A day among indy(gamers) – Bit of Alright

If you like videogames, you can’t miss this event. Today at the Battersea Art Center (SW of London) is the day of a “Bit of Alright” where the best indy game developers come together to share new project demo and a lot of cool stuff.

It’s 9:30. You might think it’s early in the morning to play videogames. But it’s not. There’s a lot of people already playing, talking inside the beautiful Ballroom of the BAC, an “open source” recreative center where you can enjoy a coffee, rehearse your play (or monologue) or simply read a book (and play videogames in this case).

I got my ticket. As I get to the entrance I feel like Alice in wonderland but without her flower light blue girly dress. That, wouldn’t be appropriate. I thought so. As soon as I get in, I find my self in front of disguise on any kind: from zombies to cosplay or…I’m not sure if he’s actually wearing a mask.

nerds

In the main area (the ballroom) there are a couple of modified video game arcade cabinet. No Street Fighter or Virtua striker playing on the screen though. Instead there is a modified version of Mario Galaxy (a little demons took place of Mario), a classic Shoot’em up that use both joystick to navigate through levels and other Asteroid’s clones that reminds me of the good old day of my videogame addiction (I’m sober now…kind of). I wipe out my tears and I start exploring the rest of the event area.

On the first floor the room is packed. There’s people everywhere while on the stage a couple of game developer are presenting their last piece. Graphics it’s very simple, something like the first 3D era. The game is called Proteus and it’s kind of “Musical Adventure”. It’s not a rythm game, it’s more like a Free roaming game, where music it’s part of the exploration (ex. when you step on flowers music, sound design I would say, changes as you walk).

The presentation is over. They get out of the stage with a big applause. Instantly a group of people is around Ed Kay (Proteus’s game designer). I wait a little bit till my turn. (see video interview)

(sorry for the voice over, it was meant for an italian audience)

I’m downstairs again. Apparently in the mean time the ballroom was under a zombie attack. Damn, I was out just 30 minutes. Can you believe that? I slowly walk through the horde. I shouldn’t have started eating my sandwich.

What are you talking about Giacomo? They’re zombies, they have no interest in hum and cheese. They eat brain. You don’t have one. You’re safe.

As my no-brain said, zombies walk past me without even notice so I can finish my sandwich quietly.

I’m just about to drink some water when I hear a music. It’s something from the past. Not classical, 8 bit sound, midi probably. I turn around and I see on the main stage two guys ranting as James Brown in that famous scene of The Blues Brothers. Religion is not the theme though. Videogames. Videogames from the past. They’re in danger. The two, precisely Iain Simons e James Newman to use their names, defined them self as Archeo-gamers. They find old artifacts from the videogaming history (console, magazine, instructions, joystick, anything) and they keep them safe to store them in a special museum they’re working on. I’m completely captivated by their speech. Silently I think about my old stuff my mother threw away with no mercy. Poor old videogames.

The day is almost over. It was a great day, I’ll almost certainly be back, as Arnie would say.

“The end is near and so I face the final curtain…”

Wait a minute this is Frank Sinatra! You can’t use it!
All right…ok…I’ll do a video instead…

 

Giacomo Cannelli

 

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