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Top names in games industry to speak at Galway Games Gathering in GMIT

20 talks, Expo of Irish Indie games and Board Games Room open to the public to play

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Press Office

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Monday, September 11, 2017

Leading games developers, designers, artists and musicians from around the world will gather in Galway on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September for the inaugural Galway Games Gathering at GMIT’s Dublin Road (Galway) campus.

Hosted by GMIT in association with Romero Games and the Western Development Commission (WDC), the two-day event features 20 talks (ten each day) on design, art, code audio and production topics and an exhibition of Irish Indie games which gives the public a unique chance to play over 20 games currently being developed. Also featured is a board games room run by the Galway Gaming Tribe with over 30 different games available to the public and guests to play.

Organiser Manus Burke, founder of Howling Hamster Games, based in the GMIT Creative Hub, Galway School of Design & Creative Arts, says it promises to be the premier game development event in Ireland, showcasing emerging and current talent, and sharing all the latest news, developments and career opportunities in the industry: “What a lot of people don’t realise is that video games have eclipsed the earnings of film, tv and music.  In 2016 the film industry generated $84 billion in worldwide revenue compared with $105 billion generated by the gaming industry.”

The line-up of speakers includes award-winning game designer John Romero whose work spans over 130 games, 107 of which have been published commercially including the iconic works Wolfenstein 3D, DOOM and Quake. Romero has co-founded eight successful game companies including the likes of id Software, Gazillion Entertainment, and most recently Romero Games in Galway. He is considered to be among the world’s top game designers, and his products have won well over 100 awards.

“Fans of Skyrim, Fallout, DOOM, World of Warcraft, and Thomas Was Alone are going to love the Galway Games Gathering,” said Brenda Romero, a co-chair of the conference and Program Director for University of Limerick’s new MSc in Game Design and Development. “Fans and those with an interest in development are going to be well pleased.”

Some of the other top names in the industry speaking over the two days are:

• Eimear Noone, “The Irish Queen of Games Music” and the premier conductor of video game scores for such titles at World of Warcraft
• Brett Douville, 20 year veteran of the game industry having contributed to Fallout 3, Fallout 4
• Mike Bithell, game designer best known for his breakout indie hit Thomas Was Alone. A story-driven platform puzzle game, Thomas Was Alone won a BAFTA for its star Danny Wallace.
• Elizabeth Sampat, Game Design Department Lead at SYBO Games in Copenhagen, having designed blockbuster titles that are played by millions of fans every day
• Craig Stuart Garfinkle, Emmy nominated and award-winning composer and producer;
• Liz Mercuri, educational evangelist at Unity Technologies and member of FAFTA Crew Games & Warner Bros
• Denman Rooke, lead artist in the video game industry specialising in illustration and concept art

See the schedule of all 20 speakers (and bios) on https://www.galwaygamesgathering.com/speakers

Running alongside the talks is the Expo which features over 20 Indie games from Irish developers, gaming competitions, a room full of board games and a gallery of some amazing game art that will be available to purchase, with all the proceeds going to charity.

Dr Paddy Tobin, Head of the GMIT School of Design & Creative Arts, says: “GMIT is delighted to be working with the Howling Hamster Games, WDC, and Romero Games to host this event and support the growing Games sector in the West. This is a very important sector for graduates from our Design (Game Design) and Computing programmes. We are delighted also to have such high levels of collaboration across a range of projects with Games companies from the region and particularly based here, in the Games Hub, on campus at the Centre for Creative Arts & Media.”

WDC CEO Ian Brannigan, says: “The Western Development Commission has championed and supported the creative community here in the region for approaching a decade now through analysis, funding and investment . As such we are delighted to see the games gathering here in Galway offer an opportunity for indigenous and international talents in a range of creative mediums , come together to demonstrate how vibrant this sector is in a global context. Individually and collectively we look forwards to the event”.

For information about the inaugural Galway Games Gathering, visit: https://www.galwaygamesgathering.com/speakers Please note that admission to the expo sections is free. There is a charge to attend the talks:  €40 per person, €30 (student), 2 day ticket €70, 2 day ticket (student) €55. To purchase tickets, go to:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/galway-game-gathering-tickets-36806503242