Animex 2013 Preview

I'm getting very excited. It's coming up to one of my favourite times of the year.

Animex.

A captive audience
Simply put, it's one of the best games and animation festivals around. It takes place every year in sunny [sic] Middlesbrough and is one week of pure awesome. You get to hear tons of cool stuff from the top people in the industry and see some amazing things. Previews of upcoming projects and post mortems of classics.

The first two days are devoted to games, the third day houses creative workshops and the final two days are all about film and animation. Everyone is super friendly - the whole thing has more of a family vibe than an industry shindig - and the amount of face time and access you get to these people is second to none. If something like E3 or GDC is comparable to the Monaco Grand Prix with all the glitz, glamour, chest-thumping and fame-seeking, Animex can be likened to the Goodwood Festival Of Speed. The Lounge events, in particular, can be analogous to wandering around the paddock and sticking your head in the cockpit of these classic cars whilst chatting to the famous driver.

Jim Gentile - Legendary. And scary.
Animex also has an international flavour with both speakers and attendees coming from every corner of the globe. The Norwegian contingent is normally pretty strong despite the diplomatic efforts of Jim Gentile - we're not ruling out the possibility that the cheapness of the alcohol has something to do with it.

I was fortunate enough to be invited up several years ago to do a talk and even more fortunate to be invited back every year since then. Most of the time, I run a workshop on game design and creation where we get people making games out of anything that I happen to find on my way to the lecture room.

This year, as well as some workshop chaos, I will be moderating a panel on Indie Game Development. Leastways, that's the plan. At the time of writing, I've got a couple of days to see if I can't figure out some method of gamifiying the panel a little bit.


Eating dessert with Modern Warfare's Lead Designer
Personally, I always look forward to meeting up with people like Ken Wong, Jim Zubkavich, Ed Hooks, Stuart Sumida and the rest of the gang. This year, I'll get to hang out with the awesome Rhianna Pratchett (with whom I have great discussions about narrative) and Ella Romanos (with whom I get very drunk). I'll also get to meet Austin Wintory whose soundtrack forms the backdrop to my day on a regular basis. Then there's the crazy guys from Henchman & Goon and the Noroff lot.

If you're looking for advice on how to get into the industry, then there are few better opportunities than Animex. If you're already in the industry, there are few better networking opportunities than Animex - you'll find eager and talented students filled with potential and be able to pick the brains of your peers at the same time.

Rest assured, there'll be another blog post with all most of the details... okay, some of the details, when I get back.
Networking with The Empire

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