Sunday, October 2, 2016

Gamestart Asia 2016: Esports and Indie Games Are in the Forefront

At Gamestart Asia's press conference held on 28 September 2016, Red Dot Diva was glad to see that the organizer Eliphant, continues to have its heart in the right place regarding this annual event.

Other than the usual gaming competitions, game launches and cosplay, they have included more variety into the show with madcap events, pop-culture related geekery, like a Grand Prix chair race held by Secretlab. Imagine getting decked out in helmets or goggles, zooming down an isle and propelling mad levels of speed with while sitting on a Secretlab chair! (Click here for more information about this crazy race held during the convention.)

For its third year, there is a marked increase in the show's focus toward local and regional gaming talent, especially in the area of esports, with multiple tournaments being carried out during the weekend, like the Overwatch Champions Singapore Tournament, which will grant the top-voted indie a trip to exhibit at the Taipei Game Show 2017.

Sony Interactive East, who will be having the largest booth in the exhibition hall, is the Presenting Sponsor for the South East Asia Major 2016, which happens to be the largest console tournament in the region. This is also a showcase of regional and local esports talent, featuring Red Dot Island's own Street Fighter prodigy, Ho Kun Xian, together with gaming personalities like Diago "The Beast Umehara, and Mark "Markman" Julio.

Bandai Namco is also back and will be offering game previews of Tales of Berseria, Tekken 7 and some VR titles. Hardcore Singapore gamers can participate in the qualifier tournament for Tekken 7 and the winner will get to battle it out in Japan on December 10.

Fans of Microsoft XBox will be excited to know that Xbox will be giving fans a chance to try out Gears of War 4 at the convention before its official launch. Xbox recently released racing video game Forza Horizon 3, and visitors will be able to have a go at this game along with Final Fantasy XV.

To give game developers an opportunity to showcase their wares, a section of the hall is dedicated to Games Solution Centre, an initiative of Media Development Authority (MDA) and managed by Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP). Games Solution Centre offers resources to help enterprises to build and prototype their games, and about 15 to 20 new titles will be available for fans to try out.

The Gentlebros and their fun mobile game called Slashy Hero!

Founders Base will also feature several indie game developers from the region. Do check out for a VR game called Lunar Eclipse at Singapore-based company Kaiju Den as well as Slashy Hero by the Gentlebros, amongst many other indies at Founders Base. This year, Gamestart has also launched its first GameStart Indie Awards, and fans will be able to vote for the best indie game at the show. The winner will get to exhibit and showcase their game at Taipei Game Show 2017!

The spotlight is also on two locally developed games which the Red Dot Island gaming community is proud of - the award-winning fantasy RPG Masquerada: Songs and Shadows by Witching Hour Studios and mobile game Valiant Force by XII Braves. Masquerada was successfully launched on Steam just a few days ago, and social media reactions have been very positive. WOOHOOO! for local game developers!

The very eye-catching keyboards and mice by Armageddon

The convention also features Armageddon and their eye-catching products. Head to Armageddon's booth to have a look at their affordable but ultimate gaming peripherals, like keyboards, mice, speakers and headsets.

Retro gaming consoles

If you are looking for the usual fan favourites like the Retro DNA section, don't worry, the arcade and early console games will back in this year's show hall. So are the opportunities to get close with cosplay guests Miu and Jayden Champ Okageo and the chance to ogle at eye-catching costumes and props at the cosplay competition.

Cool art at Liongeeks

However, that is not all. One of the main reasons why games have such a huge impact is the beautiful visual art that forms the basis of most immersive game titles. Game publisher Ubisoft will be exhibiting concept art from their games and Liongeeks, a collective of creative folks, will be offering several art prints and collectibles of game characters for sale.

Kinetiquettes' sculpture of Alyse 3.0 will be unveiled at the show

As for Gamestart's partner Kinetiquettes, they have levelled up visual art into the 3D format with their beautifully and intricate high-end sculptures. The team designed mascot Alyse's new 3.0 look and will be showcasing a fully painted and lighted up model of her at their booth.

In addition to the impressive blur of eye-candy at the convention, fans can also expect an aural experience with music performances by Az Samad, a guitarist from Malaysia as well as Singaporean vocalist Rika Lee. Both musicians will be performing popular game tracks and music for visitors to enjoy.

The list of content at Gamestart Asia 2016 is simply astounding! There is a little of everything for everyone, and Red Dot Diva is sure that one will find a few interesting games or things to experience even if you are not a regular gamer.

Do queue up early to get into the convention hall, as the first 300 visitors on each day will nab a random goodie bag consisting of a range of items from Armaggeddon, Seagate, MSI, PlayStation, Razer, Bandai Namco Entertainment and more!

Gamestart Asia starts this weekend, 7 - 9 October at Suntec City, Halls 506 & 406.

Don't miss it. Hurry and grab your tickets now to get your fill of gaming goodness at the show!

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