends on the National Science and Media Museum, bringing the best in new, upcoming and under-the-radar titles. As part of the showcase, Creative England’s GamesLab Leeds programme will be offering advice and demonstrating some of the projects they have funded across the Leeds City Region. Elsewhere Videogames, But… shows the diversity of the medium with small, experimental and unusual, yet beautifully formed games.
The Museum also welcomes back the Impact Gamers LiVE! show to the Museum’s Pictureville Cinema (Saturday only – tickets £2/£3), which takes audience participation to a new level, inspiring children to get involved in games and coding. The Impact Gamers team will also be bringing along their homemade arcade games – all created by young people from Bradford (free to play).
The Yorkshire Games Festival is produced by the National Science and Media Museum in partnership with the games business network Game Republic.