For many people, meeting their childhood heroes at PLAY Expo is one of the highlights of the show. We always have a variety of developers, musicians, artists, YouTubers and other alumni from the videogames industry - past and present - and PLAY Expo London will be no exception. Thanks to our good friends at The Retro Hour Podcast we've managed to get some of the biggest names in retro gaming along to the show. The guys will be hosting the talks stage all weekend where you can see all these amazing guests.
Here's who we have lined up so far...
Deemed a developer ahead of his time, Archer dropped into the games industry with his smash-hit Dropzone for the Atari 800, before following it up with the esteemed International Karate, and IK+, to great success.
Known for being a "one-man band" game developer he took exceptional care of his craft, especially when porting his own games to different systems which he used to do himself! Archer will be joining us for a talk about his career and a Q&A session afterwards.
Sega artist Duncan Gutteridge surged into popularity during the 16 Bit era of gaming as he provided not only the illustrations for fan-favourite Sonic, but also Knuckles for Sonic 3 (1994) & Sonic Triple Trouble for the Game Gear!
Duncan will be running a Sonic Drawing Masterclass for those of you interested in polishing up your blue hedgehog drawing skills. Come and take tips on how to draw Sonic from a pro!
The Oliver Twins
The ‘Oliver Twins’ rose to fame in the 1980s when they developed the ‘Simulator’ and ‘Dizzy’ games franchises.
They're probably the most prolific 8-bit game developers in the world, having created an amazing 53 games – 26 of which where #1 bestsellers!
Founded in 1987 by Mike Montgomery, The Bitmap Brothers are the original ‘rock star’ developers: a small but highly successful development team with a history of creating unique, critically and commercially acclaimed games. Vice magazine described them as "The coolest Amiga developer ever, this studio did things in the early 90s that made their peers weep with envy.”
Continually striving for originality, attention to detail and new levels of playability, the company has been responsible for several of the games industry’s most memorable titles, and have developed for nearly every hardware platform to date.
With award-winning games such as Xenon, Speedball, Magic Pockets, Gods, Cadaver, Xenon 2, Speedball 2, The Chaos Engine, The Chaos Engine 2, Z, Speedball 2100 and most recently the critically acclaimed RTS hit; Z: Steel Soldiers in their catalogue, The Bitmap Brothers are a retro force to be reckoned with!
Paul Rose AKA Mr Biffo will be joining us at PLAY Expo London for a chat and Q&A about Digitiser, the upcoming show and firing goujons into space!
Digitiser was a video games magazine that was broadcast on Teletext in the UK between 1993 and 2003 - and at its peak enjoyed 1.5 million views a day. Paul launched Digitiser 2000 in 2014, a website in the style of the original Digitiser magazine.
Jon co-founded Sensible Software in the 1980s with Chris Yates and the company went on the produce some of the most successful games of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Notable titles that Jon has worked on include the Sensible Soccer franchise, Cannon Fodder games, Wizball, Mega Lo Mania and Wizkid.
More recently Jon has worked on an updated version of Speedball 2 for handheld devices and PC as well as Sociable Soccer, the spiritual successor to Sensible Soccer. The latter will be playable in our indie zone.
Andrew founded Hewson Consultants in the early 1980s, where they quickly established a reputation for producing high-quality games that continually pushed the boundaries of what the computers at the time were capable of.
Notable titles included Uridium, Cybernoid, Paradroid, Exolon, Nebulus and many more.
Andrew then went on to form 21st Century Entertainment, releasing chart-topping hit such as Pinball Dreams, Pinball Fantasies & Pinball Illusions!
Industry legend, avid programmer, and all round good guy Jim Bagley will be joining us at PLAY Expo London.
He'll have his two new Rusty Pixels games for the Spectrum Next available to play in our Indie Zone, Baggers in Space & an enhanced version of Warhawk. So whether you want to play his new titles, discuss his time in the games industry, or the Spectrum Next, make sure to say hey!
Knightmare Guests, Panel Talk and Q&A
As well as games industry guests we will also have a number of features around the 1980's TV Show Knightmare. Knightmare was a fantasy adventure game show, shown on ITV in the UK between 1987 & 1994. Created and produced by Tim Child, it made extensive use the “Chroma-Key” (Blue Screen) Technique to send its participants through fantasy medieval dungeons, solving puzzles, and interacting with the world and it's unusual denizens. We will be featuring the hit stage show Knightmare Live at PLAY Expo London and will have the following guests on our panel.
Hugo played the Dungeon Master Treguard in Knightmare throughout its entire run between 1987 & 1994, with Treguard being the only recurring character to appear in every single one of the 112 episodes. To coincide with us bringing Knightmare Live! to PLAY Expo London, we thought it'd be a perfect opportunity to bring along Treguard himself to take part in our Knightmare TV Show Panel with other guests from the TV series. And he'll also be making an appearance in the stage show itself! And if this wasn't enough, you'll be able to get a professional photo taken with Hugo in his full Treguard costume over the weekend.
Known for his gorgeous cover arts for games such as Populous, James Pond 2, and Shadow of the Beast 3, David provided airbrushed backdrops for use in Knightmare; sometimes doing 20 hour days to ensure the audience and participants had new and exciting dungeons to explore. David will be taking part in our Knightmare TV Show Panel - more of that to follow soon! He will also be exhibiting and selling some of his amazing artwork, so if you're a fan, you'll want to be at PLAY Expo London! You can find David's work over on his website.
In 2013 Actor turned Creative Director Paul Flannery debuted his live adaptation for the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where it received rave reviews and sell-out audiences. It has since been performed in Edinburgh (2014), on a national tour, and a one-off special show at the Lyric Theatre in London’s West End! Paul will also be a guest on our Knightmare Panel.
YouTube Panel Talk and Q&A
And to round off our guests we will have a big YouTube Panel on the Sunday with some of the best known retro content creators in the country. Here's who we have lined up so far:
Comedian, actor, author, and internet sensation Stuart Ashen, better known as Ashens will be joining us all weekend long. Ashens is best known for his YouTube channel which has over 1.3 million subscribers and has had over 370 million views to date. He has appeared on several TV shows including Charlie Brookers Screenwipe and The Armstrong and Miller Show. He also wrote the film 'Ashens and the Quest for the GameChild' which he starred in alongside Warwick Davis and Robert Llwellyn. His book 'Terrible Old Games You've Probably Never Heard Of' is a compilation of reviews of some of the worst retro games ever written and reached its crowdfunding target in just 12 hours.
Larry Bundy Jr
Larry Bundy Jr, AKA Guru Larry, is known for his work as a TV presenter, comedian, artist, and content creator over on YouTube. His first presenting job was Game Guru on Game Network, and the name stuck ever since; so if you want to know obscure gaming facts you’ve never heard before, love obscure games, movies, and a bizarre sense of humour, then he’s the YouTuber for you! You can find all his content over at: www.youtube.com/LarryBundyJr
Nostalgia Nerd was created to provide an outlet for one man's passion of vintage hardware, software, gaming and general retro junk. Available on the web, as well as social media; the main focus is the Nostalgia Nerd Youtube channel, where you'll find documentaries of old computers, consoles & the software which ran on them. Each piece of hardware has it's own fascinating story, and the channel is dedicated to telling those stories in a way which brings back those euphoric nostalgic feelings. You can find all his content over at: www.youtube.com/nostalgianerd
Kim Justice is an alleged content creator on YouTube (her words, not ours!) she mostly makes long documentaries on video game companies and shorter reviews of retro games with a focus on the Amiga, ZX Spectrum, and Sega Mega Drive. She is also a writer for both Retro Gamer and Retronauts!
Slopes Games Room
Slopes Game Room - Historic Documentary Style Videos... About Video Games! Daniel Ibbertson AKA DJ Slope from Slopes Game Room aims to bring you the complete history on your gaming past, your nostalgia is safe with him!
Octav1us is a gaming YouTuber who concentrates mostly on retro games - especially ones that are notoriously bad; she is also a charity streamer, having raised upwards of £2000 for mental health charities so far, and is herself an advocate for mental health awareness among gamers. This year, she will also be a co-host on the upcoming Digitiser Show!
We have one last surprise YouTube Panel guest for you! Known for his work on The VG Resource, VG Facts, and as a content creator for Did You Know Gaming?, Daniel Brown aka Dazz will be joining us at PLAY Expo London!
Alongside his reputation for finding unused beta content left in games over on the various VG Resource pages, Dazz also runs the popular Region Locked series over on DYKG. The show focuses on the wonderful, and often wacky, world of regional exclusive games, and giving gamers a chance to experience games they might have otherwise missed.
All our talks and panels will be hosted by the guys from The Retro Hour Podcast.