Another GameCamp has passed, and there’s been a few people murmuring that it may have been the best one yet. It’s hard for us on the committee to tell because we’re so far inside the event that it’s difficult to see out (speaking personally I was able to attend one session over the day, and that was the one I ran), but it felt like a thoroughly good way to spend a Saturday. If you missed it, here’s what you missed:
- More than sixty talks and demonstrations;
- The chance to play Tenya Wanya Teens, the extraordinary new game by the creator of Katamari Damacy;
- An amazing variety of game prototypes, playtests and demos from digital and tabletop designers, including a contingent from the London Educational Games meetup group (LEGup);
- A session of Rob ‘Playniac’ Davis’s extraordinary Cat On Your Head that devolved into Elephant On Your Head;
- Hundreds of playtest and demo sessions;
- The ever-popular library of board-games;
- Free ‘Gamify the Washing-Up!’ tea-towels for all
There’s a gallery of pics here. If you’ve posted any yourself, please link to them in the comments below.
GameCamp isn’t the sum of its parts, it’s the sum of its attendees. The committee get a lot of thanks but mostly we book a venue and make sure there’s coffee and lunch; you people provide the rest. Thank you all for making it so good.
Special thanks go to:
- London South Bank University for the venue space
- Our volunteers: Krishna Israney, Andrew Bell, Darren Grey
- Haberdashery and Playniac for their fantastic sessions
- Jo Summers for running the games library
- All maps and graphics by Emmeline Pui Ling Dobson
- Hello Coffee To Go for coming down from Stansted to sate our caffeine requirements
- George Buckenham for bringing Tenya Wanya Teens
- Princi’s for catering
- The Ship pub for the after-event
The GameCamp 6 organisers were (alphabetical order): Emmeline Pui Ling Dobson, Erlend Grefsrud, Rob Harris, Siri Hommelsgard, Jeff Sheen, Jo Summers, Siobhan Thomas, Philip Trippenbach and your humble scribe James Wallis.
GameCamp will return, possibly in the autumn. If you’d like to be a part of the low-commitment affable crew of games folk who make it happen, or you have any suggestions for what we should do next, or you want to give us your thoughts on how the day went, then we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line, or post a comment below.
Hello! GameCamp is on Saturday and we’re looking forward to seeing you. Here’s a few notes in advance:
The doors of the Keyworth Centre will open at 9.30, with the first sessions kicking off at 10.00. We’re finishing up at 4.30, after which everyone will be adjourning to the Ship, at 68 Borough Road.
Getting to LSBU: this website does a better job of giving you directions than we could. The Keyworth Centre is building 13 on the map. Closest tube is Elephant and Castle.
Food and drink: we will be providing lunch and soft drinks, and there’ll be a lovely coffee van on site.
If you want to give a talk or run a session—and it can be on anything at all relating to games—you write the details on a card (provided) and stick it in an empty slot on the big board to show what time and room it’ll be in. Slots are usually 25 minutes: you can book a double or triple slot if you really need to but don’t get greedy. Here’s the science bit: now fill out a second card with the name of your talk and its timeslot, and put it on the door of the room you’ll be using.
If you want to run a digital demo or playtest, many of the rooms have big TVs or projectors. However you’ll need to bring a VGA cable and audio cable, or a component-video cable to connect your device to it.
A gong will sound for the end of each session.
Hashtag for the day is #gamecamp6. Be warned: phone reception and 3G in the building can be sucky.
Board-game library: we’ve got the usual stock, of course, but if you want to lend us anything for the day (and board-game prototypers we are particularly looking at you) then please bring it along. We’d be really grateful.
If you have friends who want to come but who missed out on tickets, it’s £20 on the door. Don’t tell everyone or there won’t be enough lunch to go round.
Things we know will be happening: George Buckenham will be showing off Tenya Wanya Teens, the extraordinary game developed in collaboration with Keita Takahashi of Katamari Demancy fame. Haberdashery will be along with a range of clever and bonkers physical games to awaken the kid in you. Playniac will be running Cat On Your Head. Haberdashery will be showing off a range of their delightful games. James Wallis will be playtesting Once Upon a Time in a Galaxy, the latest iteration of the best-selling Once Upon a Time card-games. And you—what are you bringing to delight us?
Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday.
GameCamp is coming up at the end of this week, and tickets came off sale at the weekend. A few people have asked if they can still get into the event. Yes you can! There are two ways:
- You can volunteer a couple of hours of your time to help the event to run smoothly—this will probably be on the registration desk, or helping to get food and drink into the building. Helping out means you can turn up early and get exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the GameCamp committee. If you’re interested, drop an email to email@example.com
- You can pay on the door. £20 to you, squire or squiretrix. We accept cash or bitcoins, except we’re lying about the bitcoins.
The hashtag for the day is #gamecamp6 in case you’re so tremendously excited that you want to start tweeting about it now.
Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday.
Tickets for Gamecamp 6 are on sale now. The first batch went in 42 minutes, and we are in awe of your credit-card-entering skills. There’s a few of the second batch left, but you may have to move fast. If you’ve missed out, the third batch will go live at 11am on Thursday 25th April.
Anyway, we still reckon that £15 for a full-day event including lunch is a steal of a deal.
GameCamp 6 will be on Saturday 18th May 2013, from 10am to 5pm, at the Keyworth Centre of London South Bank University. As usual it’ll be a full day of multidisciplinary gaming discussion, theory and practice. And we have been assured that this time they won’t be replacing all the carpets in the building.
There’s a theme this year: Show and Tell, or Run What You Brung. Bring along a game you’ve made, a prototype you’ve got in testing or a work you have in progress, and be ready to show it off and talk about it. Digital or physical, both are great. Have a session to crow about your success or explore why something failed, or asking where you go from here, or to pull people into your new project. Get people to playtest and give you feedback on the day. Unashamed bragging is absolutely encouraged. Let’s find out what an extraordinarily talented bunch we all are.
Tickets will go on sale in the next few days, and we’ll be posting more information here and via Twitter (@gamecamp).
Well, that seemed to go well.
It’s always hard, as an event organiser, to judge how an event has gone and how attendees have seen it. Things that cause us a lot of stress on the day—the fact the huge bean-bags weren’t delivered, for example—are invisible to 99% of the people present. But it felt like GameCamp 5 went well. People were having a good time. Tweets were overwhelmingly positive, and blog entries have been too.
We logged something over 220 people through the door. People reported that it felt like fewer, but that’s probably because we were managing the space a lot better so there was less crowding and congestion than at GameCamp 4. It was our second event at London South Bank University’s Keyworth Centre and I think we addressed all the criticisms that had been raised after the first one. There are still a few problems to be ironed out before the next GameCamp, but they’re comparatively minor.
If you’ve got any photos of the event, we would really like to get copies of them. You can email them to us, or send us a link to wherever they’re posted online.
The GameCamp committee extends its grateful thanks to:
- You, if you came. An unconference is all about its participants, and the very high quality of the talks and extra activities was all down to you. It’s almost unfair to single anyone out in particular, but special thanks go to Mary and Grant for bringing their arsenal of Nerf weaponry and running massive crowdsourced games over an entire floor of the building.
- Siobhan Thomas and the staff of London South Bank University for the use of the venue and all their help.
- London South Bank University and the National Film and Television School for sponsoring the event.
- All the volunteers, particularly the games-library staff.
- Strongman Games for help with logistics.
- The staff of the Student Union bar for opening specially for GameCamp attendees.
- Keith of Morgans Coffee Experience for bringing his coffee van.
- Under The Greenwood Tree for the modelling clay, and
- Princi for the food. (We pay for both of those, but both companies go above and beyond.)
- Anyone or anything I’ve forgotten.
The GameCamp committee is, in alphabetical order: Rachel Clarke; Emmeline Pui Ling Dobson; Rob Harris; David Hayward; Siri Hommelsgård; Ian Millington; Jeffrey Sheen; Siobhan Thomas; Philip Trippenbach; and James Wallis. Siri and Ian were unable to attend the event due to ill-health: we wish them both a full and speedy recovery.
If you have any comments about how the day ran, anything that was particularly good or bad, and any things we should consider as we’re planning GameCamp 6, then please post a comment below.
A quick note about tomorrow, mostly to do with catering. We’ve noticed that there’s a dearth of acceptable coffee places around Elephant and Castle, so our friends at Morgans Coffee will be sending one of their vans along on Saturday morning to serve fine cappuccinos, americanos, flat whites, and even teas and hot chocolates. This essential caffeine refuelling station will be parked outside the entrance to the Keyworth Centre: you can get your jet-fuel on the way in, or step out at any point to refuel.
Lunch will be supplied by the estimable Princi, who provided last year’s spread. Less foccacia this time, more salads, more selection for vegetarians. If you bring your own sandwiches you’re a mug.
Once again there will be a freebie on the door, with a game attached to it, and a prize at the end. Not Lego this time, sorry, but we think you’ll be entertained.
And when things wrap up at 4.30, we’ve arranged exclusive access to the LSBU Student Union Bar on Thomas Doyle Street. With tables large enough for gaming and beer at student prices, we think it’s the perfect way to finish off the day.
The hashtag for the event is #GC5.
See you tomorrow!