13 November, 2009

BAF 09 Day 2: Indie Gaming at BAF Game

The second day of BAF Game focused strongly on the current independent gaming scene and featured talks by a dazzling array of speakers.

First up on the Great Hall stage at the University of Bradford was Stuart Varrall from Fluid Pixel Studios. Based in Middlesbrough, Stuart’s company specialises in creating original games for the iPhone and mobile platforms.

Stuart talked about his Lemmings-esque puzzler, Kami Crazy, which was downloaded more than half a million times in the first three weeks of release, before showing exclusive footage of his latest cyber pet simulator, Animentals.



Visionary games director Charles Cecil then gave an enlightening talk about relaunching classic adventure games Broken Sword on the Nintendo Wii and DS and Beneath a Steel Sky on the iPhone.

Charles then introduced Ravi Govind and Aron Durkin, two animators and University of Bradford alumni who worked on the game and used it as a stepping stone into the games and animation industry. Ravi delivered an engaging step-by-step account of creating new characters for the game; from initial concept art to 3D modelling and skeleton rigging.

After lunch, games designer, writer and lecturer David Surman gave a passionate speech about the future of games, their position alongside other media and how the key to massive mainstream acceptance lies in the control system.

David then interviewed Erik Svedang whilst he played his multi-award winning game Blueberry Garden. Erik revealed that a major influence for his game was Shadow of the Colossus and that it took him three months to make working solidly on his own in his apartment from 8am to 5pm every day.



Sean Murray, Managing Director of new British start-up, Hello Games then stepped into the breach to deliver an inspiring presentation about the creation of Joe Danger. This soon to be released independent game was a colourful and fun mixture of Trials HD and an Evel Knievel toyset. Demonstrating an impressive level editor that lets players create their own courses, Joe Danger looks set to be a sure fire hit when it’s released next year.

Alex Wiltshire, online editor at Edge magazine then chaired an honest and frank panel discussion about the challenges of setting up your own games studio in the current economic climate.

Joined by Sean Murray, Stuart Varrall, Simon Barratt from Four Door Lemon and Pete McClory from Panoetic, the panel each iterated the need for passion, long hours and sacrifices of a social life needed to set up a successful business. Provoking a stream of questions from the audience, the discussions drifted into the University bar to conclude the day.

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