If you ever wanted to meet up with a creator or designer of a classic arcade game then the opportunities are often infrequent. Aside from an occasional classic game expo you might get lucky with an arcade trade show although those aren’t always open to the public.
An event this Saturday at the Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, IL is offering such an opportunity with a General Chaos Arcade Party. According to the press release below, “over a dozen video-game artists, programmers and designers are scheduled to attend.” That also includes Brian Colin of Game Refuge who I interviewed recently about his experiences at Midway and GR working on some games that never saw the buzz of production and Shawn Liptak who was the lead programmer on NBA Jam, among many other projects. The event will also serve as a way to drum up some more support for their General Chaos II Kickstarter project, which still has a ways to go to hit their $125k goal with 13 days left at this time of writing. Pictured here is one of the goal items being offered for the backer that pledges $10,000 or more.
I’ll just let the press release do the talking from here but if you are in the area it sounds like a can’t-miss kind of event!
“GENERAL CHAOS ARCADE PARTY”
MEET THE CREATORS OF YOUR FAVORITE CLASSIC VIDEO GAMES AND SUPPORT CHICAGO’S GROWING INDIE GAME DEVELOPMENT SCENE ON SEPTEMBER 28
Downers Grove, IL (September 23, 2013)—Longtime independent game development studio Game Refuge Inc. today finalized plans for its GENERAL CHAOS ARCADE PARTY, to be held at the Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield. It’s a rare opportunity for Chicago-area video-game fans to meet and compete with the creators of classic games like Arch Rivals, Rampage World Tour, Pigskin and many more.
“A lot of people think that video games originate from Silicon Valley or Japan and nowhere else,” says Chris Bieniek, a former video-game magazine editor-in-chief who also serves on the board of directors at the VideogameHistory Museum. “They don’t realize that some of the most popular games of all time were developed right here in Chicagoland. And that some of the people who made them are still in the area, still making great games.”
“Chicago was the epicenter of arcade game development in the golden age of video games,” says Brian Colin, a 31-year industry veteran whose earliest game credits include hits like Discs of Tron, Spy Hunter and Rampage. Recent articles in Chicago Magazine and on the Kotaku.com website have spotlighted Chicago’s thriving indie game development scene, of which Colin has been a cornerstone ever since he left Bally/Midway to form Game Refuge Inc. in 1992. “The formats keep changing, but nothing can compare with the ‘social gaming experience’ of a packed arcade on a Saturday night.”
In addition to celebrating the arcade legacy of Chicago-based game designers, the event will also be a rallying cry for a Kickstarter campaign mounted by Game Refuge to fund the development of General Chaos II: Sons of Chaos. The new game is a modern sequel to the company’s first independently-developed product, a “multiplayer battlegame of paramilitary pandemonium” that became a cult favorite on the Sega Genesis game console. “It’s the first crowdfunding campaign to offer a real two-player arcade game as one of its ‘backer rewards,’” says Game Refuge designer Shawn Liptak (lead programmer of NBA JAM, the arcade game with the highest weekly earnings of all time). “It’s an actual dual-touchscreen cocktail cabinet that’s being designed and custom-built for us by Galloping Ghost Productions.”
The GENERAL CHAOS ARCADE PARTY kicks off at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 28 at Galloping Ghost Arcade, 9415 Ogden Avenue, Brookfield, IL 60513. In addition to Colin, Liptak and Bieniek, over a dozen video-game artists, programmers and designers are scheduled to attend.
An all-ages tournament featuring the original General Chaos will begin an hour into the event. All attendees are invited to compete on original Sega Genesis hardware for prizes that include dozens of limited-edition General Chaos “Grunt Squad” PVC figures and a hand-cast bronze finish trophy of General Chaos himself.
No purchase is necessary. Fans can obtain a free “All Access Pass” to the event by visiting the General Chaos II Kickstarter project page at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/388449021/general-chaos-ii-sons-of-chaos and following the instructions on the GENERAL CHAOS ARCADE PARTY UPDATE #7.
The “All Access Pass” includes unlimited play on any of Galloping Ghost Arcade’s 400+ arcade games for the evening (a $15 value), the Classic Designer “Meet and Greet,” refreshments and entry to the General ChaosTournament for a chance to win prizes. Limit of 300 All Access Passes available.
ABOUT GAME REFUGE
Game Refuge Inc. was founded in 1992 by the creators of such classic video games as Rampage, Xenophobe and Arch Rivals. Since then, the company has conceived, designed and developed over 45 games for a variety of platforms, including the original General Chaos, Rampage World Tour and Star Trek: Voyager.
For more information, visit www.GameRefuge.com or www.facebook.com/GameRefuge.
ABOUT GALLOPING GHOST ARCADE
Located at 9415 Ogden Avenue in Brookfield, Illinois, Galloping Ghost Arcade currently has the largest collection of playable games of any arcade in America, all set on “free play” for an upfront entrance fee. Its selection of 400+ titles includes more than 75 de facto “exclusive” games that are not known to be playable at any other arcade in the country. For more information, visit www.GallopingGhostArcade.com.