The Guildford Games Festival and Awards- Inside scoop!

The Guildford Games Festival and Awards are back! 

The incredibly popular Guildford Games Festival and Awards are back for 2021. 

During the festival, viewers will be treated to panels, 1-2-1 interviews and fireside chats with our sponsors – including many celebrated Guildford Studios and Developers! The Festival will take place on Friday 3rd December, as a virtual event – streaming on Twitch (other platforms TBC) – whilst the invite-only Awards Ceremony will happen on Thursday 2nd December at Guildford’s The Boileroom!

We’ve got the inside scoop on the event, thanks to the wonderful Lauran from Liquid Crimson

It is great to hear that the Guildford Games festival is back for another year! How long has the festival been running?

Thanks Heather! We are so pleased to be bringing it back, and thanks so much for making room for me to go on about it for a bit! I have to open my ode to Guildford Games by saying that it’s my home from home, where the Liquid Crimson office is (give or take) and where I learnt my trade by being offered the opportunity by the most supportive group of people I’ve ever met. Being able to be a part of shining a spotlight on and celebrating that community is completely honestly an honour for me. Ok, I’m done! Back to the reason, we’re here…

The Guildford Games Festival has been running since 2019, which as I’m sure you can understand feels like a different world from the one we live in currently. I wasn’t involved in the organisation in the opening year, but was lucky enough to be asked to host the awards ceremony at Guildford’s Boileroom alongside the delectable Ms Kitty Powers! It was a blast!

By 2020, I had come on board with Liquid Crimson so got to be really hands on with the interview content that we filmed for the festival. I crafted all the interview questions and hosted conversations with a variety of Guildford games industry legends and famous gamers. Last year was our most successful, with over 2 million people viewing the festival content across various streaming platforms. Sadly, the pandemic meant we couldn’t host an awards ceremony last year, so we decided to cancel it until we could all be together again!

This year we’re hoping we’ll be able to high five our Guildford game dev pals at the Guildford Games Festival Awards ceremony on December 2nd, followed by a packed schedule of live streamed interviews, featuring insight from some of the best games makers in the world on December 3rd! We can’t wait!

What can we expect from the festival? 

The Festival itself will feature insight from developers and other businesses across the town via half hour interviews. Our headline Festival Sponsors are Media Molecule, so you can expect them to appear a few times alongside SuperMassive Games, Nordisk Games, Glowmade, Hello Games, Criterion and more. My aim with all our interviews is to keep them relaxed and flowing, whilst eeking out as much valuable insight – for both budding and established developers – as possible! I’m sure we’ll also have a smattering of ‘famous gamers’ in the schedule too, more news soon

It’s far from the hardest job in the world, I can confirm! Last year’s interviews – which yielded a mammoth 9 hours of aired footage – were a genuine highlight of my year! I’d not been in the interview chair for a while, not to mention in lockdown, and some of the names on the roster were… intimating in the nicest possible way! But every single interaction – from the Hollywood of Games fireside chat with EA Legends Matt Webster and Pete Lake to the rambling adventures through the gaming history of the Go8bit team – flowed, taught me something and was a joy to host.

Sponsors and organisers
Sponsors and organisers

Is there a particular event or fireside chat that you are really excited about? Or will we have to wait and see?

Ooooh! That’s a biggie! I think I’d have to say the Women in Games panel with Jess Saunders (Salix Games), Adele Cutting (SoundCuts) and Rebecca Burford (Charles Russel Speechlys). I tried to approach it slightly differently to the well-trodden WiG panel path, yes. we spoke about the negative aspects of being a woman in a male-dominated world, but we also discussed what inspired us to pursue a career in the industry, the positive changes we’ve seen in our tenures, how we can empower girls to follow a career in tech and most importantly – that video games are for everyone. But I also adored the chat I conducted with the Frostbite team about building game engines, somewhat unexpectedly 

How do fans and audiences get involved with topics for the interviews and cast votes in the awards? 

The Festival Interviews and any other, still to be announced content, will be aired on Twitch (other platforms yet tbc!) on December 3rd and everyone will welcome to watch and chat along. To keep up to date with schedule announcements, follow both @gugamesfest @liquidcrimson on twitter, and keep an eye on the Guildford.games website! We’ll be dropping news (and hopefully sharing some juicy behind the scenes snaps) as often as we can!

We also have a Guildford Games Discord  Devcord, where my wonderful colleague Toni poses weekly topic questions to the community and devs can ‘meet’ and brainstorm and share their stories. We will be engaging the Devcord community to help craft the line of interview questions that I’ll be following for the festival. All current, budding and ex Guildford developers (and support staff!) are welcome to join the conversation on discord and pitch their suggestions.

The Awards themselves will be an IRL event in Guildford, what kind of awards will we see being given out? 

I really can’t wait for the awards ceremony! Yes – the will be an IRL, reach out and actually touch another person (if you’re feeling brave and we’re not back in lockdown) event at The Boileroom. I have been invited to host again, #blessed for sure, and will be joined by Professor Elemental! The Awards categories will include Creativity, Innovation, Diversity & Inclusion as well as the Guildford Hero Award, we’ll make sure all the winners are announced on our social media accounts – to give everyone a chance to congratulate our winners!

Speaking from observing my talented friends and colleagues, I think it’s really easy to lose sight of the impact Guildford devs have on the rest of the world, and the pandemic has seen our creatives working harder than ever to make and release amazing games against the odds. With the awards, we have a chance to celebrate the achievements of our colleagues and peers. It’s never been more important to raise a glass and take a breath, and I hope that’s precisely what we’ll get to do!

award from previous years

And very importantly- have you got your red carpet outfit ready?!

Oh my word – you know, I’ve not even thought about it yet! I am not a winter person at all. I feel the cold deep in my bones whether indoors or out, so don’t be surprised if I show up in knitted (baby pink) tracksuit bottoms and a Powerpuff Girls hoody! They’ve become my work ‘uniform’, why not start a red carpet trend?!

Where can we watch the event and how do we keep up to date?

The Festival will be aired Twitch on December 3rd (start time TBC) and potentially some other places too! My team and I will be in the Twitch comments chatting with everyone, so do come and join us if you can! We’re thinking about hosting a watch party in the Devcord too, so if you’re a dev in the community make sure you come and join us on discord before the event!

Don’t panic if you can’t make it on the day, as after the Festival we’ll make sure all content is uploaded to Liquid Crimson’s YouTube page for anyone who may have missed it!


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