My day off… at Dare ProtoPlay

Sometimes I actually take a day off. It’s not often but occasionally I take off my gaming hat and do something else. I thought the perfect opportunity for this recently would be when my good friend Kate was coming to stay for the weekend. Having been in Frag Dolls together for years we’ve rarely had time together ‘off the clock’, so to speak, and we thought we’d share a nice weekend sightseeing, shopping and going to restaurants.  So, of course we ended up trying out a ton of new games in development at Dare to be Digital’s ProtoPlay, playing Denki’s upcoming Xbox Live game Quarrel and meeting one of my gaming heroes.

Dare s
All photos taken with a phone. We were having a day off ok!!

ProtoPlay had 14 teams and 70 contestants from 14 universities across three continents creating their games over 10 weeks. Not only were the games completely new but conceptually they brought entirely new ways of thinking about games to the table. By the time I’d finished nudging small children off the test PC’s, wrestled Xbox and Wii controllers from innocent bystanders and hogged every console I could get to, my head was spinning with these completely new ways to play.

Playing s
Rock Rebellion uses Guitar Hero peripherals to destroy enemies in an action adventure

After feeling that maybe we weren’t really carrying out our ‘weekend off’ in the spirit in which we had planned it we slinked away upstairs with the intention of buggering off for something to eat. On our way out what did we spy but the Denki stand with a game I’ve heard loads about, Quarrel. I’ve been hoping to get my hands on it for a while and just couldn’t resist. All the pods were taken up and I was just about to nudge a child in the face when I saw someone who I thought might be able to  help me out. Actual Gary Penn. Gary Penn, Ex Creative Director of DMA, Gary Penn who helped make Crackdown, Gary Penn now Studio Head at Denki, Gary Penn, official games press legend and former Editor of Zzap!64. You know the guy. So I go over shove my hand out and say, in my best voice, Excuse me Mr Penn, my name’s Kirsten from Ready Up and I recently did an interview with you for my Lessons in Games… “Oh yes, of course! Come, and I’ll show you Quarrel.” And that was that. Like long lost brothers we were, except I’m not a guy and he was just being polite. Still, Gary Penn, eh?

GP and me s
Actual Gary Penn and I thinking up some good Quarrel words.

Quarrel is a strategy word game taking elements of Scrabble, Risk and Countdown bringing them together in a bright fun package. The game had Ready Up’s Dan and my friend Kate shouting “PIG! PIG!” and “LIMES!” over my shoulder and Gary jumping up and down behind me shouting big clever legendary journalist and Quarrel expert type words at me that I’d never be able to spell before the timer ran out. I won my game of Quarrel in the end though despite their ‘help’. With so few games like this on Xbox Live I genuinely can’t wait for it to launch later in the year.

Kate and I quit while we were ahead and ran for the nearest restaurant and bottle of wine we could get our hands on and retreated from the world of gaming for a bit… well at least until later, when we sat up all night watching our mates play Street Fighter IV, obviously.







9 responses to “My day off… at Dare ProtoPlay”

  1. John.B avatar

    “Quarrel is a strategy word game taking elements of Scrabble, Risk and Countdown bringing them together in a bright fun package.”

    Good god, throw in a bottle of coke and sex and that is my perfect game.

  2. Kirsten avatar

    Well maybe… is it a glass bottle of coke? If it’s glass then I agree.

  3. Darach avatar

    Oh! >.:-(

    *closes eyes and wishes for an end to the summer season*


  4. Darach avatar

    :/ That wasn’t right ^^

    What it should’ve said was;
    “Now I want a day off >.< with games, and Gary Penn, and games, and wine and games"


  5. David Thomson @ Denki avatar
    David Thomson @ Denki

    Aww, thanks for the lovely words about Quarrel (and our Gaz)! Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂


  6. Michael Slevin avatar
    Michael Slevin

    I was there, met up with a Twitter pal, met Brian from Denki, had fun. 🙂
    The version of Rock Rebellion I played was broken. The strums weren’t registering and I floated around the game world as a dead body after losing a battle.
    Some of the stuff on display was good if a little identical to some of the stuff that’s been releases recently, but some stuff, such as Pixel Pirates entry, made innovative use of the technology they were provided.
    Gentlemen O’ Fortune thoroughly deserved their award, their version of Quick as Thieves was simply brilliant to play.
    The future of the Scottish games industry remains as bright as ever. 🙂
    Also, Quarrel is awesome.

  7. MrCuddleswick avatar

    Quarrel sounds proper bo!

    I guess you can never have a day off…..

  8. John.B avatar

    “Well maybe… is it a glass bottle of coke? If it’s glass then I agree.”

    Glass is of course supreme but if the game and sex are great then I’d settle for plastic so long as it’s chilled.

  9. Lorna avatar

    Sounds like a good game – nice to have a break form more serious titles!

Leave a Reply