Event: EToo London

Not making it to E3 this year? Fear not: London will be getting its own indie gaming alternative, which will coincide with the major LA-based gaming convention. Taking place at the Loading Bar in Soho from June 10th - 13th, EToo will feature over 30 game developers showing off their latest projects on big screen TVs around the venue. The event is being sponsored by PlayStation, with GameStick, the forthcoming Android console from British tech company PlayJam, as a partner sponsor.

Developers set to show off new titles at the event include New Star Games (with an unseen new build of New Star Soccer!), Hello Games (Joe Danger), Mediatonic (showing forthcoming title, Foul Play), Nyamyam Games (Tengami), Big Robot (Sir You Are Being Hunted), Simon Roth (Maia), Tom Francis (Gunpoint), Tiniest Shark (Redshirt), Alistair Aitcheson (Slamjet Stadium), Curves Studios and Projector Games (Fortress Craft). Capcom will also be in attendance, running playable demos of Lost Planet 3 and the new HD version of classic platformer Duck Tales. More mainstream publishers are to be announced.

As headline sponsor, PlayStation will be in attendance, with Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us playable, as well as innovative platform adventure Rain and perhaps some surprise extras. David Wilson, Head of PR for PlayStation UK said, “PlayStation is pretty excited about EToo. As well as giving attendees the chance to witness our E3 conference live, there’ll be loads of time to get hands on with a range of awesome games from the blockbuster, The Last Of Us, to the small but beautifully formed Rain”

PlayJam will be showing off its innovative Android console, GameStick, set for launch in July. Sameer R. Baroova, head of games at PlayJam commented, ”What better way to celebrate the most exciting week in gaming than to spend it playing awesome games, meeting developers and gamers, and discussing all things gaming. We are  excited to show off GameStick at EToo, and are very glad to be a part of it. Cheers to Keith and Georg for putting this together.”

“This started off with me sulking on Twitter about not being able to go to E3,” says co-organiser Keith Stuart, the games commissioning editor at The Guardian. “Game developer Georg Backer replied and said we should do our own event. It probably should have ended there, but somehow it didn’t. The next thing is, Jimmy Dance, the owner of Loading Bar in Soho, was offering to host it. It was sort of like one of those Hollywood musicals – ‘hey, let’s put a show on right here’. But with less dancing.

“We’re hugely grateful to Sony and PlayJam for covering the costs of this crazy endeavour so I don’t have to explain to my wife why I’ve spent most of our life savings on hiring video equipment.”

Developers will demo their latest games throughout the day, as well as taking part in mini-talks and maybe even workshops. During the evenings, the event will also be running a live-streamed TV show from one corner of the bar, presented by Keith Stuart, Georg Backer and co-hosts including Rock Paper Shotgun writer Cara Ellison. Streamed via a dedicated YouTube channel and set to be embedded on the Guardian site, the programme will include E3 news and trailers, as well as developer interviews. Several guest stars are set to appear, including famed GoldenEye designer Martin Hollis. Popular gaming radio show OneLifeLeft will also stage a takeover event and mini-disco. More details soon!

EToo takes place from June 10th-13th. The daily developer event is free to attend for the public, but anyone interested needs to pre-register. The evening livestream show, taking place between 7pm and midnight every night, will cost £6 to attend. This includes a free drink. Tickets and pre-registrations are available at http://etoolondon.eventbrite.com.

For more information and regular updates, head to the official website www.etoolondon.com and follow us on twitter @etoolondon

To get in touch with the organisers, email contact@etoolondon.com

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    Event: Weekend of the dead

    To celebrate the release of the brand spanking new ‘Uprising’ DLC pack for Call of Duty: Mob of the Dead, we are converting Loading Soho into Alcatraz prison for three days!

    Not only that, we will be offering up a couple of 4 player set ups, with tournaments running throughout the weekend with awesome prizes from our friends at Activision; Posters, games and other zombie related nicknaks.

    There will be extra prizes and discounts available for those in costume as either ZOMBIES or MOBSTERS.

    Right now we’ve got builders in; removing pillars, creating electric chairs and generally making us all feel like we have been incarcerated.

    So, in simple terms:

    Prison
    Zombies
    Cocktails
    Prizes

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEUT3lgR9vc

    Now THAT is a way to spend a weekend.

    Come and join us as we party in the Penitentiary, sink shots in the slammer and play Call of Duty in the clinky.

    Prohibition era drinks will be available so expect hard liquour and jail-house moonshine.

    18+ Only due to gore and ‘adult themes’

    53, Rupert Street, Soho

    Free entry - Friday 19th April at 7pm until Sunday 21st at 11.30pm

    Be there or be eaten by the walking dead!

    Click here for the Facebook event if you want to let us know your coming.

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      LucasArts retrospective

      Last week saw the demise of one of the greatest developers in video games history. On Thursday April the 3rd there was a great disturbance in the force, as if 150 people had just been laid off. LucasArts shut its doors for the final time as Disney, the new Emperors of the Star Wars universe, closed it down.

      jedi knight

      The official LucasFilm statement said: “After evaluating our position in the games market, we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company’s risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games.

      “As a result of this change, we’ve had layoffs across the organization. We are incredibly appreciative and proud of the talented teams who have been developing our new titles.”

      Reports are stating that Star Wars 1313, the next-gen game that was in production, has been cancelled and there has been no word on whether the superb looking game will ever see the light of day.

      Most gamers aged twenty plus will have fond memories of at least one LucasArts’ games from the past. Whether it be taking down the Rebellion in Tie Fighter, beating up bikers in Full Throttle or turning yourself into a human cannonball in Monkey Island.

      monkeyisland

      The studio released its first games, Ballblazer and Rescue on Fractalus!, in 1984 for the Atari 5200, Commodore 64 and other vintage games platforms. In 1990 the studio took control of the Star Wars franchise with the release of X-Wing, Star Wars games had previously been developed outside of the Lucas empire.

      X-Wing was a game changer not only for LucasArts but for flight simulators in general. It spawned a long list of spin offs in the genre and help influence may other games in that style. After the release of iD’s classic Doom, they decided to jump into the first person shooter market with Dark Forces which soon gave birth to the classic Jedi Knight series.

      TIE-Fighter

      Be it a flight sim, first person shooter or racing game every genre you can think of has a Star Wars game to its name. RTS, check. RPG, check. MMO, check. Kinect Title, check. Beat ‘em Up, check. I could go on and on and on and on about Star Wars, but, LucasArts created some very highly thought after titles outside of the force wielding universe.

      Monkey Island and Grim Fandango are two of the most beloved point and click adventures available, packed with humour and unique stylistic graphics. Not to forget everyone’s favourite bunny and dog detective combo Sam and Max, who got a recent revival via Telltale Games.

      With this loss we asked a few of the Loading friends and family to give their opinions and memories of the some of their favourite LucasArts games:

      Toby Ellis, member of the Killer Bits video blog team:

      For me, LucasArts epitomised exactly what the adventure game genre was meant to be. Their titles were, and remain to this day, the greatest games the style has ever seen. From the incredible humour of Day of the Tentacle to the grandiose sci-fi terror of The Dig, Lucasarts never failed to engage us on an emotional level, or to tell stories which will forever be etched in our memories.

      AJ Lornie, head of Forte Sounds:

      All I have to say is Mercenaries – Playground of Destruction, a game I loved every minute of, a game in its true sense, fun, over the top, fantastical and based around a simple premise, blow stuff up. It’s a great shame that Disney decided to shut the shop that brought us that and many over great (and not so great!) games; especially as they had some cool stuff in mid-development too. A real shame, but fond memories, none of which are related to some of the tat Star Wars games they made though!

      Ryan Mackfall, CEO of Crashburn Media:

      I remember being shown Jedi Knight 2 on the PC and it taking over my world. It went from just something I’d partake in between writing essays at university, to me hosting a full time running server overnight where people from all over the world would come to play. It was like nothing I’d ever played before, and the wish for a new Jedi knight game is with me to this day (and probably some of my friends). Discussions on red stance, blue stance, or yellow stance will never be the same again. The gaming world has lost something and I have a horrible feeling it will never be replaced.

      Rhys Bonney, Internet Wrangler at Loading:

      Monkey island was the game that marked my transition into being a ‘gamer’.

      I remember buying Monkey Island via the phone in response to a magazine advert having only ever played the games that came with my second hand Amiga 1200. When it arrived in the box the size of a small fridge freezer I tentatively loaded it up and I sat down to play for the customary half an hour or so I had committed to other games in the past.

      I didn’t move for 4 hours, at the time, this seemed like a marathon session but by the end of the week I had faked a flu to get out of school and increased my playtime for up to ten hours with bathroom breaks.

      I had never played anything so witty and it was the first title I had ever seen that didn’t involve killing or being killed in any way, just excellent writing, character development and the trademark Lucasarts/Ron Gilbert humour.

      The game to knock my ten hour sessions off the top spot was Monkey Island 2 which I played for almost 20 hours straight in one sitting without eating any meals (Bathroom breaks permitted, I am not an animal).

      My mother would tell me I was spending too much time inside, my response?

      ‘How appropriate, you fight like a cow.’

      AJ Salisbury, Part-time Loading Security:

      Firing up Tie Fighter: Collector’s Edition, which I had liberated from my brothers room like a Bothan Spy with some Death Star plans, and shooting rebel scum into small pieces has to be my favourite LucasArts moments.

      At only the tender age of ten and trying to get a grasp of shield, engine and weapon management whilst dog fighting with the Rebellion’s finest was a thrill ride from start to finish and is still something that is missing from current gen consoles.

      As a die-hard Star Wars fan being able to buddy up with friends and take my squadron into the battle of Endor with improved graphics would be awesome. Alas, with the closure of LucasArts this might not be something that I will ever get to experience.

      Even though the closure is a sad day for the games industry, we at Loading are going to celebrate the life of one of the most beloved studios this Saturday the 13th of April at Loading Soho. Let us know your memories of LucasArts in the comments box below and we’ll hopefully see you at the weekend for out R.I.Party.

      This article was written by Sandpaper Jones.

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        LucasArts R.I.P-arty

        On the fourth of April, we lost some dear friends…

        We can all take solace in the fact that these franchises passed peacefully and felt no pain.

        Loading Soho and Madd are offering gamers the chance to grieve and remember the good times spent with LucasArts games…

        From 7pm, Saturday the 13th, we’ll be celebrating all LucasArts classic titles and maybe the odd not-so-classic, there will be readings, a finger food buffet and other suitable tributes.

        We’ll be crafting cocktail eulogies as well as recreating some by our friends at The Drunken Moogle, including the infamous ‘Scumm Bar Finest Grogg.’

        Prizes and discounts are available for anyone that brings any LucasArts merchandise to the bar to show their devotion and respect; the more obscure the swag the better the prize or discount!

        Dust to dust, cash in’s to cash in’s…

        See you in the underworld.

        Click here for facebook event.

        Loading Soho is at 53, Rupert Street, Soho.

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          Table top gaming comes to Loading Soho

          As well as our weekend of Bioshock based good times, tomorrow night (Saturday the 30th), we will be playing hosts here at Loading Soho to Big Red Barrels ‘BRBoardgame night’.

          Here’s the lowdown:

          ‘Do you like the combination of cocktails, board games and video games all in one handy London based location? Good, because we would like to invite you to join us for a night of board games in London’s newly opened Loading Bar in Soho.

          To help celebrate International Table Top Day (that’s as in Table Top gaming not dancing, just making that clear as this is Soho) Big Red Barrel is hosting a night of board games, on behalf of Esdevium Games. There will be a wide selection of old favourites to some current newer strategy games and some videogame based board games. All will be FREE to play, entry is FREE and there will be board game and video game prizes available on the night. The only thing you need to pay for is your drinks – which we advise doing as they are tasty and in some cases game related.’

          Click here to visit the BRB blog for more details on the event.

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            Loading Soho Bioshock Bonanza

            Hello to all you lovely Loading friends and fans, guess what?

            We are having another London event and it’s this weekend!

            In conjunction with 2k games, we bring you our second big event, combining the same venue, atmosphere and good times with the awesome Bioshock infinite.

            Yesterday we revealed our new Bioshock cocktails, lovingly crafted for 2K, which had until now been held captive under the watchful gaze of the Embargo Bird.

            We decided that offering up these drinks pictures was nice, but we could do MUCH BETTER. We have launched plenty of tie in drinks but never made it easy for you to come and try them in person.

            If only there was a way we could do what we did last week with our first Loading Soho party but make it on a weekend and go one (of a few) better…

            So rather than one pop up night, Loading Soho in MADD is launching the first of our “open beta testing” events for not one, but four days.

            We will be offering up Bioshock Infinite to play on 5 swanky new 32″ screens with the original Bioshock playable for anyone who wants to experience the game that started it all.

            We’re not just stopping at that, the heroes at 2K have decided to support us, so the first 50 attending on Friday night from 5pm will receive:

            1x ‘Vigor’ cocktail/our non-alcoholic equivalent
            1x Song bird poster
            1x Lanyard
            1x FREE TSHIRT!

            But 2K didn’t stop there, everyone that buys a drink gets a ticket to enter the prize draw to win one of the following:

            1 Xbox Collector’s Edition (Ultimate Songbird Edition)

            1 PS3 Premium Edition

            1 PC Premium Edition

            1 Xbox Premium Edition

            2 Skyhook replicas

            2 Elizabeth figurines

            2 Boys of Silence figurines

            If you don’t already follow @2KUKPR give them a follow/send them a tweet and say how amazing they are for helping make Loading Soho happen full time!

            See you there! Join us from Friday @ 5pm until Monday @ 11pm

            Free Entry, drinks at normal prices. (ID required for any drink redemption)

            Tweet @2KUKPR account some Loading love and hashtag #loadingsoho for the chance to win extra free cocktails and coffee from Loading for the rest of the 3 days.

            Let us know your coming on our facebook event.

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              Bioshock beverages

              We were lucky enough to get to sample the first 2 hours of Bioshock Infinite at the tail end of 2012  to research how we could create real world versions of the vigour’s consumed in the game.

              So, without further ado:

              Our first creation in the  Devils Kiss, giving the drinker the power of flame and potentially a nasty hangover.

              The second of our tributes was inspired by the Vigour possession. We wanted to stay true to the setting and avoid using ingredients that would be out of place in Columbia.

              Have a peep at the images below and if you want the recipes, then click here.

              Keep your eyes open for some more news this week regarding Loading and Bioshock Infinite, especially if you live in London…

              Devils Kiss.

              Devils Kiss.

               

              Possession.

              Possession.

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                A Loading Soho tale…

                So, last week, we opened a temporary London branch of Loading Bar in the middle of Soho with hopes of showcasing the kind of atmosphere and space we could create given the opportunity in that there big city. (Ooh arr)
                734052_490465891001845_1568061651_n
                In Partnership with MADD cafe we set up shop, offering a pop up space for the gaming community to gather together to drink,relax and play.

                 

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                  Loading London event: Come say hi!

                  Live in London? Like Games and booze?

                  Tomorrow (Wednesday the 13th) and Thursday, we will be showcasing a venue in Soho that could potentially house a London branch of our unique gaming bar. Come say hello!

                  From 12:00 we will be onsite, making drinks and generally having a grand time. This is a chance for people to sample what it is that we do and prove that there is a need in Central London for a space to drink, relax and play.

                  Current Gen video games, retro consoles and board games; if it can fit in our van, we are bringing the lot from Cornwall to London!  Our resident artist Cosmic will also be drawing on the walls live.

                  If we can net enough bookings for future events during these test days we will open the space properly on April 2nd (3 weeks time!)

                  Head over to 53 Rupert Street, Soho from 12:00

                  Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/303347299793253/

                  ***UPDATES***

                  Our friends @Capcom_UK are taking over the basement to celebrate the release of DarkstalkersResurrection and SFxT

                  +

                  Thursday we’ll be open to make sure we can cater for everyone that wants to attend so 12-7 with Geek Pub meeting up in the evening http://www.meetup.com/geekpub/events/100699412/

                  **DOUBLE DRAGON UPDATE**

                  We are open 12-5 today (Wednesday) so you have one last chance to pop in to drink, relax, play, or any combination of the above.

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                    Saints Row 3way

                    Late last year we were given the chance to create a drink tribute for THQ’s Saints Row 3, we unleashed the Saints Row 3way on the public which you can see HERE. One thing we put together that never saw the light of day was this début into the world of instructional videos for recreating the drink.

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