First of all, apologies for not updating this blog for a few months. Intensive studying and completing assessments for my degree has taken up most of my time. I’ve also just started to work on my dissertation and my first EP, so the workload is not going to vanish anytime soon.
In among all of the stresses and joys of the degree and freelance composer life, I managed to get an evening off to meet and greet some of the great people in the games industry.
The occasion was a charity event in Guildford, hosted by Supermassive Games. Supermassive Games are the clever lot behind the likes of 'Hidden Agenda' and 'Until Dawn' (one of my favourite PS4 exclusive titles at the time of typing). Gaming companies entered teams to challenge each other in a variety of video games. All of the proceedings for event went to Games Aid, who support a number of smaller charities helping disadvantaged and disabled children and young people. As of 3:34pm on 18th May 2018, they had raised a very impressive £1650.
This was my first time at such an event, so I had no idea what to really expect to be honest. I can remember feeling a bit anxious before the event. Regardless, I paid my £5 entry fee and got myself a drink at the bar, (a truly magnificent way of calming anyone's nerves if you ask me ;P), before mustering up the courage to head outside into the pub’s large courtyard to introduce myself to some of the movers and shakers of the gaming industry.
I was totally unprepared for the large amount of bodies that seemed to densely populate the courtyard and I was overwhelmed with choice of people to meet. I found it incredibly daunting, as was on my own, and did not know anyone there. Fortunately, I soon spotted Tom Puttick and Phil French of Cedar Studios (see previous blog). We spent what must have been a good deal of time catching up with with what had been going on in the few months since we had last seen each other and had a lot to catch up on. Mark Webley, director (and my current employer) at Two Point Studios soon joined us.
As I helped myself to another drink at the bar, the main attraction of the event began; the playing of the Indie games on Steam (the digital distribution platform developed by Valve in case you have been living under a rock since forever). I spent the rest of the evening cheering on my colleagues at Two Point Studios, who won the event this year.
One of the things I noticed that evening is that everyone present, from Two Point Studios, to Criterion Games and the hosts themselves were incredibly supportive of everyone there, despite essentially being industry rivals. There was no heckling, no insults, no negativity and certainly no cheating. Everybody just wanted everybody else to do the best they can. I felt this must have reflected their day jobs, encouraging each other to make brilliant games which in turn would make hoards of people happy. I struggle to think of any other industry where 'the opposition' are so friendly to each other. It was quite the heart warming moment when I first noticed this.
(The above two pictures are from a post on my Instagram page, which you can find here).
As the night went on, I began to make my face and name known to a whole variety of people in the games industry, most of those people were from Supermassive Games, who I always forget for some reason have a mammoth team. We talked about games (surprise, surprise), and everyone I spoke with was really optimistic about the future for video games, how that they are far more sophisticated than they were ten years ago. How a lot of games now have narratives that rival Hollywood films, some arguably are far superior than Hollywood. Of course that could just be my heavily biased opinion.
Game sound design and music has also matured, with full orchestras now being the norm, often at the likes Abbey Road and AIR Studios in Lyndhurst, which have homed many a film soundtrack. All the time, developers are constantly re-imagining how we play games, new ways to immerse, engage, and surprise the player. Like the developers present at the event, I have a huge passion for video games (in case you couldn't tell) and it genuinely excites me what will be released in the future, and what unique stamp of story telling will be bestowed upon the world.
(This is not one of my pictures, but one that can be found on a Tweet done by Two Point Studios, which you can find here)
It was a really wonderful night, that only cemented my passion for all things video game related. That night, I properly felt at one with the gaming industry. After that night, I can understand why it is called a gaming 'family', given that wherever I went, everyone seemed connected having worked with each other on a variety of games. This would explain why everyone was so supportive of each other. It was nice to see that those who were present at the event just got along!
I will try and update this blog more frequently than I have been, but I cannot make any promises at the moment. Until then, I hope that you all stay safe play lots of video games and make lots of (good) and productive noise like me (he says modestly)! The next blog will probably be something EP, related so stay tuned!