Guildford.Games Festival 2024 Sponsor Spotlight: UCA

Can't stop, won't stop! It's time for *checks notes* Part 4 of our Sponsor Spotlight series on the blog! This time we are chatting to Andy Bossom of University for the Creative Arts (UCA)! We look back on Andy's festival highlights & how seaside arcades sparked his love for gaming!

Why did you choose to sponsor the Guildford.Games Festival? What aspects of the festival resonate with your company's values and goals?

The University for the Creative Arts has been involved with the festival in one form or another, since its inception. Being part of the Guildford games hub echo system, UCAs Games graduates have started their careers in Guildford hub for over a decade. UCA is proud to be a part of this key national and international games community. 

How do you believe the Guildford.Games Festival positively impacts the local community in Guildford and the gaming industry at large?

The Guildford Games Festival is great way for the local community to take pride in how the hub has shaped and continues to shape the world of games across both nationally and internationally. Exciting to see, great for local business and regional growth.

From your perspective, what unique opportunities does the festival provide for fostering connections between gaming enthusiasts, developers, and industry leaders?

The festival is a fantastic opportunity for games companies, indie developers, educators, and game enthusiast to celebrate the breadth of games culture in the region, to play their games and to meet and hear from the developers. In person events are magic!

Could you share a memorable moment or experience from a previous Guildford.Games Festival/Dev Drinks/Awards that highlights its significance to your and/or within the gaming community?

As an academic and education designer in higher education, it has been exciting and rewarding to see our graduate games to market  made in our games incubator enterprise studio being played by the public and fellow developers at the Guildford Games Festival. UCA Games contributing to the amazing array of titles that are released from the Guildford hub has been a high point.

In what ways do you think events like the Guildford.Games Festival contribute to the innovation, longevity, and evolution of the gaming industry?

Celebrating the history, legacy and the continued offer of Guildford as leading games hub by having a festival is a fabulous way to showcase and share the great work going on in the region.

What was the first video game you remember playing, and how did it influence your love for gaming?

Before I had an my Intellivision or Atari 2600 home consoles, or my KingSonic or Astro Wars arcade handheld games, was the shear wonder of the seaside arcade. I was first exposed to playing video games during my easter and summer holidays in Ramsgate, down at the sea front arcades during the late 1970s and early 1980s. So many classic arcade games to spend your limited pocket money on, like Space invaders (78), Asteroids (79), Missile Command (80) to Defender(81) and Sinistar (83). After that, games were in the blood!

If you could be any video game character for a day, who would you choose and why?

The evolving polygonal character out of REZ. Flying around to the beats, too good!

What's your favourite gaming memory from your childhood?

Unwrapping my Atari 2600 on Christmas day and playing it all afternoon till my family were sick of the bleeping noises.

Are there any video game soundtracks that hold a special place in your heart? Which ones and why?

The beautifully minimal and elegant guitar composition by Gustavo Santaolalla create for The Last of US. Amazing, evocative, emotional. To me, a masterpiece.

If you could visit any gaming world or environment in real life, where would you go and what would you do?

The Division, the winter pandemic in New York amid the snow and the chaos, assembling fun tech, but mostly trying not to get shot or set on fire!

What's your go-to video game for winding down after a long day?

Something with weapons and mini missions. Very cathartic. 

If you could create a brand new video game genre, what would it be like and what would you name it?

... it would be great to see more applied games dedicated to fun forms of collective problem solving, which incorporate embedded research, a gamification based around helping people and making the world a better place. Called, Together.