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Welcome to WASD

The Ukie Student Game Jam 2024 is coming up next month, a fun and creative challenge for our student members to create an original game demo within two days. The winning team will get the incredible opportunity to exhibit their game at video games expo WASD, coming to the Truman Brewery in London, 25-27 April 2024.

We sat down with David Lilley, Co-Founder of Roucan, the team behind WASD, to talk all things WASD and some top tips for first-time exhibitors.

What is WASD?

If you play games, make games or want to network in games, WASD is the perfect event for you. We showcase a big range of playable games from some of the best indie developers. You can learn about getting a job in games direct from industry experts on the Careers Stage, curated by Into Games. WASD brings everyone together to celebrate video games.

The Truman Brewery is a cool spot with lots to do not only in the show but also in the surrounding area of Brick Lane. It's really important for us that attendees feel safe to have fun and enjoy the atmosphere that playable indie games provide. There are also opportunities to meet developers, feedback on the showcased games, enjoy a full day of stage content and meet online friends in real life. All within a joyful environment. We love the fun of the show.

Why is it called WASD?

PC players will know that the W, A, S and D keys on a keyboard are used as directional controls in many video games. We like to pronounce it 'wazzed' (like 'jazzed'), but we also hear 'wazdee', 'W-A-S-D', and sometimes even 'wozzed'.

How long has WASD been going?

Our background was taking events from a small start to becoming culturally significant. WASD is in its third year, starting out at Tobacco Dock, and now at the Truman Brewery off Brick Lane.

Curios at WASD x IGN in September 2023
Curios at WASD x IGN in September 2023

The winning Game Jam demo will be showcased in the Curios section at WASD. What is Curios?

Curios is a curated collection of the smaller and more eccentric indie games that don't have a publisher. It's there to offer smaller developers a chance to showcase their game, engage attendees and meet others within the games ecosystem - other developers, publishers, etc. It's a great environment to learn and meet with other passionate gamers, both players and producers.

What advice would you give to first-time exhibitors?

Be yourself. WASD is a safe space, so be whoever you want.

Talk to everyone. Put yourself out there and smile as much as you can. Everyone at the event is looking for a new cool game from a new cool group of people and that is undoubtedly you.

Be open and friendly. It really helps.

Challenge your players. Having a challenge or competition of some form is a great way to get people to play.

Wear comfy shoes. Bring Compeed plasters in case (you'll thank me for this).

Stay hydrated. Work in shifts with your team so you can take breaks.

The Ukie Education team make friends with The Lamb at the Devolver Digital stand at WASD in March 2023
The Ukie Education team make friends with The Lamb at the Devolver Digital stand at WASD in March 2023

A note from the Ukie Education team

WASD is a very friendly and welcoming environment, the perfect first event for those new to the video games industry. It has a relaxed vibe, and so many games to play, from bigger indie titles you've been waiting for, to weird and wonderful gems for you to discover.

For winners of the Ukie Student Game Jam, exhibiting at WASD is an unmissable opportunity. In the Curios section, you'll be amongst fellow new and smaller developers. It doesn't require you to be at your stand the whole time, so you're free to explore everything WASD has to offer. The Ukie team will be there throughout Thursday 25 April to support you, plus you'll have arranged introductions with industry professionals. The Game Jam Prizegiving will take place on the Careers Stage at WASD that afternoon.

For all our student members interested in attending WASD, we have an exclusive ticket offer for you. Please check your emails for further information.

Take part in the Ukie Student Game Jam

The Ukie Student Game Jam takes place over 14 & 15 March 2024. Registration is open for student teams and industry mentors until Thursday 29 February at 10am.

If you or your institution is a Ukie Students member and you’d like to take part, please check your emails. A sign-up form and further information have been released directly to you.

For details on supporting the activity or taking part as an industry mentor, please check out this participation pack, or contact Siân on sian@ukie.org.uk.

Ukie Student Game Jam blog

Check out our last blog piece, 8 great games first created in a game jam, to get your inspiration and ambition flowing!