Thursday 4th April 2019
I woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head and put on my glasses and my various wristbands and watch. I put on and did up my robe and made my way downstairs for breakfast. I had some (gluten-free) toast and honey and watched episode 7 of 'Paranoia Agent'.
I am now washed and properly dressed (I am a slow eater in the mornings) and begin to pack ones bag for EGX Rezzed the following day, as I would not have time to do that in on the day. I also made sure I had everything I needed for The BAFTA Game Awards that evening.
Knowing that it was highly likely that there was going to be a large meal that I would be unable to eat (I have MANY food allergies), I prepared myself a large(r than usual) lunch. It was a (gluten-free) pasta with a pesto sauce and bits of chicken, accompanied by the latest YongYea YouTube video. It explored the recent Kotaku article concerning Bioware's latest game, the online multiplayer game, 'Anthem'.
I am not one to toot my own horn, but my lunch was rather delicious! At the time, I thought I prepared too much, but I am glad that I forced myself to eat it all, because it meant I would not be hungry until much later on.
With little to do until late into the afternoon, I decide to play 'Warframe' on my PS4, as it is a game that doesn't require a lot of brain power to play and be good at. Whereas I have prefered to return to the gritty and dark RPG-esque 'Vampyr', that requires a lot of concentration and decision making, and my mind was all on The BAFTA Game Awards.
The weather was rather miserable outside, so my three cats, (closest to furthest away) Teddy, Lucy and Simba, kept me company. They also gave me a dead leg, as all three of them decided to lie on my leg, which was not very comfortable...for me at least.
I change my clothes from my usual smart-casual attire to the tuxedo I would be going to London in.
I began to feel rather nervous, as I was going to be in the presence of many great and talented game devs, many of whom were used to this sort of thing. It was my first time to this sort of thing and never in a million years that my first job would lead me down a red carpet!
I also knew that The BAFTA Game Awards was going to be on some television channels and would be streamed live on the likes of YouTube and Twitch. These things also excited me, as I was looking forward to meeting some of these people and expanding my contacts in the gaming world, as well as meeting my friends at Two Point and Cedar Studios.
I couldn't settle and had to find odd jobs around the house to do to pass the time, such as wiping up the plates and bowels from previous meals.
My taxi arrived, as hired by Gary, one of the founders of Two Point Studios. I was beginning to feel like a celebrity as the taxi was a fancy looking Mercedes-Benz with blacked out windows and the driver called me 'sir'.
The driver would then pick up David, one of the artists for Two Point Hospital, then Gary and his wife Karen.
The four of us arrive at the train station, get our train tickets and wait for the not so luxurious train to take us to London. It was rather weird being one of four people dressed up the way we were. It got plenty of weird and curious looks as we looked far too fancy for the part of The UK we live in.
We arrive at London Waterloo and begin our march to the Southbank Centre, the venue for The BAFTA Game Awards. I say 'march', as Karen, David and I were often left behind by Gary who just kept storming off ahead. He was a man on a mission, which was to claim his 4th BAFTA!
The four of us arrived at the Southbank Centre, and there were swarms of people around the fenced-off red carpet, most of which were in fancy outfits similar to mine (or in dresses). It was beginning to feel real now. I was attending The BAFTA Awards, surrounded by loads of amazing people and I may go home that night with a group of people who would win Best British Game (spoiler: that award was given to 'Forza Horizon 4' and not 'Two Point Hospital').
That would be the last time I would see of the Gary, Karen & David, as we would go our separate(ish). I spoke with various members of the Two Point and Cedar Studios, remembering to act my age and get some selfies and have someone take a photo of me on the red carpet, where I discovered I am quite the poser (see above).
I also met Marc Silk, the voice actor that provided his voice to the many Two Point Radio DJs who had me in hysterics during this time. He certainly is a character!
Me with Ben, designer at Two Point Studios
The Sounds of Two Point Hospital. From Left to Right; Tom, Yours Truly & Phil
Before we were shepherded into our seats, I summoned the courage to briefly speak to Lena Raine, whose soundtrack for the smash indie-hit 'Celeste' was nominated that night for Best Music (spoiler: that award went to 'God of War'). Whilst I have yet to play the game, a few of my friends had their lives significantly improved upon finishing the game and her music had a huge part of that experience. She has my utmost respect for that alone, as well as being a brilliantly unique composer. I obviously had to thank her for that, as well as congratulate her on the many successes she has had with the game and her music.
Lena Raine & I
We make our way in, and my seat was much higher up than the rest of the Two Point Studio team. I had an isle seat, so it meant I could stretch out a little bit which is always nice.
I was shortly joined by Lauren, the latest member of the Two Point Studio team who (at the time of typing) has been working there for 6 weeks. She is a UI (User-Interface) Artist. We were shortly joined by Ben once more and took more selfies.
Just before the show starts, Ben points out Cory Barlog, the creative director at SIE Santa Monica Studio who are responsible for the 'God of War' franchise, amongst other things. Cory was followed in by the voice actors from the latest instalment of 'God of War'. I can remember feeling almost giddy at the idea of being in the presence of such a talented story teller and voice actors.
The BAFTAs begin, hosted by Dara Ó Briain. If you missed it, you can watch it here.
The BAFTA Game Awards Stage with Dara Ó Briain
After for what like an eternity standing around waiting for the large cue of people to physically move, I manage to leave with Lauren (Ben I seemed to remember was able to get out just before us) talking about on out thoughts on the rewards before being utterly flabbergasted by the glamorous 61-2 dinner tables with pretty pyramid lights and fancy cutlery. My table was number 59 and had to walk to the other end of the hall to find it.
As suspected, I was allergic to the entire menu. This didn't turn out to be a problem, as I am very used to this sort of thing. Tom and Phil were quite happy eating my portions as well as their own anyway, so the food was hardly going to waste!
Because of said allergies, it is not often I go to eating establishments, restaurants being off the table (pardon the pun). Having waiters coming around every five minutes, constantly filling up my glass with water and calling me 'sir' was a weird experience that I wouldn't mind getting used to 😜.
My table (foreground) a Two Point Studio table (left) and another table (far right)
Another Two Point Studio Table
A voice from above (in the PA) declared, whilst people were still eating, that the After Party had commenced. I followed Tom and Phil of Cedar Studios outside to a little courtyard area and conversed with them and some of the Two Point Studio team.
My night would become more surreal when, from of the corner of my eye, I saw Jessica Curry, one of my more recent musical heroes. She composed the scores for the games 'Everybody's Gone to The Rapture' (that she won a BAFTA for) 'Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs', amongst others. I summoned the courage to introduce myself, which turned into quite the conversation about video games, the supporting music, some of our thoughts on the award nominations and me just shamelessly fan girling all over her. I was also fortunate enough to have a picture with her, which certainly a notable highlight of the evening for me.
Jessica Curry and I...SQUEAL!
I was found by Mark, the other founder of Two Point Studios. He told me that Karen was looking for me. Gary, Karen, David and I all needed to leave before the last train out of London left. I quickly gave my farewells to the Two Point Studio team, before dashing back to London Waterloo with Gary and co. I picked up some crisps to eat in the M&S found in Waterloo, as I was now starving. If we left the Soubthbank Centre a minute later, we would have missed the train home! I didn't particularly want to take the Two Point Banter Bus some four hours later, so I'm glad I left when I did.
On the carriage back, the four of us talked about The BAFTA Awards and exchanged our opinions on the awards. I would occasionally notice the adjacent seats that had a family sat there and the children would eye us up. This was probably due to how we we were dressed and I think there was some level of intrigue that there were four adults passionately talking about video games.
The four of us also had a quite a lengthy conversation about the best pubs in our area. Quintessential British conversation at it's finest!
When we returned to our hometown, we all complained about how colder it was and I moaned how dank the air was. We took two cabs home. Karen and Gary took one home, and David and I took a separate one. It was a fully electric cab that made next to no noise at all and had the smoothest ride I have experienced in a taxi.
I'm back home, waving Dave off before letting myself into my home and creeping upstairs to my room. I get changed and to go to sleep, ready for another trip to London where I would attend EGX Rezzed, which is a trade fair for video games held annually in the UK where I would network with various game devs to try and find more amazing people to collaborate with.
The location changes each year, this time it was in London's Tobacco Docks and I somehow managed the five or so hours there running on fumes.