Arriving the day before at Blackpool and after terrible driving conditions throughout the whole trip up north, we settled into the hotel, had a gorgeous supper and headed out to take in the sights of this popular coastal town.
Incredibly cold, wet and windy but a fun to stroll around the illuminated streets.
Stopping by one of the many arcades to warm up and I spotted a four-up Sega Rally & Sega Daytona. Perfect to kick start our retro gaming weekend!
The following day I headed up to Norbeck Castle were R3play was being hosted. Judging by the long line of eager gamers, this was going to be one hellava busy event. Thankfully, Norbeck Castle is huge, so plenty of room for everyone.
After grabbing a coffee and saying hello to a few folk I headed into the main room but wasn’t prepared for the sheer amount of computers, consoles and arcade machines on display. There was so much stuff, it was difficult to know where to start! Looking at the lines of impressive arcade cabinets, I made this my first port of call. They has everything from Defender, to Frogger and Outrun to Pheonix. Nestled between a classic Star Wars cab and a more modern Star Wars Trilogy arcade cabinet was one of my all time favorites – Atari’s Return of the Jedi. It’s not actually a great game but there’s something about it that I love and played this for hours way back in the mid eighties.
The marquee had also been signed by Dave Prowse (Darth Vader), Jeremy Bullock (Boba Fett) and Warrick Davies (Wicket). I shall be making enquiries..i want to own it:-)
Plenty of pinball machines available too.
Starting to get busy now. This is one half of the main room.
Gary and the chaps from Amibay had put on a great selection of Commodore Amiga’s. Whilst watching Mark & Duncan playing Team 17’s Project X, forgot how good this game is, must hunt it out again and give it another blast.
Escaping the relentless noise of the music being pumped out of the PA (something I’d have to admit was a a little enoying at times) I sought shelter in the ‘Ocean’ room and chatted with fellow ‘RCM-er’s’ and met Jim Bagley one of the brilliant coders who worked on coin-op conversions for the Sinclair Spectrum such as Cabal and Midnight Resistance.
I also got chatting to the head of one of the best publishers during the 80’s/90’s – Gary Bracey of Ocean software. A really nice chap who seemed a little shell shocked by that Retro Gaming was so popular and the many fans of Ocean games after all these years.
Browsing various classic game artwork by Bob Wakelin in various guises from mugs to mouse mats.
The second day was much like the first, albeit slightly less people. Aiming for the Commodore’s, I sat down with Duncan for a Stunt Car Racer linkup
These were great, old PC’s networked together for plenty of old school Lan deathmatches with Doom II, Heretic, Hexen, Dark Forces and Quake = Happy days!!
The first of the days Q&A sessions was hosted by Retro Gamer magazine Paul Drury and his guest, father of Llamasoft, the legend that is Jeff ‘Yak’ Minter!
Jeff talked about all of his work at Llamasoft from Deflex, Gridhunter, Attack of the Mutant Camels through to Tempest 2000 (the latter being the only reason why I brought a Atari Jaguar), and other projects he worked on including ill fated Konix Multisystem through to the Xbox and beyond. A really nice chap and was full of anecdotes during the golden age of computer gaming . Later on, I spoke to him outside and almost wet myself when I saw what brand of cigarettes he was smoking – Camel – what else 🙂
After lunch the second round of Q&A sessions was with another legend, Jon Hare of Sensible Software. Unlike most, Sensible Soccer isn’t my cup of tea but Wizball and Cannon Fodder are. Another great session full of tales from the days when he and Chris Yates started out including the ups and downs and on to more rescent developments with the iPhone and iPad.
Cannon Fodder..the main reason why I skipped so many classes at college 🙂
With the last few hours of R3play winding down, time to get that last game in.
Collection of racer cabs including Outrun and Chase HQ.
Pimped Amiga 1200 from Amibay.
Apart from the loud music and terrible lighting for photo’s, a pretty good retro gaming event.
One last look out of the hotel window before heading home.