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Jul. 15, 2014 6:21 pm

Gamescape features 25 local game dev teams, grows into new space

Formerly held at MICA, the annual glimpse into the state of the Baltimore-area gaming scene will take place at a Station North theater space. With the new digs, the Gamescape exhibit will nearly double from 13 game dev teams to 25.

"Big Huggin'" on display at a previous Gamescape. The event is moving out of the Maryland Institute College of Art this year.

(Photo by Andrew Zaleski, file)

Now in its fifth year, the Gamescape exhibit at Artscape is moving to its next generation platform.

Previously held at the Maryland Institute College of Art’s Bunting Center, Gamescape moves this year to the former Single Carrot Theatre at 1727 N. Charles St. in Station North, where it’s open through this weekend’s festival.

“This space opened up and [the Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts] found out about it and grabbed it for us,” said Pure Bang Games founder Ben Walsh, the exhibit’s organizer.

The new space, central to the growing arts neighborhood, will allow Gamescape to nearly double (from 13 presenters to 25) and add several game-related merchandise- and video game-themed performers in the evenings.

It’s an annual view into the state of Baltimore-area gaming.

See the list of presenters

“We had outgrown [the Bunting Center] actually a couple years back,” Walsh said. “But the problem was there just aren’t a lot of indoor spaces in the city that are available” during Artscape.

The performers for the weekend include cover band Rare Candy, [explosion sound] and X-Hunters. The music will run 7 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. In addition to the music and merchants, Gamescape also includes a handful of classic arcade machines.

But really, it’s all about showcasing the new local talent.

Games on display include Brinkbit’s “Playing Favorites” (featured in this Technical.ly Baltimore report), Seven Hills Games’ colorful “Battle Prism” and BatteryStaple GamesL’s Mega Man-esque “Echoes of Eridu.”

Pure Bang Games will be exhibiting a demo version of its upcoming game “MUD,” and University of Maryland, Baltimore County and University of Baltimore students will show off their own creations. Details on all the games are posted on the Artscape website.

“The Baltimore developer community here, it’s really strong,” said Evan Fuller of Brinkbit. “It’s just three days hanging out with people in the area.”

Despite the added space, Walsh said it didn’t save him from turning away some promising titles.

“It’s hard to narrow the list down because of how good the games are,” he said. “It’s never fun to have to do that, but we had to turn a lot of people away. And everybody that showed games, they had good ideas.”

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Tyler Waldman

Tyler Waldman is lead reporter for Technical.ly Baltimore. A Towson University graduate and former local editor for Patch.com, Tyler has also written and photographed for publications including the Baltimore Brew, Howard County Times and Towson Times. He lives in Charles Village.

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