[From the industry] Yorkshire Games Festival 2021: programme of online activities announced

This is a press release directly from the industry, selected by our editorial team for its importance, that we are reposting in addition to our usual coverage.

  • Yorkshire?Games?Festival: Bonus Level activities will be available online next month
  • Kicks off with online?Game?Talks from industry experts on 5 February
  • Young?game?fans can enter BAFTA’s Young?Game?Designers competition

The National Science and Media Museum is pleased to announce the programme for this year’s?Yorkshire?Games?Festival: Bonus Level?which will take place throughout February. This year’s festival will look different to previous editions with an online programme of activities to account for the latest COVID-19 guidelines.

The festival is returning for its fifth edition in 2021 and will kick off on Friday 5 February with a series of online?Game?Talks from high-profile industry guests. The impressive line-up of talks will be hosted by festival friends?Jordan Erica Webber?(podcast host and presenter of The Gadget Show) and?Keith Stuart?(author and journalist for The Guardian).

Speakers will include?Max Pears?of?CD Projekt Red,?the company best known for?The Witcher?series and upcoming?Cyberpunk 2077.?Sallyann Houghton of Epic?Games,?who will be exploring virtual production and in-camera VFX. ?Melissa Phillips from Silver Rain?Games, which launched in early 2020. Freelancer?Lucy Kyriakidou,?whose art has helped bring more than 20?games?to life. And?Max Mead, Senior Environment Artist at?Ubisoft Leamington.

Following the?Game?Talks there will be a virtual?Meet the Developers’ networking session?where delegates will be able to network with guest speakers and chat with like-minded people via the festival’s Discord server. In the evening, festival fans can also flex their?gaming?knowledge in?The?Guardian Virtual?Gaming?Pub Quiz. Quiz admission is included as part of a?Game?Talks ticket.

The festival will be teaming up with the National Videogame Museum’s?Yorkshire?Gaming?Podcast?for a special programme discussing thoughts, feelings, and favourite takeaways from the?Game?Talks. The show is run by a collection of?gaming?businesses in Sheffield and is hosted weekly on the National Videogame Museum’s?Twitch channel.

Tickets for the?Game?Talks are now available and can be booked via the?Yorkshire?Games?Festival website.?Joining instructions and other important information will be sent a few days before the event. Passes start from £5 each and group tickets are available.

World-renowned?Yorkshire?games?company?Team17, creators of?Worms?and publishers of?Overcooked?and?Yooka-Laylee,?will also be bringing back their?Virtual Usability Lab, but this time beaming directly to festivalgoers at home.?Games?usability combines psychology, sociology, and videogames to help make fun accessible, and connects developers to gamers by allowing them to do what they do best –?game!

By working with Team17 to help test new?games?in development, attendees will not only be providing valuable feedback to make?games?better for users, but it will be real-life experience to add to their CV. There are several time slots with limited space available on Friday 5 February, and those wishing to attend can sign up online now.

Throughout February there will also be festival activities available online on the?museum’s website?with a focus on younger?games?fans. Activities will include resources and videos from BAFTA Young?Game?Designers, great for anyone currently home-schooling during lockdown. BAFTA’s resources encourage and support young people to develop their own?games?which they can submit to the?Young?Game?Designers competition, where entrants can be in with a chance of winning a BAFTA YGD Award, along with once-in-a-lifetime experiences with top?game?makers and industry professionals.

To help improve access to learning resources and activities, the museum will also be distributing up to 2000 printed activity packs to families and schools in Bradford as part of the festival from February onwards.

The?Northern?Games?Showcase?will also be returning digitally, as an online feature illustrating the best new?games?the region has to offer. Throughout February, visitors to the website will be able to discover and play?games?from exciting local creators who are making?games?in?Yorkshire?and across the North.

Festival Director, Kathryn Penny, comments:?“This year’s?Yorkshire?Games?Festival will look quite different to previous editions with all activities taking place online to account for the latest COVID-19 guidelines. Regardless of this virtual approach, we are welcoming an amazing line-up of expert industry speakers at this year’s?Game?Talks and there will be a host of fantastic learning resources and?games?available online throughout February for families to have fun with at home. We’re looking forward to virtually seeing lots of faces, new and old, to celebrate the brilliant and ever-growing?games?industry in the North.”

On Thursday 28 January, the Science Museum Group will also launch the first of its new 11-part event series, Climate Talks. The first talk takes place online and will be presented by science broadcaster Dr Hannah Fry and a panel of experts, including famed conservationist Dr Jane Goodall, who will explore the big question: how will climate change affect our future? Tickets for this talk and future events in the Climate Talks series are available to?book online now.

For anyone currently home schooling there are also a number of exciting learning resources and science?games?available on the Science Museum Group’s?learning resources page.

Tickets for?Yorkshire?Games?Festival:?Game?Talks 2021 are now available and can be booked via the?Yorkshire?Games?Festival?website. Joining instructions and other important information will be sent a few days before the event.

Talks and masterclasses will be presented via Zoom Webinar with content becoming accessible on the day. There will also be a dedicated Discord server operating throughout the day for attendees to network with speakers, submit questions and to chat all things?gaming.

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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