The organisers of Nottingham's GameCity festival have announced the dates for this year's event: Thursday 30th October to Saturday 1st November 2008.
As usual, the dates for the family-friendly event cover the end of the autumn half-term holidays. This year that includes Halloween, so we wouldn't be surprised to see a spooky element to proceedings.
There will also be a new venue - local nightclub, Gatecrasher Loves Nottingham. This replaces the Broadway Cinema as the hub of the festival, with a particular focus on seminars for students who want to enter the games industry. However, as with the previous two GameCity festivals, there will be public events taking place all over town in venues varying from tea shops to bookshops to the Market Square.
There's no word on the programme yet, but based on previous years, you can expect a healthy mix of student workshops, events for kids, and screenings, talks and presentations by major names in games development.
We attended last year and loved the relaxed, intimate and inclusive feel of this small festival. The Star Wars theme had stormtroopers closing down a street for Darth Vader's tea party, and Jonathan Smith of Traveller's Tales showing Lego Star Wars Complete to an audience of argumentative children.
We also particularly enjoyed the Q&A session with the completely adorable Alexey Pajitnov, inventor of Tetris, and unhinged Katamari creator Keita Takahashi expounding his "unique" worldview before presenting a world-exclusive demonstration of his next game, Noby Noby Boy. Bizarre Creations, Free Radical and Rare all held informative behind-the-scenes talks. We did not enjoy humiliating ourselves at Wii Sports tennis on a cinema-sized screen in front of crowds of shoppers in the Market Square, but that's nobody's fault but ours.
Provided the organisers can keep up this standard, GameCity 2008 should be worth a visit. We'll bring you more on the programme as it's announced.