I’m not a regular writer here at EnosTech, but I have been to a few events with the main man behind this fantastic site. In fact, over the last couple years as the world has returned back to some sort of normality following the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve become seasoned attendees at various events recently. And I was lucky enough to recently attend a new gaming event in Manchester called FORMAT.
Before attending, I was lucky enough to sit down and chat with the event organiser Simran Whitham over on my own site FULLSYNC. Asking him about the plans for the event, what we could expect and what the future holds. So be sure to check that out if you want some finer details on what FORMAT actually is. But to get you up to speed quickly, it’s essentially a gaming nightlife event.
Armed with a sense of anticipation, I embarked on my journey to FORMAT. Once we had arrived and had found ourselves inside, the venue was pulsating with energy, with crowds filling the indoors and the sun-kissed beer garden outside. Our exploration started with a refreshing stop at the bar followed by a walk around the mid-level floor.
The first thing that caught our attention was the approachable nature of the game developers. They were happily showing off their works-in-progress from neatly organised booths.
A particular highlight was an interactive game developed by a small indie developer, Lowtek. The magic of their Light Book, an Android projector-powered pop-up book game, left us awestruck. And it was a real glimpse into how technology can be used beyond its initial purpose to create something new and exciting unlike anything we had ever seen before.
Downstairs was a gamers’ paradise that successfully blended the gaming experience with a nightclub’s charm. The space featured music from a live DJ and a plethora of developers, including names like Flix Interactive, Team17, and Leda Entertainment.
There were also other types of gaming related companies there. During our exploration, we savoured Wraith Energy’s slushies, which provided a welcome break. We were impressed by the various flavours available to sample, and were particularly fond of the event exclusive FORMAT X Wraith Energy Formango flavour.
There was also another company, Studiotypes, essentially a gaming industry talent agency. They hosted a charity giveaway, supporting SpecialEffect, with a claw machine to win prize draw tickets. We spoke with the guys about a little of what they did, and it’s genuinely nice to see companies out there helping others find work in a field that they love. After all, work isn’t work when you enjoy what you do.
Heading up to the top floor offered a quieter refuge for those needing a break from the event’s vibrant energy. There were still a few games here, but the vibe was a lot calmer than that of downstairs.
My perception of gaming events had been waning, particularly after the underwhelming experience at the last Insomnia Gaming Festival I attended with EnosTech. But FORMAT rekindled my faith. The event’s welcoming atmosphere, mutual camaraderie, and a consistent buzz of positivity was refreshing and truly unmatched by any other gaming event I’ve attended.
FORMAT’s unique take on the gaming event allowed for mingling with like-minded enthusiasts and game creators. This gave it a distinct edge over events with representatives who might lack in-depth knowledge about the showcased products. Simran did mention future plans for FORMAT in our conversation, and I can’t wait to see what they entail. Because if the plans are for this event to get bigger and better, I can’t wait to see how it develops.
Ever since we left, I’ve been craving for another such immersive night. I am now a full-fledged FORMAT fan. The wait for the next announcement is going to be challenging, because I’m not as patient as some may think. But, there is nothing I can personally do to speed things up so I guess I just have to wait around.
If you haven’t attended a FORMAT event yet, I highly recommend that you do. And next time, hopefully the big cheese at EnosTech will be tagging along himself for a much needed catch up with me, because I’m sure he’ll enjoy it just as much as I did.