Game Makers Yorkshire and the North

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Photo of Tileyard North with demos

GaMaYo #21 was a blast!

Hundreds of developers and special guests including platform-holders, publishers and investors, who were very impressed by the games on show gathered in the fabulous Tileyard North for GaMaYo #21 on 23rd November. This was the first time the event has come out of Leeds. In spite of the move, there was record attendance and 20 new games being shown off. The event was headline sponsored by Tileyard North alongside event sponsor Lenovo and sponsor of the first drink for attendees was Coatsink. There were so many great pics and posts of the event we were spoiled for choice so here is a gallery of just some of them that were taken or shared…

During the event Game Republic announced its 20th Anniversary Award winners and Andrew Crawshaw, the founder of GaMaYo won the Community Player Award! Jamie Sefton of Game Republic said “Andrew’s work to support indie developers is truly inspiring. It has been a privilege to carry on the legacy of his work with GaMaYo. We are delighted that he is continuing to support the industry with new networks like Leeds Games Toast as he has such passion for games and supporting new developers to get started and get out there. Andrew is incredibly generous with his time, his contacts and his knowledge of game development, and is such a friendly, approachable and kind person – he very much deserves the Community Player award!”

For a full list of the Award winners and more happy photos click here. Thanks to Johnny Carr for taking fabulous award pics on the night. The event felt extra special because it celebrated successes of the past with rising talent of the future. The event formed part of the 20th year of Game Republic which has been supported by Official Partners Red Kite Games, Barclays and Escape Technology

For a flavour of the awards and expo event, Other Things produced a short video with music produced by Jamie Sefton. Just click in the space below and it should magically start playing.

If you missed the demos, GaMaYo and Game Republic member and all-round superstar Harry Flanagan managed to get 16 of the developers to share more information about the games on show. So here they are in their own words with links to his interviews. As well as award-winning games, VR, new formats including a playable book and early stage games, the demos also included the first public playable version of Sniper Elite VR: Winter Warrior being shown – a worldwide exclusive!

Sniper Elite VR: Winter Warrior is the next chapter from the highly successful Sniper Elite VR. This standalone DLC will have players once again take on the role of ‘The Partisan’ an Italian resistance fighter during WW2. Your aim is to find and destroy secret Nazi wonder weapons that they believe will turn the tide of the war.
Just Add Water / Rebellion

GNISTA is a unique interactive in-person experience, a bullet hell operated with a firelighter as the games controller! Twist the firestriker left and right to steer, collect trees for kindling then rapidly alternate to strike up a fire to slay 8 Norse gods corrupting the pines. As you play, you’ll be bathed in the light of two red LED strips, pulsing each time your firelighter twists. It’s white knuckle both in gameplay and in physicality.
If you can reach the 6th, 7th or 8th boss, you’ll win a small token of the boss you killed! Good luck.
Alex Johansson

Our Earth Your Choice is a short video game about the importance of protecting the environment. It was developed mainly over Zoom with 25 children and young people aged 8-20 years old during the Covid lockdowns. Choose your eco-activist character and take on important missions set in four different places around the world to improve the Earth’s health. The choices you make, and actions undertaken will determine the fate of the world.
One to One Development Trust

Emitime is a game that uses “time” as the overall theme! You will play as two characters, one from the present, and one from the past, and each character features a different art style and overall gameplay mechanic!  With the power of Emitime, they have gained the ability to communicate with each other across time. Witness how their stories interact with each other and the actions you take, might actually change the stories on each side!
Overworld Games Studio

Thunderstrike Reckoning is a fast paced shooter that rewards quick thinking and accurate shots to complete missions to move on with the level.
Daniel Speight

TeachQuest is a visual novel adventure where you play as a newly qualified teacher in the UK. Your first job is at Loxley High, a secondary school in Sheffield where your challenge is to get through your first term. As a new teacher, choose whether to help your students, further your career, or how to handle colleagues. TeachQuest was designed alongside real teachers and their anecdotes to highlight a more ‘honest’ side to teaching
Michael Saiger University of York Research funded project

Sandboard is a PC VR sand surfing and grappling game for Oculus Quest (2) and HTC Vive. With a sandboard at your feet and two grapple hands at your disposal, zip down sandy slopes, fly off boosts, and use your grapples to propel yourself through the Arverre badlands.
Elliot Mann

Witchmarsh is a platform-CRPG set in 1920s Massachusetts. Players create and manage a team of investigators in a story-driven supernatural mystery.
Inglenook Games

The Detectorist Guild is a cosy game, all about quirky British aesthetic, leisurely and accessible challenge, a (hopefully) fun gameplay loop of hunting for treasure with a (relatively) realistic simulation of a real metal detector. I am more than happy for the phrase “Stardew Valley-like” to be used (!) but with a more in-depth and slightly more mature story and a twist in the core gameplay.
Tom Garner

Experience a captivating journey with Book of Bhanu, a narrative driven, exploration, puzzle game from Snow Globe Interactive at the University of Huddersfield. Embark on a perilous adventure through the Kaya mountains with Bhanu and her spiritual guardian, encountering fascinating characters and overcoming challenging obstacles. Book of Bhanu combines the best of Death’s Door and Last Campfire to create a unique gameplay experience with stunning visuals, compelling storytelling, and immersive gameplay.
Snowglobe Interactive 

A multiplayer JRPG that allows for character customization that mimics a western RPG. A unique combat system and exploration drives players to diversify team makeups and think outside the usual RPG box. The title of the game is Village of Layne.
Labrador Studios

BLINK is a top-down retro-style horror game where you play as an overworked office worker who wakes up at his desk hours after his shift should have finished. You have to escape the office by facing strange monsters that chase after you, but looking at them drains you of your sanity. You can restore your sanity and your vision by blinking, but that in turn lets the monsters move faster. Escape the office, keep him sane, and blink when safe.
Kuba Krysztofiakl, Damian Fee and Jas Samsudeen from the University of Hull

Space Salvage is a darkly comedic retro sci-fi VR game, with overarching narrative aimed at the Meta Quest 2; featuring PCVR compatibility. Get started at your new job as a trainee pod operative for Space Salvage Corporation. Learn to skilfully manoeuvre your way through the galaxy in your one-person utility craft. Flying through the galaxy can get lonely. Thankfully, your enthusiastic, but amoral pod computer will keep you company, but remember, in space, no one can hear you clean!
Fruity Systems

Rules & Rodents is a puzzling adventure where you help a plucky mouse through tricky traps, rumble with rapscallion rats, and overcome the restrictive rules of their labyrinthian tower.
Gravy Crew

Clodhoppers is a light-hearted, pick up ‘n’ play, arena-based brawler rendered in a clay animated style. It’s Super Smash Bros meets Worms mixed with Gang Beasts, laced with Wallace and Gromit and a dash of zany humour, starring the inhabitants of the world’s strangest rural community.
Claymatic Games

Bullion: The Curse of the Cut-Throat Cattle
Pirate cattle! Horrible puns! An epic struggle for survival where allegiances can change in moments! Bullion is a local multiplayer brawler that combines competitive and co-op gameplay to bring back the classic friendly rivalries from the SNES and N64 era. Grab the treasure, and stab up your shipmates but beware! should the whole crew end up dead, it’s off to the locker with all of you!
Leda Entertainment

And finally…

If you missed this one, don’t be disheartened, we will be back on 23rd May for GaMaYo #22! Keep watching if you are in the Facebook Group for announcements and opportunities in-between too as there are always plenty of things going on. If you would like to attend more game dev events in the North, you can apply to join Game Republic too.

It was fabulous to see you all, and if you attended the event and would like to give us feedback, please complete the survey and you will have an option to enter our Free Prize Draw

If you like the look of the Game Republic limited edition, recycled, collectable and codeable beanie, then please donate to SpecialEffect with a suggested minimum donation of £5. These are limited edition, so when they are gone they’re gone… But if you want one, donate there and then email Game Republic or message GaMaYo on Facebook and all we will need is your postal address and proof of donation and we will send one to you…Subject to availability. Thanks very much to Kieran McMaster who kindly paid for 10 hats to be given to attendees on the night too – proving beyond doubt what a lovely network of game developers we have up here in Yorkshire and The North. See you next time!

Photo of Tileyard North with demos
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