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Edinburgh Interactive FREE public sessions 
Saturday 11th August 2012 @ The Radisson Blu Hotel in the Dunedin Suite

Interested in video games? Want to know more about the video games industry or even how to make a game? Then the Edinburgh Interactive FREE public sessions are the place to be!  Come and experience a variety of FREE workshops available for children and adults.  Further workshop and session details below

Registration is now OPEN for the free public sessions.  Please register your place via the registration page

Saturday 11th August: 

10.30 – 16.00 (Dunedin 1): Game design & coding for kids workshop (BAFTA & Interactive Opportunities) (11 – 16 yr olds)
Edinburgh Interactive, in association with BAFTA and Interactive Opportunities, is pleased to be offering an all day workshop for children aged 11 – 16 to learn how to create a game.

10.30 – 12.30: BAFTA Young Game Designers Workshop: In this workshop, video games professionals will reveal how popular games were made, and will help the young participants to design a game of their own. The workshop is in support of the BAFTA Young Game Designers competition where entrants can win some amazing prizes. For more information visit  Register

13:00 – 16:00: Coding for Kids: Interactive Opportunities: In this workshop attendees will be provided with a laptop to use with the software tools installed to create a simple online game. In an intense workshop we will lead you through character creation, setting and game dynamics. Further to the workshop, attendees will be able to continue to work on their game at home and using the same tools publish their game on iPhone and Android. Places are on a first come first served basis so please sign up ASAP.  Register

10.00 – 11.30 (Dunedin 2):  Blood of the Zombies – 30 Years of Fighting Fantasy, Ian Livingstone (Talk and book signing):  Ian Livingstone, Life President, Eidos; co-founder Games Workshop; co-creator Fighting Fantasy Ian Livingstone will be talking about the publication of his new Fighting Fantasy book Blood of the Zombies- 30 years after the publication of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain in August 1982. In 1982 Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson wrote The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. It was the first interactive gamebook in the Fighting Fantasy series that went on the sell over 17 million copies worldwide. Titles like Deathtrap Dungeon topped the best-sellers lists the world over. Now Ian Livingstone has written a brand new Fighting Fantasy gamebook, Blood of the Zombies, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the series. Ian is launching Blood of the Zombies at EIF and will be talking about the history of Fighting Fantasy and signing copies of his new zombie-slaying adventure.  Register

11.45 – 12.30: Behind the scenes of game journalism: Edge Magazine (Dunedin 2):  Nathan Brown tells the full story of how videogame journalists cover a game, from announcement to release. How do game publications preview and review games? What do journalists get up to at E3 and on press trips? And how has game journalism changed as games have evolved from being published on disks and tapes to today’s world of free-to-play and the App Store?  Register

13.00 – 14.00 (Dunedin 2): Game about game design; Cat on Yer Head: Rob Davis, Playniac:  ”Game about Game Design” Cat on Yer Head: Rob Davis, Creative Director, Playniac When asked to perform at the UCL-supported Bright Club comedy night I knew I wanted to design a game that could be played by the audience. It needed to be simple enough to be explained and played within several minutes, but also to have the potential to demonstrate some principles of game design. I had in mind some advice from Vishal Gondal, friend and founder of India Games: “When designing a game, don’t think of the cleverest thing you can do. Think of the stupidest”.  Register

Cat On Yer Head is a mass participation game with a few simple rules, written in pseudo computer code. An imaginary cat is released into the audience and passed from person to person. It must chase an imaginary mouse. On the night, the first iteration of the game failed – the cat couldn’t catch the mouse, so we looked at tuning the play mechanic and balancing. Refinements for a future occasion will add features such as win and lose scenarios, scoring and extensions such as extra mice, a cat-chasing dog, bonus cheese and mouse holes.

14.30 – 16.00 (Dunedin 2): More than just a suit of armour: Breathing life into characters:  While game-play is undoubtedly important, giving the player a vested interest in the characters within can do more for a game than many developers realise. Whether your main character is a ball, a bird or a battledroid, how important is it to make him more than just an avatar? A few experienced and award-winning experts offer up unique insights when it comes to storytelling techniques, character development, script writing and connecting with players in this interactive workshop.

- Creators: Why story should be hand-&-hand with gameplay from the beginning, rather than an 11th hour add-on

- Developers: Techniques to add believability and back story to characters

- Designers: when to follow “The Rules”, and when to make your own

- Writers: Opportunities and possibilities you may not know about