Games industry legend Ian Livingstone was the guest of honour on Tuesday at the official opening of the new Bristol Games Hub. The newly launched non-profit organisation runs free networking and training events and affordable desk space for many of the cities thriving community of games developers. The event saw over 60 people from Bristol and the South West gather to hear Livingstone talk about his personal experience of video games, the changing face and importance of the industry to the UK at large.
Bristol Games Hub has grown through word of mouth with 23 developers signed up within 3 weeks. “The Directors have been running events and building the community in Bristol for the last 2 years, so it was a natural progression for us to develop a space where devs could also work together” said the Hub’s Director and coordinator Debbie Rawlings. “There is a real buzz for what we’re doing and all of our events, such as our monthly Unity group and the recent demo of the Oculus Rift, have been really well attended. New start-ups, young companies and freelancers need this kind of support to help them focus on creating and marketing their games and products so we wanted to create a vibrant, dynamic space to assist them.” Debbie is a co-founder of the Hub along with fellow Auroch Digital director Tomas Rawlings and Opposable Games’ Ben Trewhella. The Hub is supported by Digital Cultures Research Centre, UWE, The Pervasive Media Studio and Watershed, Creative England and Aquarela Developments.
The Games Hub is home now to 30 local developers and freelancers from new start-ups to more established teams. As well as multi-screen specialists Opposable Games and Endgame:Syria creator Auroch Digital, the Hub is home to Demon Apathy, Force of Habit, Large Visible Machine, ldexterldesign and Lo-Fi Games as well as developers from Qube creators Toxic Games, popular casual game developers Geek Beach and some very talented freelance designers, artists and illustrators.