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Yorkshire Games Festival 2021: Online Game Talks tickets on sale

The National Science and Media Museum is excited to announce that tickets are on sale from 09.00 today (8 December 2020) for the 2021 Yorkshire Games Festival’s Game Talks.

The talks will be returning for their fifth edition on 5 February 2021, with a packed programme featuring high-profile industry guests.

In order to provide a safe experience in line with Covid-19 guidelines, next year’s festival will look a little different to previous editions, with some events, including the ever-popular Game Talks, moving online for audiences to enjoy from the comfort of their homes—so sweatpants are optional!

Firmly established as a high point of the festival, the impressive line-up of Game Talks will be hosted by festival friends Jordan Erica Webber (podcast host and presenter of The Gadget Show) and Keith Stuart (author and journalist for The Guardian).

Talks will be from a range of exciting leaders in the games industry, who will help attendees further their knowledge, skills, and employability in this fast-moving sector. The talks kick off with Max Pears of CD Projekt Red, the company best known for The Witcher series and upcoming Cyberpunk 2077. Max will be breaking down his experience as a Level Designer and the best tips and tricks to make game combat exciting and memorable, as well as explaining why it is important to the pacing of levels.

The festival also welcomes Sallyann Houghton of Epic Games, who will be exploring virtual production and in-camera VFX. Sallyann’s ‘real-time’ visual effects talk will take attendees on a journey through a super short history of Epic Games and the Unreal Engine, including their amazing work on Fortnite and Disney’s The Mandalorian.

Melissa Phillips from Silver Rain Games, which launched in early 2020, will be taking to the virtual stage as well. Melissa will be speaking candidly about the first year of launching Silver Rain Games and will share the highs, lows and hard learnings that running a studio in 2020 has taught her.

Freelancer Lucy Kyriakidou, whose art has helped bring more than 20 games to life, will be uncovering her character design process that she has developed over a decade working in games and a lifetime working on her own self-image and idea of beauty.

Last but by no means least, Max Mead, Senior Environment Artist at Ubisoft Leamington, will talk about his experience of joining his first games studio, and what he wished he had known beforehand. Max will also discuss what his day-to-day job looks like and will highlight the skills required for those looking to join the industry for the first time.

Game Talks form part of the wider Yorkshire Games Festival, which has served as a bastion for the UK’s fast-growing games industry in the North since 2016. Next year’s festival will include a variety of events pitched at all levels of interest, from developers and gamers to families. Events will run throughout February and will include a special takeover of February half term at the National Science and Media Museum with games, computing, and coding themed activities.

Festival Director Kathryn Penny comments:

“We are really excited to see the return of the Yorkshire Games Festival in 2021 after what has been a challenging year for everyone. To make the festival as safe for attendees as possible, next year will look quite different to previous editions with a bigger focus on virtual online events, but this in no way means the line-up is any less impressive.

“We are thrilled to be welcoming a host of industry experts to speak at the popular Game Talks, and it’s really encouraging that over half of our speakers next year will be women leading in a sector which has long been thought of as ‘male dominated’. We’ll be announcing more of the fantastic festival line-up early next year, but in the meantime, we encourage festival fans to get their tickets for the Game Talks before they go!”

World-renowned Yorkshire games company Team17, creators of Worms and publishers of Overcooked and Yooka-Laylee, will also be returning to next year’s festival and will be bringing back their Pop-Up Usability Lab, but this time beaming directly to festivalgoers at home. Games usability combines psychology, sociology, and videogames to help make fun accessible, and connects developers to gamers by allowing them to do what they do best—game!

By working with Team17 to help test new games in development, attendees will not only be providing valuable feedback to make games better for users, but will gain real-life experience to add to their CV. There are several time slots with limited space available on Friday 5 February, and those wishing to attend can sign up online now.

The Northern Games Showcase will also be returning, providing a platform for local developers to present their new games to a family-friendly audience, to beta-test and receive valuable feedback. Games developers in the North of England who wish to have their game tested with the festival’s audience can download a booking form online to register their interest now.

Tickets for Yorkshire Games Festival: Game Talks 2021 are now available and can be booked via the Yorkshire Games Festival webpage. Joining instructions and other important information will be sent a few days before the event.

Talks and masterclasses will be presented via Zoom Webinar with content becoming accessible on the day. There will also be a dedicated Discord server operating throughout the day for attendees to network with speakers, submit questions and to chat all things gaming.


For more details, please contact:

Notes for editors

The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire, opened in 1983, and has since become one of the most visited UK museums outside London. It draws on more than three million objects from its national collection to explore the science and culture of image and sound technologies and their impact on our lives. The museum creates special exhibitions, interactive galleries and activities for families and adults, and is home to three cinemas, including Europe’s first IMAX cinema screen and the world’s only public Cinerama screen outside the USA. Entry to the museum is free.

The Yorkshire Games Festival showcases some of the greatest talent and titles from across the videogames spectrum from the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, Yorkshire. The festival is designed to provide gamers and budding game makers unrivalled access to the industry, offering insights into all aspects of the games industry from award-winning studios, and hosting live shows and events showcasing a wealth of games and activities.