This time ten years ago, I was finishing a music video and counting the days until I completed my TAFE Diploma of Screen Production; mostly, I just imagined making it to the WA Screen Awards someday. Well, regardless of what my animation lecturer told me, technically I finally made it to the WASA (so there). I was honoured to attend as one of the judges for the category we here at GameCloud cared about the most: Best Game. With only two out of the 29 blindingly-reflective trophies going to games, I thought those of us attending would feel excluded. I imagined some roped off nerd area while the film people said things like ‘cinematography’ and ‘Canon’. Instead, Perth and FTI created a welcoming occasion for everyone who arrived at the Heath Ledger Theatre; so many creative, fancy people in one location was an encouraging insight to the industry here.
GameCloud’s Nick Ballantyne, William Kirk and Myself representing with WA Games & Interactive folk.
I won’t be taking you through the entire night; Joel Creasey and his handsome ankles did a better job of hosting the night than I ever would. The Best Game award was hosted by FTI’s own Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie, a name you’ll know for her support and advocacy of WA’s game industry. This year, she provided WASA with a brief look at being a game developer in Perth, and several familiar faces offered the encouraging crowd a glimpse of the industry’s future. The announced nominees for Best Game were Catnips from SK Games, DRUMBEAT Quest from Holyoake, and Square Heroes from Gnomic Studios. The nominees are a perfect showcase of industry capabilities, ranging from an alien bash-up free for all and interactive cat-milking game to a response-based teaching tool with promising applications. The WASA went to Holyoake for their game DRUMBEAT Quest, but huge congratulations to the nominees; there is always next year!
Vidoc about the WA games community which accompanied the best game category at the 27th WASA.
The Best Interactive Production nominees were Choose Your Homage: Chinchilla Hunt – I hadn’t heard of this before, but the name begs immediate investigation. Dinosaur Discovery Augmented Reality Experience; this was the clever interaction to coincide with WA museum’s Dinosaur Discovery. #emilywasted is another nominee that is something you should hunt down and see why it made it so WASA. Finally, The Dark Room: an interactive YouTube game that exploded everywhere, resulting in sold out live shows and complimentary 1970’s fitness bikes. These are better examples of diversity than something I could have made up, well done all, you creative geniuses! Hungry Sky and WA Museum received the shiny WASA for Dinosaur Discovery, and, as someone who spent several hours enjoying the experience, I have to say it was a well-deserved award.
If you want to try to appreciate what you missed then start by picturing the Oscars, full of gorgeous and excited industry professionals. Now swap Ellen DeGeneres as the host for, well, the funnier, male version of Ellen, throw in a 15% swear word minimum, and an audience that unashamedly cheered for the provided alcohol. We may be the most isolated city on the planet, but FTI know how to put on an awards show. Next year all I hope for are two things: more categories and entrants from our incredible game sector, and also a matte finish to the trophy design – for OH&S reasons. Thank you, WASA for a memorable night, and for being the only awards show I’ve ever been to that made it through all the interesting content and then ended suddenly. Just like this.