We travelled down to Birmingham for the weekend as we had tickets for Rezzed 2013, a PC and Indie game expo hosted by the 'Rock, Paper, Shotgun' crew and Eurogamer, at the NEC.
Rezzed is a more traditional gaming convention with playable demos on the show floor, when compared to the more business orientated Games Horizon. I was really excited to see Chris Avelone talk about their upcoming, old-school RPG, Project Eternity, as the Baldur's Gate series of games are still some of my all time favourites. There was also playable, early code for Rome II: Total War, so I was interested to see if Creative Assembly had learnt their lesson from earlier TW release disasters.
The show floor was a little smaller than I thought it would be, filling only a small section of the NEC, however there were plenty of games on show and the atmosphere was very friendly. The first panel of the day, 'Is Storytelling in games getting any better?' was worth the price of admission alone, hosted by John Walker (RPS), it featured a host of industry experts and their opinions on the future of storytelling in games.
On the show floor I got to play, The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, Heart Surgery Simulator, Space Hulk, Splinter Cell, and Rome II among others. Funnily enough the Rome II stand was surprisingly empty and my first attempt at the battle demo didn't instill me with confidence as the troops I controlled scattered everywhere after giving them simple move commands. On the second day I tried again and things had improved but the game seemed far from ready especially with the release day looming.
The Second day was rounded off with a talk by Chris Avellone on the development of the hugely succesful Kickstarter-Backed RPG, Project Eternity.
Whilst I really enjoyed Rezzed it certainly wasn't an event for networking like Games Horizon was, and the travel to Birmingham was quite lengthy. There was talk of moving the event to Manchester and if that was the case I'd certainly go again but Birmingham is a bit of a trek. The developer sessions were extremely interesting, the atmosphere was great but one thing i thought missing was the lack of game merchandise stores, I think next time I'll load up a van with merch, register for a stall and make a killing!