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An interview with the Insomnia team

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We sit down with the Insomnia event team and get the latest on the upcoming event this March 22-25! It looks to be one of the biggest ever, so read a sneak peek here at what’s coming up!

E4G: Insomnia is one of UK’s biggest gaming festivals. What are the key areas that new attendees would be interested in discovering?

Multiplay: We have the first UK hands on of Injustice which should be a massive draw. We also have a Retro Gaming Section, a Fighting games section as well as the LAN Hall which, for first timers is always very interesting to see!

E4G: Events that have run for several years have quite a history behind them, even in a newer industry like games. What is Insomnia’s history, and where do you expect to see the event in five years?

Multiplay: We have been running gaming events for over a decade and it’s just gotten bigger and bigger. Originally this was a PC gaming only event, but in recent years has incorporated console gamers. The series of events, referred to as the ‘iSeries’ are sequentially numbered and run 3 times a year, typically with one around Easter, with the others usually hosted in August and November. The original events were hosted at Newbury Racecourse in the United Kingdom from i5 to i33 then insomnia was relocated to Stoneleigh Park for i34.

From i38 to i42 the event returned to Newbury. As of our i43 event, the events have moved to Telford International Centre, where they remain to this date. These events have now evolved with professional competitive tournaments and large exhibition halls. Sometimes referred to as “The Glastonbury of Gaming” Insomnia continues to be the biggest festival of its kind in the UK. The first Insomnia: Insomnia99 was a 300-player event. At that point, it was, and remains the largest LAN party held in the United Kingdom.

As of March 2013, Insomnia is now in its 48th festival and attendance for any given festival is over 5,000 people. The record for the largest amount of LAN BYOC attendees was made at the i46 event which had 2247 people. In five years I see the event getting even bigger.

E4G: Speaking of traditions and history, we were looking at the list of “What’s On” events on the Insomnia main site. What is “The Boat Race”? 🙂

Multiplay: The Iseries is so much more then just a gaming festival, for example The Boat Race, is a drinking completion and a LAN staple. The punters go head to head with the Insomnia/Multiplay staff in a long chugging race to the finish. I don’t think the punters have ever won, or at least not to my knowledge ;p We have other traditions too, such as “Classy Saturday”, where our customers don posh attire to show the world that LAN gamers smartern up too! We run a food ordering system that delivers food and beer direct to every computer at the flick of a button. As well as a World Famous Raffle, a Pub Quiz and calls for ‘The Box’ whenever sponsors throw goodies into the crowd. It’s an event full of tradition, jokes and community events. We expect many more traditions to be made by the end of the year.

E4G: The event is set to take place at a new location this year, the Telford International Centre. Why the change?

Multiplay: The event has been in Telford now for a few events, and we changed manly because we needed more space! The event is hugely popular and we need to be able to adapt to more and more exhibitors, lanners and tournaments, for example this event we are opening up an area in the LAN hall for Table Top Gamers, specifically Magic the Gathering players. We want it to truly become a festival of gaming, all types of gaming. This means, MORE SPACE!

E4G: What keynote speakers and celebrity guests can attendees expect to see at the event?

Multiplay: The event attracts a lot of top gaming talent including professional eSports teams like Dignitas, many well known Starcraft players and off course our commentators like Madals, A_Spec and Redeye have put in appearances at previous events.

We also have our Charity of the year for 2013 SpecialEffect in attendance this year with their ambassadors.

E4G: Tournaments are a large part of Insomnia. Which ones can attendees look forward to this year, even if they do not intend to directly participate?

Multiplay: The ESET UK Starcraft Masters, The Razer League of Legends Cup, Mad Catz Strike Challenge (CS:GO), TF2 Sponsored by Aquatuning, FIFA13 Sponsored by Mad Catz, COD:B2 and Minecraft 😀

E4G: Teams and guilds are a huge part of what brings gamers together at events like Insomnia. How are you supporting player groups for games that are being presented?

Multiplay: We have various prizes on offer and sponsors for each event, totaling over £30,000- check out our website for all the info on the cash pools!

E4G: For those that are unable to attend what online channels are best to view the latest tournament news and other event updates?

Multiplay: Our website at iseries.multiplay.co.uk is constantly updated. We will also be streaming the entire festival via twitch.tv/multiplay theres also our Facebook: /multiplay /insomniagamingfestivals and our Twitter.

E4G: For those hoping to attend in 2014, when is the earliest we can expect to see news about next year’s date?

Multiplay: We have all the dates available for this year as well as Facebook pages for each event. You can even buy season tickets via our website, as well as choose your seats for I48 in the LAN hall.

Our next iseries is 22rd-25th- don’t miss out! As far as next year goes, we’ll have to wait and see…

E4G: We can’t wait to cover the event further, thanks Multiplay team!

The Results of the Winter Nights Mobile Games Conference 2013

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February 21, St. Petersburg, Russia – The Winter Nights, the largest event in Europe devoted exclusively to the development and marketing of mobile games, took place on February 8-9, 2013. More than 600 professionals from 270 companies took part at the event: developers, publishers and other game industry professionals.

During the two days the Winter Nights participants discussed how to create a mobile game that reaches millions of players, how to transform games into profitable business and how to properly monetize them. Experienced speakers from companies which made Angry Birds, Clash of Clans, Diamond Dash, Galaxy on Fire and other global hits, revealed secrets of success.

Also there were summed up the results of 2012, were discussed industry outlooks and trends. “Mobile games are phenomenon that have forever changed the culture of digital content consumption. This is something that has forced developers and publishers to search for new ways of interacting with mobile gamers” – said Pavel Ryaykkonen, distribution director at Nevosoft, a leading Russian game publisher and developer which became the organizer of the Winter Nights conference.

The conference was supported by platinum sponsors: i-Free, Big Fish, Social Quantum and WebMoney.

You can watch a short movie about the Winter Nights:

About the conference: the WN conference takes place twice a year in St. Petersburg, Russia and now is the largest conference in Europe exclusively devoted to mobile gaming. The third show will gather industry pioneers and new market players (more than 800 people altogether) in June 2013.

About organizer: Nevosoft is a casual game publisher and developer. It delivers downloadable and online entertainment software for iOS, Android, WP 7, Windows and Mac. With its fast-growing game catalog, user install base (more than 10 mln) and great experience, Nevosoft offers very competitive rates for publishing your game across a variety of mobile platforms.

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Contacts: wnconf@nevosoft.com

Cliff Bleszinski, Jason Vandenberghe to Keynote East Coast Game Conference

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Feb. 25, 2013 – Cliff Bleszinski, former Epic Games Design Director, and Jason Vandenberghe, Ubisoft Montreal Game Designer, will keynote this year’s East Coast Games Conference (ECGC) April 24-25, 2013 at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, N.C.

Bleszinski, a veteran of the video game industry, shipped his first commercial title, Jazz Jackrabbit, in high school. During his tenure at Epic, Bleszinski was a key visionary behind the award-winning, multimillion-selling Unreal game series and the billion-dollar Gears of War franchise, which has eclipsed 19 million copies sold worldwide and crossed over into novels, comics, film, action figures and merchandise. He also lent his creative expertise to Fortnite, ChAIR Entertainment’s Infinity Blade series and multiple unannounced projects.

Vandenberghe, another veteran AAA action/adventure game designer, started out as a programmer on The X-Files Game and then spent six years at EA making James Bond games: Agent Under Fire, Nightfire, Everything or Nothing (his first lead design role) and From Russia With Love. He later worked on The Godfather and Lord of the Rings: The Third Age. Vandenberghe then moved to Activision where he actively contributed to X-Men: The Movie Game, the Call of Duty and Guitar Hero franchisesand Spider-Man. In 2008, he was offered an opportunity he couldn’t refuse: to make 1st-person sword & gun play fun at Ubisoft Paris.

The IGDA is presenting the ECGC conference this year. In addition to a Games Design, Programming, Art/Animation and Mobile Games tracks, ECGC will offer Writing for Games, Serious Games, Game Careers and a faculty track: Game Education.

“We’ll befeaturing a world class group of speakers,” Dustin Clingman, Chair, IGDA, said. “We’re bringing learning opportunities closer for developers in the eastern half of the U.S. and any other industry professionals that want to join us.”

Individuals interested in attending can register at: http://east-coast-game-conference-2013.eventbrite.com/

About East Coast Games Conference
Once called the Triangle Game Conference, the East Coast Game Conference (ECGC) has become a leading forum for industry professionals to share expertise, network and build careers.

About IGDA
The International Game Developers Association is a global, non-profit membership organization serving individuals who create video games.

Birmingham braces for biggest Gadget Show Live yet

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The UK’s biggest five-day consumer electronics event, Gadget Show Live, has today announced an additional 2,000 Super Theatre seats, capacity for 15,000 extra visitors and the biggest variety of interactive on-site features ever seen for 2012.

Taking place at the NEC, Birmingham from 11-15 April 2012, the event is based on the popular Channel Five TV show and is widely recognised as the best place to see, try and buy the latest consumer technology. With all Friday, Saturday and Sunday (13-15 April) tickets already sold out, 2012 is set to be the biggest show yet.

Now in its fourth year, the show will still the latest technology from the world’s leading electronics firms, such as LG, O2, HP, Epson, Pioneer, Phillips, Canon and JVC. Visitors can try out the new OLED TVs alongside smart and connected home technology, 3D projectors, 3D and HD camcorders, as well as new tablets, phones, laptops and gaming consoles; manyof which will be on show for the first time in the UK.

Read more at iambirmingham.co.uk.

Video: Presentations from Game Design Expo 2013

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Game Design Expo 2013 has come and gone, but if you couldn’t be there, here’s your chance to see what you missed. We’ve just launched hours of free video presentations captured at Industry Speaker Day.

  • What’s in store?
  • Lift the cover off Halo 4‘s storytelling, sound design, and co-op campaign
  • Learn ways to make your games meaningful yet engaging
  • Watch Ubisoft’s Patrick Plourde (Far Cry 3) issue an exciting challenge for the future of games
  • Hear tips on getting your indie game noticed from journalists and developers

That’s on top of an archive of talks from 2012, 2011, and 2010 – it’s a whole lot of insight and inspiration. Check it all out in the Game Design Expo’s Videos section.

Photos: Seattle goes Victorian for Steamcon IV

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Steamcon is a steam punk convention held in Bellevue, WA. Thousands come for three days of cosplay, vendors, live music and more. October 27th 2012.

Steamcon

Read more at Komonews.com: http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Photos-Seattle-goes-Victorian-for-Steamcon-IV-176410621.html

Mobile Gaming USA: Big Business, Brands and Bad Games

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Takeaways from this week’s conference: Big business dominating the market, handsets as TV controllers and the cost of user acquisition

The Mobile Gaming USA conference last week was a gathering of executives in the mobile gaming industry along with people in associated businesses. The conference, held at the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco, had numerous sessions dealing with a range of topics concerning the business of mobile games, from technical sessions to marketing, from branded advergames to HTML 5. Here are the highlights of the conference, presented in key quotes…

Read more at gamesindustry.biz.

Sociality Rocks Moscow Conference 2013 postmortem

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From Lingplay.com: The conference gathered more than 500 people from over than 120 companies. Developers from different countries shared the top experience with both newbies and industry veterans. More than 20 lectures were held on the event.

Conference visitors had a unique chance to discuss top trends and most recent tendencies in social gaming with star speakers from GameInsight, GREE/OpenFeint, 6waves, Kontagent, Mamba, Crazy Panda and many others.

Russian social games market moves very fast: more and more young and perspective companies getting on an IPO while the industry veterans expand and open affiliates abroad. Alice Chumachenko (CEO at GameInsight) announced branch office opening in San Francisco. GameInside’s new office will function as a publisher. It was mentioned that new trend goes on non-gaming and gambling apps. Apps like post cards creation, press readers, slot games will be in the center of attention very soon.

Read morte at lingplay.com.

BlizzCon 2012 Canceled, Battle.net World Championship Announced

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“Slated to take place in Asia toward the end of 2012, the Battle.net World Championship will host this year’s StarCraft II and World of Warcraft Arena World Championship tournaments. Blizzard gamers and eSports fans from around the world will be invited to attend and witness some of the most skilled pro players on the planet battle it out for cash and glory.” – Click here for Blizzcon’s main site.

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