Adventure X – 2012

Adventure X – 2012

I hate travelling.

There are few things in life that irritate me more than having to experience the sheer terror that is the British rail network. It is a bizarre realm where ticket prices are dictated by the rolling of dice, departure and arrival times are seemingly at random and your seat reservation is generally shared by at least three other people brandishing the same ticket as you. This weekend however, accompanied by the audio book of Max Brook’s World War Z,  I ventured forth to bring you news from the front line of adventure gaming at Adventure X 2012.

Following the success of the event last year in the small town of Didcot, this year’s event was a larger affair, bringing in visitors and speakers from as far afield as Europe and the US to the small backwater British cul-de-sac known as ‘London’, where at the University of East Anglia they met to share ideas and combine inventory items to their hearts content.

Infamous Adventures - Developers of Quest For Infamy
Infamous Adventures – Developers of Quest For Infamy

This year’s event was again organised by Mark Lovegrove in conjunction with members of the Adventure Game Studio forum and many others. AGS was originally developed by Chris Jones in 1997 and has since been used in the creation of both freeware and commercial adventure games for the past 13 years. Commercial titles using the software include Resonance, Gemini Rue and The Cat Lady, a title I took a look at only a couple of weeks ago here.

Guests speakers for the event included:

Dave Gilbert – publisher and developer of the Blackwell saga

Lewis Denby – Executive Editor of Beefjack

John Ingold – CEO of Inkle Studios

Alex Warren – Creator of the Quest game engine

In addition, there were a great many fascinating presentations by amateur developers keen to show off what they’ve been spending their year working on.

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A crowd gathers around Astroloco: Because nothing says sci-fi like Trains In Spaaaaaaace!

Event organiser and publisher Mark Lovegrove was extremely satisfied with the success of the event.

“I was very happy to see so many people come together to enjoy and strengthen the adventure game scene. It was good to see it start to reach out to communities beyond AGS  and even to game design elements beyond adventure gaming. We easily doubled the numbers on the first event; the venue was bigger and better, the facilities were tip-top and I loved seeing London and all these inspiring people at Christmas.”

The annual Adventure-X event is still in its youth, but after only two years it is proving to be one of the highlights of the adventure-gaming community’s calender. With none of the pomp and circumstance surrounding the larger publisher events, it allows back-room developers to mingle freely with commercial publishers to share ideas, business cards and stories without being hindered by the astronomical costs involved in renting booths.

All that, and not a booth-babe in sight.

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