Singapore’s been the fortunate host to a myriad of cons, catering to various dimensions of fandom. If you’re a gamer in the region, then you’ll know the con for you is GameStart. With five years under its belt and a steadily increasing number of visitors since its debut, GameStart 2018 will be bringing international powerhouses down to our sunny shores for a weekend of interactive fun with the local gaming community.
And this year, they’ll be trying out several new initiatives, while keeping the tried and tested fan-favourite activities. So for the currently clueless who’ve yet to step into the hallowed halls of GameStart, or con veterans eager to know what they can expect for days ahead, we’ve compiled a list of seven things we’re looking forward to!
#1. GameStart Masterclasses And Workshops
Gaming fandoms aren’t just home to gamers. Of course, gamers make up the bulk of it, duh, but let’s not forget all our talented fan-creators whose passion and dedication have resulted in many a drool-worthy fanart or heart-wrenching piece of fanfiction. GameStart’s inaugural masterclasses (priced individually at S$120) will be a nice shout-out to all artists in our community, because they deserve our appreciation!
Art director and concept artist, Jacqueline Jocson, will be holding a class on character design, an introduction to visual storytelling, on October 10, 2018; while Super Evil Megacorp’s Carlo Arellano will be instructing us about archetypes in advanced character design come October 12, 2018. If you’re an artist looking to sharpen your skills, you might find it pretty interesting to hear what these industry experts have to say.
Ever wanted to have your very own Arcade Machine? Sign up for the Retrocade workshop happening on 13 & 14 Oct at #GameStart2018 and learn to build your own from the experts! All material will be provided, and registration admits up to 2 pax. Sign up now at [email protected] pic.twitter.com/RfinZkQr4M
— GameStart Asia (@GameStartAsia) September 26, 2018
And don’t worry if art isn’t quite your forte, GameStart will also be hosting the RetroCade workshop by No Average Joe (NAJ), in which you’ll be making your own miniature arcade machine. Come on, how cool is that? There’ll be a registration fee of S$400, although it’ll come with a one-day pass to GameStart and all machine-building materials will be provided.
#2. Illustrious Guest Line-Up
We got to see NieR Automata’s Yoko Taro and Yosuke Saito last year. This year, GameStart will be bringing in the minds behind the widely renowned Monster Hunter: World — Yuya Tokuda and Kaname Fujioka — and the nostalgia-inducing Soulcalibur VI, Motohiro Okubo.
Welcoming Kaname Fujioka (Executive Director/Art Director) & Yuya Tokuda (Director) from the #MonsterHunterWorld™ dev team to #GameStart2018!
There's a Q&A session on the Main Stage, as well as a Meet & Greet session Oct 14! More info: https://t.co/KTgLkjbSb9 pic.twitter.com/cjtZOx8SDu
— GameStart Asia (@GameStartAsia) September 28, 2018
Overwatch fans should be pretty excited to know that Elise Zhang, the voice actress for Mei, will be coming down for meet-and-greet sessions. Professional wrestler, Kenny Omega, will also be making an appearance to share his love of Street Fighter, amongst other games.
Overwatch fans, you won't want to miss this golden opportunity to get up close and personal with Mei's voice actress,…
#3. International Exhibitors
Cygames, the studio behind Japan’s rampantly popular digital collectable card game, Shadowverse, and the longer-running role-playing, Granblue Fantasy, will be exhibiting at GameStart this year. And we reckon fans will be delighted at the promise of plenty of merchandise.
With the launch of LEGO DC Super-Villains (Oct 17) coming right up ahead, Warner Bros. Games is offering an exclusive Lex Luther minifig for anyone pre-ordering the game on-site at GameStart (while stocks last, of course). Disney will also be taking to GameStart 2018 to reveal a previously unannounced game, and we can’t wait to find out what it is!
#4. Indie Games Showcase
Considering how GameStart’s really about our local gaming community at its heart, what better way to support the local community than to showcase our homegrown games?
Back from their stint at Tokyo Game Show 2018 and enjoying an overwhelmingly positive reception, Battlebrew Productions will be bringing to GameStart their idle clicker, BattleSky Brigade Tap Tap, in which you earn resources to spruce up your own island. The colours are cheerfully bright, the design heart-tuggingly adorable and the bunny infinitely hug-worthy. 10 out of 10 would squish.
Of course, Founders Base will be on hand for plenty of indie devs to let gamers come up close and personal with their hard work, and the Indie Awards are still ongoing this year as well.
#5. Tabletop Games
Tabletop gaming will be making a reappearance at GameStart 2018. Sure, it’s the age of technology, and we’re all used to perfectly rendered, crystal clear graphics, but sometimes it can be pretty therapeutic to put that mobile phone/controller/mouse down and play games as we did when we were eight and under — you know, technology-less.
Grab a game and settle down for a round of competitive fun with your friends (although do refrain from flipping any tables in frustration). Or, if you’re there alone, head over to the guided game section, which will be run by the gamemaster, so you won’t have to fumble over a rulebook with a group of strangers.
For Dungeons and Dragons enthusiasts, GameStart will be offering three exclusive adventures, and a cross-table epic, where you’ll be joining forces on a grand campaign. So that’s definitely something to look out for.
With over two hundred registered international players across twenty-four countries, SEA Major has painstakingly made itself out as a behemoth of an esports tournament. Offering over US$50,000 worth of prizes this year, SEA Major will be hosting several tournaments at GameStart 2018: notably, the ArcRevo World Tour, Tekken World Tour Master Event, Dragonball FighterZ SAGA and the inaugural Shadowverse SEAO Contenders Cup (under SEA Major Mobile) — which will send its winner to Japan in December to compete for a cool US$1 million at the World Grand Prix.
Professional esports organisation, Resurgence will also be making an appearance at GameStart to launch their academy, seeking to groom a new generation of professional gamers.
#7. Doujin Market
Continuing their collaboration with Neo Tokyo Project, GameStart 2018 will once again feature the artist alley, Doujima, boasting a grand total of forty-three artist booths this time. It’s no secret that fan communities are kept vibrant and alive when fans contribute to the simulacra underpinning the canon.
And alright, all that righteous academic jargon aside, if you’re just there to grab that busty art of your waifu, or that standee of your husbando sporting washboard abs, no judgement — this author has certainly done that before.
JoYFQ is a Gryffindor who distracts herself from the pitfalls of capitalism and hegemonic representations by reading fanfiction. Has surprisingly good RNG luck in games. Probably just jinxed herself.