20th Feb2015

Play Blackpool 2015 – First Announcements

by Phil Wheat


It’s now just two and a half months until Play Blackpool is upon us and although we’ve been quiet on the news front that is all about to change from today – with a wealth of new announcements…

The classic arcade will be returning to Play Blackpool.

Retro Games Party (RGP) those purveyors of the very finest of arcade machines will be supplying cabinets again for this year’s show. The arcade is always one of the most popular features at the event and this year there will be 80 machines this year, all set to free play. Expect to see all your favourites – Space Harrier, Pacman, Star Wars, Galaxian or perhaps Outrun and give smashing your personal best one more go. If beating a PB isn’t your thing, come and watch Jon Stoodley try and get the perfect game on Pacman instead. Jon was so close at last year’s expo – is Play Blackpool finally going to be the show where he achieves his dream?

First wave of indies confirmed for Play Blackpool.

Last year Play Blackpool delivered a smorgasbord of indie titles and they’re continuing the commitment to supporting indie studios this year, with several studios confirmed for Play Blackpool 2015 and many more to come.

Back to Basics Gaming – Terra Incognita – http://www.backtobasicsgaming.com/

The world of Terra is slowly falling into chaos. A great war is coming and it’s time to take up arms against a corrupt royal family. You must travel across this huge world and unite the nations of Terra, recruiting comrades along the way.

Tall Studios – Shoot ‘Em Up Kit – http://www.tallstudios.com/

The Shoot ‘Em Up Kit enables anyone to create a professional looking game without the need for programming. By focusing on a single genre the Shoot ‘Em Up Kit is able to provide the tools, assets and options for making great shmups; whether that is side-scrollers, vertical scrollers, third-person, 2D, 3D or a whole new style no-one has dreamed of yet.

New Reality Games – Data Hacker: Reboot – http://www.newrealitygames.co.uk/

The stage is set for a struggle that spans many Worlds and their people; a struggle that is bigger than any man, woman or child. Who knows what trials you will face, what adversity you will defy in your quest for the true meaning of existence?

Even more GamesThatWeren’t

One of the more unusual features last year was the GamesThatWeren’t (GTW) feature. GTW is a website dedicated to news around the world about unreleased games, incomplete games or prototype games and findings. This year Play Blackpool will be bringing you even more Games that literally weren’t with the help of Frank Gasking, one of the site creators and with some contributions to the display from some special guests. More on that to be revealed in due course. Frank will be bringing his personal C64 setup containing the entire GTW64 collection to load up titles and demonstrate any new findings as part of the feature. He will be on hand to talk about the archive, how it was started and discuss their best findings so far.

Andrew Oliver confirmed as first guest for Play Blackpool

Andrew and his brother Philip Oliver initially rose to fame as the ‘Oliver Twins’ in the 1980s when they developed several hugely successful franchises, including the ‘Dizzy’ adventures and the ‘Simulator’ series. Andrew co-founded Blitz Games Studios with Philip in 1990, where he guided the company in all technical aspects. Along with the team, he developed many original and licensed games and worked with huge clients such as Activision, Electronic Arts, Hasbro, Microsoft, THQ, Namco, Konami, Intel, Disney, DreamWorks and Sony. Andrew is now responsible for the technical side of Radiant Worlds. The Oliver Twins said:

We’re really looking forward to reminiscing at Play Blackpool about our last 30 years in games, as well as looking forward to predicting a little of what the future holds. Our influences and experiences have taken us on an amazing journey since the Dizzy days and we can’t wait to show everyone the cool new stuff our team is creating on our latest title SkySaga.

As well as giving a talk, Andrew will be contributing to our GamesThatWeren’t feature and will be on-hand to sign some of your memorabilia.

RetroCollect spear-heading Retro Tournaments

The RetroCollect guys are keeping their plans for Play Blackpool under a veil of secrecy – it’s a need to know basis and even the organisers apparently don’t have the right level of security clearance. All we’ve been told is that it will be ‘completely awesome’ and there will be a selection of gaming challenges so diverse there will be something for even the most casual of gamers. Also, wearing two different hats during the weekend will be RetroCollects Katsu aka RetroGradeGamer. Pioneer of the ‘one shot challenge’ Katsu is also keeping tight-lipped on his plans but you can bet it will involve Shmups!

Classic Gaming Championship heat confirmed for Play Blackpool

The UK’s first and only National Classic Gaming Championships will return in 2015 with a heat scheduled for Play Blackpool. A full announcement will be made through the CGE website very soon on all other planned heats, but competitive gamers should mark Play Blackpool in their diaries as one of the locations for this years’ championships.

Play Blackpool takes place on 2nd – 4th May 2015 at the Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre in Blackpool. Tickets can be purchased through the website www.playblackpool.com.

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