Finding the right games conference can be a bit like finding the right house. You could find the ideal spot thousands of miles away and way out of budget. You could make a choice only to spends an age waiting and come away disappointed. And then there are the rare gems, where the price is astonishingly affordable, the quality remarkably good and any quibbles with location brushed under the carpet by the benefits of the experience. That’s our very long-winded way of introducing Adventure X as a great conference to go to.
We visited for 2018’s conference, which took place at The British Library on Euston Road, London. While its location in the nation’s capital may make staying there a bit pricey, it’s easy to get to and well situated for evening trips to popular sights like Westminster and Hamleys, for those who fancy a bit of tourism while they’re there.
Adventure X 2018 was funded on Kickstarter and sold out in record time. It boasted a great lineup, with slots ranging from post-mortems and tips on working with voice actors to live comedy acts (to finish up the day). If you’re into narrative design or writing for games in particular, it’s a brilliant experience. If you’re not, there were still between twenty and thirty games on display at the venue. It was certainly possible to try all of them over the weekend, without visiting any talks, and you should be able to get a fair balance between the two.
It’s also a fantastic opportunity for networking — yes, the dreaded word — with game-minded people from all around the globe. It was astonishing how many people introduced themselves over the course of the weekend, how people actually made an effort to move between groups of people to socialise rather than sticking to the people they knew. It was an incredibly friendly atmosphere.
In not too much longer we’ll get onto the games on display and what we thought of them, but first we thought we’d generalise a bit — because the afterimage we came away with was one of simplicity in design. A good portion of the games at Adventure X were stunning examples of simplicity. Clean graphics, intuitive gameplay and vibrant audio all served to bolster the core concept, the story they were trying to convey.
And in a narrative games convention, it’s the story that matters. Let’s take a look…