Escape Plan Live – Immersive Game At It’s Best – Chatham

rsz_escapeplanlive

I first completed an Escape Plan Live Experience last year in 2015. Myself, Mr Creatabot and 3 friends had to solve some coded lock puzzles in the Gatehouse section of Fort Amherst. We had a brilliant time and learnt how the game worked by thinking about where the codes might be hidden. To win the game I would say you have to think in a non-linear fashion, very much out of the box.

I think 1 year may have been a little too long a time to have passed between games, as I will explain later.

Having helped facilitate the concept of including Escape Plan Live in the meanwhile use of Medway’s old housing benefits office, Riverside One, I had to of course try out the newest edition of rooms. Despite having been around during the refit of the space and being delighted about them making use of the old council advice booths (out of the box in the box thinking there) I tried to avoid plot spoilers as much as possible, so luckily had no idea of what to expect during my visit on Tuesday.

We played the game “Conspiracy” which sees the story of a murdered detective friend unfold. We were given 1 hour to get ourselves out of the room and find the codes the detective had carefully hidden. When I say hidden, well that’s an understatement. The codes for the padlocks, attached to a briefcase, were hidden in so so many places and ways in the room. The set was brilliant and very immersive, these guys really know how to design a space.

11025687_1422937174673630_2644523397150734915_o

I will repeat, I regret having left it so long since the last game! Despite there being a full group of 8 of us, we ran out of time. Those 60 minutes sped by and when we found out clues (a hidden item that I was convinced was in the room somewhere, was in an obvious place) we felt like fools!

I am not typing this from the room though, so we were allowed to leave despite our failure to solve the game, phew! I highly recommend having a go of Escape Plan Live, it is great for team building, getting to know friends better, experiencing something out of the ordinary and of course really really fun!

To see the variety of games and find out more, visit www.escapeplanlive.com

By Natasha Steer

30th June 2016

 

INDIE GAME : THE MOVIE – Film Screening – 29th June 2012 – Rochester – Kent – UK

Creatabot have their first event! And its a biggie! We are hosting the screening of INDIE GAME : THE MOVIE in Rochester, Kent on the 29th June 2012.

This brilliant film looks at the underdogs of the video game industry, indie game developers, who sacrifice money, health and sanity to realise their lifelong dreams of sharing their creative visions with the world.

Following the making of the games SUPER MEAT BOY, FEZ and BRAID, this Sundance award-winning film captures the tension and drama by focusing on these developers’ vulnerability and obsessive quest to express themselves through a 21st-century art form.

As you can tell, Creatabot treasures creativity so we are thrilled to be hosting this screening!

For more details about the film visit http://www.indiegamethemovie.com/about/

Details are as follows:

INDIE GAME : THE MOVIE

Ticket price: £6.60 BUY TICKETS

Date – 29th June 2012

Location – Rochester Visitor Information and Art Gallery – 95 High Street – 
Rochester
 – Kent – ME1 1LX

Time:    Doors at 7.15pm       Film starts at 7.45pm

Popcorn and refreshments will be provided!

Attendees can also attend the Tigercats gig at the Deaf Cat for FREE – compliments of TEA concerts!

 http://indiegametigercats.eventbrite.co.uk/

For more information please email natasha@creatabot.co.uk

Area – South East Kent London UK Britain

Videogames – Money vs Creativity – By Jack Bulmer

Industry

Videogames are big business. That’s sad really, the business part. It truly is a creative medium that has, for a part, been transformed from a bunch of guys having fun and making games because they want to, to a bunch of guys in suits deciding how best to monetise their product. It’s like all the fun is being sucked out, and the games industry has become just that, an industry churning out yearly updates to products. Rarely are people making games just for the fun of it. Even independent games are changing and becoming more ‘about the money’.

I didn’t fully realise this until I started working for a company. The first thing on their mind was monetization. Not gameplay, story or even graphics. Just, ‘how much money can we get from this?’. It was actually difficult to design such a money-based game that I couldn’t continue doing it, it felt morally wrong to charge players for something so easy to create. Sure, not every game is like this, but rarely do you see a new title released without some sort of purchasable extra. Things like this used to be free. It makes me wonder if this really is a creative industry, a lot of decisions are already made based on target audience and potential sales, so as a game designer, it’s up to us to just implement these systems.

Spectrum

I don’t understand why some people still think videogames are aimed at children, it’s an archaic view and I am glad it’s slowly changing. I suppose it’s a generation thing.  ‘Videogames’ is such a broad term to be categorised. Depending on who you ask, the first videogames someone will think of will probably be completely different to someone else. Titles such as Space Invaders, Grand Theft Auto, Minecraft, Guitar hero, Final Fantasy, Katawa Shoujo, Child of Eden and Heavy Rain are each placed far apart in the spectrum of ‘Videogames’. In a way, when people generalise videogames, it’s on par with generalising any other form of creative industry.

Generally, the industry as a whole has to learn from the mistakes of others, especially when imitating them. Really, games are just taking the best parts of other mediums. Storytelling in games has improved because of cinematic techniques being used and a deeper focus is being put on character design and development. Music has not only just influenced games through music-rhythm games, but also through dedicated soundtracks, evolving from simple melodies to full orchestral scores.

Immersion

I think videogames have the potential to be the most immersive medium to portray a message or story, more so than a film or a book. To me, it just makes sense that as an active part in a story, you feel more immersed than a spectator. This isn’t true for every game, but many try to make you create relationships with characters. Final Fantasy is well known as a character driven series of games. I’ve heard people talk more about how Aeris died and how they felt that any other character from any media. I think immersion in videogames helps the player experience emotions that wouldn’t be possible in other media, due to the choices sometimes presented.  I remember when I felt remorse in a videogame, and I didn’t expect it at all. I had the choice to kill an innocent family for some gold in Oblivion. I did, and the game auto saved. I just couldn’t continue. Experiences like that don’t happen in other media.

Future

I do not believe there is going to be a crash, like in the past, but I think videogames will branch off and separate from each other. Like I said before with the spectrum, I think they will separate and go down different paths. This is already happening, I suppose. For example, I’m not sure how similar two games like Heavy rain and Child of Eden are. They seem nothing alike. Games are also spreading into popular culture, and the gamification of non game contexts has only just begun. Gamification in itself is a really interesting topic, and probably what I’ll write about next!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this article!

By Jack Bulmer

@J_Bulmer

Area:   UK   Britain   East of England   East Midlands   London  North East   North West    Yorkshire    Scotland   South East    South West    Wales   West Midlands

Introducing a New Creatabot Contributor – Jack Bulmer – Game Designer

We like to include all types of creatives in Creatabot which is why we are really pleased to have Jack working with us. Jack is a game designer from Rainham in Kent. We wanted to know more about how and why Jack got into game design so ran a few questions by him…

So Jack, have you always been creative?

Well, my Mum always said I was born with a pencil in my hand so I guess it started from there, although to be fair it was probably a few years later before I actually picked up that pencil and did useful stuff with it. I’m pretty sure she’s still kept a load of my old drawings, that’s embarrassing. I sort of pottered around until I left school, not knowing what path to take.

How did you end up working in game design?

I studied Art and Design at GCSE and enjoyed it, but it felt more restricting than creative. Its more luck than anything that I fell into games. There was a course in Games Development just starting that year at Canterbury College, so I did that instead of going to Sixth form. This just naturally led onto Games design at degree level. I won a design competition at university that allowed me to work on and publish a game, so in five years or so, I went from no experience just leaving school to being a published game designer.

What other career paths have you taken?

I had a brief stint where I wanted to be a teacher abroad, but apart from that, I’m pretty focused on becoming a Game Designer. It’s a competitive industry, so I think I’ll have to put my all into it to really succeed. I’ve toyed with things relating to game design, animation, computer art and 3d modelling. I think I would be happy doing anything creative really, but I suppose my dream is to design games that are fun to play and carry a message of some sort.

Who inspires you both locally and universally?

It’s cliché to say, but you can get a good idea from anything if you think hard enough about it. For example there are a load of pieces of paper in front of me, you could take the properties of paper (foldable, light, stackable, you can draw on it) and apply this to something completely un-paperlike like, a man, and hey presto, you’ve got the basic idea for some sort of origami warrior videogame. You can couple this with any combination of other objects for interesting results. It makes the world a lot less boring when there are potential characters and game mechanics everywhere!

Locally, I think Medway is good because it is varied. In ten minutes I can be sitting by a river or be in the middle of a busy town. It’s certainly a good place to get a change of scenery fast!

What would you like to achieve in the future?

I’m working on a game right now with a team spread around the world. I’d like to see this project to completion and release it for free in the near future. My dream is to own my own game development studio and create games that are fun. I think the best work comes through collaboration, so I’m always looking for people to work with!

Can you recommend a creative website you love?

I have two! Polycount is the first one, it’s a forum for game art, mainly. Specifically if you want to begin creating game art and have no idea what to do, it’s a great starting point. I think just being exposed to it has passively improved my skills. They run competitions and tutorials so you can improve yourself, and the whole site is forum based so it’s designed for you to post a piece of work and ask for critique.

DeviantArt is another favourite. It’s really popular, if you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically an online gallery where anyone can upload anything. You can sort by category, so if you need some inspiration, it’s perfect.

We really look forward to reading articles by Jack and seeing how his work progresses.

You can keep up to date with Jack through Twitter.

Area – South East and Nationwide