Sunday, 26 October 2014

GameStart 2014

So Singapore's first video gaming convention (website), how is it? In their own words, they're inspired by other conventions such as E3, PAX and so on and is organised by gamers for gamers. 

I had been meaning to go down to this one since I first saw mention of it a few months ago on facebook. Mostly it was out of curiousity even though I had really stopped attending SGean conventions years ago. The entry fee wasn't expensive, although one might argue whether it's worth its value or not. 

Let's start first with the hall. With only one hall, GameStart 2014 is amazingly small. And yet they've somehow booked one of the most expensive convention grounds in Singapore. I'm not sure this will work out for them in the long run with regards to finance. 

This is the view you'll see once you step into the hall. The booths are fairly spaced out, which probably isn't a good sign since exhibition space costs money and in general, the more booths you have, the more rental you make which covers the cost of the space. The hall was pretty much shrouded in darkness and frankly, I'm amazed the HDR mode on my camera managed to make it this illuminating. 

The hall was really small and frankly, you could walk around it easily in less than an hour. Or if you walked around looking at things, it would probably take an hour. In general, I felt there was a real shortage of things to look at and it seemed like there was HUGE amount of PS4 promoting going on, with very little corresponding XBOX ONE or Wii U coverage. In fact, Sony pretty much took up most of the booth space, with a large central booth and a large booth on the right, most of which were running games on PS4s. 

Most of the other exhibits were mostly SGean businesses, ranging from local app developers to local game stores. We went through a few of them but in general, only one caught my eye. 

It was this local sculpting business that was selling officially licensed Evil Ryu sculpts. As you can see, this is just the uncolored piece that was on display and it looks pretty epic. 

Obviously as a fan of miniature games, I had to give this guy props. If you're interested, please check out their webpage here. With that being said, this was pretty much the most interesting thing I saw at the convention. 

Then there was also a printing service that would do a 3D scan of you, using a Kinect of all things, and then print it out using a makerbot.This was a pretty interesting concept except for one thing. The details sucked on the printouts. 

When you're paying 96 SGD for a 15cm figure, I kind of expect its facial features to look slightly more defined than 'blob where nose is supposed to be and smaller blobs for eyes'. Still, it's an interesting concept even if it does need better detail if it really wants to take off. 

Then there was the Guilty Gear Xrd tournament on the main stage, which was interesting since the game hasn't actually been released yet on PS4 but here they were, running it on the PS4. Ky's still an annoying SOB to play against it seems. 

Overall, I think there are a few points I definitely like about this convention but there are also quite a few things I feel it's severely lacking in. I liked the fact that you could get access to games that hadn't been released, and in general just getting an early feel for the games. If this convention continues, I wish they would continue doing this, but they would need to work with the other game companies to bring more consoles to the exhibition. However, the convention is just ridiculously small. The only real thing it had going for it was the Sony booths and it felt more like a Sony exhibition with some other random stores thrown in. I felt like there was MORE games coverage/exhibited at the local tech fairs than there was during this gaming convention, and in all honesty, that's a damn shame.