Sunday, September 20, 2009

Games Convention Asia 2009 - Convention @ Suntec

This year's GCA 2009 convention seemed smaller somehow. Perhaps it was due to the economic crisis and that the recently there were a number of other related trade shows / events (e.g. Toys Comics Games Convention, and also COMEX).

The good thing about GCA 2009 was that I get to see many other smaller local studios! I was hoping to catch the developer of Straw Hat Samurai, but I guess he wasn't around the area when I visited. I saw other booths by Tyler and also NexGen Studios. Seems like they are doing well, and that is good news to show the promise and potential of the local budding games studios.

A major attraction of GCA this year is the display of the Into the Pixel art prints. The prints were selected as part of a competition, and these pieces were the winners this year. For 3 years running, the Into The Pixel competition serve as an event to celebrate the artistic elements of the games development, and it is indeed different to see the art pieces as prints rather than on screen graphics. Ok I am a bit more biased towards Guild Wars but that game does have good graphics!

This year there were a number of business and trade related initiatives and a whole area was devoted to be the business centre for deals discussions. Not sure if there will be any announcement of the the total deals value later. I think we need more incentives, and more publicity of the events regionally to attract deal makers to come here.

In the exhibition halls we see the usual consoles, cars racing ...etc. Perhaps we have seen too many of such set ups that it is getting a bit dull. It is fun to see folks tryong out games but we see that too often at the various events.

Yeah we have other type of booths selling games related items too. Quite fun to wear military style dressed up persons walkign around. I wonder how they feel wearing these costumes that should be quite different from the SAF number 4 uniform that we are all familiar with.

The highlight is of course the competition. The One Asia Cup rounds will be completed (for Singapore leg) by this weekend, and then we have finalists from four countries (Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore) competiting. Good Luck to those who are competing!

There was this large booth area hosting Dragonica online game, and I understand there was a x2 experience points event going on as well. Dragonica is fun and yes it is important to have more games event to retain the interest of gamers, especially when there are so many other online games available.

Afternote: Thanks to a guest reader who correctly pointed out that there is the large gaming area by Cherry Credits.

I do like to see more variety of games offered at such conventions and viola, we have the Playware Studios, demonstrating the educational games. These video walls content, including the displayed game items could be controlled via remote controllers by the side of the booth. So I guess these tools will be useful for teachers at schools (i.e. for educational purpose).

Yupz Playware also has other games, e.g. the Magic Lanterns, that we see here.

Overall the Convention is interesting, but I guess the CosPlay events and tournaments will attract more people this weekend rather than gaming booths. :)

See also:
- GCA2009 D.I.C.E Asia Summit @ Suntec

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