FreeplayFrenchie Reviews EGX Rezzed 2017
For those of you living across the pond in the beautiful British Isles you may have heard of EGX before, a big and very popular gaming convention where indie studios and big game developers alike can showcase their games to hundreds of fans. It’s an incredibly popular convention with gamers and one that I’ve always wanted to go to, even though I was apprehensive about travel and how busy it would be!
Getting to conventions can always be a bit of a drag for me because it means using the SouthernFail train services and navigating the dark and far too warm underground. Myself and my cameraman for the day, Charlie, got up at around half past 6 only to find by the time we got to my local train station that our train had been cancelled! We were aiming to get to the convention by around 10 when the doors opened, in case there was a horrendous queue, as there can sometimes be at MCM. But luckily, we caught another train, found the DLR trains after walking around in circles for some time, and got to the convention sometime after 10. I was thrilled to see that although it was busy there was not a gigantic queue extending down the street and that was a relief!
Exhibitors included the big guys from SEGA, Nintendo, and Square Enix but also Versus Evil, Double Fine and a whole room dedicated to Indie games. I have to say my favourite rooms were probably Coatsink’s room with Double Fine and Bone Loaf just for the great vibes but also the Tentacle Collective’s room for their great blow up tentacles!
Vendors included InsertCoin, who were happy to sell us an Andromeda Initiative hoody which we think we paid less for vs the only prices, even though it was still a lot, and the usual EGX merch. There were some other stalls selling figurines and the like but none of it drew my attention especially. Something than could perhaps been improved upon but then again I haven’t been to this type of con before so I’m not sure if this is totally normal!
I wasn’t expecting to see all that much security to be honest besides the usual ticket guys and staff to make sure you’re not sneaking in, but I was actually surprised to see a guy with a dog in case there were explosives. I suppose it makes sense since the awful attack in Westminster and since most cons will only get bigger and bigger, it’s not strange to assume big conventions in London may well just get tighter when it comes to security. Happy to report nothing outrageous though!
Food was minimalist but then it is a smaller con. There were two identical food stands, one that had an area for seating. We did sample the food with two lukewarm cheese burgers that came with fries for five pounds, which is steep but there we are it is a convention. I’ll always recommend bringing a packed lunch but at the time I had a real hankering for a cheeseburger. It was your typical fair ground food without the sweet stuff, which was a real shame because I will always remember that chocolate stand they had at MCM with a chocolate fountain.
Staff were more than friendly, pointing us in the right direction when we got a little confused and generally being very nice!
Guests included Rex Crowle and Moo Yuu creators of Knights and Bikes (who we were lucky enough to interview!), Director of Gang Beats and Co-Founder of Bone Loaf studio James Brown, and Bioshock creator Ken Levine. All these fantastic guests came to do talks ranging from, ‘The Indie Approach to Game Creation,’ to “The Future of Gaming Tech”. Although we didn’t have time to join them this time, you could see the room was packed and in great demand!
The cosplay scene was small I’ll have to admit but then I was only there for the one day and this isn’t your typical dress up event. Although there were some cosplayers, the man in the Ezio Auditore costume was my favourite, most con goers simply took to wearing Sonic the Hedgehog hair or mushroom hats from Mario.
Overall I’ve got to say I really enjoyed this convention and I can’t wait to go to EGX in September! For those of who are thinking about going but say are put off by how busy conventions can get this one made a really nice change. It was busy, but not so busy that you found it hard to move around people or vendors. I was also concerned that given it’s popularity we wouldn’t really find many opportunities to have a go on the games. I didn’t like the idea of waiting around for ages just to have a go on a game but luckily I needn’t have worried. There are so many games on offer that you’ll probably find just as you turn the corner somebody will get up, giving you the opportunity to have a go. Not only that but come the end of the day there are more opportunities and less people. If are ever really worried I’d recommend going on a day that’s not so busy too.
Big thanks to all the developers we interviewed!
Feel free to check out the video with exclusive developer interviews here – EGX 2017 Interviews w/ FreeplayFrenchie