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NEWS : Bye bye 2011!

Time. It’s a funny thing. Pay attention to it and everything seemingly runs in slow motion. Look away for what feels like the briefest moment and suddenly you’ve lost a week. It still feels like only yesterday we could count GameCity’s age on one hand.

With this being the yearly wrap up blog post, rather than count down all of our many, many achievements of the year in a giant list (and end with the hilariously festive line “And a partridge in a pear tree”), instead let’s reflect on some of our personal favourites;

GameCity6 – Easily our best year yet. An amazing four days with over 45,000 of you visiting the main festival structure alone, and here are some stand out moments that we just have to acknowledge;

Eric Chahi’s Bootcycle – We’d been developing the Bootcycle idea for a while so when Eric said he’d do it we got very excited. And then scared. But it turned out to be an incredible day full of experiments, fun and things we never thought we’d do at the festival. Nous vous aimons, Eric. Is that right? Je ne sais pas.

Zelda Day – We knew this would be big. We knew lots of you wanted to celebrate Zelda in GameCity’s very special way (this being largely focused on cake and general merriment). But we didn’t know it would be as well received as it was. Hundreds upon hundreds of people queued to tackle the Hero’s Quest, play Skyward Sword ahead of release and generally revel in 25 years of Link’s adventures. Also, we learned to never do anything with Ocarinas again. Even the word Ocarina is like a trigger for rage at GameCity HQ. Say it in our presence at your peril.

The Prize – As an end to GameCity6, it was perfect. Minecraft won, Tom Watson presented the award and we all danced the night away. There’s photos to prove it. We were also in several national newspapers, on BBC World News Today, BBC Radio 4 and lots more. Go us.

Journey Live – Ever since Robin Hunicke’s serene flower playthrough during GameCitySquared, we’ve always wanted to tackle an event with the same beauty and sense of majesty. The answer? Invite Robin back for another late night event, this time to explore the sandy dunes of Journey. That tear in our eye during the performance? A bit of sand blew in our face. That’s right. We weren’t crying at all.

Zelda Zine – Another part of the Zelda Day that we couldn’t have anticipated. It was staggering to see the calibre of talent, *international* talent no less, who bombarded us with enough content to fill not just one, but THREE volumes. We’re still working through everything and hope to have the issues out and available to buy early next year. Thanks to Cory Schmitz for putting in so much effort to put the zines together. Speaking of Cory, the illustrations he provided for the festival posters were AMAZING. He’ll go far, he will.

Look at the queue for the zine. LOOK AT IT! (Sorry Stephen at Page45).

Chris O’Shea at GameCityNights – A departure from the developer lead talks, Chris has not only created some particularly amazing large scale interactive artworks, but also tinkered with Kinect to make Air Guitar a reality. Oh, and made us laugh hysterically with some racing chickens.

Amanita Design’s double world premiere – Another coup for GameCityNights, our good friend Jakub Dvorsky gave us the unveil for new titles Samorost 3 and Botanicula, as well as music video Osada.

Kooky UK Premiere – We must’ve seen the trailer for Kooky about a hundred times in the office. Seriously. The hype we created around Jan Svěrák’s film about a lost little toy was huge. We’re really happy you got to see our favourite film of the year with us at GameCity6.

You – Yes, you. You’re one of our favourite things of the year, every year. We could not make GameCity happen without your support, your feedback, your presence at Nights, the festival, and everything else we do. So thanks.

So, 2011 is done and dusted. Those are a few of our favourite moments. How about yours? If you’re on Twitter or Facebook share some of yours with us @GameCity or on our Page. Enjoy your holiday breaks, thanks for joining us in 2011 and here’s to using our next 4 fingers (or three fingers and a thumb if you’re going to be pedantic) as we work our way through many more years of celebrating interesting things. See you all in 2012!

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