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Looking back at ECTS

Myrthos, 2001-09-10

Like previous years the ECTS was held in London, but they changed the location in London it was held at. In previous years the Olympia building was the place to be, this year (and the next year as well) it was at the Excel building. Maybe a friendlier building, but also a smaller one. But as this year there were less exhibitors as previous years, the smaller size was no problem at all I assume.

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ECTS was held for the first time at Excel

ECTS was a three day exhibition from Sunday the 2nd of September to Tuesday the 4th. If you are a visitor then you could easily do it in one day, as it's not that big and if you are a press dude then you could do it as well, but I had my appointments on all 3 days, so I was there for the duration.

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Even though my agenda was not filled up, several of the exhibitors I had an appointment with had a demo not running. There was Spells of Gold at Buka, Arx Fatalis at Fishtank, Valhalla Chronicles at Paradox and Neocron at CDV to name a few. Fortunately all the other things they wanted to show were working very well. It's just a shame that I could not see them in action

ECTS has two purposes. Firstly and most importantly it's a trade show and for that purpose it's a meeting place for publishers, distributors and developers. There were several stands where entertainment related arti-cles were displayed, such as DVD's, books and packaging materials, which did not quite attract my attention. But there was also a developers section where the developers showed some of their wares. For the most part the tools to create a game were displayed here, with among other things, the latest 3D engines and software. Also in the developers section was FunCom who were promoting the much debated game Anrachy Online to be released in Europe on the 28th of September.

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For that purpose they had something like 20 PC's lined up where the visitors could play. I actually was more interested in Midgard, their new online game which is currently in development. Unfortunately I visited them late and they were booked full as the Midgard demo was behind closed doors. But I did get a chance to chat with them about the game, so I have enough info to feature something on it at a later moment.

The other purpose of ECTS is of course publicity. For that reason you could find a lot of press roaming around. And apparently gathering as much brochures and trinkets is a sport not only prohibited to regular visitors. Luckily they were giving away huge bags for free so that was no problem for the collectors :-).

The emphasis on my visit to ECTS was of course the RPG's. There were several of them, but there were also several others who were noteworthy enough. There were racing games being showed and some of them even brought a car.

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This stand was made up of a racing car. The car stars in a racing game with puppets (name unknown) And even an original racing car

There were also some oddball games like Hooligans. It makes you wonder why on earth someone would want to play that. To stay in the spirit of the game their booth was actually nothing more than a bar, where you could drink for free......well even this game has it's positive sides I guess ;-)

Then there were a whole lot of different interfaces on display. There were the normal mouse, joysticks and steering wheels. But there were also the odd ones, like a tennis racket, a very small golf course and a bike. But you could also play a fighting game and actually do the fighting yourself in front of a simulator. And if you were into hunting then you could have a go at aiming one of the real looking rifles (or even a bow) at the screen and fire away. As the booth was still there at the end of the day we can safely assume that they were not loaded and can be used at home.

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For all the hunters among us, dress up! There is nothing better than a big gun Imagine this, kicking and boxing...

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