Dutch Game Garden Utrecht has moved into a new office earlier this year and on April 23rd they officially opened the new location. As with the opening in Breda, Maikel and I attended the event.
The new office is located on the fifth floor of the jaarbeurs in Utrecht, within a 5 min walk of Utrecht’s central train station. This new location puts the Dutch Game Garden not only in the centre of Utrecht, but also in the centre of the Netherlands in terms of public transport. This makes commuting to work from outside Utrecht even easier than before.
The event was attended by developers from all over the country, professionals and students alike. JP van Seventer, head of the Dutch Game Garden, did the formalities and welcomed everyone at the seventh floor where the event was held. The Dutch Game Garden itself is situated at the fifth floor but was unsuitable for the amount of guests that attended the opening. That being said, the offices on the fifth floor were available for visit and we went to take a look at the few developers that were still hard at work despite the festivities.
Most of the offices were either empty or occupied by one or two developers tasked with holding the fort. One of the few developers that were still present in large force were those of Ragesquid, who were busy working on Action Henk as its release was drawing near, and the game has just been released on Steam this week! So go have a look if overweight action figures traversing crazy and colourful racetracks is your thing.
Most developers were standing at the event floor though, either networking or showing their game. Among these developers stood Excamedia who were demoing both Nanos and their virtual reality game for the ANTVR. This was the second time I tried both the game and the VR device, and I must say that they managed to improve it tremendously since my previous visit to the company. Some of the gameplay wasn’t implemented yet, but the game at the very looked its part. The ANTVR transported me to a series of rails along the surface of a red star with a deep blue galaxy above. You race against an AI on these series of rails when suddenly the rails dive straight into the surface of the star, revealing a hole right though the centre of the star. And in that tunnel you continue the race against you opponents as you watch the magma boil around you. It is an impressive sight to behold and I am looking forward to the final game.
I saw some familiar faces at the event. Students and teachers from NHTV Breda, familiar indie developers in the Dutch development scene, as well as some personal acquaintances. Overall the event offered a nice chance to meet up and network with different developers in the Dutch game industry and I’d recommend attending such events if you are trying to get into the Dutch game development scene. But if you are just there for the games you’ll probably want to attend the more public and game centred events instead.