With a remit both to celebrate games culture and introduce a new generation to the science and art of games development, the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford is excited to announce the return of the Yorkshire Games Festival, back for its second year.
In 2016, attendees were treated to talks from the likes of Warren Spector, John and Brenda Romero, Rhianna Pratchett and Charles Cecil amongst others, setting the tone for all the events to come. This year sees Bradford College return as Headline Sponsor, and organisers are aiming to match, if not surpass, that same high standard.
Running from Wednesday 8th November to Sunday 12th November, 2017’s event will see speakers who have worked for the likes of award-winning studio TT Games, Frontier Developments, Criterion Games, Ninja Theory, Wargaming, Naughty Dog, and the talent that created mega multiplayer hit Overcooked, take to the stage to offer their insight on the industry.
But the Yorkshire Games Festival isn’t just about great speakers. The first day of the festival – Wednesday 8th November – will serve as a dedicated ‘School’s Day’, expanding the festival to KS2 and KS3 kids looking to learn how to make a great game; from teaching how to code through to creating a cracking story. It’s all part of a package designed to bridge the gap between gaming fans and the talented folks who make them.
“There are scores of brilliant games events all across the UK, across Europe even, but we want to take a different approach with the Yorkshire Games Festival,” offers Festival Director, Kathryn Penny. “Across the five days, we’ll be bringing some of the industry’s brightest and best to Bradford to discuss frankly what they’ve learned from being behind some of the most creative and successful titles out there. In the midst of all this will be the next generation – the games industry’s future stars, lapping up that expertise and that knowledge for the years ahead.”
As well as the talks, those looking to find their feet in the industry will also benefit from a dedicated Business of Video Games workshop, and a networking event designed to enable people to make vital connections in a relaxed environment. And this is all in addition to Let’s Play! – a weekend of gaming designed with families and gamers of all ages in mind.
The schedule, in brief, includes:
Wednesday 8th November, 2017
- School Day: A free day of activities for schools, with special events for KS2 and KS3 children to cover all elements needed to make a great game
Thursday 9th November, 2017
- Talks: Presentations by Destiny 2 videogame writer Martin Korda, Arthur Parsons – Head of Design, TT Games – who will examine the legacy of TT Games and delve into the making of his current game, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, Director of Special Projects at Wargaming.net Tracy Spaight, Louise McLennan and Sebastian Hickey of Elite Dangerous developer Frontier Developments, and Dominic Matthew from Ninja Theory
- Workshop on the Business of Video Games
Friday 10th November, 2017
- Talks: Keynote speech from former Naughty Dog VFX artist Iki Ikram to talk about his work on The Last of Us and Uncharted 4, legendary composer and musician David Wise, Overcooked’s Oli De-Vine and Phil Duncan, Kieran Crimmins and James Svensson of Criterion on Star Wars: Battlefront VR Mission, Gang Beasts’ creators James Brown and Michael Brown of Boneloaf
- Meet the Developers networking event
Saturday 11th November, 2017 and Sunday 12th November, 2017
- Let’s Play Weekend – Scores of special events, many of them free, extending beyond the National Science and Media Museum, encompassing games showcases, arcade games, WiFi Wars (charge applies), Minecraft workshops and The Displaced, a live-action multiplayer game!
The full schedule can be found over at scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/whats-on/yorkshire-games-festival. Tickets for the speaker events on Thursday 9 November and Friday 10 November can also be purchased there, with prices starting from £35. The Let’s Play Weekend is free to attend, but some events are charged for.