Festive Gaming with the Bristol Digital Game Lab

People playing an augmented reality board game

To mark the end of the year, the Bristol Digital Game Lab hosted an evening of Festive Gaming on Wednesday 7 December 2022 at the University of Bristol. Thanks to the support of special guests and local developers Catastrophic Overload and Play Well for Life, members of the Lab had the opportunity to try out some of the most recent social games, and playtest others that have not yet been released. It was not all fun and games, however, as players were encouraged to provide feedback throughout the evening, to be a part of the developmental process.

To kick off, we pulled some sofas together, broke out the controllers and had a go at Catastrophic Overload’s latest work, Bish Bash Bots, ‘a turret defence game like no other.’ A lot of fun was had testing the limits of this new feature experience, and a lot of effort expended attempting to complete the hardest level. Many towers were built, and many robots decommissioned. Drink More Glurp also made an appearance, to the delight of players, who attempted – with varying levels of success – to master the game’s wacky physics. It was a pleasure to hear from the developers, to understand more about the work that goes on behind the scenes, and to receive playstyle tips from the experts!

People sitting around a large screen

Away from the big screen, Play Well for Life hosted several rounds of their augmented reality board game, Dragons of Afterlands. This game, which has been developed in partnership with clinical psychologists at Royal Holloway University to develop wellbeing skills and improve communication of adolescents, offered a case in point for how serious games can challenge players to think critically about their emotional reactions. The animations, coupled with the beautifully designed board and gameworld, managed to inject the magic of fantasy games into what is very much a reflective experience.

We also heard from international special guest Loki, who were visiting from Spain, about their work translating games across languages and cultures.

Thank you to everyone who came, and to all of those who have supported the Lab since we launched in September 2022. Stay tuned for our next installment!

Two people beside a roller banner for the Bristol Digital Game Lab

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