It was a long day on Friday and it felt like it went by in a blur, however I do have some pros and cons about the trip we took down to Birmingham for EGX 2016.
- The experience itself was like no other; to be surround by so many like-minded people and with loads of different things to see was surreal. I’ve been to a few conventions before over the last 6 years I’ve lived in the UK, but none of them have had the energy and atmosphere like EGX.
- There were lots of companies showcasing their latest games, some of which won’t be hitting stores until next year. I didn’t get a chance to play any of the demos, but it was good to watch the ones I could being played by other visitors (some of the more popular games were restricted viewing).
- The careers corner was interesting and informative. I don’t have any specific plans on what I want to do after finishing this course (I’m already an advanced learner) but it was nice to get information on what could come next. The games industry is developing at a quick pace, where universities are finally offering well-rounded and useful courses to help students on their chosen career path.
- The developer sessions were very interesting, giving me a peephole-sized view into the huge world that is game development. Unfortunately I did miss one that I was looking forward to (Lazarus creators who are a team of four indie developers), but the Starbound panel was really good.
- EGX left such a good impression on me, I will likely go back next year for longer and take in the weekend as well. From what I’ve seen after we left on the Friday, there were still a few more developer sessions and events that I would like to have seen.
- I met a chocobo!
- Time felt like it was against me in experiencing the whole of EGX. We had 4 hours to wander around on our own, which was good, but didn’t quite feel like enough for playing the game demos (some lines were over 2 hours to wait).
- There were a massive amount of seller stalls, which sort of took over a majority of the floor space. While this is good in one way, I did find that I spent more time looking at merchandise because there weren’t as many open demo stalls or stalls to talk to staff about their games on display. However, saying that, I did get to meet a chocobo…
- The layout of the convention itself was extremely confusing and there was no noticeable floor map on show. I even spent time looking on the website and eventually had to ask a few staff members where the developer sessions were taking place (behind a curtain with very few markings).
Obviously there are more pros than cons about EGX. Not all conventions are perfect, but each one is fun to experience in its own right. Like I said above, I would like to go back again next year, but with a bit more preparedness and for a longer period of time. Thanks to the course for taking us!