‘Big Games Night In’ for testing new and upcoming locally-made video games

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The ‘Big Games Night In’ presented by ACMI on Sunday 2 October gives families and friends the chance to test an exciting selection of new and upcoming locally-made video games for free.

Back for an even bigger third year, having cemented itself as a much-loved part of the Melbourne International Games Week public events program, ACMI’s Big Games Night In is an opportunity for families, friends and households to connect, celebrate Australian game-makers and try out an amazing range of new videogames.

The specially curated selection of free-to-access games on offer showcases the diversity and uniqueness of Australia’s thriving games industry. This year players can embody an adorably woolly cult leader in Cult of the Lamb, enjoy spooky synth-pop-laden puzzles with A Halloween Valentine, explore beautiful and fantastical worlds in e-Scape and Drive Me to the Moon and much more.

Once again, the Big Games Night In will proudly feature numerous finalists of the 2022 Australian Game Developer Awards (AGDAs) across multiple categories. This year – for the first time – ACMI is partnering with the AGDAs on the inaugural and highly coveted ACMI Audience Award. Members of the public are invited to visit ACMI to try out a selection of outstanding games and vote for their favourite. The winning game will be announced on Sunday 9 October 2022.

The games showcased at Big Games Night In (BGNI) will be available to play from home throughout the whole of Melbourne International Games Week, starting Sunday 2 October. During this time, ACMI will also host several “Ask Me Anything” sessions with game developers via a Discord server, where users can communicate directly with game developers.

Victoria is home to Australia’s thriving games industry, which has seen revenue nearly double to $226 million since 2016 and employment increase by more than 50% in the same period. With the global success of games from local creators like Untitled Goose Game, The Forgotten City, and newly released Cult of the Lamb, Melbourne International Games Week (1-9 October) is an exciting arena for ideas, collaboration and inspiration – tapping into a thriving network of people who share a love of games, helping to build capability and connections that uplift the whole community.

Some of the highlights in this year’s BGNI selection of games:

Cult of the Lamb by Melbourne developers Massive Monster is an adorably dark adventure/management game that sees you play god-worshipper and recruit other animals to join your cult.

A Halloween Valentine is the much anticipated follow-up to last year’s award-winning Video World by Things for Humans. A spooky and romantic puzzle game with a synth-pop soundtrack composed by Jacob Leaney, get a first look at A Halloween Valentine at BGNI.

e-scape by Olivia Haines is a zen nature experience game that sees you explore an abandoned virtual world – a love letter to the bygone online worlds of the 2000s, and Drive Me to the Moon is a tiny open-world driving game with a romantic twist.

Susurrus is a narrative adventure game created by winner of the ACMI + RMIT Games Prize, Caleb Noeller, in collaboration with Sarah Carlton. Explore a foreign country as Bo, who teams up with his friend Asha to help find Bo’s archaeologist uncle who has mysteriously gone missing.

Mars First Logistics by Ian MacLarty is an open-world physics simulator set on the surface of Mars. Your task is to build robots, gather materials and help deliver unwieldy resources to other space colonies, and explore the hostile environment by any means necessary.

Call of the Golden Valley is a first-person modern murder mystery by O’Saurus Studios, set in the High Country of Victoria. After a magpie postpones your trip to America, a friend asks you to go look for her missing brother in a regional town. Travel to Phillipston, interview locals and uncover clues.

Butterfly Dollhouse was created by ACMI+RMIT Games Prize runner up Chase Profeca, along with team members Jessica Schembri, Jessica Tuohey, Joshua Bowyer and Jam Walker. The game features a player exploring a dollhouse to uncover secrets and solve adorable puzzles.

Arieh Offman, ACMI’s videogames curator and public programmer, says: “ACMI is so proud to be presenting the Big Games Night In for the third consecutive year as part of Melbourne International Games Week. This event enables ACMI and its audiences to show its support for the local videogames industry and the variety of world-class games being created right here in Victoria and beyond. The Big Games Night In is a great opportunity for families and friends to get together and share memorable times playing the latest videogames.”

Things for Humans game developer Jake Leaney says: “I’m excited to be part of ACMI’s Big Games Night In this year because it’s a way for me to connect with audiences who may not always consider themselves gamers! It’s a practical and fun way to reach these audiences and celebrate local games with the community!”

KEY PROGRAM DETAILS

MIGW’s ‘Big Games Night In’ on Sunday 2 October offers a free-to-access space for games enthusiasts of all ages to enjoy new games by local game developers, specially curated by ACMI. Visit the ACMI website and share your fun on social using #MIGW22 #BGNI

Event: MIGW’s ‘Big Games Night In’

Date/Time: 2-9 October 2022

Where: At home on your PC, or gaming console for some limited games

To access the games, the online community and the Discord server visit the ACMI website.

Hashtags: #MIGW22 #BGNI

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