Indie games festival ExPlay returns to Bath


ExPlay 2013 organisers announce today that the games festival will take place again in the historic Roman city of Bath. This year’s festival will build on the success of the last two years, which featured keynotes from Robert Briscoe of Dear Esther fame and Paul Taylor, creator of Frozen Synapse. Once again ExPlay 2013 is bringing together an expanded programme of talks, panels, games, parties and competitions that will take place in the stunning 17 th Century Assembly Rooms and Roman Baths on Wednesday 31 st October to Friday 1 st November 2013.

Confirming an early keynote, ExPlay is proud to have Mike Bithell, creator of Thomas Was Alone talking about his, as yet unannounced, upcoming title. Mike achieved fame with indie hit Thomas was Alone (, a simple yet addictive puzzle game narrated by Danny Wallace. IGN gave the hit game 8/10 commenting on its unique and entertaining gameplay, combined with its art, sound and narrative making it something more.

The festival, renown for its relaxed and intimate approach, features an area that will keep visitors gaming throughout the event. This year sees the introduction of the Indie Games Olympics, where attendees can compete for the highest overall score (and prizes) across all games exhibited. This new addition to the festival programme, opening for submissions shortly, will provide some exclusive airtime for the games on show and immortality in the ExPlay Hall of Fame. If you would like to enter your game for the Indie Games Olympics, then register your interest to receive an application pack by emailing

This year’s festival will again benefit from the support of exclusive media partner Edge (, who will host the hugely popular Edge Games Quiz on the closing night of 1 st November, as well as co-organising the talks and panels.

Festival Director Ella Romanos said, “We are delighted to be returning to Bath again, after last year’s festival brought together so many people from across the UK.  This year, we are focusing on continuing our great speaker line up, plus introducing some fun new events in our expo area, and also providing more opportunities for great networking.

We are inviting everyone involved in the games industry around the UK to get involved, as we continue to mix new and established talent together, from students and grads, to startups and established companies. We have a broad range of speakers and activities lined up, so expect some very exciting announcements soon.” 

Also supporting ExPlay is Creative England (, a national agency that invests in and supports creative ideas, talent and businesses in games and digital media as well as film and TV. 

Creative England aims to support the next generation of games developers by helping to grow the games’ industry. In August, they will launch GamesLab, an extensive programme of support and investment designed to support the growth of the region’s burgeoning games’ industry.

Creative England’s Head of Games and Digital Media, Jaspal Sohal, said:

"The ExPlay festival is a fantastic showcase of Indie Game Talent in the South West and we're looking forward to meeting some of the most creative developers in the industry. We’re delighted to part of this festival and are working closely with ExPlay, Game Developers and Trade Bodies to provide considerable support and resources to Indie Game Studios both in the South West, and nationally.

Councilor Ben Stevens, of Bath and North East Somerset Council commented "Last year's inaugural event was a fantastic demonstration of the games industry's talent and creativity - talent that is doing exciting, cutting-edge work right here in Bath and across the West of England. So we're really pleased to support ExPlay's return to Bath this autumn and look forward to an inspiring games showcase"

ExPlay Festival is being held from 31 st October until 1 st November 2013, with more details about the full programme to be announced throughout the summer at

Press contact: Korash Sanjideh


Notes to editors -  

About ExPlay

ExPlay represents the independent games development and design industry across the South West of England and beyond. We hold an annual conference that attracts leading speakers from the indie games circuit and support the growth of the industry through bespoke training programmes, business support and networking events throughout the year.  ExPlay is the bond between games academia and games industry, helping students and graduates connect with industry by showcasing the best indie games companies to create opportunities for that new talent, whilst building communities through meet-ups and holding Game Jams.

About Creative England

Creative England is a national agency that invests in and supports creative ideas, talent and businesses in film, TV, games and digital media. We aim to grow the brightest, the best, and those with the most promise so that individuals and businesses can achieve their full creative and commercial potential. We help identify future opportunities to grow the economy and generate jobs. With offices in Salford, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Nottingham, Pinewood and Elstree, we are a national agency with strong local and regional links.

About Mike Bithell

Mike began as a junior designer making navmeshes at Blitz Games. He worked his way up through the ranks for three and a half years, working on a number of shipped titles for all contemporary consoles. After three and a half years he joined Bossa Studios as their lead Designer, heading up design on a couple of projects. In his spare time at Bossa, Mike made Thomas Was Alone, a pretentious platforming game about friendship and jumping. Thomas Was Alone released on PC and Mac in mid 2012, later launching on Steam. It has since been released on Vita and PS3. Mike has now taken the leap to full indie development, currently working on his second project and burning through the money he made from Thomas Was Alone.


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